Ariana Strahl in the exquisite “Libera me”[...] Strahl’s radiant, opulent soprano provided the ideal proportion for this large-scaled production, yet with her commanding vocal power came the finesse of subtle phrasing and intimate gesture when the composer required such virtues.
The casting is superb. Soprano Ariana Strahl possesses a wide-ranging voice that delivers Blanche’s more tender moments – like the Carlisle Floyd-like “Soft People” – but can also throw lightning bolts when needed, as in the final line (“One light!”) in her memory of a gay friend’s suicide. She matches this in the acting department, bringing as layered and nuanced a Blanche as I’ve ever seen, singing or nonsinging. Her account of the opera’s best-known set piece, “I want magic!,” is tender and gorgeous.
In the pivotal role of Blanche DuBois, Ariana Strahl was a real star presence. This is arguably one of the most complex roles in the English language theatrical canon, and Ms. Strahl did not shrink from its mighty challenges. She sings it beautifully, with a ringing soprano possessed of considerable beauty, assured technique, even production throughout the range, and consummate musicianship. Every move she made was motivated by the drama, and ably conveyed the script as musicalized by Mr. Previn. [...] Ms. Strahl is young, she is highly gifted and smart, attractive and empathetic, so there is no doubt she will grow into this part and fully discover its many facets. She deserves to have many more outings as Ms. DuBois.
But perhaps the standout role is Ariana Strahl as Blanche. Her powerful [...] voice is as delicate as it is glass-shattering. It is a high compliment to say that within minutes you have forgotten Brando, Leigh, Hunter and Malden’s iconic film portrayals.
Ariana Strahl (Fiordiligi) was the most compelling: her high notes carried easily, and seemed to float over the courtyard, and she maintained a beautiful sound in the often-feared low register. Her moving passages were especially successful.