New York City Opera - Queen Orasia, Orpheus


The soprano Jennifer Rowley holds nothing back in her scenery-chewing, vocally visceral portrayal of Orasia... she inhabits the role, attacks the fiery coloratura passagework and sends steely phrases flying."
- The New York Times, Anthony Tommasini, May 13, 2012

"Jennifer Rowley sang the nasty queen Orasia with a succulent voice and undisciplined abandon..."
- New York Magazine, Justin Davidson, May 20, 2012

"Even with a readily identifiable villain, Orasia is nevertheless a complex figure. Jennifer Rowley, a recent winner of the Richard Tucker Career Grant, lent her creamy yet supple soprano to the role. Equally spellbinding, however, were her dramatic impulses, imbuing the character with sympathy and pathos. Initially, Orasia doesn't seem evil, just complicated in a time when emotions - and their ensuing breakdowns - were verboten.

And what breakdowns they are. In one of her first act arias, Rowley hits a delirious high while commanding her heart to rouse itself, simultaneously crushing a champagne flute in her bare hand. The subsequent aria is all eyes and guns blazing as the queen steels herself for revenge. It's no small wonder that this singer earned the highest accolades of the evening when it came time for curtain calls."
- WQXR,Olivia Giovetti, May 14, 2012

"Jennifer Rowley played up Orasia's hysterical tendencies, imparting a diva presence to the vocally demanding role..."
- New Jersey Star Ledger, Ronni Reich, May 18, 2012

"Jennifer Rowley, as Orasia, began the opera with a three-aria tour de force, singing in a flexible chiaroscuro soprano...another lament, about Orpheus, in German and fiery vengeance aria, as her love for Orpheus turned to hatred, remained for Rowley to cap her triumphant evening, before she killed Orpheus."
- Q-OnStage, Bruce-Michael Gelbert, May 2012

"Queen Orasia, the evening's prima donna, was Jennifer Rowley, whose voice has the size and authority of a major spinto, as she demonstrated last month in the Verdi Requiem with the St. Cecilia Chorus at Carnegie Hall... it is a soprano of rare quality, full of power but never at the cost of beauty, surprising flexibility and great precision of ornament. Orasia is usually seething, and when she is flirtatious she's usually lying; the contrast of mood suited Rowley..."
- Parterre.com, May 16, 2012