in the media

 

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Rusalka, Arizona Opera

 

“Daveda Karanas was a human looking Jezibaba. She sang with dramatic vocal colors...”

            Maria Nockin, Opera Today, November 26, 2016

“Other outstanding vocal performances included...commanding mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas as Jezibaba, the witch who gives Rusalka a potion to cross over into the human world...”

            - Cathalena E. Burch, Arizona Daily Star, November 20, 2016

“Also impressive was Daveda Karanas’ as the evil witch Jezibaba and Alexandra Loutsion as The Foreign Princess.”

            - Chris Curcio, Curtain Up Phoenix, November 14, 2016

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The Passenger, Florida Grand Opera

 

“As Liese, the mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas gave a richly textured performance, with a gleaming voice and first-class acting. She effectively communicated a person being overwhelmed by guilt, as her desperate rationalizations failed her (“I never beat anyone. They appreciated that.”). And somehow, despite her participation in terrible crimes, she came off as more appealing than her weaselly husband, whose horror at learning of her past evaporated when it appeared the secret was safe and would not impede his career.”

            - David Fleshler, Miami Herald, April 4, 2016

“Daveda Karanas as Liese is compelling in an ambivalent, thankless role.”

            - Sebastian Spreng, Knight Foundation, April 8, 2016

“The Greek mezzo Daveda Karanas was an excellent Liese, with a big, strong instrument and plenty of vocal stamina and believable acting hauteur.”

            - Greg Stepanich, Palm Beach Arts Paper, April 3, 2016

"The woman "who saw a ghost," Liese, magnificently acted and sung by Daveda Karanas..."

            - Jeffrey Bruce, Talkin’ Broadway, April 4, 2016

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The Passenger, Michigan Opera Theatre


“The cast, too, was exceptional from top to bottom. Mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas brought vocal heft and a range of color to Liese, creating a three-dimensional, conflicted characterization.”

  - Mark Stryker, Detroit Free Press, November. 19, 2015

“As unsympathetic as her role is, mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas delves keenly into her character, showing her as a woman rationalizing her behavior at Auschwitz as just following orders, and even refers to the prisoners as being “blinded by hate.” Karanas also has a big, confident voice, shaded by sunset colors.”

            - George Bulanda, The Detroit News, November 15, 2015

“Karanas manages the transformation from middle-aged wife to a girl of about 20 as an SS guard. Her acting as the panicked diplomat’s wife and the manipulative young guard, combines with her sublime vocals for a special experience at the opera.”

            - David Kiley, Encore Michigan, November 15, 2015

“Liese, a challenging if thankless role, is a difficult character to like. Karanas delivered a nuanced, accomplished performance of fear and unresolved guilt accompanied by an infuriating naivete: “they hated us,” she marvels, “we couldn’t get used to it.’”

            - Jennifer Goltz-Taylor, Opera News, November 14, 2015


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The Passenger, Lyric Opera of Chicago


"The arresting mezzo-soprano, Daveda Karanas. She does splendidly on her own terms, showing us the vulnerable cracks in the tough, domineering armor of unrepentant death-camp warden." 

           - John Von Rhein, Chicago Tribune, February 25, 2015 

"Daveda Karanas was outstanding as Liese, an assignment that could easily become an unsympathetic character in lesser hands." 

           - Mark Thomas Ketterson, Opera News, February 24, 2015 

"The soft edges of Karanas' rich mezzo-soprano conveyed Liese's terror, but her tone became appropriately commanding in her scenes as a manipulative SS guard." 

           - Wynne Delacoma, Chicago-Sun Times, February 25, 2015 

"Mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas, who last season sang Kundry in Wagner's Parsifal, is riveting as the panicked woman Liese, now in midlife, who seems to be on the brink of a new life, with her husband of 15 years. The composer and librettist give this role spectacular material and Karanas makes good use of it, seemingly distracted from the start, her music fringed with Hitchcockian worry even before she catches sight of the mysterious woman who gives her such a fright." 

           - Nacy Malitz, Chicago on the Aisle, February 26, 2015 

"The mezzo-soprano delivered a superbly rounded performance, singing with a big tone and proved credible as both the frightened wife and scarily sadistic Auschwitz guard." 

           - Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review, February 25, 2015 

"Lyric's multilingual run is also benefiting from excellent performances by mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas as the bedeviled Liese..." 

           - Deanna Isaacs, Chicago Reader, March 2, 2015 

"Majeski and Karanas in particular dig deep into their performances, and they prove worthy dramatic foils despite the power imbalance between their characters." 

           - Scott C. Morgan, The Daily Herald, February 27, 2015 

"Daveda Karanas navigated extreme dramatic shifts as Liese periodically lost and regained composure, delivering her lines with remarkable diction and bringing to life anguish and internal conflicts. Her manipulative and sometimes sinister sides are more pointed in the second act, which reveals details she kept from her husband, eventually leading to the final confrontation with the mysterious passenger. It is the kind of character study associated with Alfred Hitchcock, and a tribute both to Weinberg's compositional skills and to Karanas' acting ability." 

           -James L, Zychowicz, Seen and Heard International, March 20, 2015 

"Both sang extremely well, and carried their personas convincingly." 

            - Sarah Bryan Miller, March 2, 2015

 

 

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Tristan und Isolde, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra


"Daveda Karanas made a real character of Brangäne, tied by destiny to the fate of her mistress."

           -  William Dart, The New Zealand Herald, July 21, 2014

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Dialogues of the Carmelites, Opera Theatre of St. Louis


"In her OTSL debut, Daveda Karanas sang Mother Marie with admirable skill."

            - Lynn Venhaus, Belleville News-Democrat, June 25, 2014

"Daveda Karanas brings resonant vocal authority to Mother Marie."

           - George Loomis, Financial Times, June 23, 2014

"Daveda Karanas has a warm, rich mezzo voice that serves to give Mother Marie the graceful authority and compassion that this saintly woman requires."

          Steve Callahan, Broadway World, June 20, 2014

"Karanas made a memorable OTSL debut as Mother Marie of the Incarnation, an aristocrat disappointed in her expectations first of succeeding the old prioress, and then of dying a martyr’s death. She’s tall and commanding, with a big, gorgeous voice that’s seamless from top to bottom."

         Sarah Bryan Miller, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 19, 2014

 

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Parsifal, Lyric Opera of Chicago


"A newcomer to Lyric, Greek-American mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas was compelling as the mysterious Kundry. Her voice combined clear silver and dark smoke as she alternated easily between half-mad guilt, seductive guile and serene redemption."

           Wynne Delacoma, Chicago Sun-Times, November 10, 2013

"The Greek-American soprano Daveda Karanas gave an equally strong interpretation of Kundry, with a resilient, aurally compelling voice. Yet she also shaped the character dramatically, making it believable, despite the amalgam of personas Wagner packed into the role. In the second act, her performance was exceptional in its depiction of sometimes conflicted emotions, giving a sense of being a pawn of Klingsor, rather than a slave or thrall."

           James L. Zychowicz, Seen and Heard International, December 21, 2013

"In her role debut as Kundry, Greek–American mezzo Daveda Karanas delivered a performance that was similarly lyrically satisfying. Karanas is quite musical and made a poignantly sympathetic figure of the tortured wild woman."

          Mark Thomas Ketterson, Opera News, November, 9, 2013

 

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Tristan und Isolde, Canadian Opera Company


"The supporting roles in this production were first-rate as well. 
Daveda Karanas sang the role of Isolde’s companion, Brangäne (for whom Wagner wrote some of the most beautiful music in the opera) with conviction and verve."

          – Robert T Harris, The Globe and Mail, January 30, 2013

 

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Khovanshchina, Oper Frankfurt

 

“Finally is Daveda Karanas and it should be mentioned that the role of Marfa is her German debut. With a warm mezzo, Karanas creates very emotional moments when she thinks wistfully of Andrej's love and, in return, proves dramatically talented when she predicts Golitsyn's future or when she is committed to the firey death in the last act." 
           – Thomas Molke, Online Musik Magazin, October 12, 2012

 

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Bluebeard's Castle, Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino

 

“Bluebeard’s Castle is after all a very long duet, ultimately successful only if both protagonists are on the same level. The considerable gamble the Maggio took by casting as Judit a young singer in the beginning phase of her career paid off handsomely. The Greek-American mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas, making her European debut, managed not only not to look out of place opposite such an experienced artist as Goerne, but held her own, with a most passionate interpretation and a bright, almost piercing instrument that reflected the heroine’s youthful impulsiveness.  The high C of the fifth door, a nightmare for so many mezzo-sopranos tackling this hybrid role, was splendidly nailed." 
           – Nicola Lischi, Opera Britannia, June 9, 2012

 

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AIDA, Vancouver Opera

 

“Mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas’s Amneris is a standout among standouts, perfectly bringing to life director David Gately’s vision of emotionally true characterizations. Just watch her acting in her scene with Aida, singing sweetly and adoringly to coax her slave to confess her love, then turning cold and spiteful. She displays even more complexity later on, as Amneris’s blind jealousy finds shades of remorse; at one point she slumps in her throne in horror at what she’s done. As for her voice? It’s a clear, polished mezzo that enunciates meaning in every word." 
           – Janet Smith, The Straight, April 23, 2012

 

“The women, Mlada Khudoley and Daveda Karanas, are gloriously gifted as Aida, the Ethiopian prisoner (and secret princess), and Amneris, the Egyptian princess, respectively. As mismatched rivals for Radames’ heart – Aida having the upper hand despite being Amneris’ servant – it’s fascinating to see how Karanas reveals Amneris’ unhinged longing, allowing a steely hint of madness to permeate her mezzo-soprano." 
           – Andrea Warner, The Globe and Mail, April 23, 2012

 

“This excellent work from the men, plus a strong performance from mezzo Daveda Karanas as Amneris, Aida’s rival, produced remarkable intensity." 
           – David Gordon Duke, Vancouver Sun, April 22, 2012

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AIDA, Arizona Opera

 

“As Amneris, Greek-American mezzo Daveda Karanas possesses a tightly focused, slightly steely voice that easily penetrated the orchestra - rather in the mold of Fiorenza Cossotto. Her interpretation is that of a mature artist, and she is a compelling actress." 
           – Andrew Moravcsik,Opera Today, March 19, 2012


“Finally, it should be repeated that 'Aida' should probably be called 'Amneris', since the Pharaoh's daughter is clearly the most interesting character in the story. Aida and Radames are fairly conventional lovers, but Amneris and her conflicted emotions are more believable, more human and more relatable, and credit should go to Daveda Karanas, who managed to convey that character." 
           – Richard Nilsen,The Arizona Republic, March 12, 2012

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IL TROVATORE, Opera Grand Rapids

 

“Debuting as well as the gypsy Azucena, Daveda Karanas sang with a mighty mezzo soprano that could peel paint off the banister as she described her mother's death to Manrico." 
           – Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk, The Grand Rapids Press, October 29, 2011

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DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN, San Francisco Opera

 

“Daveda Karanas brought theatrical intensity to her Waltraute in “Götterdämmerung.
           – Heidi Waleson, Wall Street Journal, July 6, 2011


“Daveda Karanas contributed an anguished Waltraute. The Norns, who appeared to be toiling inside a giant motherboard (connecting cables, rather than a weaving rope) voiced eloquently." 
           – Georgia Rowe, Musical America, June 22, 2011

 
"Back on Brünnhilde's rock, Daveda Karanas as Valkyrie Waltraute gave one of the Cycle's finest performances in a powerful scene with Stemme."
        – David Sckolnik, Colorado Springs Gazette, June 21, 2011


“The three Norns who weave the rope of fate (in this production it's an Internet cable) were strongly portrayed by Ronnita Miller, soprano Heidi Melton, and mezzo Daveda Karanas.”
        – Mike Silverman, Associated Press, June 20, 2011
 

“It's rather more common for the roles of the “Rheingold” and “Walküre” Wotans to be split, as the Siegfried roles often are. It's rather more extraordinary to assign the same artist the Waltraute roles in “Walküre” (one of eight valkyries whom even veteran attendees of "Ring" performances may have trouble identifying as individuals as the move around stage" and in “Götterdämmerung” (a character in an extended scene with Brünnhilde, requiring a large voice). But Daveda Karanas performed both and deserves kudos for an immensely successful effort.”
        – William Burnett, Opera Warhorses, June 20, 2011


“Former SFO Adler Fellow Daveda Karanas stands out as the Second Norn, and also, later, as Brünnhilde's Valkyrie sister Waltraute.”
        – Michael J. Vaughn, The Opera Critic, June 19, 2011


“Kudos to the fine Rheinmaiden trio...and to Norns Ronnita Miller (also a resonant Erda), Daveda Karanas (an outstanding Waltraute), and Heidi Melton.”
        – Lisa Hirsch, San Francisco Classical Voice, June 19, 2011


“...and the Norns were superbly sung by Ronnita Miller, Daveda Karanas (who returned as Waltraute), and Heidi Melton.”
        – Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, June 7, 2011


“Norns (Ronnita Miller, Daveda Karanas, Heidi Melton)...gave fine ensemble performances.”
        – Janos Gereben, San Francisco Examiner, June 6, 2011


“The grand, deep-voiced Ronnita Miller, the bright and vivid [mezzo] soprano of Daveda Karanas, the contrasting, focused grainier soprano of Heidi Melton all carried the scene persuasively. Daveda Karanas, as the fine second Norn, doubled as Waltraute, making the Valkyries' visit to implore Brünnhilde to give up the Ring as gripping as it must be.”
        – Robert P. Commanday, San Francisco Classical Voice, June 5, 2011
 

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SCHWABACHER DEBUT RECITAL, San Francisco Opera

 

“She boasts a large, brawny instrument with more than a touch of steel, and it’s been gratifying during the recent years to hear how well she’s learned to channel that power into expressive and carefully modulated phrasing. Karanas can still unleash a powerhouse of sound when she needs to, and her upper register sounded especially potent and true on Sunday. But her finest showing came in the more intimate passages of the recital, which she delivered with tender eloquence.”
        – Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, April 12, 2011
 

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MADAMA BUTTERFLY, San Francisco Opera

 

“Luisotti built success, then, on the other singers. Daveda Karanas saturated the role of Suzuki with an intensity of feeling that left no doubt about her empathetic understanding of Butterfly’s emotion and of her impeding doom. Karanas’ rich mezzo - almost a contralto voice - worked magic in this crucial part.”
        – John Bender, San Francisco Classical Voice, October 12, 2010
 

“Mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas, a former Adler Fellow, was a similarly arresting vocal presence as the maid Suzuki - an incongruous view of this deferential character, but Karanas’ technical assurance made it work.”
        – Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, October 13, 2010
 

“As Suzuki, Butterfly’s devoted servant, American mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas (a former Adler Fellow) proved to be powerful and exquisite in the second half.”
        – Richard Scheinin, San Jose Mercury News, October 13, 2010
 

“Karanas’ round, warm mezzo voice had the opposite effect. It contained within it an intense pathos that never undermined Vassileva’s proud Cio-Cio San. The sonic contrast between Karanas and Vassileva’s voice - one edgier, the other more inviting - made the drama of the second act, as Cio-Cio San and Suzuki watch time inch forward, all the more pronounced. I look forward to seeing how Karanas’ skills translate to the roles of Waltraute and the Second Norn in the SFO’s upcoming Ring Cycle.”
        – Laura Biggs, musicalcriticism.com, October 15, 2010
 

“Quinn Kelsey and Daveda Karanas portrayed the U.S. Consul Sharpless and Butterfly’s maid Suzuki, who try to protect Cio-Cio San, with an extra measure of warmth and handsome presence, representing the humanity at the center at the opera.”
        NBC Bay Area, October 15, 2010
 

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DIE WALKÜRE, San Francisco Opera

 

“And as the final index of this production’s greatness, consider that even the eight Valkyries in Act 3 - so often an undifferentiated mass of female vocalism - sounded brilliant. They were Wendy Bryn Harmer, Tamara Wapinsky, Daveda Karanas, Suzanne Hendrix, Molly Fillmore, Maya Lahyani, Pamela Dillard and Priti Gandhi; a hearty “ho-jo-to-ho” to the lot of them.” 
        – Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, 2010

“The third-act brings the expected dramatic climaxes. The Ride of the Valkyries is as exciting, and as thurderously played and sung, as you please, led by Valkyries Wendy Bryn Harmer, Tamara Wapinsky, Daveda Karanas, Suzanne Hendrix, Molly Fillmore, Maya Lahyani, Pamela Dillard, and Priti Gandhi.” 
        – Lisa Hirsch, San Francisco Classical Voice, 2010
 

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ARIAS CONCERT, San Francisco Opera


“Mezzo Daveda Karanas stunned the audience with works by Verdi and Bellini. What a treat. The aria from “Macbeth” Ms. Karanas emoted made one long to hear the entire work sung by her.”
        – Donald Behnke, Green Valley News and Sun, March 9, 2010
 

She has a smooth, buttery quality to her voice and she sang the aria, ‘La luce langue,’ from Verdi’s Macbeth with considerable dramatic power. Her rendition of ‘O don fatale’ from the same composer’s Don Carlo soared over the orchestration with sumptuous tones as did her lines in the Bellini duet ‘Mira, o Norma’.” 
        – Maria Nockin, Opera Today, March 17, 2010
 

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THE FUTURE IS NOW: ADLER FELLOW CONCERT, 
San Francisco Opera Center

 

“Daveda Karanas sang “D’amour, l’ardente flamme” from La Damnation de Faust, joining Tamara Wapinsky in a powerful Anna Bolena duet at the end of the concert.”
        – Janos Gereben, San Francisco Classical Voice, 2009
 

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BORIS GODUNOV, San Francisco Opera

 

“Three present Adler Fellows and a former one contributed mightily. Daveda Karanas’ Nurse and Catherine Cook’s Innkeeper were excellent.”
        – Janos Gereben, San Francisco Classical Voice, 2008
 

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METROPOLITAN OPERA NATIONAL COUNCIL AUDITIONS – 
GRAND FINALS, Metropolitan Opera

 

“Daveda Karanas, a 28 year-old mezzo-soprano from Louisiana, offered formidable performances of arias by Meyerbeer and Purcell (a gripping “When I am Laid in Earth” from “Dido and Aeneas”)
        – Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, 2008 
 

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METROPOLITAN OPERA NATIONAL COUNCIL AUDITIONS – 
GULF COAST REGIONALS, Metropolitan Opera

 

“Cassandra’s aria, “Malheureux Roi” (Unhappy King), from Berlioz’ “Les Troyens,” prophesizes the fall of ancient Troy. As Karanas began the piece on Sunday, it was clear that much brighter tidings are in store for the mezzo...Karanas offered the biggest voice of the day, filling the hall with resonance and vitality. If the Met judges are looking for voices to fill that massive house, they’ve found it. Her follow up aria, “All that Gold” from Menotti’s “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” was an unexpected choice from the judges, but one that allowed Karanas to also deliver a powerfully dramatic reading”
         Theodore P. Mahne, The Times Picayune, 2008
 

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MEROLA GRAND FINALE, Merola Opera Program


“And just before the end came what was probably the evenings finest offering, a solo from Meyerbeer’s “Le Prophète” done with capacious power and vaunting athleticism by mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas. To hear her unleash those dark-hued, precisely placed tones in the service of an emotionally probing performance was a rare delight.”
        – Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, 2007
 

“Shaking rafters with song...so did mezzo soprano Daveda Karanas, who sculpted her large, golden voice with glistening beauty in Fides’ aria “O prêtres de Baal” (Oh, priests of Baal) from Meyerbeer’s Le Prophète...what these singers shared was the ability to bring their audience to them, to demand to be listened to, to share the musical moment, to lift the music from the page and make it real.”
        – James Keolker, San Francisco Classical Voice, 2007
 

“Daveda Karanas provided a show stopper as Fides in “O prêtres de Baal,” from Meyerbeer’s “Le Prophète”” 
        – Janos Gereben, San Francisco Classical Voice, 2007
 

“The audience also went wild over mezzo Daveda Karanas’ performance of “O Prêtres de Baal” from Meyerbeer’s rarely performed Le Prophète. Karanas’ range, coloratura facility, and strength on high were impressive.”
        – Jason Victor Serinus, Bay Area Reporter, 2007
 

“Daveda Karanas offered the third high point of the evening. It’s hard to stand out, all the singers were so amazing, but she managed the feat. A big voice that fills the opera house effortlessly, she still sounded delicate and always accurate...she could be immobile, with a voice like hers, she’ll convey the emotions of the part effectively, and she’ll get people’s attention”
        – Cedric Westphal, Sfist.com, 2007
 

“By far the most dramatic voice among the women was that of Greek-American mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas, from Mandeville, Louisiana, whose teachers include Marilyn Horne, in “O Prêtres de Baal” from Meyerbeer’s Le Prophète
        – Ruth C. Jacobs, Opera L Archives, 2007
 

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LA CENERENTOLA, Merola Opera Program

 

“It testifies to the depth of this summer’s Merola company that a voice lustrous and exciting as that of mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas would turn up in the minor role of Tisbe.”
        – Steven Winn, San Francisco Chronicle, 2007
 

“Two vicious-ridiculous stepsisters, sung by soprano Ani Maldjian (Clorinda) and mezzo Daveda Karanas (Tisbe), both outstanding singer-actors, making their caricature characters both funny and believable.”
        Janos Gereben, The Examiner, 2007
 

“The sisters, Ani Maldjian and Daveda Karanas, enjoyed their stage antics and tossed off fine vocalism at every turn”
        – John Bender, San Francisco Classical Voice, 2007
 

“Soprano Ani Maldjian and mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas lent sweet tone and lively characterizations to the roles of Cenerentola’s venomous stepsisters, Clorinda and Tisbe”
        – Georgia Rowe, Contra Costa Times, 2007
 

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IL RITORNO D’ULISSE IN PATRIA, Chicago Opera Theater

 

“Daveda Karanas was the sympathetic Ericlea”
        
– John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune, 2007

“They are more than supported by several standout young singers...mezzo Daveda Karanas as Penelope’s maid”
        
– Andrew Patner, Chicago Sun Times, 2007

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MOSES UND ARON, Boston Symphony Orchestra

 

“And a quartet of future stars from Boston University’s Opera Institute - Jessica Tarnish, Michelle Johnson, Valerie Arboit, and Daveda Karanas - made a vivid impression as (please don’t tell their parents) Four Naked Virgins”
        
– T.J. Medrek, Boston Herald, 2006