Dorothy Andries – The Pioneer Press

Soprano Areyzaga’s voice was made for Mozart.

“The highlight of the night was the appearance of soprano Michelle Areyzaga, a rising star on the Chicago music scene. She sang Mozart’s “Exsultate, jubilate” — a winning number on any program and a star turn for her.

Her tone was bell-like, clear and pure. As she sang it seemed her voice had been made for Mozart, though she was also lovely singing Schumann last spring with the North Shore Choral Society.

But it was more than the pristine tone that endeared her. Her voice was flexible, fluid, moving swiftly and surely throughout the trills and turns of the highly ornamented piece. She also took care with her diction, which added to the clarity of her work.

Her tone, especially in the lower register was particularly compatible with the orchestral sound, so that at times, she seemed to disappear into the ensemble and become one with the orchestra musicians.

Besides that, she looked as if she loved every minute on stage, smiling graciously at the audience, while singing this highly transparent and challenging work.

The final aria in this work is the beloved “Alleluia,” which she sang with multiple moods, at times as if she were telling us a happy secret and at others as if she were singing from the rooftops.

As a bonus, she sang a scheduled encore titled “Nehmt meinen Dank, ihr holden Gonner!” by Mozart, with splendid accompaniment by the orchestra’s woodwind players.

—Dorothy Andries – Classical Music Critic, The Pioneer Press – Oct 19, 2006 (Soloist in an All-Mozart program with The Lake Forest Symphony)