Michelle Areyzaga, lyric soprano, selected three beautiful arias including ‘Je suis encore tout etourdie’ from Jules Massenet’s opera, Manon, ‘Rejoice Greatly O Daughter of Zion,’ from Händel’s Messiah, and ‘Juliet’s Lament,’ from Dr. Lee Hoiby’s unpublished opera, Romeo and Juliet. It was evident that her voice was really one of the most beautiful heard throughout the entire competition. Her warmth, color, nuance, and subtlety for the musical phrase were exceptional. There was no pushing or shoving to produce high notes like so many other singers heard throughout the competition. Here was a naturally beautiful voice capable of singing softly. Her vocal gifts included wonderfully executed trills and roulades. It will be interesting to follow this exciting young lyric soprano’s career through the years to come.
—Dennis Ferrara – On The Town – April 2002 (The William C. Byrd Young Artist Competition)