Adalgisa in Bellini's Norma with Musica Viva Hong Kong
Opera in brief: Musica Viva’s “Norma”, Hong Kong City Hall, July 2021
"Dominguez was well-matched by Hilary Ginther’s Adalgisa, very much the fetching ingénue. One can (almost) understand the Roman soldier, Pollione, switching his affections from the by now maternal Norma. But it was Dominguez and Ginther’s duets that were arguably the highlights of the evening: the pair’s relative youth added a lightness well-suited to who the characters actually are. Both were likable, and hence believable."
- Peter Gordon, Asian Review of Books
Read Full Article
Photo: Emma Faye Waguespack
Tchaikovsky's The Maid of Orléans - New Orleans Opera
JOAN OF ARC: The Maid in New Orleans
"As the heaven-inspired peasant girl Joan of Arc, Hilary Ginther commanded the stage all the way from her angelic inspiration through triumphs, soul-wrenching romance, crushing tragedy, and divine enlightenment to her ultimate immolation. This tiny but mighty mezzo Maid filled Mahalia’s huge house with the glory of her prophecy, prayers, spiritual anguish, religious fervor, heroic valor, tender love, and martyrdom...I swear it was a tour de force, a true epiphany. I hope Joan of Arc can become this incredible artist’s signature role, and other opera companies should sign Hilary for many more productions of this masterpiece."
- Richard Balthazar, Author of the English translation performed by NOOA
Read Full Article
NOOA's New Year Opened with Tchaikovsky's Joan of Arc
"Ginther’s performance was outstanding. Her voice was strong and impactful.”
Read Full Article - Kimmie Tubre, Where Y'at Magazine
Henry VIII by Camille Saint-Saëns - Odyssey Opera
"Hilary Ginther made Anne Boleyn into a calculating and complicated
social-climber. The mezzo-soprano’s darkly projected voice conveyed
Anne’s ambition to become queen, but her melting lyricism in her Act 3
duet with Chioldi suggested that the character actually loved Henry.
Ginther’s radiant lower register also expressed horror, and when Anne
had visions of her own death, her lines swelled with intensity.”
Read Full Article -Aaron Keebaugh, Boston Classical Review
"..most notable was Hilary Ginther as Anne Boleyn: from the moment she
stepped on-stage, she embodied Anne Boleyn’s every dramatic beat with
pitch-perfect conviction, and her voice proved both tender and powerful:
her Act II aria where she contemplates how Henry is considering making
her his new queen very nearly stopped the show, and was one of the
highlights of the evening."
Read Full Article -Arturo Fernandez, Schmopera
"Hilary Ginther used her handsome voice to characterize Anne as girlishly coy in her first scenes with Henry, later intoxicated and nakedly ambitious, and finally fearful of her ultimate fate. Their acting was understated, as befit a non-staged production, but effective."
Read Full Article -Geoffrey Wieting, Boston Musical Intelligencer
"The second act really belongs to the character of Ann Boleyn, who is given a solo scene, three duets, and a final octet. Mezzo soprano Hilary Ginther was vocally and dramatically impressive in the role. She acts well with her voice, and did not hesitate to plunge into her chest register for dramatic emphasis, while never compromising the beauty of her tone.
With such a terrific cast, a top-notch chorus and orchestra, and Gil Rose's expert conducting, Odyssey Opera's "Henry VIII" was a production about which even the Met could be envious.”
Companionship - Fort Worth Opera (World Premiere by Rachel Peters)
“Mezzo-soprano Hilary Ginther brought the proper condescending attitude as the jewelry-bedecked mother, with a gorgeously rich, textured timbre.”
Carmen - Fargo Moorhead Opera
"Ginther is as beguiling with her acting as she is with her voice. When she first appears, it’s easy to see why men line the street, waiting for her. She charms them, teases them, leaves them wanting more and they are helpless about it.
When she turns her attention to the soldier Don Jose, played by Joshua Kohl, we know he’s incapable of resisting her. Who could? When he takes her into custody, her booking is as provocative as Sharon Stone’s interrogation in “Basic Instinct.” Later, when the two finally connect, literally Ginther hangs off of Kohl. That she does it while singing is impressive. This is not your parents' park-it-and-bark-it opera.
Even more impressive is her voice. The mezzo-soprano is effortlessly powerful and richly emotive. A graduate of FM Opera’s Young Artist Program in 2014, “Carmen” is her first notable role with the company and it’s not to be missed. This artist is well on her way to stardom."
Read Full Article - John Lamb, The Forum 4/19
"Hilary Ginther is what the Italians call «un autentico animale da palcoscenico»—a true stage animal. Not only does she unflinchingly dispatch the staging's athletics all the way to Carmen's gruesome death spasms, her character's body language reads psychologically true as an astutely observed and acutely felt theatrical representation of real-life behavior. Ms. Ginther makes singing look like a natural act, and confident her singing is. She fearlessly scales Carmen's extremes of range and rage, disgorging the grand two-octave A-flat to A-flat gesture «Non! je ne te cédèrai pas!» and ringing out the other high A-flat on «que je l'aime!». Wisely, she abstains from inflating her gentler-grained middle register. Ms. Ginther's French is admirable in pronunciation and phrasing: she sings and gestures sentences, as people do in real life but fail to do on the American opera stage."
Read Full Article - Verismo Hotspot 4/21
Brokeback Mountain - New York City Opera
"Hilary Ginther used her strong lyric mezzo-soprano to portray Jack’s wife, Lureen, as a steely, business-minded Texan."
Read Full Article - Oussama Zahr, Opera News 8/18
"The mezzo-soprano Hilary Ginther makes a sultry Lureen, Jack’s wife, who pressures him to give up his fantasies of rodeo glory and become a providing husband."
Read Full Article - Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times 6/18
"Hilary Ginther is especially arresting as Jack's wife Lureen when coolly telling Ennis over the phone the circumstances of Jack's grisly death."
“Hilary Ginther as Lureen is a find. She has a dramatic mezzo which she can unleash with control and seemingly at will. In her role as daughter of a rodeo impresario, who warns her off weak, wimpy Jack, she is full of irresistible exuberance, even as her husband fades away. The texture of her voice is lush...she comfortably sings over a wide range, and pins the difficult leaps we have come to associate with contemporary vocal lines.”
Read Full Article - Susan Hall, Birkshire Fine Arts 6/18
“Mezzo Hilary Ginther captured Lureen’s transformation from a wheedling Daddy’s girl to a wiser woman”.
Read Full Article - Heidi Waleson, The Wall Street Journal 6/18
"As Lureen, Jack’s rich wife, mezzo Hilary Ginther was a memorable presence, well beyond the size and sketchiness of her role."
Read Full Article - Edward Sava-Segal, Bachtrack 6/18
Photo: Kathy Wittman
Leonard Bernstein's MASS, The Philadelphia Orchestra
Deutsche Grammophon Album Release: 3/16/2018
Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts this live, fully staged production from 2015 of Leonard Bernstein's MASS with The Philadelphia Orchestra.
Now available on Amazon, iTunes, Spotify and YouTube Premium.
Deutsche Grammophon is marking the Leonard Bernstein centenary (25 August 2018) in suitably monumental style. Bernstein’s complete works will be available on CD in a single boxed set, and will include this live recording of MASS.
Photo: Pete Checchia
Leonard Bernstein's MASS, The Philadelphia Orchestra
"...it is a powerful artifact, a musical and theatrical response to a deeply troubled time that has cycled back into even greater relevance in the three years the recording has been in the can. That's more benefit accruing to the common good than can be claimed for many a masterpiece."
-Peter Dobrin, The Philadelphia Enquirer 3/18
Prince of Players - The Little Opera Theatre of NY
"Comic relief was provided by two hilarious performances: Soprano Michelle Trovato played Miss Frayne while mezzo-soprano Hilary Ginther portrayed Lady Meresvale. The scene in which they try to find out Kynaston's gender was hilarious."
-Meche Kroop, Voce di Meche 02/17
Odysseus' Women - Center for Contemporary Opera
"Written for soprano, four accompanying female voices and synthesizer, Odysseus' Women is a setting of excerpts from The Odyssey. The texts represent the characters Circe, Calypso, the Sirens and Nausicaa, all women who play decisive roles in Odysseus' journey home...The ensemble singers--sopranos Maggie Finnegan and Sharin Apostolou, mezzo Hilary Ginther and alto Nicole Mitchell -- each demonstrated strong voices and noteworthy acting prowess."
-Arlo McKinnon, Opera News 01/17
Our team of reviewers in the US highlight ten young American singers who are intent on taking the opera world by storm. Be sure to catch them when they next appear at an opera house near you.
"A powerful, agile bel canto singer, Hilary recently made an engaging debut as Rosina in Florida Grand Opera's production of The Barber of Seville. She has a terrific stage presence, with instinctive comic timing as well as a voice that is unusually flexible and flourid for such a substantial and richly coloured instrument. The handsome, forthright bravura in her voice makes her a natural for trouser roles -- Romeo and Octavian beckon."
-Opera Now Magazine, 05/16
Il barbiere di Siviglia - Florida Grand Opera
"Ginther, a Virginian who is a member of FGO’s Young Artist Program, was a fine Rosina, a good actress with a strong, agile voice that has true mezzo coloring. She has an easy top with plenty of power...her display singing was mellifluous and expert. She sang all those elaborate roulades in “Una voce poco fa” and especially “Contro un cor” with admirable smoothness and warmth, which fit better with the way she played the character than a purely virtuosic approach would have; in other words, she came across like a real person rather than an ornament. This is a good role for her, and she should be able to repeat it with much success."
-Greg Stepanich, Palm Beach Arts Paper 11/17/15
"Ginther, a promising member of the opera’s young artist program, displayed a heavier mezzo voice...But her sumptuous timbre was matched by agility and great comic skills. Ginther’s rapport with Abreu was delightful to watch and her music lesson scene was a riot."
- Laurence Budmen, South Florida Classical Review 11/18/15
Leonard Bernstein's MASS - The Philadelphia Orchestra
"The rock-concert reception at the packed Verizon Hall was such that music director Yannick Nezet-Seguin had to stop choruses from leaving before the cheering was over."
-David Patrick Stearns, philly.com 05/03/15
"Naysayers remain, but MASS has since been vindicated -- here triumphantly by The Philadelphia Orchestra and music director Yannick Nezet-Seguin."
-Financial Times 05/15
"If you missed The Philadelphia Orchestra’s staging of Leonard Bernstein’s MASS, you didn’t miss a performance: You missed a major, major event...you sort of wonder how the entire building didn’t shatter due the sheer insane sound and energy from this cast of hundreds."
-Bryan Buttler, Philadelphia Magazine 05/04/15
"Hilary Ginther as Hänsel, a pants role for mezzo-soprano, and Katie Dixon as Gretel were youthful enough to portray children yet mature enough to bring full-throated voices to their tuneful, spirited music. Ginther and Dixon brought their characters to life. Ginther's heavy-footed dancing in the opening scene conveyed Hänsel's boyish awkwardness."
-Steven Brown, Houston Chronicle 11/19/14
"Singing the plucky part of Hänsel, Hilary Ginther proved a gifted mezzo-soprano with a knack for comedy. Her voice, even in the cross-gender role of a young boy, has an impressively pure timbre—accurate and daring and exciting to listen to."
-Sydney Boyd, Girl at the Opera (blog) 11/22/14
-Sydney Boyd, Houstonia Magazine 12/04/14
La clemenza di Tito - Dell'Arte Opera Ensemble
"Hilary Ginther made a tremendous impression as Sesto. The would-be assassin is the meatiest role in the opera, a Cherubino type whose deep obsession with Vitellia nearly gets him thrown to the lions. Ms. Ginther found tremendous vocal resources for the Act I "Parto, parto ma tu ben mio," soaring high over the stripped-down orchestra and filling the brick walls of the theater with a flood of sultry, penetrating tone. This is a big voice and an actor who could meet the role's demands, doing so with style and dramatic meaning."
-Paul J. Pelkonen, superconductor.blogspot.com 08/12/13
All is Forgiven!
"Mezzo Hilary Ginther impressed us with a lovely and unique quality to her voice and a dramatically valid portrayal of the weak-willed Sesto who was putty in the hands of Vitellia..."
-Meche Kroop, Voce di meche (blog) 08/24/13