bellini • norma • toulouse
September 27th 20:00
Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse, France
October 6th 15:00
Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse, France
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
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
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 Grialou
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
In Norma of Klára Kolonits, we could taste the sweetness her timbre, delicacy of her phrasing, vast length of her breath. Her fairness gives a lot of light to the final duet, where the kindness and sacrifice of Norma are presented in sublime phrases. In this incarnation of Kolonits, the divine goddess of Norma finds a soft, luminous beauty of the immense emotion.
October 11th 2019, Classique News, Hubert Stoecklin
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
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
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
récital • liszt • belcanto • toulouse
October 3th 12:30
Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse, France
Second encounter live with Klára Kolonits, the Norma of Capitole. Beautiful moment of sharing and of music.
The first part was dedicated to Liszt, whose renowned interpreter she’s been for a long time already. In the six songs we saw her dreaming, mysterious, fearful, enraged. Each piece she interpreted in a completely different way, the vocal colours were always new and varied. Even if this music isn’t really my cup of tea, I was there pinned to my seat and listening to this multi-faceted voice. Robert Gonnella’s accompaniment is also in the spirit of the different colours and emotions in every piece, every musical phrase.
For her first concert in France she was an ambassador of her native Hungary also in the beginning of the second, operatic part. She sang one of her favourite arias (that I never heard of) – Nagy Ég, remegek. The concert takes off from this point, we feel that we take part in an enormous moment of music and interpretation. The voice, warmed up by Lieder, grows in the volume and we can admire a festival of vocalises and interpolated notes, in a very impressive tessitura. We can tell that she loves this aria very much, she lives it and she transmits it magnificently to the audience. The spectators don’t hesitate to applaud her in a very spontaneous and lengthy way.
Personally, I went for this concert mostly for Linda di Chamounix’ aria and O beau pays from Les Huguenots. The first one is a a pure jewel of joy and hallucinating virtuosity, the interpolated notes, the trills, the variations – they are endless. The happiness of singing in its purest state. It’s really magnificent to see her negotiating through the technical difficulties with such ease and joy. Not sure if she would sing such a quantity of ornaments and variations in a full staged show, but in this context of a concert it was absolutely amazing. Marguerite aria that I awaited impatiently remains in the same spirit, performed with more noble colours and attitude, a tad less crazy variations – after all it’s a queen – but the trills, the piqués, the high notes are all precise and luminous here too. One has to bow deeply in front of such a technical mastery and such a heart… Bravo!
For the encore, she returns to Erkel for another aria – much more dramatic, as the heroine is asking her husband to kill her instead of their child. Certain passages sound as if the character was loosing her mind… certainly this music doesn’t fall far from the Italian bel canto, both in technique and in emotional load. It was a beautiful emotional finale of the concert, saying “au revoir” to the touched audience. It was really a beautiful hour of music that passed too quickly, we would have listened on and on!!! I can only hope to hear this singer in the pink city again and again in the upcoming years.
October 3rd 2019, CarayonK, Kévin Carayon
We devoted a lot of time during the previous issue of Melomanie to the production of Norma at the Capitole and those who listened to it certainly remember the enthusiasm that Robert Pénavayre showed for the performance of Klara Kolonits in the title role. Accidentally, the Hungarian soprano also gave a recital last week which Robert attended and he obviously wanted to share with us the impressions, therefor I’m gladly going to pass the microphone to him.
Klara Kolonits was as dazzling in this concert as in the role of Norma. If it is not luxury, then what is…? This recital was a part of the cycle of recitals Midis de Capitole and it is accessible to the everyone because the ticket is only 5 € – and for this price, Christophe Ghristi presents us the star of the Hungarian State Opera of Budapest as she also took part in the Norma production and again I say if this is not luxury…
The program included Liszt, Donizetti, Meyerbeer and Ferenc Erkel. Kolonits started with Ferenc Liszt, a classical selection of his mélodies, the Petrarca sonnet and so on – Klára Kolonits is clearly an experienced specialist in this repertoire. I would define her voice as a large, full lyric soprano with coloratura – because it opens up and shines most beautifully in top register as opposed to the medium in a dramatic soprano, although she also sounds wonderfully in middle and lower range… these details aside, she performed Ferenc Liszt songs in absolutely delightful way, beautifully with a great sense of style.
Then we could discover this other Hungarian composer through one of his most famous operas. She sang it in the original language of course, but the translation says “Great heavens, I tremble!” – it was a very dramatic and passionate singing. Even in Hungarian that I clearly do not speak I could understand the meaning of the words and the music through her expressive performance. After that, she offers this little gem of the cabaletta of Linda di Chamounix with her own sumptuous variations like in Norma. She performs the ornamentations, trills, high notes, piquées, high Ds and E flats with no visible strain – at the same time, it is not a small coloratura voice – she is clearly comfortable in this register, the voice naturally opens up there and rings with its round richness and this is what is really outstanding!
Then, we have her signature role and a fetish role for many, Marguerite de Valois from Meyerbeer’s Huguenots. We may be a bit more picky in the terms of French being native speakers, of course it could be even more polished but but it is to be said that we can absolutely understand what she is singing. But no French prevents her from singing it wonderfully and with a great sense of style – but I had no doubts she would, as I said it is one of her signature roles that she performs often in Budapest. At the end for the encore she performs one more Erkel piece, a nostalgic air of Melinda. I thought she could do another encore, but then again it was getting late too… after Norma, it was another wonderful meeting with this singer.
I must say it sounds like an incredible luxury indeed, and to illustrate your enthusiasm let us play “Oh quand je dors” that she also sang at the recital – from her Liszt Songs CD.
October 11th 2019, Mélomanie – Radio Présence
Source: October 12th 2019 | Paul Fourier | Toute la culture Klara Kolonits is still little known in France. And yet, when you listen to what exists online, she is undeniably one of the greatest bel canto voices today. Norma … Read More
A primadonna onstage, a little squirrel at home, deep down still one of the outsider children overlooked by the system. We talked to Klára Kolonits, opera singer. She receives us gracefully at her home in Göd – in a silk … Read More
October 3th 12:30 Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse, France October 11th 2019, Mélomanie – Radio Présence We devoted a lot of time during the previous issue of Melomanie to the production of Norma at the Capitole and those who listened to … Read More
interview | video | review | pictures interview source: Budapest Spring Festival, March 7th 2019 Áradó romantika, slágerszerű dallamok – Kolonits Klára operaénekes szerint ezek a Liszt-dalok legfőbb ismérvei. Liszt Ferenc több mint hetven dalt írt, átirataival zongoraművészként is tevékenyen részt vett a … Read More
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 … Read More
In what aspect art songs as a genre are special for an opera singer? How do you prepare a new piece? I work simultaneously on the musical aspect, technical challenges and the diction. Rachmaninov romances are a particular mixture between … Read More
reviews Top honours went to Klára Kolonits as Marguerite de Valois. Kolonits sparkled and dazzled with her coloratura, gave us creamy soft timbre in the lyrical passages, and turned on a sixpence to shift moods: she could be light-hearted, coquettish, formal, friendly … Read More