CRITICAL COMMENTARY
 
"Karen Hall has the good sense, and the good direction, to play Curley's Wife not as a hardened slut but as a sensuous innocent, and her dewy soprano masters the high tessitura with staggering purity and ease." Martin Bernheimer,
Los Angeles Times

"Karen Hall's voice is just absolutely perfect for it (Passages). Two weeks ago she did a beautiful job with the Scarlatti cantata Su le Sponde del Tebro that we did on our Baroque series. It's interesting to see someone who is from Seattle who has grown so tremendously and is so versatile to be able to do something like the Scarlatti cantata which is so difficult and then something in its own way very different and also very difficult like the Zwilich." Gerard Schwarz, Principal Conductor - Seattle Symphony, KING Radio InterviewTimes

"The Amour, Karen Hall, was at once playful and authoritative, apt emblem of ways that Love at once frivolous and determinant can alter the course of lives." Andrew Porter, The New Yorker

"Karen Hall's brilliant, pinspot-focused sound is unusual but effective for Love." (Amour, Orphee et Euridice) Roger Downey, OPERA

"...Karen Hall's scintillating forest bird,...were other outstanding performances in a Ring ensemble..."Village Voice

"Karen Hall's Amour (Orphee et Euridice) combined playfulness with authority - apt emblem of the way in which apparently frivolous and arbitrary Love can change the course of lives." London Financial Times

"The performance featured the remarkably trumpet-like voice of Karen Hall, who thrilled the audience with her delicately flourished interpretation." (Su le Sponde del Tebro). Seattle Times

"She sings with no strain. Absolutely at ease with her voice. When she opens her mouth, she's there! Seattle Artsline Magazine, review of the Metropolitan Opera Northwest Regional Auditions

"A real bear in Siegfried was followed by an enchanting vision of the Forest Bird, first as a patently artificial prop, then as graceful soprano Karen Hall holding the prop bird and leading Siegfried to Tamino-like trials. Opera News

"But Karen Hall as his wife is another Hidden Valley 'find'. Her bright open soprano is perfect for the role, and she manages tortuous musical lines with finesse and apparent relish. At the same time, she creates a special version of Steinbeck's tart that is credible in its unheeding cruelty." Monterey Peninsula Herald

"Soprano Karen Hall in her Capital Region debut had a light, accurate voice, ideally suited to Purcell. In "Full Fathom Five" she excelled in the spirited magic of Shakespeare's world. Her "Halcyon Days" was exemplary baroque coloratura singing." Times Union, Albany, NY

"...Karen Hall, sprightly and sweet as the shepherd boy Jano...(Jenufa) Martin Bernheimer, Los Angeles Times

"The quartet in the second act (Peter Grimes) composed of Teresa Kubiak, Willene Gunn, Karen Hall and Noralee Bush, was among the most sublime moments all evening. The individual timbres of their voices were wonderfully matched." Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

"Of great pleasure, the Amour of Karen Hall was a blend of sprightliness and lyricism." Opera Oggi

"The Wood Bird (Der Ring des Nibelungen) that leads Siegfried to Bruennhilde is not only visible but flown around the stage at the end of a pole by the singer of the part, herself a vision any man would follow." Oregonian

"Karen Hall, as Curley's Wife, sports another strong voice, confident, exceptionally well-projected, and of sufficient coloratura to easily negotiate the often tortuous and always expressive lines she is given. Her vanities and the trouble they raise are dramatically true and vivid, though she too maintains a palpable vulnerability." KBOQ Radio, Marina, CA

"Soprano soloist Karen Hall gave a richly-colored performance ending in a dramatically lovely climax." (Flower of the Mountain). Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Things to remember:...Karen Hall's delightful Forest Bird (Ring)." Bellevue Journal American

"The Lux Aeterna, [ Rutter Requiem] flowing under Karen Patton Hall's limpid soprano, was quite gorgeous." The Courier-Journal, Louisville, KY

"When the God of Love (Karen Hall, in a sparkling performance) descends in a gorgeous little cloud chariot, reclining in red and rhinestones upon her divan, she waggles her hand briefly at Orpheus as if to say, "Yes, I'm really here.' The moment is amusing, but not overplayed, not silly." Seattle Times

"The writing for Curley's Wife, who plays a significantly larger role than in the stage play, is so erratic with tremendous leaps and register shifts that it gives an impression of desperate cries from this lonely character. Soprano Karen Hall sang this role with an even, beautiful tone and remarkable agility." Coasting, Carmel, CA

"Karen Hall's Forest Bird was excellent." The Weekly, Seattle

"In the lead role, (Maria, West Side Story) the young Seattle soprano sang with clarity and power...Hall reined in her voice to blend, so the critical duet, 'Tonight' came off just beautifully. It was a real weeper." Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"Karen Hall (Jano) was strong in her supporting role." (Jenufa) Opera News

"Karen Hall's Barbarina was fresh and youthful." Seattle Times

"Karen Hall as the maid Adele was marvelous. Her coquettish looks, darting eyes and strong dramatic capabilities brought the character alive. Her voice, equal to her stage presence is a joy to hear." Daily Record Chronicle, Renton, WA

"Karen Hall is especially good as Curley's Wife, whose slinky vocal lines mirror her swivel-hipped walk." San Jose Mercury News

"Karen Hall, who played Maria (West Side Story), is a superb singer." Seattle Times

"In Karen Hall Civic Light Opera has a performer of operatic stature and musical comedy attractiveness. She can sing the role (Maria) easily and well, while looking the part every minute." Washington Cascade Voice

"Karen Hall gave the drama a spark of shattered innocence with her Jano, the shepherd boy." (Jenufa) Northwest Arts

"As Curley's Wife, soprano Karen Hall has the remarkable ability to twist and bend her lovely voice into nuances of coquetry, malice, and spitefulness." The Carmel Pine Cone

"Karen Hall's acting ability is equally matched by her impeccable musical interpretation of the role of the farmer's daughter." (The Gypsy Baron) Tacoma News Tribune

"Karen Hall sang beautifully as the Forest Bird." Seattle Times

"Karen Hall as Curley's tantalizing, promiscuously inclined wife is a real score. She sings beautifully and keeps the steam judiciously under lid." Santa Cruz Sentinel

"Her clear, high voice had an excellent quality for the part, and triumphed splendously as she sang the solo climax just before the choral and orchestral climax." (Soprano soloist, Carmina Burana). Eagle, Bryan-College Station, TX

"Karen Hall in the title role (Madame Altina in La Divina) is captivating. She has an attractive coloratura voice, and she moves about the stage with petulant authority." Seattle Times

"Karen Hall proved an appropriately bright-voiced Amour, descending from the heavens in a dazzling cloud chariot." Opera News

"But the real star of the evening was soprano Karen Hall. Hall is a first rate singer, with an unusually pure tone; she uses less vibrato than most operatic sopranos, and there is no scooping or sliding between pitches. This made for an extraordinarily effective entrance at the beginning of 'Domine Deus, Agnus Dei,' with its treacherous octave leap into the stratosphere." The Weekly, Seattle

"Amphitrite's air, "Halycyon Days," as sung by guest soprano Karen Hall near the end, was absolutely stunning, as was the duet between Amphitrite and Neptune which follows, "No Stars Again Shall Hurt You." Hall was outstanding in the roles of Ariel and Amphitrite. She handled the challenging coloratura role assigned to her wonderfully." Schenectady Gazette, Schenectady, NY

 

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