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the chicago jeff awards 2013

 

the second city guide to the opera

 

*best director

*best revue

WINNER OF THE 2011 BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL 

 

THE MUSIC MAN

 

 

ABE THEATER AWARDS OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY

"Lauren Curnow, the Lehigh Valley native and professional opera singer who plays Mrs. Potts, creates the requisite chills when she sings the classic 'Beauty and the Beast'..."

- Jodi Duckett, The Morning Call

 

"Lauren Curnow’s tremendous voice makes Mrs. Potts’ solo of the title song truly memorable."

- Kathy Lauer-Williams, Lehigh Valley Stage

"Mrs. Potts (Lauren Curnow, in a tremendous turn and voice), a teapot...Curnow sings a tender and very memorable 'Beauty and the Beast'..."

- Paul Willistein, Lehigh Valley Press

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, 2018

MUHLENBERG COLLEGE SUMMER MUSIC THEATER

 

"...Beautifully sung, with an eye-popping visual design and plenty of physical comedy, this was a big swerve away from the tragic operas that preceded it.  Mezzo Lauren Curnow, in the title role, was stunning, and director Michael Chadwick's circus/commedia take on the Cinderella story was a brilliant idea."

- Susan Pena, The Reading Eagle, Artistic Roundup 2017

 

"...the evening belongs to the astonishing mezzo-soprano Lauren Curnow in the title role, whose final aria alone is worth the price of admission.  Her Angelina (Cenerentola) is not only beautifully sung, but played with a subtle cheekiness in the earlier scenes; her character grows into a benevolent, gracious leader, culminating in her wedding."

- Susan L. Pena, The Reading Eagle

LA CENERENTOLA, 2017

BERKS OPERA COMPANY

"The live orchestra of nine directed by Lauren Curnow-Madigan and the choreography by Christine Somes-Williams greatly enhance the music. 'Hawaii Five-O' never sounded so good!"

- Dave Howell, The Morning Call

DISASTER! ...A Musical, 2017

For Music Direction/Conducting - Northampton Community College Summer Theatre

"...Lauren Curnow, an international opera singer from Wilson Borough and guest artist, shone as Anna Maurrant, a kind woman who is unhappy in her marriage to the glowering Frank Maurrant..."

- Kathy Lauer-Williams, The Morning Call

STREET SCENE, 2015

TOP 10 THEATER EVENTS OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY FOR 2015

"After a final soprano aria, sweetly sung by Curnow, the evocative performance closed in a gentle whispering of the word 'Sanctus'..."

 

"The two solo selections were lovely, one sung by mezzo-soprano Lauren Curnow, the other by tenor Gregory Oaten..."

 

- Steve Siegel, The Morning Call

TE DEUM, ARVO PART AND BRAHMS LIEBESLIEDER WALTZES, 2015

PENNSYLVANIA SYMPHONIA

"Curnow (Anna Maurrant) is in excellent voice and her soprano tones ring in songs such as 'Somehow I Never Could Believe' and the heartfelt ode to her young son, 'A Boy Like You'..."

- Kathy Lauer-Williams, The Morning Call

STREET SCENE, 2015

MUHLENBERG COLLEGE THEATER

"Dennis Peterson's Schoolmaster and Kevin Langen's Parson are touchingly sketched in, the inadequacy of their lonely personal lives in sharp contrast to the spontaneity of the warm and immediate relationship between Isabel Bayrakdarian's consistently vital Vixen and Lauren Curnow's Fox- both sung with youthful, pristine tone..."

- George Hall, Opera (magazine)

 

"Bayrakdarian is an affecting Vixen and Lauren Curnow an excellent Fox..."

- International Record Review, March 2014; PrestoClassical,com

THE CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN, 2014

MAGGIO MUSICALE FIORENTINO, DVD REVIEW

"...and the singers, two of them imported from the Metropolitan Opera and others with extensive, burgeoning careers, were stunning...Lauren Curnow was a tragic Amneris, Aida's rival, with vocal power..."

- Susan Pena, Reading Eagle

AIDA, 2013

BERKS OPERA COMPANY

"Although everyone can sing, Curnow and Holcomb remind us why we come to the Lyric.  Their pop-up arias are stellar..."

- Katy Walsh, Chicago Theater Beat

 

"Curnow kills both vocally and comedically in both a bit where a lucky backpacker (Joey Bland) meets a charming Italian and in another where she's seducing an unwilling co-worker..."

- Zach Freeman, NewCityStage.com

 

"While the dream team of Molly Brennan, Tim Ryder, Joey Bland, Timothy Sniffen and Lili-Anne Brown are agile jesters, the stand outs are real-life opera singers, mezzo-soprano Lauren Curnow and tenor Bernard Holcomb. They are not only easy on the ears, but also have us in stitches..."

- Betty Mohr, Le Bon Travel and Culture

 

"Lauren Curnow, another Ryan Center alum, performed the Habanera from Carmen in its truest form by seducing Tim Sniffen and then stepping into the audience to flirt with two lucky men.."

- Erin Cano, Examiner.com

 

"The snippets of actual performances, from tenor Bernard Holcomb and especially mezzo-soprano Lauren Curnow, will make you want to check the Lyric's upcoming fall season..."

- Tomi Obaro, Chicagomag.com

 

"Both Curnow and Holcomb are strikingly engaging comics, with Holcomb a pleasure throughout and Curnow killing during one segment where she wraps her pipes around a decidedly questionable repertoire consisting of material made famous by Carly Rae Jepsen and the Empire Carpet company. Such moments, along with Melewski's acerbic takedowns of the public master class, are when the show is at its best: when operatic form and the improvisational art truly are integrated in a way that feels like it's pushing the envelope, formatively speaking.."

- Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

THE SECOND CITY GUIDE TO THE OPERA, 2013

LYRIC OPERA OF CHICAGO AND THE SECOND CITY

"Curnow balances deadpan grimaces and exasperated expressions, graced with a voice that expresses the most beautiful of sounds, beginning with her solo 'I'm Called Little Buttercup,' to 'Things Are Seldom What They Seem,' her duet with Peter Schmidt..."

- Paul Willistein, East Penn Press

 

"Lauren Curnow who plays Buttercup, has a fine, polished voice, which contrasts with her lowly status.  Her two arias 'I'm Called Little Buttercup' and 'A Many Years Ago' are highlights..."

- Myra Yellin Outwater, The Morning Call

H.M.S. PINAFORE, 2012

MUHLENBERG SUMMER MUSIC THEATER

"Lauren Curnow, as Pepicek, and Anna Baker, as Aninka, sang beautifully and were utterly convincing..."

- Susan L. Pena, Reading Eagle

BRUNDIBAR, 2012

BERKS OPERA COMPANY

"As to the latter, the four soloists Christa Warda, soprano, Lauren Curnow, alto, Steven Caldicott Wilson, tenor, and Dashon Burton, bass-baritone, all presented solid singing in solo passages, but exibited a special blending in the sections for all four.."

- Jodi Duckett, Lehigh Valley Music

MOZART REQUIEM, 2011

PENNSYLVANIA SYMPHONIA

"Curnow's portrayal was appropriately as reserved as the books in the River City Library.  When she sang 'My White Knight' and her 'Till There Was You' duet with David Masenheimer (Professor Harold Hill), you were ready to sign out lots of books."

- Paul Willistein, East Penn Press

 

"Curnow, who gives a touching maturity to the role of Marian, has a gorgeous voice that stuns and transfixes the audience into a hushed silence.  Her unforgettable solos - 'My White Knight' and 'Goodnight, My Someone' - are achingly beautiful."

- Myra Yellin Outwater, The Morning Call

 

"As rendered by Lauren Curnow, Marian is as reserved as the books in the town library.  Outwardly, she's hiding behind her wall of books.  The characterization works especially well when Marian sings 'Goodnight, My Someone,' a duet with Amaryllis (Molly Schenkenberger), which reveals an inner life of dreams and passion, and lets her mind and heart wander and wonder in the world of the imagnation, emotion and sentiment, not unlike what happens when one reads a good book. Curnow's operatic voice also soars on 'My White Knight'..."

- Paul Willisten, The Times News LLC

THE MUSIC MAN, 2011

MUHLENBERG SUMMER MUSIC THEATER

"Lauren Curnow's floridly hormonal Marcellina was a wicked treat, and so winningly sung that one wished she had more to do."

- Mark Thomas Ketterson, Opera News

 

"Ms. Curnow and Mr. Silvestrelli deserve a special ovation for their performance in the Act III Sextet 'Riconosci in questo amplesso'- it was nothing short of astonishing..."

- R. Todd Shuman, OperaOnline.us

 

"Lauren Curnow gave Marcellina a memorable portrayal in her spirited rivalry with Susanna, adding an extra dimension to the dramatic and musical tension in the first act, and setting up the revelation in the third. The musicianship Curnow brings to the role begs the question about hearing her in other, more prominent roles, which could allow for her fine mezzo to emerge.."

- James L. Zycowicz, Seen and Heard International Opera Review, Musicweb International's Worldwide Concert and Opera Reviews

 

"The secondary roles were cast with remarkable care.  One could hardly wish a better Marcellina (Lauren Curnow), Basilio (Keith Jameson) and Curzio (David Portillo) better sung, played or with a better Italian pronunciation than those heard in Chicago."

- Claudio Vellutini, MundoClassico.com

LE NOZZE DI FIGARO, 2010

LYRIC OPERA OF CHICAGO

"Curnow, dark, lustrous and weighty in sound, refreshed all the dreamy beauty in two of Schubert's most performed songs, 'An die Musik,' ('To Music') and 'Standchen,' ('Serenade')..."

- Tom Strini, Third Coast Digest

MUSIC AT THE MANSION, 2009

UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN

"Isabel Bayrakdarian's Vixen is wonderfully clear and firm-toned, as are Quinn Kelsey's Gamekeeper and Lauren Curnow's Fox..."

- Dave Billinge, Music Web International, Arthaus Musik

THE CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN, 2009

MAGGIO MUSICALE FIORENTINO

"...Lauren Curnow gives a near-perfect turn in Berta the maid's comic aria.."

- Andrew Patner, Chicago Sun Times

 

"Lauren Curnow added depth to the role of Berta, whose solo aria, 'Il Vecchioto,' was memorable for its engaging presentation.  Curnow lamented the foolishness she was witnessing without ridiculing it, a distinction that occurs as a result of phrasing that plays to the nuances of the text."

- James L. Zycowicz, Seen and Heard International Opera Review

 

"Lauren Curnow's unusual comedic flair tends to pigeon-hole her in roles that provide little opportunity for appreciating what is really quite a fine voice.."

- Mark Thomas Ketterson, Opera News

 

"Despite having a smaller role, Lauren Curnow played Berta the maid sensuously and with vivacity.  She seemed to have fun with the part, an impression that brought loud approval from the audience.."

- Mark D. Ball, Onechicagomansopinion.com

 

"Lauren Curnow notes in her blurb that this is her first aria at Lyric, and I'm shocked to report that my archives bear that out.  Travesty!  But what a way to lose one's arial virginity.  She's a delightful comedienne and certainly has earned the right to respect herself every bit as much as she says she respects those who sing Rossini well.  I'd further add that she performs it well, which is really, truly saying something in this production..."

- Telecommuniculturey.com

IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA, 2008

LYRIC OPERA OF CHICAGO

"Maureen McKay (Gretel) and Lauren Curnow (Hansel) were both in posession of strong, youthful voices.  More impressive, they blended their sounds beautifully.."

- Peter Dobrin, The Philadelphia Inquirer

 

HANSEL UND GRETEL, 2007

OPERA PHILADELPHIA

"...Lauren Curnow gave an engaging and very moving portrayal of her desperate, jilted character."

- Karen Dervan, Sunday Tribune, Ireland

 

"Curnow fits the bill.  The requisite youth and elegance are always discernable beneath her disheveled, panic-stricken surface...she comfortably and passionately scales Poulenc's jagged, piercing lines, all the while sustaining her solitary and constantly shifting character with unbreakable concentration and credibility."

- Michael Dungan, Irish Times, Ireland

LA VOIX HUMAINE, 2007

WEXFORD FESTIVAL OPERA

"Lauren Curnow's Ida brimmed with comic detail and was clearly heard ringing delightfully away in the ensembles - of how many Ida's can that be said?"

- Mark Thomas Ketterson, Opera News

DIE FLEDERMAUS, 2006

LYRIC OPERA OF CHICAGO

"Lauren Curnow was an adorable Papagena, displaying a wickedly intelligent comedic sense in her handling of the old crone.."

- Mark Thomas Ketterson, Opera News

DIE ZAUBERFLOTE, 2005

LYRIC OPERA OF CHICAGO

"The Fox was Lauren Curnow, an enchanting actress with a sweetly expressive face and reams of shimmering tone, who captured the innocently boyish animal to perfection."

- Mark Thomas Ketterson, Opera News

 

"Curnow's rich, steady soprano blended well with hers (Dina Kuznetsova) in the love scene, where the Vixen's foxy suitor gives her a dead rabbit in lieu of an engagement ring.."

- John Von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

 

"The latter is a trouser role played with perfect charm by Lauren Curnow.."

- Bill Gowen, Daily Herald, Chicago

 

"Curnow was outstanding.  Protesting that she was 'not a fox,' she wooed the skittish Vixen with sympathetic respect as well as ardor...Curnow used her agile soprano with easy authority.."

- Wynne Delacoma, Chicago Sun Times

 

"Lauren Curnow turns in a delicious soprano delivery..."

- Betty Mohr, Daily Southtown Theater Critic

THE CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN, 2004

LYRIC OPERA OF CHICAGO

"Lauren Curnow's sympathetic Alisa revealed a lyric mezzo of the most appealing quality.."

- Mark Thomas Ketterson, Opera News

LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR, 2003

LYRIC OPERA OF CHICAGO

"Perhaps best of all was mezzo-soprano Lauren Curnow as the scheming Marcellina.  A delight in the opera company's Gilbert and Sullivan concert with the National Symphony Orchestra in early July, Miss Curnow outdoes herself here in her broadly comic, bigger-than-life portrayal of a character that usually stands somewhat menacingly in the shadows.  Her rubbery facial expressions (shades of Carol Burnett) hide a surprisingly creamy and expressive instrument.  Her entrances and antics are a sensation and give a lift to the whole production without upstaging the principles.."

- The Washington Times

LE NOZZE DI FIGARO, 2001

THE WOLFTRAP OPERA

"As Erika, Curnow sang effectively.  She phrased her show-stopping aria, 'Must the Winter Come So Soon?' thoughtfully and conveyed as well the growing anguish of the idealistic young girl who refuses to bear a child to a man who cannot love her."

- Robert Baxter, Opera News

 

"Lauren Curnow who takes the part (Erika) has the knack of being a presence even when not singing but especially when she was expressing a range of emotion in the opera's arias and ensembles."

- Daniel Webster, The Philadelphia Enquirer

 

"Lauren Curnow as Erika sang with intense characterization."

- Mark H. Beers, Philadelphia Weekly

VANESSA, 2001

CURTIS OPERA THEATER

"Two merciful exceptions were Lauren Curnow (Hermia), whose mezzo is beautifully focused and comprehension of Britten's vocal line is considerable, and the sturdy-voiced Dutch baritone Quirijn de Lang, who cuts a dashing stage figure and had the best English diction of the bunch. Both may develop significant careers..."

- David Patrick Sterns, Philly.com

 

"The quartet of lovers proved outstanding. Ramone Diggs's manly tenor and Quirijn de Lang's tangy baritone added dramatic tension to Lysander and Demetrius.  Lina Tetruashvili (Helena) and Lauren Curnow (Hermia) also sang securely.."

- Robert Baxter, Opera Magazine

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, 2000

CURTIS OPERA THEATER

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"Curnow, dark, lustrous, and weighty in sound, refreshed all the dreamy beauty in two of Schubert's most performed songs, 'An die Musik,' and 'Standchen'...."

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