“At the Met, Ailyn Pérez’s Blanche, utterly beside herself, shot disbelieving looks of terror and exasperation across the stage at Sabine Devieilhe’s Constance, who met her gaze with loving reassurance.
Such moments abounded in the company’s revival of John Dexter’s long-running production, staged on this occasion by Sarah Ina Meyers. It’s rare to see an opera so focused on women and their relationships to one another, and rarer still to see those relationships explored so profoundly.
Pérez ingeniously deployed her warm, vivacious soprano as a Blanche who could hide in a convent from the world but not from herself. Her fragile nerves shot, Pérez’s Blanche often attempted to maintain a composed, pallid front, but her voice betrayed her, surging with feelings she had yet to master.”
“In an important moment, Blanche tells her brother (tenor Piotr Buszewski in a workmanlike house debut) she is “a daughter of Carmel”, and in the same way that the phrase is her commitment to overcoming her own fear, so it seemed to bring the orchestra to greater levels of expression and refinement. From there, the music-making was exceptional, and the final scene of the nuns singing the “Salve Regina” on the way, one by one, to the guillotine, was powerfully moving.”
“Outstanding, too, was our Blanche, Ailyn Pérez. This character ought to project beauty, fragility, goodness, loveliness. Ms. Pérez did so. She sang easily—with a naturalness that was almost disarming.”
“Pérez’s Blanche de la Force was a combination of timorous meekness and steely resolve. There is no doubt that the the societal unrest in pre-revolutionary Paris has unsettled her, but Pérez’s Blanche is running towards a spiritual life not to escape the world but in hopes of finding both peace and purpose. Pérez’s face expressed Blanche’s character as effectively as her voice, especially the beatific glow that emanated from her whenever her resolve was questioned.”
New York Classical Review
“The other standout moment for Pérez was the penultimate scene with Mother Marie where the soprano delivered some exhilaratingly horrifying fortissimo singing on “Voilà mon ragoût qui brûle!” her high range ringing clearly and forcefully all the way up to an intense high Cb. But she topped that moment later with another high B labeled fff on “Oui, ils m’ont frappée.” Pérez delivered on the dynamic marking, pushing her voice to its limit; this moment comes after pages of forte and fortissimo singing and a lot of singers arrive at those notes without much energy left. Pérez never faltered throughout this exchange, allowing the scene to build dynamic tension, the resulting outburst a truly visceral experience.”
“She was ably portrayed by soprano Ailyn Perez. Despite the robust size of her voice, she is able to manipulate it as called for: soaring when she needs to, falling into the background when she must, as she feels the Revolution closing in around her.”
“En lo vocal, todos los oídos apuntaron al personaje de Blanche de la Force, interpretado por una Ailyn Pérez muy sólida… Pérez sale al paso de todas las dificultades con un resultado sobresaliente. La voz se encuentra en plena forma, y va evolucionando hacia su madurez con un centro expansivo que gana tamaño y armónicos. La emisión sigue siendo efectiva, con una notable capacidad para la transmisión emocional. Pérez se anota un gran triunfo, y deja un excelente sabor de boca que excita la expectación por su regreso la siguiente temporada con el estreno de la ópera del mexicano Daniel Catán, Florencia en el Amazonas.”