AREYZAGA-SHAAK CONCERT DISPLAYS VOCAL CHARMS OF SPAIN, AMERICA
You might guess from her name that soprano Michelle Areyzaga would have an affinity for Spanish music. The guess would be right, but hardly adequate. In her recital titled “Songs of Spain and America,” Areyzaga clearly reveled in the songs of four Spanish composers. She not only sang them well but seemed to embrace them, words and music. Not that she is limited to Spain; half the concert was devoted to 20th Century American composers. All ten of these songs showed musical imagination, charm and personality–which are also specialties of this singer–and made you want to hear more from the composers.
Areyzaga’s full, bright voice, expressive face and gestures, and nuanced phrasing made the most of it — And pianist Jamie Shaak’s finely textured playing was a pleasure to hear.
—Dan Tucker, classical music critic – Chicago Tribune, Nov 15, 2000 (Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Soloist)