Gala with Plácido Domingo, Arena di Verona, 7/2021

 

 “Soprano Maria José Siri was a perfect partner on stage”  
“Together with him, soprano Maria José Siri (much applauded as well), also performs, perfectly living up to expectations.”  
“(…) while Siri faces the two sublime Verdi Leonoras, the one from “La forza del destino” (“Pace, pace mio Dio” and from “Il trovatore”, performing together with Domingo the splendid duet “Udiste?…Mira d’acerbe lagrime.”  
“(…) “La vedova allegra”, to which hommage is paid by Siri with the dreamy Vilja Lied, and by both of them with the sweet duet “Tace il labbro” celebrating the union between Hanna and Danilo”  
L’Arena  

“He performed alongside soprano Maria José Siri, gifted with a proper technique and correct form, and easy high notes...”  
La Verdad   

“Plácido could count on the Uruguayan soprano María José Siri who was much more than a casual partner, since she was especially involved in an unusual repertoire, but in which she showed great commitment and excellence. (…) Maria José Siri has already left a very good impression with her "Pleurez, pleurez mes yeux" from Massenet’s Le Cid (…) Siri confirmed her ample, warm and dramatic voice in a "Pace, pace mio Dio!" really outstanding and highly applauded by an audience also devoted to the great Uruguayan nationalized Italian artist. The final duet of the first part of Il Trovatore demonstrated the quality of both, very well modeled and empathetic and of excellent singing level. A feast.  
(…) After the interesting intermission of La boda de Luis Alonso by Gerónimo Giménez, both artists were emotionally overturned with the Spanish zarzuela, with Domingo ending the concert with the emotional romanza “No puede ser” from La tabernera del puerto de Sorozábal. After the applause and bravos, four encores came. The first, nothing less than the duet from El Gato Montés de Penella sung with great passion and exquisiteness by both artists. (…) Several romances and songs followed, including the popular Granada and closing this gala with a nod to the Italian audience with the De Curtis song made popular by Pavarotti “Non ti scordar di me” that made the audience filling the Arena stand up in this deserved tribute to the Spanish artist so well accompanied by soprano María José Siri and the scrupulous and elegant musical direction of Francesco Ivan Ciampa.”  
Opera Áctual  

…while Uruguayan soprano Maria José Siri in a black paillette gown offers “Pleurez, pleurez men yeux” from Le Cid. Both enter their comfort zone with Verdi: (…) while Siri sings “Pace mio Dio” from La forza del destino, where she displays her burnished timbre and very secure pianissimos, self-assuredly soaring to the high notes. The first part closes with the duet from Il trovatore “Udiste?…Mira, d’acerbe lagrime”, which sets the audience on fire (…)  
The temperament of both artists comes through in the final selection of zarzuelas with the beautiful duet “Hace tiempo” from Pablo Sorozábal’s La del manojo de rosas.”  
Connessi all’Opera  

“Maria José Siri must be credited for improving the outcome of the evening: (…) the Uruguayan soprano began with a truly well-sung Chimène’s lament “Pleurez, pleurez mes yeus” from Massenet’s Le Cid, where she displayed her full-bodied and splendidly projected vocal instrument. The primadonna commands the stage in every page of music she performs, very diverse among one another: from the torments of the two Verdi Leonoras, with the mournful prayer “Pace, mio Dio” (performing the final “maledizione” in just one breath as written in the score) and the above mentioned Trovatore duet, the suave Vilja Lied from the Merry Widow and the folk-song Cancion de Paloma by Barbieri.”  
Opera Click  

“Maria José Siri displays her ambitions from her first appearance by choosing a particularly exposed aria, “Pleurez mes yeux” from Massenet's Le Cid. She shows elegant phrasing rooted in a healthy voice with a confident top. (…) The Leonora / Luna duet from the fourth act of Il Trovatore advantageously replaces that of La traviata chosen for the intimacy of the Salle Gaveau and ends up galvanizing the audience of Verona, already ignited by the soprano and her interpretation of "Pace, pace mio dio!" » started with a splendid messa di voce.”  
Forum Opéra  

"The Uruguayan soprano Maria José Siri also possesses a first-class, solid, warm and beguiling voice passing from composer to composer and from character to character, from Chimène’s grieving sadness, to Leonora's search for inner peace, up to Hanna Glawari’s joyfulness, which resulted in a two step waltz. "  
DeArte  

“But how elegant of him to take as a partner Maria José Siri with her substantial volume and insolent projection!… To believe that the fact of having to ensure the final notes of the arias, with a partner of this caliber, galvanizes him! (…)   
When Maria José Siri appears, you know that the soprano has her place in the huge amphitheater (she has just sung nothing less than Aida, Santuzza and Nedda!). Strangely and surely to match what has preceded, she performs the Cid aria “Pleurez mes yeux." Her ability to hold the long syllables of this aria without artifice (...) and her natural support on a rich vocal instrument make this first aria a very nice surprise.    
(…) The "Pace, pace mio Dio" of La forza del destino which follows also finds the soprano in her favorite repertoire, that of those abused Verdian heroines whose interpretation requires a skillful balance between strength and contrition. (…) the long, perfectly controlled breath allows dream legatos. In the process, it is not a surprise to note that the confrontation duet between the Leonora (of Trovatore this time) and the Count of Luna, gives the highest results. In recital, the violence of the duet is remarkable. Their intensity, together, at a very sustained pace, plunges us completely into the heart of the opera and would make the situation understandable to anyone who has never seen a performance of it.  
Next, apart from opera, comes a natural repertoire for the two artists. He no longer has to demonstrate that he is an expert in the aria from Spanish zarzuelas and operas; she, Uruguayan though she is, she combines an aptitude of song with a such a “Spanish” gravity of tone”. It was a duet of La del manojo de rosas, then La canción de Paloma for Sir,i and Amor, vida de mi vida for him. It's extraordinar (…)…   
The feast continues with Vaya una tarde bonita… Sì! Torero quiero ser (El Gato Montes) as a duet, and Granada for Domingo. But it is Muñequita linda ("Te quiero, dijiste") by Mexican composer María Grever who literally makes the stones cry, as the soprano is so moving. Cabellos de oro, dientes de perlas, labios de rubi… dime si me quieres como yo te adoro… the audience appreciates… Finally, and like a moving wink, it's on a very beautiful Non ti scordar di me (Don't forget me) that the evening comes to an end.  
Over the course of the evening, we see that the almost palpable pleasure enjoyed by the audience was that of a party. However, even if the main stage shone with beautiful projections, even if Domingo delivered, without weaknesses, a demanding program and even if Maria José Siri sparkled, we will encourage, if the event happens again, to go instead to hear them in a better adapted space.”  
Toute La Culture  

“Soprano Maria José Siri’s enthralling and passionate musicality supported him (Domingo) in this ride which extended to operetta and zarzuela in the second part; first she engaged in a sorrowful and refined “Pleurez, pleures mes yeux” from J. Massenet’s Le Cid, and later in a passioned “Pace, pace mio Dio” from “La forza del destino”. In the pyrotechnic second part the two artists alternated with increasing grit and brio in the charming pages of the lighter repertoire: “Tu che m’hai preso il cuor” from Das Land des Lächelns di F. Lehar, “Viljia-Lied” from Die lustige Witwe and “Tace il labbro”, the duet “Hace tiempo que vengo al taller” from La del manojo de rosas di Pablo Sorozábal, “Canción de Paloma” from El Barberillo de Lavapiés by Francisco Asenjo Barbieri …”  
Operateatro
 
“Plácido could count on the Uruguayan soprano María José Siri who was much more than a casual partner, since she was especially involved in an unusual repertoire, but in which she showed great commitment and excellence. (…) Maria José Siri has already left a very good impression with her "Pleurez, pleurez mes yeux" from Massenet’s Le Cid (…) Siri confirmed her ample, warm and dramatic voice in a "Pace, pace mio Dio!" really outstanding and highly applauded by an audience also devoted to the great Uruguayan nationalized Italian artist. The final duet of the first part of Il Trovatore demonstrated the quality of both, very well modeled and empathetic and of excellent singing level. A feast.   
(…) After the interesting intermission of La boda de Luis Alonso by Gerónimo Giménez, both artists emotionally threw themselves into the Spanish zarzuela, with Domingo ending the concert with the emotional romanza “No puede ser” from La tabernera del puerto by Sorozábal. After the applause and bravos, four encores came. The first, nothing less than the duet from El Gato Montés by Penella sung with great passion and exquisiteness by both artists. (…) Several romances and songs followed, including the popular Granada and closing this gala with a nod to the Italian audience with the De Curtis song made popular by Pavarotti “Non ti scordar di me” that made the audience filling the Arena stand up in this deserved tribute to the Spanish artist so well accompanied by soprano María José Siri and the scrupulous and elegant musical direction of Francesco Ivan Ciampa.”   
Beckmesser