Zhanna Alkhazova was a perfect Donna Elvira: defiant, pouring, yielding, accepting like a jealous weak-kneed shrew. She is the possessor of a sultry, rich soprano with power to spare. "Ah fuggi il traditor" and her singing of "mi tradi" was golden age in its perfection
At the May 15 performance, the Manon, Zhanna Alkhazova, flaunted a cool, silvery soprano with a high C whose poise Anna Netrebko might envy. What’s more, she made the unlikely “love at first sight” plot point in the first act utterly believable with the sort of beguiling flashing glances one reads about but seldom sees outside of an Ava Gardner film.
As a soloist, Alkhazova revealed an instrument capable of heart-stopping mastery, shifting swiftly from sounds of burnished gold to softly pinging, pitch-perfect tones, all in the upper register…her sound utterly ravishing”
Russian-American soprano Zhanna Alkhazova is a veritable force of nature, like a hurricane; never losing her firm grasp on solid technique, she invests each aria with the passion we want to hear at the opera. We have heard her as Donna Elvira (review can be found by entering her name in the search bar) and was happy to learn that her French in Jules Massenet's "Il est doux, il est bon" from Hérodiade was just as fine as her Italian in "D'Oreste, d'Ajace" from Mozart's Idomeneo. With arias of two different moods, she used her skills at word coloring to fine advantage, tender in one and fierce in the other."
Zhanna Alkhazova intoned Lenora’s aria from Il Trovatore with pleasant command..... Her instrument was writ large and luminous, and her roulades and portamenti were creamy and smooth.
Enter Donna Elvira, a role which requires a large sound; soprano Zhanna Alkhazova fulfilled the requirements of the role to perfection. She has been seduced and abandoned by the Don and pursues him throughout the opera. Her "Mi tradi" was superb as she did a fine job of limning the ambivalence Donna Elvira has toward her love object.