MD: Simon Casali
2016 Hungarian State Opera
MD: Kocsár Balázs
“The audience’s favorite was Klara Kolonits’ Giulietta (…) Klára Kolonits is undeniably the reigning queen of bel canto in Hungary, and her performance was a testament to her aptitude and love for this repertoire. Her mellifluous voice, round, golden and clean, is a pleasure to listen to, and her command of it is incredible: singing coloratura and interpolating high notes seems to be as easy and natural for Kolonits as taking a breath.”
May 24th 2016, bachtrack.com Orsolya Gyárfás
“It’s possible to write about interpretation of Klára Kolonits in superlatives only. She performed lyrical role of Giulietta on a very high level, with a whole richness of colours. The coloraturas did not serve purely to display her virtuoso technique, but they had their own place and role in the musical interpretation. The key features of her portrayal were enchanting musical sensibility, secure and flawless technique in the difficult parts as well, wonderfully twinkling coloraturas and deep emotional identification with the character.”
May 29th 2016, melpomene.blog.hu, Zoltán Péter
“We could practically count on the fact that Klára Kolonits will shine in the role of Giulietta and there was no disappointment on that matter. (…) The role fits ideally to the current point in her career (…). She satisfied the needs of fermata lovers with a magnificent high E, and together with sparkling runs I enjoyed most the atmosphere-building lyrical parts and softness of legatos (…). Klára Kolonits is a standalone brand by now, that one shall appreciate for herself and for her art, regardless of anyone else.”
May 31th 2016, momus.hu, ppp
Pure emotion. Finally. Every so often this happens, maybe even during an evening where the expectations are not so high at the beginning. The Capuleti at Erkel gave us moments of genuine thrills. In particular because of tonight‘s Giulietta, dramatic coloratura soprano Klára Kolonits. For once this pretentious title is not a void expression: while after the Divina, you know that the SDDC doc are basically absent. Kolonits gave a breath of life with a capital L to the bellinian title role, embroidering it even with the most ardueous note: the E flat in the first act’s Finale, and E natural in the second act’s aria. Both held not too long, but precise and well projected. An absolutely successful debut in this role. (…) Klára Kolonits has also produced mezzevoci perfect in the ambient of her very personal dynamics, that remained perfectly aligned with the character and facets of her fatal love.
May 24th 2016, facebook.com, Stefano Italiano
This is the most complex role of my life, in which there is a whole lot of negative traits. Norma wants to kill her children only to hurt their father, who fell in love with someone else. I never faced a similar task on stage. My dramatic roles were often very resolute, but I’ve never met such a vengeful figure who would destroy her own fate ignoring the others. One have to mature to a level where it’s not only your charm and beauty that you want to show onstage. Fate plots its threads very well, because my mother-roles such as Melinda in Bánk bán were a step towards Norma – in the madness of Melinda there’s something scary and touching at the same time. Norma and her love both die but it’s a cathartic death, because Norma gets her love back. The story is very human, nothing is black or white in it. And singing career isn’t black and white either. There is a topic that I am thinking over and over again, that a way exists, which a woman has to go through in its entirety. And I am obliged, as a performer, to show the dark sides of this way as well as the roles that are concentrated around youth and beauty. One has to preserve this yearning for purity, always, and the freshness of the voice should never ever disappear, can only be enriched with the life’s dark sides.
2019 Toulouse, Théâtre du Capitole
MD: Giampaolo Bisanti, Stage: Anne Delbée
2018 Debrecen Csokonai Theatre
MD: Szabó Sipos Máté, Stage: Nadine Duffaut
Klára Kolonits, l’étoile de Danube – Klára Kolonits, the star of the Danube
The season opening of 2019/2020 at Theatre du Capitole gives such an excitement that one has difficulty to recover from that – like after debuts of Alagna or Florez on this stage. Now Christophe Ghristi presents a Hungarian singer, whom your servant didn’t know even by name: Klára Kolonits.
The singer, who has been a soloist of Hungarian State Opera for a good couple of years, doesn’t venture very far from the banks of Danube: and therefore, the Hungarians can enjoy her Traviata or Elvira, or even Queen of the Night, not to forget the sublime Lucia. Happy Hungarians! Happy, because it’s very rare nowadays to hear a voice of these qualities: round and well projected throughout its (more than ample) range, musicality, style, long breath, adamantine timbre, the mastery of colours and ornaments, breathtaking virtuosity, the transmitting power of her large, agile instrument.
She presents an anthology-like interpretation, and reigns upon the deadly tessitura of the druid priestess with such an authority, that it brings a very young Joan Sutherland to our minds. Awaiting her further appearances on the stage of Capitole, that will undoubtedly happen, I highly reccomend her recital on the 3rd of October. A must!
September 30th 2019, Classic Toulouse, Robert Pénavayre
SUNDAY: Kolonits, a priestress on the eternal quest for love
Only one main role interpreter changed, but along with her the equilibrium of the whole show did. The Norma of Kolontis is a sensitive woman bereaved of her love, who eventually becomes very close with Adalgisa – this little sister of hers, who follows her in everything, the best and the worst. As a woman she is less of a warrior, and as a priestress she is respected for more subtle reasons than violence. The sweet softness of her Casta Diva suits the performance practice very well.
Duets and trios are more balanced, she gets in a closer contact with the other characters. Perhaps the impact she makes is less immediate, but she consciously builts egy beautiful image of a woman, of a lover and that of a mother. Although pursuing her goal of winning Pollione back, she also appears manipulative with her people, and she is ready to sacrifice her children – a complex Norma, a real lacework of Kolonits. We can only regret that in this version of the score she didn’t get perhaps enough opportunity to show her art of bel canto, her coloratura and top register. The curious may easily look for it online, between her videos and on her Bel Canto Reloaded solo CD album.
October 9th 2019, Toute la Culture, Paul Fourier
For me the breathtaking revelation of this Norma production is Klára Kolonits. She is Hungarian, since many years a soloists of State Opera of Budapest, but how come at this level she never sings outside? I can’t understand. Of course she obviously came to Toulouse now but I think it’s her first time in France. Evidently, Christophe Ghristi heard her and invited her over, but some other people had to hear her too? Anyway it’s the Hungarians who can enjoy her year-long as Marguerite de Valois, Konstanze in Entführung aus dem Serail or to go even higher, Queen of the night. But she also sings Puritani, La Traviata… all the great things. The house does play each night but she only sings the main roles.
The voice character resembles a little Joan Sutherland, but it is its round emission, velvety timbre, her musicality and long breath, her mastery of ornamentations that makes her stand out. She also makes us love and empathise with the character immediately, her approach seem to be more sensitive to the character and vocally she is simply wonderful. It’s a huge discovery we hope to see again in Toulouse very soon.
October 4th 2019, Mélomanie – Radio Présence
Klára Kolonits very appropriately defines herself as a dramatic coloratura soprano. Her rare qualities are based on her exemplary musicality: she shows her best side already in her touching, prayerlike Casta Diva or in the perfect Adalgisa duets. Her flexible, virtuoso voice doesn’t stop to seduce throughout the show full of chiaroscuro contrasts, thanks to her secure bel canto technique. Especially her upper register is luminous, of a rare expressive beauty. She shows her dramatic coloratura side in amazing ornamentations (first Adalgisa-duet), and crowns the first act with a wonderful high note. Her Norma is ready for battle but also very deeply human, especially in the vision about her children (whose presence has been marked with a video).
September 30th 2019, Olyrix, José Pons
The Norma of Klára Kolonits gives the most intense emotion from the beginning till the end. Already in her mystical Casta Diva we felt that we are testimonies to something great. She makes us tremble in the final trio of the first act, she makes us cry in “Qual cor tradisti” sang entirely in mezza voce, the “son io” and the duet with the father are also sublime. She really thinks she might escape her destiny and when she understand that it’s all over, we cry with her. The nobility of gesture, the intensity of gaze and rare palette of colours. The voice has a rather particular and unique timbre, the pianos are sumptuous, the vocalises perfectly oiled (the passages, the trills…). The two duets with Adalgisa are really wonderful because of the harmony between the two voices. The finale of the act 1 with its perfect interpolated notes is performed with all the required violence.
Honestly if one can go and live the tragedy of Norma performed like this, there’s no other option than to do it!
September 28th 2019, CarayonK, Kévin Carayon
The cast is a miracle. Norma returns triumphally onto the stage of Capitole with not one, but two interpreters of the title part. The role of the roles can be justifiably kept in the repertoire of both of the singers, each of whom presented it with their own collection of means. The vocal qualities are of the first stort – as it is demanded by sublime cantilena, virtuoso runs and dramatic explosions. Both singers soar into the top register with confusing ease (they do Casta diva in the original key) and both are also skilled in agility (one more than the other, but we won’t tell you which one). For such flexible kind of voice it is also powerful. The cherry on top is the fact, that both dramatic and coloratura extremes come deeply from the heart, presented with a varied, sensitive stage presence.
September 29th 2019, Culture 31, Michel Grialo
Casta diva soars in luminous extasis (and that trill!). The voice is narrower in the low register (alla Sills), the middle range is excitingly defined, and the top is of a golden softness, all of its hundred colours sound with ease and warm glow (we can easily imagine her in Puritani). In her sensitive reading Norma shows mostly her human and vulnerable part, “Oh non tremare” is more about her pain than about her vengeance, and her “Son io” together with the whole final catharis is simply sublime.
September 30th 2019, Diapason, Jean-Philippe Grosperrin
“Not only musically, but also in the staging the main accent was on the three main characters. Also from this perspective the theatre’s direction did a great job, being able to win for this production three perfectly suitable personalities and voices.
The role of Norma has been waiting for Klára Kolonits already for a time, but the result is beyond the most optimistic expectations. She realises the role’s incredible complexity with implicit naturalness. There is Norma herself on the stage in her concentrated presence, which nowadays can be attributed to very few. The staging of Duffaut seems to be created directly for Kolonits. That the part, spread among two-and-a-half octaves, will be executed without any strain, was to be counted on. That the interpretation will be focused on the sensitivities of the character’s soul, we could bet for sure. That the singer will show us the whole spectrum of human emotions from tender love up to deadly hate, we knew in advance too. But we got more than that, much more, we got a depth reaching more than technical perfection
When Adalgisa confesses her “sin” to Norma, the high priestess in the interpretation of Kolonits is experiencing very deeply all the impulses of the loving young creature, and listening to them being told by Adalgisa, she is going again through the stages of her own love. We can sense that the two priestesses are twin souls, and if Norma wasn’t the older one, the story could go the other way around as well. As the situation unfolds itself (which actually means it getting more complicated), Norma fights for her love with all weapons: despairing and shrieking, cursing and threatening, humiliating, even begging. And during all this process she remains what she always used to be for the druid community: an impervious statue, the unreachable ideal, earthly personification of their god. Kolonits portrays all this with endless consequence, not merely believable, but deeply engaging the audience. When the waves close above her head, when she is immersed in the thoughts of murdering her children, the spectators breathlessly partecipate in the scene.
The catharsis at the end of the piece can be so powerful exactly because we all understand (the druid community or a wanderer from the twenty-first century on the theatre balcony), that this is the only was for Norma and Pollione to be forever united and purified, too. We understand – and even feel jealous for the couple walking happily towards the stack.”
February 11th 2018., Café Momus, Antal z. Tóth
“A success or collapse of a Norma performance depends on the title character. Luckily Csokonai Theatre in Debrecen bulit up their new Norma on a multifaceted coloratura soprano, who – despite not singing in the world’s greatest opera theatres – became for me one of the most important interpreters of the part.
Klára Kolonits is spotless not only in the ethereal coloraturas, but her soprano doesn’t loose any of its power in the lower registers either, she portrays the passionate depths with the same artistic credibility as the lyrical passages in higher tessitura. The artists doesn’t stop at the romantic interpretation of Norma’s endless emotional palette: in the Norma-Adalgisa scene her change from understanding, loving woman to a wounded, jealous fury is striking.
She portrayed the opera’s finale amazingly: the unsure, guilty, vengeful priestess on the verge of madness. There is no typical mad scene in the opera, however the main character, crushed by her emotional experiences is close to madness too – and in the end, sacrificing herself instead of her rival, she wins the salvation of her earthly sins. It can’t be an easy task to portray such extremes on stage, but for Klára Kolonits this is not an issue either.
Casta diva radiates with a wonderful intimacy, and as always the artist uses the aria’s ornaments to express the emotional content of the part, and she performs all details of the score with such a naturalness, as only the greatest are able to. It was worth to play this piece in our little homeland again, now that we have a singer who has both vocal and stage gifts to be successful in this difficult role.”
February 7th 2018., Melpomené, Zoltán Péter
“Klara Kolonits shines on the neutral stage in such a natural way, as I have not experienced it even with the most famous role representatives; one honestly wishes her a possibility to introduce herself on further stages with her exquisite Norma à la Devia. She reigns upon the rules of both dramatic and ornamental singing in a stupendous manner, every note is evenly pure and concentrated, the timbre lush, the sound soft and full. The only wish one may have is for her to add yet another ornaments to “Ah, bello a me ritorna”. The voice is not large on its own, but radiant and resonating, thus the poetic moments seem to be fitting her a little more than the dramatic attacks, but Kolonits sings with passion, technical sovereignty, apparently inexhaustible reserves and maintains noble voice projection all the way to the finale.”
May 2018, OperaLounge, Rolf Fath
“It’s impossible to write anything new about Klára Kolonits. She steps onto a handkerchief and magically expands it into a soccer field. Next to Gruberova, she’s the great Norma of our times. A legendary show has been born in Debrecen.”
February 26th 2018, Café Momus, Heiner Lajos
“The premiere was interrupted by applause and loud bravos after several arias – which wasn’t accidental, as three splendid voices soared into the auditorium of Csokonai Theatre: Klára Kolonits sang Norma with aplomb.”
February 3rd 2018., DeHír.hu, Miklós Szénási
“The main roles all have very high vocal demands. Especially the roles of Norma and Adalgisa require great virtuosity, dramatic beauty and high lyrical phrases. The theatre engaged two wonderful artists for these roles: Klára Kolonits and Gabriella Balga.”
January 30th 2018., Debreceni Nap
This figure reminds a lot myself at the age of 16, and all that I used to think about love and relationships back then. I used to read a lot and my expectations towards men were based on works of Tolstoy and Balzac. If a boy didn’t tak to me just the way I expected him to, I reacted very vividly just like an opera heroine. It remains deep in your subconsciousness. When my feminity started to wake up, I wasn’t exactly popular among boys but a bit later – on the contrary and then I was able to reason only in the extreme way like Elvira does. I can completely identify myself with her dedication, vulnerability, jealousy and with seeing things in black and white, as everything was a question of life and death. Within one sheet of music such things happen with her that completely exclude themselves. And I do understand because I experienced it myself.
2017 Pécs, Kodály Központ
MD: Riccardo Frizza, Stage: Némedi Csaba
MD: Dinyés Dániel
“In the role of Elvira the great soprano of Hungarian Opera House, Klára Kolonits, was able to show the whole richness of her skills and radiating beauty of her voice. Kolonits, who recently issued also a bel canto cd, interpreted Elvira with incredible dramatic expression and power both vocally and as an actress, and in the same time the lyrical subtleties of bel canto sounded perfectly as well, the artist was in the top form.
What made the Elvira of Klára Kolonits a complete catharsis was the rich cavalcade of emotions both in music and on stage, and the effect was vividly applauded and bravo-ed by the audience.
June 6th 2017, koncertvisszhang, Attila Kovács
“Klára Kolonits concentrated mainly on exploring the depths of the soul of this complex figure (at the same time Elvira and the pupil of Callas). Her Elvira is fluctuating between the extremes, she experiences everything with incredible intensity: both her abandonment and her love, madness and soaring happiness. The rich personality shines through the perfection of her vocal production. The virtuosity is for her nothing more than a tool that she uses to unfold the drama. There is only one word that can describe her stage presence and acting: radiating. The spectator remains stunned at the fact, that it’s not an interpretation of a signature role that matured for years.”
May 27th 2017, momus.hu, Tóth Antal
“The interpretation of Kolonits is so essential, that I have to mention it. She’s very feminine onstage, so that the role of love becomes more accentuated. And from her interpretation we can see clearly, that Elvira grows up as the story goes. In the first act she’s playful and defiant in a little girl’s way. In the second, in the two-parts mad scene the palette of her voice becomes dark and sad. This is rather natural in the first part, but which is even more interesting, that in the fast section it didn’t brighten up either, showing that the joy is only superficial and in the soul’s depths the darkness is still present. In the coloraturas she marks the madness with bold, unusual, almost dissonant intervals. In the third act, the resolution comes – one may have guessed it, but even then it has a huge impact. When Arturo says that he loves her and offers his hand to her –Vieni, vieni! – the light of true happiness, a real sunshine illuminates the voice of Kolonits. Not even mentioning the wonderful high Ds in which together with Demuro they expressed the infinity of their joy. With her voice and with her singing, Kolonits reveals the deepest secrets of bel canto, focuses the attention on her rare gifts, shows the particular interpretation possibilities lying within the style. The singer’s warm voice and humanity makes more intensive relationships within the characters possible. The open nature of Kolonits gives more accentuated role to Popova-Callas as well, who becomes an alter ego for Elvira, her soul’s another half.”
May 26th 2017, tiszatajonline.hu,Márok Tamás
“Klára Kolonits casts a spell: she makes the constant going mad, then back to normal, then again mad – believable, understandable. Partially because of sublime realisation of surreal vocal runs, partially because of her performance suggestiveness. Her way of singing seems endlessly natural, so that we accept that the message she carries is such as well – and even in the back of our heads we do not want to question the story or examine with realist point of views such things, that simply remain unseen by it. Already recently issued CD made clear that Klára Kolonits is at her absolute top and finally found her true repertoire. Her Elvira is not only exceptional artistic experience but also an imperative to all the directors of music theatres: here you have a singer whom you can, or better you must build repertoire on.”
August 21st 2015, operavilág.net, Gábor Bóka
“If Klára Kolonits had been born 180 years earlier, Bellini would have written a couple of main roles for her voice. She is simply shining, smiling goes through breakneck coloraturas, melodies, runs, long-held high notes and so strikingly naturally serves the music and the character. It is simply radiating out of her face, how happy is she to sing this piece. Well if we have such a Bellini-soprano it is worthy to go crazy twice during one evening! For her and because of her.”
August 15th 2015, tiszatajonline.hu, Tamás Márok