“We know Ailyn Pérez from her 2011 debut here as Marguerite in that, um, other Gounod opera, a shimmering presence. She radiates grace and personal charm here as well, with a confidence that moves her Juliette from the shy and kittenish to self-knowing maturity … Vocal highlight of the evening, sans doute, goes to Pérez’ account of the punishing “poison aria,” her fearful self-debate—to drink or not to drink Friar Laurent’s potion. Gounod and his librettists, Jules Barbier and Michel Carré, vastly improve upon Juliette’s rattletrap Shakespearean soliloquy. The aria, “Amour, ranime mon courage,” presents its own fearful challenges, such that Caroline Carvalho, originating the role in 1867, declined to sing it, and for years, the piece went unheard. But Pérez makes it her own, the expressive coloratura and trills and high-flying bravura perfectly intact, plus a characterization that remains totally convincing.”

John Stege – Santa Fe Reporter