Bach: Jauchzet Gott, in allen Landen
"Karol Bennett was the light, lithe soprano soloist in "Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen!" Her silvery voice emphasized the innocence and grace of the jubilant text...Bennett's lightness was ideal for the soaring, florid lines of this cantata with its famous "Alleluia"...Kelly Farris and Vivian Adams furnished an intricate violin duet, over which Bennett's soprano floated exquisitely in the chorale "Sie Lob und Preis"...Bennett had already shown how moving delicate singing can be in Friday's performance of "Ach, wie sehnlich wart der Zeit," an ardent meditation on death by Johann Michael Bach."
Travis Rivers, The Spokane Spokesman-Review

Bach: St. Matthew Passion
"Karol Bennett (soprano) and Gloria Raymond (mezzo) sang with a radiance that made you catch your breath. Their duet "So ist mein Jesus nun gafangen" was unsurpassable."
Richard Buell, The Boston Globe

Handel: L'Allegro, Il Penseroso, ed il Moderato
"The concert was billed as a "Three Sopranos" event. Nancy Armstrong, Sharon Baker, and Karol Bennett earned their advance billing and their cheers afterward...Bennett boasts a sound of surpassing sweetness and immaculate intonation; the instrumental accuracy of her singing is most unusually matched by vividly personal projection of text--she got the plum of "Sweet Bird," and sang it with a precision that was not about its own perfection; she made "Hide me from Day's garish eye" the quiet emotional center of the work."
Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe

"Another great Handel event was the Boston Cecilia's "L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato," which found Donald Teeters conducting three radiant sopranos, Nancy Armstrong, Sharon Baker, and Karol Bennett."
Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe, " Highlights of 1996"

Haydn: The Creation
"Karol Bennett's singing of the soprano solos was sublime....Her sound is not only luminous and ringing, but earthy, resonant, and humane. She does all the things oratorio singers need to: her diction is clear, her ornamentation skillful. She can latch onto a bright high A and project it through the combined choral and orchestral forces, as she showed in the final chorus of Part I, "Die Himmel erzaehlen die Ehre Gottens." But she draws you into her oratorio singing much as she does when she performs old and new songs in recital. The character of her singing was vivid. When in the final duet she sang Eve's pledge s to Adam that "thy will is my law," you could sense below the diaphanous surface a willful woman waiting to emerge."
Anthony Tommasini, The Boston Globe

Mozart: Mass in c-minor and Solemn Vespers
"Bennett was altogether extraordinary. She has some of the same gracious bearing and regal presence of her teacher Phyllis Curtin and, of course, she has long shared Curtin's wide-ranging musical idealism. She also shares something less easily imitable, an ability to shape a musical line through dynamics and rhythm that is at once instinctive and profound. She has her own voice, of course, a high clear, clear soprano with an interesting filament of structural steel to give it strength and carrying power. Her tracing of the sublime melody of the "Laudate Dominum" in the Vespers was in a class with the fabled recorded versions by Ursula van Diemen, Erna Berger, and Jennifer Vyvyan; it brought tears to my eyes. She topped this, if possible, with her singing in the Mass--has any previous singer excelled in both the Verdi Requiem and the Mozart c-minor Mass within the same twelve months? Bennett's "Et incarnatus est" was absolutely assured and suffused with wonder."
Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe

Beethoven: Missa Solemnis
" Impassioned, refined, opulently open-hearted (soloists), with Bennett's soaring, burnished soprano the particular joy"
Lloyd Schwartz, The Boston Phoenix

"Bennett's dramatic involvement, sensitivity to nuance, meaningful enunciation and radiance of feeling lifted her performance into another dimension, a spiritual one...this was memorable, cherishable singing"
Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe

Mendelssohn: Elijah
"There was a deluxe roster of soloists. Karol Bennett brought a voice both ample and delicate to music composed with Jenny Lind in mind; her "Hear ye, Israel!" was clarion-like enough for anybody's purposes."
Richard Buell, The Boston Globe

Humperdinck: Hansel and Gretel
"...(the cast featured) such wonderful singers as Karol Bennett...Soprano Karol Bennett, as Gretel, acted with great charm and sang like one of the fourteen angels."
Ellen Pfeifer, The Boston Herald

Verdi: Requiem Classical Music Top Ten, 1992, The Boston Globe
"Karol Bennett was an unexpected, but utterly inspired, choice for the soprano part. She may not have a conventional "Verdi voice," but she surely does have a Verdi soul. There is a focus and ringing bell in her light, clear soprano that makes it carry over the heaviest climaxes; she always sings absolutely in tune, her voice hovering like an angel's wing over the mezzo's human line in the "Agnus Dei." Her flawless pianissimo high B-flat in the "Libera me" was no mere technical achievement but an act of prayer. Her entry into the "Offertorio" came like a promise from another world, but she presented most of her music from this one, in the voice that conveyed a child's immediacy of emotion, vulnerability, and total, invincible, heartbreaking trust in her Father God."
Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe

J. Strauss: Die Fledermaus
"The two big female roles had the two standout voices: Carole Haber as Rosalinde and Karol Bennett as Adèle. Bennett has Adèle's manner just right: the maid's pretensions to becoming an actress are undercut by a smirking sense of mischief. The combination is funny enough that it's almost funnier still when Adèle opens her mouth to deliver, most improbably, some wonderfully graceful singing."
Josiah Fisk, The Boston Herald

"Bennett...was a saucy Adèle who never resorted to cliché and who made every roulade both a comic and an exquisitely musical experience."
Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe

"Karol Bennett, as the saucy maid and would-be actress Adèle, was especially piquant and stylish in her famous "Laughing song" ("Look me over once") and her third act 'audition'".
Lloyd Schwartz, The Boston Phoenix

Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 4
"Soprano Karol Bennett gave her usual exquisite tone to the final paean to heavenly beauty."
ArtsHouston

"The end of the Fourth Symphony was one of the best moments. The soprano soloist--the sweet-sounding Karol Bennett--and orchestra died away with haunting beauty."
The Houston Chronicle

Debussy: Pélleas et Mélisande
"Karol Bennett is a shining American star."
The Examiner, Russia

"Karol Bennett is one of America's greatest singers."
Ural Times, Russia

Schoenberg: Pierrot Lunaire
"As fine a performance of this work as this listener has ever heard...Karol Bennett, in white-gauze clown costume, offered superb German diction and a surreal, cabaret-influenced lilt that brought across the piece's ghastliness as well as its biting wit."
Josiah Fisk, The Boston Herald

Hindemith: Das Marienleben (original version)
"She brings to "Das Marienleben" a soprano at once crystal clear and full of mysteries, magnificently secure and imaginative musicianship, rare purity and precision of intonation and remarkably complete identification of the inner life of each song."
Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe
Best Vocal Recital of the Year, 1995, The Boston Globe

Bernstein: Arias
"Another hit, and a big one, was the soprano soloist Karol Bennett. Her rendition of Glitter and Be Gay from Bernstein's Candide combined all her talents for the stage. Her voice is powerful with a very wide range. She complemented the text with appropriate stage demeanor. Her solo I Feel Pretty from West Side Story was another success, with impeccable diction and interpretation...Karol Bennett is a superb musician and performer."
Louise Goni, The Concord Journal

Henze: Being Beauteous (world premiere)
"The soprano in question, Karol Bennett, was excellent--her singing was easy, free, pure and exquisite."
Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe

Luciano Berio: Folk Songs
"Soprano Karol Bennett was the vivaciously communicative soloist."
The Houston Chronicle

Milton Babbitt: Philomel
"Philomel remains a mesmerizing drama, as soprano Karol Bennett forcefully reminded a Da Camera audience Tuesday at the Menil Collection...Through her sensational performance, Bennett showed that, for all Babbitt's avant-gardism, Philomel is an intensely interesting drama.
Its musical argument is cogent, and the exploration of emotions is sharp."
The Houston Chronicle

Earl Kim: Three Poems in French
"Soprano Karol Bennett was in almost sinfully beautiful voice"
Richard Buell, The Boston Globe

Robert DiDomenica: Four Short Songs
"Sung with ravishing tone and fire of imagination by soprano Karol Bennett."
Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe

Harbison: Simple Daylight
"The cycle continues Harbison's development of the utterly natural style for setting American poetry...Bennett and McDonald live that style in all their performances. These songs weren't written for them...but they are the performers the piece is likely to become identified with, and the sooner the better."
Lloyd Schwartz, The Boston Phoenix

Machover: Soft Morning, City
"One particularly admired the fresh, disembodied brightness of Karol Bennett's soprano voice"
Tim Page, The New York Times

Anthony Brandt: The House Surrounded
"Exquisitely lyrical lines delivered passionately by soprano Karol Bennett"
ArtsHouston

Kaija Saariaho: Adjo
"The dazzling virtuoso of the night was soprano Karol Bennett, who not only needed a dazzling high range to sing, in Finnish, but also had to play percussion-tambourin, wind chimes, sanpaper and the like-for Kaija Saariaho's Adjo."
Kaija Saariaho Adjo, Arts San Francisco

Machover: Flora (world premiere)
"(Machover's) music also has tunes, none more beautiful than what the overlapping, multiplied, splintered, then reassembled pre-recorded voice of the marvelous Karol Bennett chants, intones, and so lushly harmonizes in Flora."
Lloyd Schwartz, The Boston Phoenix

"The music is a tribute to all organic and lovely things, particularly the soprano voice--Karol Bennett's vernal sound is the raw material of this electronic composition. And the glistening sound of Bennett's voice twining around itself was worthy of Richard Strauss himself."
Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe

Copyright ©2004 David Long