“Pérez continues to amaze. Vocally, her resplendent voice sounds like it is moving into spinto territory, yet her coloratura work and stratospheric high notes remain strong from her earlier years.  These vocal abilities open a world of roles that require a helping of both, such as Viole(t)ta in Verdi’s La traviata or Bellini’s Norma.

But the takeaway of a Pérez performance is not her vocal splendor. It is her ability to redefine her roles by adding depth and realism. Her Juliette is a case in point.

When we first see her, she is girlish and mischievous, snitching a bottle of champagne in front of her exasperated nurse. Her well-known showpiece aria, “Ah! Je veux vivre,” rather than showing the usual frivolity, slows more than usually heard to becomes an ardent statement her desire to become an independent woman.

She leaves girlhood behind when overwhelmed by the hot scorch of love at first sight. Upon finding out that he is Romeo, son of her father’s hated family, she grows up into nascent womanhood in a second. At the surreptitious wedding, she is the desired independent woman she described in her first aria. At the end, she appears to have aged decades.”

Gregory Sullivan Isaacs – TheaterJones