Critical Acclaim for Amy Johnson

Critical Acclaim for Amy Johnson

Johnson is dramatically sound, convincing of the woman’s extreme emotions. Johnson is a confident soprano with an authoritative, dramatic tone. Her melodies were flexible, her top notes powerful, and her phrasing different from that of other Toscas.

Carl Fourle, Independent, Cape Town

Symphony Engagements

Three Women:

The heroines were sung with thrilling force and precision by soprano Amy Johnson.”

– Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle

Lulu Suite:

Johnson …handled Lulu’s coloratura and two-octave-plus compass beautifully.

– Mary Ellyn Hutton, Cincinnati Post

Amy Johnson has a powerful warm voice with a beautifully controlled vibrato and was especially expressive in the lullaby she sings to God.

…The work ends on a unison which, in this performance, allowed the “Simple Song” to start out of nowhere. Again Ms. Johnson was beautifully expressive as she sang, to the simple string accompaniment and lovely solo flute (Kathy Levy) high in the back balcony, “…for God is the simplest of all!”

– Maestro Peter Perret, Classical Voice of North Carolina

The soprano soloist, (for the Kaddish Symphony) Amy Johnson, emerged as a commanding presence as well, singing with fervor and intelligence.

…and “Simple Song” from Mass, in which Johnson teamed up with flutist Kathryn Levy…was simply gorgeous.

– Winston-Salem Journal

As Donna Anna

Amy Johnson, who made her New York City Opera debut, has a lot going for her in terms of sheer vocal power….She produced an attractive, well-focused sound. She also played Donna Anna more sympathetically – that is, less icily – than is typical.

-Allan Kozinn, The New York Times

…Johnson negotiated the aria’s leaps and flourishes confidently. When the music soared, her voice took on a vibrancy that easily got her spirit across. She sang with unfailing smoothness when the music grew mellifluous.”

-Allan Kozinn, The New York Times

As Fiordiligi

“Johnson was especially excellent in “Come Scoglio,” bringing agility and strength throughout her range.”

-James McQuillen, The Oregonian

“…Johnson negotiated the aria’s leaps and flourishes confidently. When the music soared, her voice took on a vibrancy that easily got her spirit across. She sang with unfailing smoothness when the music grew mellifluous.”

– Steven Brown, The Orlando Sentinel

As Manuela

“The outstanding singer was the bright-toned soprano Amy Johnson as Manuela, who caught the plight of Bolívar’s lover in her cavatina ‘Nada dura’ and made the most of the languid Spanish inflections in the love duet.”

– John Allison, The Times of London and Opera

“… Manuela …is actually the most compelling (portrayal); her lyrical singing lines can have a fearsome power; a despairing second-act aria surges with fiery bitterness. Amy Johnson’s soprano is…skillfully used…(bringing) the role to life.”

-Edward Rothstein, The New York Times

But the performance’s major find was Amy Johnson, as Bolívar’s mistress, Manuela…Looking as glamorous as all get-out, she captivated a dance party, smoked a cigar and defied a bunch of thugs with equal conviction. And there were no vocal hurdles that her soprano didn’t take in perfect flight. Watch for this young woman.

-Leighton Kerner, The Village Voice

Soprano, Amy Johnson, characterized Manuela Sáenz de Thorne with dignity and good stage presence, in addition to absolute dominance of her voice. Johnson has in front of her a brilliant future in the opera world, as apart from her vocal talent, she possesses an outstanding dramatic talent and very attractive features and figure.

-José, Rafael Calva-Pratt, Uno más uno, Mexico City

Amy Johnson made a spirited Manuela, exuding sexy tempestuousness.

-Andrew Clark, London Financial Times

Among the soloists, Amy Johnson as Manuela was outstanding, singing the big canto hondo-like aria Musgrave gave her thrillingly.

-Carl Dolmetsch, Opera Canada

As Rosalinde

“The vocal standout was soprano Amy Johnson as Rosalinde. Johnson sang with even, rich voice and acted her part with verve and glamour… Her ‘Czardas’ was lovely, its mix of nostalgia and humor transporting the audience to an imagined Hungary.”
-Paul Sayegh, The Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk

“Amy Johnson brings to her role the right mix: an actress who can sing and a singer who can act. Johnson not only is punctually funny, but her creamy soprano voice projects beautifully over three hours.”
-Paul Sayegh, The Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk

Amy Johnson proves herself to be a well rounded performer with an hysterically funny interpretation of Rosalinde. Her comic flair, first seen as Musetta in Boheme, appears full blown here.
-Richmond State

Rosalinde requires a wide vocal range. Johnson tackles it splendidly with a lusty low register and a shimmering top.
-David Nicholson, Daily Press, Newport News

As Desdemona

Soprano Amy Johnson made a stirring Piedmont Opera debut as Desdemona. She phrased her grand moments with eloquence and sweep, and the tangy edge and rapid throb in her voice injected excitement into her singing.
-William Albright, Winston-Salem Journal

Boito’s text heightens the private tragedy, effectively demonstrated in Amy Johnson’s moving Salce
-Opera News

As Leonora

Amy Johnson’s very attractive spinto has both ample core and a cloak of velour, the requisite flexibility and trills, a strong but unforced lower range, and poise at the top. A lovely vision on stage and a singer of the finest instincts, she sculpted her phrases in the grand style.
-Erik Eriksson, Door Country Advocate

Amy Johnson brought appropriate star quality to Leonora – including effortless high C’s. She demonstrated some subtle tonal shadings, singing with pale transparency in the unsettled emotional state of the opening scene while pouring out a warm ardor in the climactic duet.
-David Williams, Charleston Gazette

Johnson’s flexibility, consistency and range were impressive indeed. She showed noteworthy steel in her middle and lower range in the fourth act.
-Terence O’Grady, Green Bay Press Gazette

As Salome

Soprano Amy Johnson proved to be a Salome to contend with. She projected a gleaming, completely secure top, and she had ample power to soar over the huge orchestra. Her sense of the text, the ability to mold vocal color and rhythmic detail to the words, made the final scene unusually riveting.
-Mike Greenberg, San Antonio Express

As Marguerite

Amy Johnson was …able to carry Marguerite’s scenes on her own. He voice had softness in the wistful moments, brightness in the “Jewel Song” and vibrancy in the big, desperate prayer tunes. In the “Jewel Song” her face sparkled even before she actually donned the gems, and in the prison scene the blankness of her eyes made her madness all the more poignant.
-Steve Brown, Orlando Sentinel

As Butterfly

Awestruck is the only word I can think of to describe my reaction to Johnson. She thrilled the audience with her incredible voice.
-Maureen Hayden, Courier & Press, Evansville

As Musetta

Amy Johnson was show-stoppingly wonderful as Musetta, boasting not only a stunning soprano but also an extraordinarily well-defined sense of theater.
-Opera Canada

Amy Johnson’s delightful Musetta possessed an elemental, shrewish cackling in the waltz that contrasted superbly with her piety in the Act IV prayer.
-Sorab Modi, Opera News

Amy Johnson’s flirtatious Musetta is engagingly crafted. Her performance is so definitive that I feel as if I have finally met Musetta
-John Shulson, The Virginia Gazette

Amy Johnson as the spoiled Musetta kept the audience mesmerized in Act II showing off her striking voice and coquettish manner -David Nicholson, Daily Press, Newport News

As the Countess

The Countess is sung to perfection by Amy Johnson. Her voice is lush, powerful and expressive, with penetrating vibrato, perfect for the headstrong feminine Countess. Her rendition of ‘Dove sono’ was astonishing. Her range and technique are world class. To say nothing of her stamina.
-Pat Aakhus, Courier Press, Evansville

As Nedda / Santuzza

Johnson, who has a reputation for this role, plays the spurned lover who acts on her anger and envy with conviction and great vocal drama.
-Sally Valongo, Toledo Blade

Soprano Amy Johnson undertook two very different leading parts with equal success. Her spinto-weight voice is large enough and sufficiently secure in technique to encompass the tragic, excommunicated, abandoned Santuzza in Cavalleria, a role calling for a full dramatic sound. A solid inner core, cloaked in a soft, fine-grained wrap keeps her tone from becoming strident at full stretch. With ample power to crest over the chorus and orchestra in the Easter Hymn, Johnson shirked no vocal demand. As Nedda in Pagliacci, she was harder-edged, … In this more lyric role, Johnson’s large voice proved flexible enough for the Ballatella and easily filled out each soaring phrase. Her supple, highly attractive appearance lent plausibility to her fling with Silvio.
-Erik Eriksson, News-Chronicle

Santuzza was played brilliantly by Amy Johnson. Johnson’s voice was fire and poignance in equal portion, and her acting was the glue that held the production together. …Playing the part of Nedda, Johnson powerfully virtuosic.
-Green Bay Press-Gazette

Amy Johnson brought a rounded, immensely appealing spinto-weight voice to both her roles. While the abandoned Santuzza in Cavalleria is really a full dramatic role, Johnson never sounded over-parted. She avoided any hint of rawness in her strong upper register and acted compellingly, sympathetic in the Mascagni opera, and both hard-edged and determined as Nedda in Pagliacci. There, in a more lyric role, the extra authority her large instrument provided proved useful and she has the agility to be convincing in music that needs to move along lightly (as in the Ballatella ).
-Door County Record

As Mimi

Amy Johnson’s Mimi is perfect. Her powerful, rich voice, warmth and regal elegance place her apart from the scores of martyred Mims reveling in victimhood. Johnson’s Mimi is beautiful, never self-indulgent and always convincing…Amy Johnson can take her place among the great Mimis of all time.

-Patricia Aakhus, Evansville Courier

As Liu

Liu’s death is arguably the centerpiece of Turandot, and Opera Tampa’s production was enriched by Amy Johnson, who made the slave girl’s suicide seem truly shocking. Her “Tanto amore, segreto’” was a heartbreaking declaration of impossible love, given a dark, melancholy lyricism by Johnson’s lithe, impressively large soprano.
-John Fleming, Opera News

As Tatyana

Dramatic evolution could be seen and heard from Amy Johnson as she made her debut as Tatyana. Initially shy and bookish, she becomes obsessed with love on seeing Onegin. Her letter scene, another of the show’s vocal highlights, exuded passion. Perhaps most riveting of all was her final scene, as she decided Onegin’s fate.
-Whitney Smith, Indianapolis Star

As Tatyana, Amy Johnson was not only a stunning singer with a clear voice that cut through the large hall, but she was also an excellent actor. She rightly drew great applause for her love-letter aria, but she deserved, and got, further acclamation for her non-singing effectiveness. During the party scene, Tatyana, embarrassed about the love letter she has sent to Onegin, was mainly silent, but her presence continually exerted its force upon the scene and the action.
-Bill Liston, Indiana Public Radio

As Giorgetta

And there is beauty enough… those-uncertain passages of Giorgetta, which Amy Johnson (who has both the looks and the voice) immediately makes us believe
-Stephen Moens, De Morgen, Antwerpen

As Tosca

Vocally, the production’s drawing card is Amy Johnson, who sang Tosca’s music with a touching fervency and a strong, attractive timbre.
-Allan Kozinn, The New York Times

Ms. Johnson is an intelligent artist and sings with confidence and impassioned lyricism.
-Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times

Amy Johnson put the agility and the accuracy of her voice to use as a Tosca who is at the same time coquette, diva, lover and woman of decision.
-Jean-Jacques Nattiez, Le Devoir, Montreal

Amy Johnson, soprano, has plenty of resources as Tosca, the actress… and beauty. Without hesitation, we can mention that she truly is Tosca.
-Jaime Castañeda, El Dario, Juarez, Mexico

Johnson is dramatically sound, convincing of the woman’s extreme emotions. Johnson is a confident soprano with an authoritative, dramatic tone. Her melodies were flexible, her top notes powerful, and her phrasing different from that of other Toscas.
-Carl Fourle, Independent, Cape Town

Tosca brought forth a committed performance by Amy Johnson in the title role, her soprano ringing with passion and secure, firm lyricism. Slight in build, she was visually stunning.
-William West, Opera News

Special guest soprano Amy Johnson as Floria Tosca was a soaring treat to behold as she took her spinto style, or “cut-through-the-brass flavor of soprano,” as she commented, to express strong jealously and delicate prayer. Her aria “Vissi d’arte” at the trauma of violation by Scarpia seemed a breath-holding tableau that dropped from heaven.
-Sue Langenberg, Register Star

American soprano Amy Johnson’s Tosca was stunningly real, with eye-catching beautifully proportioned physique and a riveting vocal talent to match.
-Argus, Cape Town

Amy Johnson has a beautiful and clear voice with a secure vocal technique. Her interpretation of “Vissi d’arte” was especially a high point. Her sound was beautiful, rich and heartfelt. A lot has been said about her beautiful looks and pleasing figure, and rightly so! She looks very good and moves gracefully. She also acts convincingly.
-Pieter Kootj, Die Burger, Cape Town

The American soprano Amy Johnson, suavely costumed and not short on good looks, matched these features with both her singing and acting. Her handling of the reworking of the last moments in Act 2 was spine chilling in its ghoulish detail. She rewarded the audience with a heart-felt and noble ‘Vissi d’arte’.
-Barry Smith, Opera

Tosca succeeds or fails largely on the strength of its leading lady, and in Amy Johnson…it is a stunner. Dressed magnificently…Ms. Johnson, who possesses a beautifully pointed soprano, was as alluring a Tosca as I have seen since the last days of Maria Callas at the old Met. Coiled yet fluid, vulnerable yet implacable, she would, in the old days, have been swept off to Hollywood. Fortunately, she is being swept off to City Opera where she is certain to bring down the house.
-Charles Michener, The Observer, NY, NY and Manhattan Music

Amy Johnson as Floria Tosca had little difficulty capturing the admiration of the audience with her powerful dramatic presentation and vocal brilliance as she traversed the emotional spectrum of love, jealousy, anger, vengeance, seduction, murder and finally suicide.
-Nat Bauer, Register Star

Johnson’s marvelous “Vissi d’arte” and exquisitely detailed performance leading up to and including Scarpia’s murder scene spoke volumes about her dedicated internalization of Tosca’s character and emotions. A liquid tone and spontaneous musicianship made her reading extremely satisfying.
-Rexleigh Bunyard, Business Day, Cape Town



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