Mélisande, Pelléas et Mélisande

by Beth Stewart

Opernhaus Zürich, 2016

"The singers move in this orchestral foundation with admirable idiomatic French diction, and are able to transport the hearts of the audience with intense, exemplarily restrained artistic power, and incredible vocal qualities and feelings throughout. Corinne Winters is the fragile Mélisande not only superficially, but is also in her timbre an ideal candidate for this traumatized, enigmatic being. Her direct and wonderfully easy and appealing soprano captivates with its evenness, with force or pale fragility according to the mood."
Kaspar Sannemann, Oper Aktuell

"Altinoglu’s orchestra plays transparently and elegantly, and the singers on stage follow with corresponding expression and timbre. Above all, Corinne Winters, who, as an inconspicuous drug addict, exudes the fascination of a very exceptional woman in every moment."
Roger Cahn, Deutschlandradio Kultur

"The two meet each other with an almost beastly, incorporeal hypersensitivity – Corinne Winters and Jacques Imbrailo, both debutants at the Opera House – acting and singing with touching delicacy and entirely skillful empathy for one another. Pelléas understands that a serious, unspoken trauma prevents Mélisande from physically loving even him. Winters plays this with distressing credibility."
Christian Wildhagen, Neue Zürcher Zeitung

"Lying on the couch with frightened eyes and a dark, glowing soprano is the American Corinne Winters, who reveals that she has experienced something terrible. Though Golaud increasingly loses his patience with her hints, short sentences, and non-answers, the audience who sees and hears her is fascinated: her acting could not be more on point."
Susanne Kübler, Tages Anzeiger

"That this complex concept is so perfectly implemented by this highly balanced ensemble speaks not only of of their acting talent, but also of Tcherniakov’s extremely precise direction – he has found for each person their own body language. Corinne Winters is an ideal Mélisande, this traumatized young woman who – we imagine – experienced something terrible in her childhood. Here again the fabulous artist: Corinne Winters possesses in her clear voice a fine range of colorations that reflect her emotional state of mind. Once dreamy, delicate, velvety, then again disappointed, almost shouting, but never abandoning either the vocal tone or seeming true. Just great."
John H. Mueller, Der Neue Merker

"The manifestations of trauma are the meat here, and Corinne Winters (Mélisande) played that for all it was worth. She eventually even traded her casual black sweats for a rather unsightly Egyptian caftan; which was incongruous, but hardly as strange as the unkempt hair that made her more of a homeless person than a woman who might win hearts. Nevertheless, win hearts she did."
Sarah Batschelet, Bachtrack

With her warm sounding soprano, Corinne Winters gives us a really impressive Mélisande and acts fantastically. She sings the highest notes with extraordinary ease. Her warm timbre fills the whole opera.”
Fabio Andrea Rickenmann, Plays To See

Winters can express such fragility with her inflection and ringing soprano.”
Vorarlberger Nachrichten

Corinne Winters as Mélisande finds with her versatile soprano the balance between rebellious and helpless responses, her spiritual destruction and the slow extinction of her life force created with touching intensity.”

Happily, although there was not a single Frenchman among the cast, the Debussy style of language and voice as one was always there. Corinne Winters, a small, fragile person in a tracksuit, is a lithe and sensitive Mélisande, both childlike and sensual.”
Heinz W. Koch, Badische Zeitung

The singers were very well placed in this colorful Debussy sound, especially the young American Corinne Winters as Mélisande, with many vocal variations and an intensely watchable portrayal of this rewarding soprano role.”
Reinmar Wagner, Musik und Theater

Corinne Winters is dazzling. Defiant rejection and vulnerable fragility are equally present in the young American’s portrayal, and in her flexible voice the raw mixes with the seductive. In addition, she had superb diction, as did everyone in this very special, exquisite ensemble.”
Peter Hagmann