Reviews from the Spoleto Festival

“Another American premiere, Morton Feldman’s arrangement of the famous Kurt Weill tune, Alabama Song closed the performance. Soprano Tammy Hensrud sang/spoke the familiar verses over Feldman’s machine-like tick-tock. The chorus brought her full voice beautifully to the fore while the orchestra provided an almost creepy modulation of the chord progression….Quite a Show! ”

“Later, on Music in Time IV, we heard an arrangement of Kurt Weill’s ‘Alabama Song’ by Morton Feldman (1926-1987)…….Tammy Hensrud, who sang the number with appealingly earthy intensity in ‘Mahagonny,’ reprised it here with great aplomb. Soprano Tammy Hensrud, who plays Jenny in “Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny,” has a big voice. She expertly delivered Kurt Weill’s “Alabama Song” from the opera in New York composer Morton Feldman’s soft-grained arrangement. ”

“To begin, soprano Tammy Hensrud – from the festival run of Weill’s Mahagonny – was greeted with anticipatory applause, as many in the audience had no doubt seen her in that production. But those of us who didn’t know her quickly discovered her charismatic voice and elegant gestures for ourselves. In her opening “Nanna’s Lied,” one couldn’t help but notice her flawless German accent. Then she showed off her confident French in Weill’s 1934 song, “Je ne t’aime pas.” Hensrud returned for another delight, “Surabaya Johnny” …..a poignant and exciting recital of songs ”

“The fourth concert in the Intermezzo Series yesterday evening was a stunning tribute to the songs of Kurt Weill. Soprano Tammy Hensrud….the singing and accompanying was first-rate ……..Weill’s influence on 20th century music stood out because of this exceptional performance. Hensrud began the concert in cabaret style with three of Weill’s songs, “Nanna’s Lied,” “Der Abschiedsbrief” and “Je ne t’aime pas.” After returning to the stage… she performed “Surabaya Johnny,” the poignant “Susan’s Dream” and the finest performance I have ever heard of “Youkali,” assisted by the very talented ( Accordianist, Guy) Klucevsek. It is a shame that this recital will not be repeated as it was one of the most distinctive and well-performed concerts in the Festival. ”

“Earlier in the day, soprano Tammy Hensrud demonstrated, in a superb recital of Kurt Weill songs, that her turn as Jenny in “The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny” was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of her range as a performer. She began her well-chosen program with “Nana’s Lied,” an archetypal example of German cabaret. Perched on a stool, Hensrud moved fluidly between speaking and singing, maintaining a conversational delivery even through sustained melodic lines. Communicating the words was her priority, but her singing was unfailingly of the first order. I especially liked the astonishment she displayed in “Surabaya Johnny,” that she could still love the faithless, pipe-smoking cad in spite of all his abuse. And her last gasped, “Je ne t’aime pas,” concluding the song bearing that title, cut like a knife. ”

“Tammy Hensrud as Jenny Hill was terrific in the Alabama Song. ”

“Spoleto USA’s flashy big opera offering “Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny” rolled out Friday night at the Sottile Theatre, with exceptional production values, great voices and a a superb orchestra… …Soprano Tammy Hensrud portrayed Jenny Hill, the main Mahagonny “girl” with passion and an inevitable moral corruption. She…delivered the famous “Alabama Song” with great sensitivity. ”

“Spoleto’s strongest effort this year was in recreating Kurt Weill’s critique of greed, hedonism and capitalism, “The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny”….. The large cast was strong, capped by the Jimmy of Richard Brunner and the Jenny of Tammy Hensrud. ”

The Sound of Music

“…when Tammy Hensrud sang “Climb Every Mountain,” many patrons could be seen brushing away tears… ”

“As the Mother Abbess, Tammy Hensrud lends her powerful voice to the inspirational “Climb Every Mountain,” and provides a sense of spiritual grounding that enables her to counsel Maria so wisely. Along with a trio of nuns, she moves the charming “(How Do You Solve a Problem Like) Maria” into a spirited and affectionate debate. ”

“[Tammy Hensrud] effortlessly and powerfully hits that high note in “Climb Every Mountain ”

“And what voices they are. Tammy Hensrud, who plays the Mother Abbess, delivers a powerful rendition of “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” that will make you want to run barefoot up your own Everest. ”

I Capuleti e I Montecchi - Romeo

“As Romeo, Tammy Hensrud demonstrated not only excellent vocal technique but also remarkable acting abilities. ”

“In Tammy Hensrud we have a Romeo with remarkable acting ability and a very well aligned beautiful Mezzo voice. ”

“Bellini’s seldom staged Opera I Capuleti e I Montecchi is only justifiable when the two leading roles are cast with capable singers. This was certainly the case in the Klagenfurt Stadttheater; the historic lovers were excellently cast….Tammy Hensrud’s Mezzo-Soprano resonates warm and clear. With this singer…one also sees she is a natural actress. ”

Cenerentola - Angelina

“Above all performers is Tammy Hensrud’s portrayal of the fairytale Cinderella. It is especially she who was able to express Rossini’s coloratura in all registers of her voice with clarity and expression. Along with this we must say that this is a singer who is also a natural actress. ”

“Cenerentola was sung nobly and acted with much expression by Tammy Hensrud….She exhibits astounding vocal effects with the difficult Rossini coloratura and finishes the opera very impressively. ”

“The charming Tammy Hensrud shines not only through her voice but also her stage presence. Her portrayal of the title role (Cenerentola) is excellent….It is no wonder that the young Prince instantly falls in love with her. ”

“If Hensrud’s voice were in proportion to her size, she’d be about 30 feet tall. She shows excellent command of that voice, sending it soaring to the rafters when necessary and pulling off some difficult vocal gymnastics at the opera’s end. ”

The JEwel Box - the composer

“Most impressive of the singers in this production were…and Tammy Hensrud as Mozart, costumed to look like him and able to make her acting look natural. ”

“Mezzo-soprano Tammy Hensrud as the Composer sang with warmth and a firm sense of the vocal line. ”

“The Composer was performed as a trouser role by Tammy Hensrud who exhibited a lovely robust mezzo voice. Her interpretation of the beautiful ‘Vado ma dove?’ was excellent. ”

Concert Performances

“As soloist we must first name Tammy Hensrud, who reminds us through her flexible and expressive voice and acting of the young Anneliese Rothenberger. …She displayed a well focused and bell-clear voice (L’occasione fa il ladro). ”

“Tammy Hensrud was ideally cast as Eurydike. ”

“Tammy Hensrud as Eurydike…did a masterful job. (Carl Orff’s Antigonae in the Salzburg Elsenreitschule, Salzburger Sommerfest) ”

“Tammy Hensrud possesses a voice of substance, charm and a very clean coloratura technique. She sang Rosina from Rossini’s Barbiere coquette and with secure virtuosity. ”

“Also here we found highlights, such as Tammy Hensrud as Zerlina who through the flexibility of her voice and impressive stage presence came to the forefront. She showed this once more, above all in the aria of Desdemona from Rossini’s Otello. The Duet from Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Tammy Hensrud with Olaf Haye) brought the public to its feet. ”

“Ms. Hensrud gave a powerful reading of the [Virgil] Thompson… ”

Antigone - Eurydike

“Tammy Hensrud was ideally cast as Eurydike. ”

Tosca - Shepherd Boy

“And the Comprimari roles were well cast. Tammy Hensrud as the Shepherd Boy was certainly without a doubt appropriate in a Von Karajan performance. ”

Falstaff - Meg Page

“Mezzo Tammy Hensrud, as Meg Page, showed her voice to be richly colored and full-bodied throughout. ”

Il barbiere di Siviglia - Rosina

“The Mezzo Soprano is charming as Rosina and displays a beautiful warm voice capable of all necessary nuance and coloratura. ”

Albert Herring - Nancy

“Tammy Hensrud depicts a forceful Nancy, with a blossoming mezzo-soprano. ”

Le Nozze di Figaro - Cherubino

“Petite Tammy Hensrud, Cherubino, was a bright spot throughout the performance receiving generous applause after her aria ‘Non so piu cosa son, cosa faccio. ”

“Tammy Hensrud, a sure Cherubino… ”

“The pants-role of Cherubino was visually effective, while vocally Tammy Hensrud did as well as any mezzo can. Cherubino is only marginally possible to bring off vocally as a pubescent male. Hensrud’s ‘Non so piu cosa son’ was sung with excitedly hormonal conviction. ”

Sacco and Vanzetti - Elizabeth Glendower Evans

“[The] magnificent Rosa Sacco will go home with you, and that is true also of Tammy Hensrud’s Elizabeth Glendower Evans. ”

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