Magda, La rondine

by Beth Stewart

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, 2015

"This Rondine packed a dramatic punch, due to Lord's presence in the pit and Corinne Winters's stunning work as its heroine. She commanded the stage not through any narcissistic demand on our attention but through her immersion in the dramatic moment and her luminous expressivity. At the musical climaxes her voice acquired a truly Puccinian lyrical force. The flecks of darkness in her complex lyric soprano, too, suggested the character's sad situation – her yearning, her visceral comprehension of her unwinnable situation. Winters is a beautiful woman, but this would count for little if she weren't such a beautiful performer, one who uses her physical gifts and musical expertise in service of dramatic truth."
Fred Cohn, Opera News

"If your idea of a great night at the opera is a beautifully sung romantic tunefest with a heart-tugging story, then you really need to get to Opera Theatre of St. Louis for Giacomo Puccini’s “La Rondine.”

It’s hard to understand why “Rondine” is so rarely performed, with its meltingly beautiful music. On Saturday night, OTSL music director Stephen Lord and an excellent cast made a strong case for it.

That cast was headed by soprano Corinne Winters, a Lord discovery; she demonstrated why she’s now in demand internationally. Her voice is gorgeous and intelligently used, with a flawless technique. Her serious dramatic chops are enhanced by her physical beauty and rightness for the roles she plays.

Winters’ voice has darkened and matured since her last appearance in St. Louis, in 2013’s “The Kiss.” Here, as the titular swallow, Winters has a role more worthy of her abilities, complex and believable."
Sarah Bryan Miller, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"The celestial Corinne Winters’ exulting performance is worth the price of the ticket. She is a genuine, solid gold-star artiste, and her career is one more chapter in Opera Theatre’s inestimable book of legend."
Robert W. Duffy, St. Louis Public Radio

"This production also has bravura performances in abundance, led by soprano Corinne Winters as Magda. She has, in her lower register, the kind of richness I associate with mezzos or altos, while still retaining a crystal clear head voice. Her first big aria in Act I ("Chi il bel sogno di Doretta" in the original Italian) was a real show stopper, drawing enthusiastic applause from the opening night audience. Better yet, her acting is completely convincing, even in the drawn-out melodramatic renunciation of Ruggero in the third act."
Chuck Lavazzi, KDHX

"The serious story resonates because it is told with some of the most persuasive acting I’ve seen at Opera Theatre. The depth of the interpretation and the beauty of the singing are both extraordinary in Corinne Winters’ portrayal of Magda. No opera lover should miss this performance."
Gerry Kowarsky, HEC-TV Two on the Aisle

"Magda, played in this production by the hyper-talented Corinne like the proverbial rolling stone that gathers no moss. In the voice and presence of Corinne Winters, this restlessness and agony is nearly palpable.  I cannot praise her performance enough. I left the theater with a slight lump in my throat, a bodily reminder that pathos had overcome me, as I assume it had with the rest of the audience."
Raphael Maurice, St. Louis Magazine

"Former Gerdine Young Artist Corinne Winters handsomely fills the role of the title character, expressing Magda’s yearnings for the romanticized appeal of lost love with her clear, resonating soprano and inspired performance."
Mark Bretz, Ladue News

"Corinne Winters has all the necessary attributes for Magda. She is lovely and elegant. Her soprano can soar with the best of them, and her intelligence and attention to detail are second to none. Her seamless vocal production seems to have darkened just a bit since last I heard her, making her lower middle more forward placed. Ms. Winters made Doretta’s Song the showpiece it must be, and sang with luster throughout."
James Sohre, Opera Today

"As Magda, soprano Corinne Winters displayed an attractively smoky timbre in her lower register..."
Heidi Waleson, Wall Street Journal

"Corinne Winters’ performance is a regal event. Her Magda is a conundrum: frail and strong, spirited and submissive, but completely decimated by the love she is losing. Winters is commanding onstage and her voice is a relentless force of nature."
Rob Levy, Eleven Music Magazine

"Much better was La rondine, thanks in large measure to the entrancing portrayal of Magda by Corinne Winters, whose lustrous lirico-spinto soprano was just what Puccini ordered. Winters was unusually convincing in the final scene when breaking to the news to Ruggero that her checkered past ruled out a marriage – always a difficult moment to accept given the precedent of La traviata. Winters almost made her choice seem logical, and it helped that earlier she had winced slightly when Ruggero talked about settling down in the country and having children.”
George Loomis, Opera Magazine

"Once in a great while, a singer just seems to have it all. That was Corinne Winters on Friday night, portraying the kept woman who, at least passingly, gives up luxury for love in Puccini’s La rondine. As Magda, Winters has the most exquisitely expressive face. Every nuance of emotion seems to register, subtly but noticeably, and in her body as well. She adds vocal expressivity to match, with a soprano of radiant beauty, top to bottom. It doesn’t get any better than this."
Scott Cantrell, Dallas Morning News