"You'll be hard pressed anywhere to find a female Cosi trio to match Fort Worth's. Both Jan Cornelius' Fiordiligi and Kathryn Leemhuis' Dorabella sing ravishingly, sheer vocal beauties allied to nimbleness and an astonishing range of dynamic and coloristic nuance.Rarely will you hear the girls' duets so exquisitely balanced and blended as in Saturday's opening at Bass Performance Hall. And how vividly they dramatize their characters' moral ambiguities — Dorabella readier to succumb to her new suitor, Fiordiligi struggling harder to remain faithful."
"As Fiordiligi, soprano Jan Cornelius is as good as the best of them. Mozart gives her music of such extreme range that few sopranos can sing it as evenly as Cornelius, who never resorts to chest voice. Although both singers deliver the vocal fireworks, it is in the creation of these two different two characterizations that Cornelius and Leemhuis really shine. Without making Firodeligi a prig and Dorabella a flirt, the two singers perfectly capture the difference in the characters."
The two female leads (sung by Jan Cornelius and Kathryn Leemhuis) were stellar on opening night, delivering great comic timing and consistently beautiful singing.
"Soprano Jan Cornelius and mezzo-soprano Kathryn Leemhuis as Fiordiligi and Dorabella (respectively) worked beautifully in tandem together, adding their part to the comedy of the opera through fantastically synchronized choreography and creative acting. Leemhuis used her lyric mezzo to bring out the ridiculousness of her mock-heroic Smanie implacabili aria in the first act. Cornelius displayed why she is a rising star as her powerful voice rang out over the other principals and the orchestra throughout. Her Come scoglio (Like a rock) aria had the audience erupting in applause, but it was Per pietà rondo that really displayed her vocal versatility and dramatic coloratura voice."
"...the revelation of the rest of the evening was Micaela, Jan Cornelius of Texas, with a pure suple voice... Her fresh incarnation, sensitive and determined had nothing in common with many Micaelas that look like boring little geese."
"As Marguerite, Jan Cornelius is stunningly beautiful and possesses an astonishingly pure soprano voice. She also manages to bring a range of emotion to the character, and the gleeful aria "Ah! Je ris de me voir si belle en ce miroir" is a highlight of the evening."
"Those who recall Jan Cornelius' Micaela in "Carmen" last year again heard her sweetly intoned soprano, this time in the lead role of Pamina. Her heartfelt "Ach, ich fühl's, es ist verschwunden" was a highlight of Act 2. Although this was her role debut, she sang, looked and acted the part like a veteran."
"Jan Cornelius' soprano was a size or two smaller, but she dispensed unrelentingly gorgeous sounds and did the most amazing things with them. The sound could blaze on high, or float ravishingly, with every expressive nuance in between. It doesn't hurt that she's a glamorous presence..."
"The lovely soprano Jan Cornelius, who made her debut here last year as Mimi in "La Boheme," gave to the very different role of Tatyana — smitten by Onegin's romantic good looks but initially rejected by him — both simple grace and thrilling fervor as she grew into the elegant woman who must reject him at the end."
"Jan Cornelius incarnates the Countess' wounded dignity and decency, her warm-centered soprano releasing a bit of blaze on the surface."
"Soprano Jan Cornelius sang the two great lament arias ("Porgi, amor" and "Dove sono") with heart-breaking sweetness."
"The two play off of each other beautifully and bring out Mozart's masterful melodies, while also bringing out the slyness of their plotting. There was a nice contrast between the two sopranos as Cornelius (the Countess) has a rich lyric soprano sound that fills her upper register, and Carroll (Susanna) has such a big, warm, but still sweet soubrette soprano voice. The meshing of the two made for an incredibly pleasing aural experience, and their phrasing was performed in a way that gets you lost in the moment, and makes you forget that the beautiful singing is really a plot to catch an unfaithful husband."
"Cornelius excels in creating an earnest and grand moment that seems to offer a respite to the listener to forget the drama so that you can just sit back and enjoy the beautiful music. Cornelius uses an impressive amount of control in her dynamics to make the aria emotionally believable. Where she might not have the biggest or loudest voice, she makes up for it by having a delightfully soft and yet full pianissimo that she does a grand job of emphasizing in order to phrase the dynamics within the aria in an astounding and arresting manner."
"Act Two belongs to the charismatic and mischievous Musetta, played and sung with charm and abandon by Jan Cornelius. She so completely dominates the bustling Café Momus sequence that it would be easy to overlook the splendid work done by the others — Mackenzie in particular, but also the entire chorus, including Ernest Alvarez as the festive Parpignol. Again, it is precisely the degree to which Musetta's singularity is complemented by the enthusiasm of the group that gives the scene its resonance. Cornelius had the Granada audience alternately appalled and delighted with her pranks until finally it felt as though they would be as willing as the characters onstage to carry her off in a grand procession."
"A season-opening La bohème on July 1 presented a satisfying cadre of bohemians, graced by the excellent Mimì of Jan Cornelius, who endowed the gentle seamstress with an ample lyric soprano of fine quality and prodigious skill in dynamic variation and expressive nuance."
"Soprano Jan Cornelius was riveting and stunning as Giorgetta Saturday evening. An exceptionally beautiful young woman, she displayed an even more glorious voice and an amazing gift for concise yet powerful characterization. She sang with fullness of tone, clarity of diction, evenness of color from top to bottom of her range and from the softest to the loudest dynamics, and a degree of authority when it came to projecting both her vocal and theatrical interpretation of the role that was worthy of a seasoned veteran."
"Deserving special mention is lovely, both physically and vocally, soprano Jan Cornelius, as Fiordiligi."
"Jan Cornelius made her Atlanta Opera debut as Musetta and chose to portray her character as more pushy than flirtatious. She gave a flawless performance of "Quando me'n vo" that ended with a thrilling decrescendo on the high B flat."
" Soprano Jan Cornelius made a properly flamboyant Musetta as a brassy redhead, her high notes sparkling, her famous waltz gentle and sexy."
"A high point was provided by Jan Cornelius. I had heard her sing before but I had never been so impressed with her as I was on this particular evening, when she sang 'Vilja.' She is a wonderfully attractive soprano with a solid core."
" Standing at the musical and dramatic center was the radiant Countess of Jan Cornelius. Looking lovely in her elegant costumes, Cornelius sang strongly and securely in the testing duets and trios with the poet Olivier and the composer Flamand, the romantic rivals vying for her love and the primacy of words and music. Cornelius rose to the extraordinary demands of the long final scene. Her dark-toned soprano, tipped with a silvery edge, conveyed the emotional shifts in the music and opened up with thrilling impact in the climaxes. In the Countess's final apostrophe to her mirrored image, she caught the transfixing beauty of Strauss' music."
"Soprano Jan Cornelius has a quiet reserve as the Countess that builds to her climatic lengthy end scene when she decides on the fate of the opera. Her diction perfect and her vocal expressiveness passionate and steely."
"Cornelius is mesmerizing, especially controlling Resphigi's 'declamato' scenes, proclaiming her love, proclaiming her witchery and owning her motivations. After a dramatic off the cliff arrest by the orchestra, Cornelius' a capella freefall is sonic and serene."
"Cornelius made a memorable Silvana. Her tautly focused soprano soared through the testing vocal lines and opened up to thrilling effect on top. She commanded the bare stage with authority. At the climax of the scene of witchcraft, Cornelius haunted the eye and ear as she summoned Donello and then, slowly moving backwards as if in a trance, led him offstage."
"The powerful (yet gorgeous) instrument of Jan Cornelius as Violetta pierces the intimacy of the hall . . . The voice of Cornelius sounds perfect for the most tragic moment: when she bids farewell to Alfredo for good (though he doesn't know it), the playing of the orchestra and her singing fuse perfectly."
"Jan Cornelius rises to the daunting challenges Violetta Valéry places before a soprano. Cornelius dominates the stage with her forthright and touching portrayal. Her gleaming soprano opens up powerfully in the middle range and dominates the high climaxes. Cornelius deepens her portrayal as the opera progresses. In the final act, she finds an array of touching colors in her expressive singing."
"Jan Cornelius nailed Violetta."
"Jan Cornelius, who sang Frasquita, had a beautiful, ideally focused voice.
William Thomas Walker, CVNC, October 26, 2006"
Le Nozze di Figaro W. A. Mozart
Teater Hof | June/July 2014