Lawrence Johnson – Chicago Classical Review

Soprano Areyzaga warms up a rainy night in Chicago Ensemble opener

“No chamber series in town roves as widely nor as adventurously, and so it proved again with Tuesday evening’s generous program sparked by soprano Michelle Areyzaga, who led off the concert with a rarity by Meyerbeer.

…The clear inspiration for Hirtenlied is Schubert’s Shepherd on the Rock, also scored for soprano, clarinet and piano. If Meyerbeer’s version is less melodically indelible, his setting offers well-balanced opportunities for voice and clarinet. With Rizzer lending discreet piano support, Areyzaga and clarinetist Elizandro Garcia-Montoya were a wonderfully simpatico duo, exchanging phrases gracefully, the soprano singing with pure tone and Garcia-Montoya’s phrasing agile and polished.

…Areyzaga’s performance was extraordinary and a tour de force. With a radiant, evenly produced soprano and crystal-clear diction, she brought to life the passion, melancholy, and wistfulness of these settings, segueing evenly from simple spoken lines to declamation and full-throated vocalism.”
—Lawrence Johnson – Chicago Classical Review, October 29, 2015 (Soloist with the Chicago Ensemble)