2016 Hungarian State Opera (⟳ 2018, ⟳ 2019)
MD: Antonello Allemandi / Kocsár Balázs, Stage: Szőcs Artúr
MD: Madaras Gergely, Stage: Mányik Albert
2007 Budapest, Bakáts tér
MD and Stage: Selmeczi György
“Klara Kolonits. I already wrote about her at other occasions. Each time I listen to her, I get a fit of an uncontrollable anger, because a singer like this should have all theatres in the world at her feed, and yet if I want to hear her live, I need to go to Budapest (these are mysteries, or better misfortunes of the opera world, that I know already quite well, having done the job for more than twenty years). She controls her instrument in every way, colours, varies with incredible skill. Her portrayal of Lucia is a lunatic since the very beginning, but a feisty one, in whom there is no resignation towards the pression of the family, only forced acceptance of her brother’s violence. She only collapses after having read the fake letter. Her lack of resignation can be noticed especially in the marriage scene, where her attitude is implacable and fierce. Her “madness”, this time in usual key and with the flute accompaniment (contrary to the one last year in French edition key and glass harmonica, where she topped the mad scene with a high F) is a vocal masterpiece. Her ornaments bear resemblance to those of Sills, for some they may be too much, but in a way she performs them – they are thrilling. As a side note, she is a lovely and humble person, who expresses her gratitude each time we come to see her.”
February 12th 2019, Lirica Oggi, Riccardo Ristori
“Kolonits, who’s clearly at her top form, produced a young, energetic woman, exploding with energy also in the mad scene.
I need to make a separate note on Kolonits’ vocal production and its relation to the previously heard shows. She sang this version last time in 2015 in Szombathely, with the traditional flute cadenza. The theatre decided to get back to the original key in the times of the premiere.
Klára Kolonits clearly reigned upon that higher version too, but of course without this unnecessary challenge she could create more freely her musical and stage interpretation.
The voice is perfectly even, thanks to the more dramatic roles in the past years it got fuller and more rich in the middle range, it sounds softly and without strain in the lower tessitura, opens up securely, soars free and ringing up to the highest notes. I enjoyed that in this version she skipped the ornamentations that I found excessive in the previous variant, this time the amount of virtuosity was exactly perfect according to both style and taste. Thanks to the internet I heard all the famous Lucias from all around the world in the past years – there was not a single one who would come close to this perfect interpretation. We can be proud and happy, that this star is Hungarian.”
February 16th 2019, Café Momus, ppp
“(…)I thought I just don’t like soprano voices. Today I realised, that I have no problem with soprano range, apparently just some timbres – unlike the one of Klára Kolonits, velvety soft, rich, caressing my ears. I could listen to her Lucia for an eternity, she produces the sound so gracefully, harmoniously. Along with her beautiful timbre also her stage presence is suggestive, often dramatically chilling.
After my not-so-good opera experiences I realised that the music of Donizetti inspires me and I can enjoy it a lot. I soared with the music as if on a little boat, I was entirely immersed in the sounds. I even shed a tear during the love duet between Klára Kolonits and Péter Balczó. This is, I think, what they call catharsis.
After Lucia’s mad scene there was such a long and enthusiastic applause, that I was moved myself. I don’t know why the artist isn’t more widely known, because as my father in law says: she is a miracle.”
February 23rd 2019, Szilvi írkál
“There is surely a big role of the diva in another successful run of Donizetti’s masterpiece – Klára Kolonits always makes her Lucia a bit different. This year I found her interpretation, in a way, pure. I did enjoy the virtuoso ornamentations from the premiere run, because the artist always puts them at service of the dramatic expression. She cut some of those in this year’s series, but it somehow did not affect negatively the artistic quality of her interpretation. Her voice soars wonderfully to the higher tessitura but is also equally secure in the lower range. All this with her signature musicality, mastery of the style, professional stage routine but first of all – with her incredible sensitivity in portraying the character’s fragile soul. Her Lucia became more complex, psychologically even more convincing throughout the years.”
March 5th 2019., Melpomené, Zoltán Péter
“I was happy to be able to see the cast with Klára Kolonits. In the recent years I fell in love with her voice: crystal clear, soaring, rich, full of dynamics, very precise also rhythmically and in addition, she is also a great actress. I wasn’t disappointed now either. Already in the first act Lucia starts with a particularly difficult aria without any “warm up”. Klára Kolonits was impeccable from the beginning and her production remained believable and of the highest quality. In the last act she practically brought the house down.”
March 4th 2018, Körülöttem a világ
“There is a kind of (false) general opinion, that the belcanto operas and the virtuoso soprano solos found in them are a sort of cold and sterile matter – even comparing to the opera genre in general. Premiered in 1835, Lucia di Lammermoor can seem such a sterile matter as well at the first sight. But afterwards her comes a great singer, and from the way that the title part rings, we can undoubtedly understand that it speaks about yearning, hoping and fighting for escape, about a flight into madnes and in the end about decay of the very person. Such a great singer we found in Klára Kolonits, who not only portrayed Lucia as a victim, not only showed her whole spiritual world, but even as this vulnerable and disheveled angel she made her belong between us, in the storm of madness still human with her desires and battles.
The threat of violence, the desperation and collapse, but in the same tame also passionate happiness at the border of physical extasy – all this is in our hand’s reach, as Kolonits made us feel, through pure lines of her warmly coloured, extatic singing and acting composed of fine, sensitive gestures. And because of her, even as for the premiere the celebrations that interrupted the show in many points was exceptionally enthusiastic – a boisterous demonstration of the audience, exploded into applause.”
November 20th 2016, Magyar Narancs, Ferenc László
“It’s only fitting that I start by praising Kolonits, for indeed, her tour de force performance was the gem in an otherwise rather bleak night. Her affinity and mastery of bel canto was unquestionable: fully in command of her gleaming soprano, Kolonits negotiated the most difficult passages and tossed out high E flats with ridiculous ease. Her mad scene, acted out with eerie intensity, was nothing short of a masterclass. (…)Her performance was absolutely thrilling.(…)
With Kolonits, the Hungarian State Opera has a singer around whom an entire bel canto revival could be built. She would certainly be capable of bringing the great Donizetti heroines to life.”
November 19th 2016, bachtrack.com, Orsolya Gyárfás
“Klara Kolonits delivered a performance of the highest international level bringing down the house in a huge well deserved primadonna success. This is one of the most beautiful opera-stories in our times: a singer who initially had difficulties to find her true repertoire in five-ten years became a belcanto-diva with absolutely perfect technique, sparkling voice and suggestive stage presence (last but not least, with a remarkable fanclub behind her). And in the same time quite sad is the evidence, that Hungarian opera environment cannot (does not want to?) acknowledge the star being born: this is the first full-rights premiere she got from the Opera House. Better late than never though – and once it happened, then I find it impossible that such an artistic and audience reaction would have no further consequences.”
December 2016, Muzsika, Gábor Bóka
“In the person of Klára Kolonits we got a wonderful Lucia (…) and this time I will not only praise her as I recently often do, but I will mention two things that are very rare in Hungarian State Opera but she gave them to us. The first one is a “CD-sound” – often we feel, listening to an opera show, that ok-it’s beautiful, but it wouldn’t work as well on a cd. And Klára Kolonits is actually able to deliver a cd-like quality of sound on a live show and this is a wonderful, very big thing, very rare experience here in Budapest. By “CD-sound” I mean that there is no compromise on the quality. We get what we can imagine by the most beautiful Lucia-experience in our lives, it gets impersonated in the singing of Klára Kolonits. The other thing is even more crucial and personal: we, as critics, don’t go for opera shows because we want to hear something beautiful or less beautiful, but because we want something to happen with us on this show. And in the Lucia of Klára Kolonits it was possible to experience, that the show literally speaks about us, that it’s important got us, that we get something from life, that we actually understand something about life, because here and now Klára Kolonits sings Lucia. And this is even more unusual that belcanto as such is not really full of life, even within opera genre kind of sterile thing, that is not speaking about us directly. And this spoke about us and very much so. It was worth to see this show because Klára Kolonits sang Lucia. And especially because the Mad scene, which is the key point of the show, was sung in the original F major key, with an incredible virtuosity in the cadenzas.”
“This is a piece and a title role that require a performer who mastered equally the virtuosity of the singing technique as well as the drematic expression and great stage presence. This is not such an easy task, but this time the choice of Hungarian soprano Klára Kolonits came out to be the most fortunate.
Klára Kolonits is well known by the Hungarian public and myself I attended her performances many times and I always appreciated her. But here, in the role confided to her (Lucia) her talent was represented more than ever in its different aspects: the power of her voice which bears no aggresive tones, and in the same time is able to follow all the nuances, high and low passages with perfect intonation. But first of all, in the ability to pass from the most acrobatical vocalises (Mad scene) to the sweetest confessions and whispers (Verranno a te sull’aure). And all the time highly expressive, same in singing and in acting.
Of course the most awaited moment was the Mad scene. It’s rare in Budapest that a scene is interrupted by an ovation lasting more minutes, with bursting “bravos”. “
“Klára Kolonits starred as the eponymous Lucia. This dramatic coloratura soprano is one of the stars of Hungarian State Opera with her wonderful bel canto style and notes that spoke of acres of pain. As Lucia she is perfectly cast; fragile and girlish, splintering like glass when her heart is broken. But it is the famous madness scene in Act III that is the real challenge for this role. Kolonits gave Lucia’s descent into madness grace and beauty with her voice effortlessly gliding into those sweeping high notes which seemed to stretch into heaven itself. She at once spoke of beautiful love mixed with oceans of pain, as she danced in ever-flowing circles to the crowd of stunned onlookers. The awkward moment continues seemingly endlessly as her friends and family watch her first appearing happily crazy before descending into despair and finally collapsing on the stage. There is no need for dramatic scene changes as the characters surrounding Lucia become the set; shifting into an ever-changing composition, afraid and mystified by the sad Lucia and then the mad Lucia.
This extended aria, “Il dolce suono”, is immensely demanding for the lead soprano and is one of the most difficult arias in the soprano repertoire. Fragile Lucia has to sustain herself through Acts I and II to have the strength to whirl into her mad frenzy of Act III.”
November 25th 2016, budapesttimes.hu, Kiára Árgenta
“Then I got to hear the first cast, members of which decisively contributed to improve the whole show (proving that in the opera the singer is the most important factor). Obviously in this improvement it was Klára Kolonits who played the biggest part, who stands very close to perfection in her Lucia interpretation. Her voice sounds balanced in all registers, she has no problem with high notes even lying on the floor. Especially memorable is the fact, that not only the voice of the singer sounded naturally and radiantly even in the most difficult passages, but together with it she was able to project the madness in a believable way.”
December 9th 2016, Opera-Világ, Kata Kondor
“Klára Kolonits sang the title role: her fantastic interpretation and beautifully coloured singing enchanted the audience. Her highest achievement is the fact, that the challenging high notes and ornamentations are never a goal: she identified herself deeply with the role of Lucia and all this served only dramatic expression.”
December 14th 2016, Kortárs Online, Zoltán Péter
“In short: as we expected Klára Kolonits was very successful in the title role, celebrated with neverending applauses after her arias. The artist herself is a miracle, which I already wrote but it’s impossible to mention it too many times. The high and higher notes appear most graciously. (…) Yesterday evening in another bravura role (after her solo evening in October and Bátori Mária) – Klára Kolonits was dominating and gloriously shining on stage, as intended by the composer. Her strong point is that we can see – even next to the daring coloraturas or even through them – the fragile woman who wins our complete sympathy while she’s fluttering between two fires. (…) However we put it – this portrayal of Lucia is not only high, but also deep.”
November 19th 2016, mezeinezo.blog.hu, Zsuzsanna Makk
“We could expect – and we did – that Klára Kolonits will show some kind of a miracle in the role of Lucia, but the effect was still surprising: the beauty of her voice and technical precision did surprise also those, who follow Kolonits’ career already for a long while. I cannot believe that there is any coloratura soprano in the world, who would sing this part better than her, or even at the same level. I rarely allow myself to use this adjective because it is rarely true, but now I gladly admit I am forced to write it: Kolonits’ Lucia was absolutely perfect and of the highest world class. (…) She does not see an eighteen-years-old girl tortured by the fate and her brother in Lucia, but rather a young woman, determined to fight for her love. (…) She ornates the part with an unbelievable richness, yet does not forget even for a while that the sounds, runs and trills always serve to express the genuineness of the character and the music. (…) The public rewarded the singers, and in the first place the fantastic production of Klára Kolonits, with a neverending ovation.”
May 6th 2015, momus.hu, ppp
“Klára Kolonits with radiating passion woke up to life the figure of loving girl, Lucia, who gets forced to marriage of convenience. She sung the difficult coloratura arias with such a grace, that – famously rather reserved – local public celebrated her with exuberant applause.”
April 26th 2015, Vas népe online, Ágnes Kovács, Gábor Cseh
“Of course, the microphones „coloured” the singers’ productions the most (…). Klára Kolonits was the one whose production was bothered the least, because of nuanced diversity of her singing; what we managed to hear, was beautiful, and in addition excellent technically: the climax of it was already mentioned mad scene.”
July 19th 2007, MusicianWho.hu, Péter Varga
“Klára Kolonits shining in the title role was an unusual joy to listen to. A single phrase from her vocal output bore deeper artistic quality, than the two mentioned gentelmen’s production during the whole evening. Secure intonation, exemplary voice control, wonderfully measured dynamic and true, noble bel canto.”
July 19th 2007, momus.hu, Miklós Balázs
The final cabaletta of Lucrezia Borgia: it won’t be too much if I say that it bears the comparison with whichever of the recordings I’ve ever heard.
December 2014, Café Momus, Antal Z. Tóth
Lucrezia Borgia’s final aria proves, that her place is right among the greatest singers of belcanto.
February 2014, Kortárs, Zoltán Péter