… The female leading part was given to Małgorzata Walewska, singer, whose calling card is striking, expressive creations. And such is the part of Zofia in “The Man from Manufaktura” – strong and fragile at the same time, honest in her feelings, etheric, personifying pain and suffering. Vocally, it is probably the most difficult mezzo-soprano part I have had the chance to hear so far. And who could have handled this neck breaking modern music better than Walewska herself? Although she plays a fictional character, called to life just for the needs of this opera, she is not at all less authentic than her partner on stage Stanisław Kierner.
… Then, as well as today, Małgorzata Walewska sang the main female role, as usual excellent not only in singing, but also in acting.
… Rafał Janiak’s composition is difficult for singers, but at the same time friendly to their voices, and carefully selected soloists of the premiere cast added value to it. In particular, Małgorzata Walewska as Zofia – a character with many faces, from a nineteenth-century feminist to a fibrilist from Polish People’s Republic, real and symbolic. She gave each one of her embodiments an individual feature.
… Małgorzata Walewska also played wonderfully – vocally, this is probably the most impressive role.
... The simple, yet rhythmically complex melody was sung by Malgorzata Walewska with an escalating power of expression. Her voice went up in the temple and sinked deep into the audience’s memory. The voice that continued even when the little lighting there was went off and only the darkness remained.
Malgorzata Walewska personated the role of a woman deprived of dignity, in a forced marriage, degraded as a human being. This creation is more harrowing than many of her performances in the “real” opera.
.... In this situation Małgorzata Walewska as The Widow comes to the fore. First of all, we understand every word she sings (Possible? Possible!), at the same time she brings to the stage a focus and a subject and she knows perfectly well what her character has to attend to. Even every passage she makes on stage is marked with meaning and sense of why and with what she appears on stage. Vocally she is also flawless.
...The biggest stir amongst the audience was caused every time Małgorzata Walewska appeared on stage, she mastered the character of her role with perfection. She was once a venal mother, who wanted to ensure her daughters with a better fate, than a miserable woman who could not understand how she could renounce Alina on the basis of mere slander. Like a great tragedienne she announces the horrible end, by demanding from Balladyna that she pulls the band of her forehead. Every word in her singing was equally significant and important.
... But the real tension was built only by Malgorzata Walewska (The Widow), from her first appearance until the tragic finale. I wonder if she did it alone or with the director's help?
Małgorzata Walewska's Countess rages from terrifying gloominess to a wisely filtered erotism, she is also capable to use her vocal resources with a great deal of savoir-faire, experience and with remarkable stability.
The iconic part of the Countess is often given to the past glories, with results raging from more or less intended grandioso to grotesque. Małgorzata Walewska is a younger impersonator than average and this appears to be good, as she is still capable to sing the wonderful passaggio cited from Gretry. We are left with an impression, that we are experiencing an effective professional in a role which demands great scenic charisma.
Polish Mezzo Małgorzata Walewska, oh miracle!, sings the part of the Countess, which by a large part of her colleagues is rather spoken than sung (as generally it is given to singers who are not young and usually don't have their voices any more), and does justice to Gretry's romance with a great deal of emotion and subtlety.
Małgorzata Walewska provides the title role of the Countess, too often entrusted to wobbly voices at the end of their careers, with a most perfect vocal integrity and builds a mortifying character.
Polish mezzosoprano Malgorzata Walewska was extraordinary in the no less difficult role of die Amme that has a wide and devilish extention from high notes to low notes and that constitutes a PhD in the subject.
A true revelation in this role. Malgorzata Walewska is a forse of nature. Her Amme was fantastic, mixing the evil and mysterious side of the character with some touches of mischief and charm. Her voice has a sensual warmth with a very powerful middle register and ringing high notes. Her acting was also very convincing.
Vocally unquestionable, with performances that were on the rise during the opera, there was the mezzosoprano Malgorzata Walewska (die Amme).
The two Dulcineas, Malgorzata Walewska (Saturday) and Daniela Sindram (Sunday), brought different strengths to their portrayals. While Sindram was the more convincing coquette in the first act, Walewska was absolutely riveting in the second act. Her apology to the Don for being unable to accept his suit was ravishing and emotionally charged: At last, one understood why the poor besotted man had placed this woman on a pedestal.
But the real stars of this opera were the three lead singers. Polish mezzo-soprano Malgorzata Walewska is gorgeous as Dulcinee.
Seattle Opera has been particularly lucky with Polish singers (with memorable performances from the likes of Mariusz Kwiecien, Ewa Podles, and Aleksandra Kurzak), and Polish-born mezzo-soprano Malgorzata Walewska added to that string of successes with a remarkable Dulcinée. The object of Quichotte’s obsession, she first appears from a crowd of admirers in a Violetta-like turn, full of coloratura swoops and roulades, yet here Walewska’s ripe, opulent voice handled the fireworks with only moderate success. Later, however, her real strengths came forward: warm beauty of tone, an imposing and well-focused lower register, and acting skills that made the scene in which she rejects Quichotte deeply moving.
The Polish mezzo-soprano Malgorzata Walewska sang Dulcinee. Only last year did she sing Judith opposite Relyea in “Bluebeard’s Castle.” She has the most astonishing voice, with its thick, throaty sound — deep and resonant — that is at once, compelling, mesmerizing, and absolutely individual. She returns next season to sing the title role in “Carmen,” something to anticipate.
…Malgorzata Walewska‘s beautifully sung Dalila and Alain Altinoglu‘s superb conducting. Almost 46, the Polish contralto is no household name on the top-league opera circuit, yet she boasts a sizeable and richly hued voice coupled with strong, instinctive acting skills, compensating with refined musicality what her registers lack in homogeneity. A much satisfying if somewhat belated discovery for this listener, Walewska is a real contender for Olga Borodina and certainly a serious one for Anita Rachvelishvili or even Elīna Garanča, when and if the Latvian mezzo adds the role to her already vast repertoire.
Opening night's Malgorzata Walewska sang with open tone, the horrific climactic phrases of "Condotta ell'era in ceppi" slashing through the hall, vividly expressing a mother's lacerating pain.
On Saturday night's opening show, the mother-son relationship formed the dramatic heart of the evening, thanks to the palpable chemistry between Polish mezzo-soprano Malgorzata Walewska and Italian tenor Antonello Palombi. The two extended scenes between these singers — in the gypsy camp and in prison — were mesmerizing. The gypsy camp scene, beautifully staged in a manner that evoked a Bruegel painting, is studded with instantly recognizable gems: the famous "Anvil" chorus; the jittery "Stride la vampa" flashback; the haunting confessional "Condotta ell'era in ceppi”. In every one of these pieces, the agony of Walewska's Azucena was utterly convincing and never cartoonish. When she sinuously implored her son not to leave her to save his lady fair, one marveled at his strength of will to do so, especially for Lisa Daltirus' wilting violet of a Leonora.
Walewska was a dramatically intense Azucena, particularly effective in the upper part of Azucena’s vocal range in her three big arias, as well as her several duets with Manrico and di Luna.
There was a great deal to cheer over: both conductor Carlo Rizzi and Dmitri Hvorstovsky as villain Count di Luna have returned unwithered from the 2002 original and, in place of enmity, there appears to be a good-natured rivalry between Sondra Radvanovsky’s Leonora and Malgorzarta Walewska’s Azucena — both new to this production — over who best combines stage presence with sheer vocal talent. Roberto Alagna more than holds his own in such distinguished company as the eponymous troubadour Manrico.
Małgorzata Walewska’s Azucena marked a stand-out House debut. The part has a wide range, having to plumb incredible depths. What made ‘Stride la vampa!’ (The flames are roaring) – the story she tells the crowd around her of the burning of the old gypsy woman – particularly chilling was her unnatural calm that fluttered with apprehension. Later, in delirium, Azucena reveals to Manrico that he is the brother of the Count and not her son and that she had cast into flames her own son. This whole dialogue between Manrico and Azucena, that forms the centre to Part Two, laid the black depths of human nature bare in horrifying starkness. Wonderful stuff!
Enfin, la Polonaise Malgorzata Walewska possède un vrai style théâtral, tendu et enflammé. Elle s’impose vocalement et dramatiquement comme la révélation de cette production.
Malgorzata Walewska offered a darkly burnished mezzo and colorful acting as Maddalena.
As his sister Maddalena, mezzo Malgorzata Walewska was also impressive. Her generous and plumy voice was a delight to hear in the great quartet of Act IV.
...worthy of note company debut of Malgorzata Walewska as a strong, sonorous Maddalena...
Malgorzata Walewska as Maddalena, his equally amoral sister, exudes a convincing earthiness and the finely honed instincts of a survivor. Her striking mezzo-soprano, with a tone like heavy velvet, brings much magic to her smaller singing role.