Tatiana, Eugene Onegin

by Beth Stewart

Arizona Opera, 2015

"Soprano Corinne Winters can now add the role of Tatiana in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin to her growing list of leading ladies. From what we witnessed at Tucson Music Hall Saturday night with Arizona Opera — in her role debut — she should consider developing it into a signature.

It’s not surprising that Winters was the star of the evening; we’ve seen her two other times with Arizona Opera and in both she captivated us. She has a powerful soprano that leaves you breathless with anticipation when she hits those impossibly high notes.

But on Saturday night, she went even further than we’ve seen before. In the soprano stratosphere populated by super divas with names like Renée Fleming and Anna Netrebko, Winters is simply a rock star.

Throughout Saturday’s performance, Winters, playing a naive teen smitten by a playboy neighbor (gifted baritone David Adam Moore), seemed on a mission to see just how powerful her gift can be when put through the rigors of Tchaikovsky’s lyric opera. It’s in Russian, which in itself seems a fairly tall order for a non-native speaker, but the biggest test for Tatiana comes near the end of Act 1 in the “Letter Aria.”

For nearly 15 minutes, it’s all about Winters. Her voice was so big and beautiful, with just a quiver of urgency to fit the mood and a warmth of vulnerability. The higher she climbed the upper register, the quieter we became just to see if she could make it there. And boy, did she make it there. When she finished, slumping like a rag doll onto center stage, the audience erupted in an extended chorus of bravas. Conductor Steven White waited several moments for the applause to die down before engaging the orchestra for Onegin’s followup aria shooting down Tatiana’s advances."
Cathalena E. Burch, Arizona Daily Star

"Tatiana’s Act I “Letter Scene” defines the soprano. Corinne Winters’ Tatiana was naive, girlish and far too honest when she wrote and sang of her true feelings for her somewhat older, attractive and worldly neighbor, Eugene Onegin. Winters sang with powerful floods of silvery tone that wafted across the Music Center as she whirled around the room with excitement over her letter."
Maria Nockin, Opera Today

"This is a story about the dreams of youth and the regrets of age, and to deliver its full dramatic punch, Onegin requires performers who can not only sing gorgeous arias but also create characters of unassuming depth and honest feeling. And the cast of Arizona Opera's new production delivers in full.

Soprano Corinne Winters traces a delicate character arc as Tatiana. In the first act, composing a love letter in the privacy of her room, she captures the overwhelming passion of first love ("I turned to flame") but also the precocious wisdom of a girl wise enough to wonder if "this is all a meaningless dream, the delusion of an inexperienced heart." As indeed it turns out to be."
Kerry Lengel, Arizona Republic

"The glamorous central couple — soprano Corinne Winters and baritone David Adam Moore, both in role debuts — are skilled, specific singing actors and embodied their testing roles with theatrical sophistication and passion. Winters, a vibrant presence vocally as well as visually, [has a] pleasing tone and a wide dynamic palette; she, too, deserves more outings in this opera."
David Shengold, Opera News