As the overbearing upstart Bakst, soprano Ailyn Pérez steals the show with her consistently beautiful, glamorous singing . . .”

Judith Malafronte – Opera News

“The premiere production couldn’t have had a better cast. Great Scott calls for singers with excellent technique and personal charisma. This cast had both . . . Ailyn Perez has certainly met sopranos like Tatyana Bakst and gives a spot-on performance as an embodiment of diva ambition. Her star turn is a bizarre version of “The Star Spangled Banner” at the Super Bowl that almost steals the show.”

Ian MacKenzie – Opera Today

Ailyn Pérez showed comic flair as the self-absorbed, ambitious young soprano, and also showed the singing talents to back up her ambitions.”

David Browning –

It is hard to imagine a better cast and it is easy to believe that both composer and librettist knew who was singing the opera before they started to create it. As soprano Ailyn Pérez said in an earlier interview here, “These characters are so close to our own skins that I sometimes think they are us, or what we might be in another universe” . . .

Ailyn Pérez plays up the young, ambitious, talented and clueless Eastern European soprano, Tatyana Bakst, to the hilt. She steals the show whenever she is on stage, just as her character would do. Her performance of Heggie’s outrageous version of the National Anthem at the Super Bowl is worth the price of the ticket by itself.”

Gregory Sullivan Isaacs – TheaterJones

“What makes this production so exceptional is the strength of the cast that joins her on stage. Soprano Ailyn Pérez nearly steals the show-within-this-show as the young, overly ambitious Tatyana Bakst, a self-proclaimed “hard-working soprano with a green card, a small dog [named] Lucia di Lammermoor, and a modest gift from God.” Pérez sings the word “modest” with rapid trills and turns and more than a little irony as she pushes and shoves her way to the front of the stage whenever possible. Her voice is everything you’d want from a rising young soprano: powerful, clear and capable of landing all the high notes. Her dramatic portrayal of Bakst, a social media obsessed diva with a thick Russian accent, is spot-on and hilarious.”

Catherine Womack – D Magazine

In the first act, Arden worries that the young seconda donna, Tatyana, will “sing her off the stage.” Sure enough, soprano Ailyn Pérez—game, vibrant and thrilled to toss out easy high D’s—did just that, and not only in her diva moment, when she sang the National Anthem, recast as a florid bel canto showpiece, at the Super Bowl.”

Heidi Waleson – Wall Street Journal

“Soprano Ailyn Pérez was cast as Tatyana Bakst, Arden Scott’s opportunistic rival, determined to make it in opera in the U. S. A. The cheerfully over-the-top role allowed Pérez to exhibit her comic skills, as well as her lyric and coloratura virtuosity.”

Opera Warhorses

“An up-and-coming young foreigner named Tatyana Bakst, played by the soprano Ailyn Pérez, is vying to take Scott’s spot as America’s opera diva. When Arden turns down the opportunity to sing the National Anthem before the Super Bowl, Bakst jumps at the chance and her performance goes viral (a seemingly impossible feat for 21st century opera). Pérez’s pinpoint comic timing is on full display when she sings the National Anthem (with snort-laugh worthy variations) accompanied by a quartet of operatic sheriffs acting as her back-up singers, while a huge digital American flag flies in the background . . . the entire ensemble, is nuanced. The entire cast of Great Scott balance strong comedic acting with an ability to embrace heartfelt moments.”

Monica Hinman – Dallas Observer

“Like The Producers, everything seems to go wrong — from the vain Eve-Harrington-ish newcomer (Ailyn Perez, powerful and hilarious) . . .”

Arnold Wayne Jones – Dallas Voice

“. . . the ambitious young Eastern European soprano Tatyana Bakst (the wonderful
young American soprano Ailyn Pérez) . . . Ms. Pérez projected an almost frightening presence and gleaming, slightly edgy highs in her show-stealing National Anthem, sung in front of a humongous American flag and a quartet of cops ready to speed her to the opera house.”

Mike Greenberg – Incident Light

“Maybe, just maybe, the art of bel canto singing can skyrocket in the context of contemporary opera . . . Tatyana Bakst, spectacularly sung and bubbly acted by Ailyn Pérez. If that’s what opera singers are doing in rehearsal, an audience needs to hear more of that on the stage in modern opera. Even though it’s trepidatiously employed for a fictional opera, Heggie seems to have opened the door for bel canto, giving it modernity like never before as part of contemporary storytelling . . . After another settling orchestral opening for Act II from Heggie, “The Star-Spangled Banner” gets an amusing take from Bakst. If the audience stood for Pérez’s botched up but vocally searing rendition, it wouldn’t have been surprising.”


The vocal stars of the show are Pérez, with a brilliant and glorious soprano, and Costanzo, with an astonishingly powerful and well-focused countertenor.”

Scott Cantrell – The Dallas Morning News

“Over the course of a rehearsal and the opening-night performance, we watch Arden interact with a constellation of other characters on either side of the footlights. These include an ambitious young co-star unapologetically out of “All About Eve” (soprano Ailyn Pérez, in an aptly attention-grabbing performance) . . .”

Joshua Kosman – SFGate