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Olympia/Antonia Giulietta

8th Dec 2016

Olympia/Antonia/Giulietta/Stella- Hoffmann’s Tales 2015
Ilona Domnich, a peaches and cream soprano with a secure coloratura technique, effortlessly pulls off the considerable feat of singing all three of Hoffmann’s loves, equally assured as the consumptive Antonia, the seductress Giulietta and the twittering robot Olympia Telegraph, Rupert Christiansen

Ilona Domnich has a gorgeous lustre to her voice and gave us some exquisitely tapered and elegant phrasing. She coped well with the high coloratura in the ‘Doll’ aria. Her transformations into the fragile but doomed Antonia and the beguiling Giulietta were better where she gave us some ravishing singing. What’s onstage

As the multiple heroines, Ilona Domnich seems most at home as a poisonously sensuous Giulietta; her creamy tone makes for a more warm-blooded-than-usual Olympia and an ardent, impetuous Antonia. The artdesk

And this is where Ilona Domnich, who sings all three heroines, is at her best, finding all the role’s melancholy and singing with a really pure sweetness; she’s a touching performer, even if the voice is not the biggest. The show is performed in English, but Domnich is allowed to sing Antonia’s delicately sad song ‘Elle a fui, la tourterelle’ in French, which rather makes you wish for more. Robert Thickness

Ilona Domnich brought an admirable technique and a clear sense of character to the four heroines. Here I suspect that the film-era references helped even if we did not always pick them up, so that Domnich gave us four clearly different women, each more an archetype than a rounded character, as they are all aspects of the one. Olympia was brilliantly staged, the doll was a clearly mechanical puppet, all light and wires, manipulated by Domnich and two other cast members, whilst Domnich sang and then for certain moments the stage flooded with the pink light from Hoffmann’s rose-tinted spectacles and Domnich played the doll, showing us what he was seeing. Vocally, Domnich is a lyric soprano whose voice is developing, but she still has the notes and flexibility for Olympia. Antonia was flutteringly appealing, with a lovely sense of style in the arias. Giulietta, channelling Dietrich I think, was sexy yet unreachable with the tessitura of the role showing no problems to Domnich. In the Epilogue, Stella looked the epitome of fur clad sophistication and sang in the ensembles. Robert Hugill

There is certainly no hint that part of Domnich’s mind is focused on operating the puppet as her voice reveals sweetness, lightness and exquisite precision. Sam smith Ilona Domnich has a gorgeous lustre to her voice and gave us some exquisitely tapered and elegant phrasing. Seen and heard internationally

Last to appear, but, as the lead soprano, I feel the centre of any opera, Ilona Domnich delivers all three of Hoffmann’s femme fatales – the led light-ribboned robot Olympia, the tragic singer Antonia caught in a Grand Guignol nightmare and the cruel courtesan Giuletta, who has powers to provoke murder. Domnich is particularly impressive in her puppetry skills (while singing, natch) in a laboratory that owed a little to Frank n Furter and a lot to Fritz Lang, but tremendous in the other roles too, a presence that commanded the stage at all times, without ever dominating with her supercharged soprano voice. It’s a finely judged performance of three very different women (though each are actually different elements of the transcedent Stella), each of whom has plenty enough to capture the heart of Hoffmann. Broadway world

Domnich has the multiple heroines well within her vocal grasp, though Bonas gives her too little to do in the Olympia scenes, and she only comes into her own as Antonia, whose terrors she conveys with disturbing conviction. Guardian

Hoffmann’s lovers are played by the exquisite Ilona Domnich, whose trilling, silvery voice flits prettily about the stage as the skeletal automaton sets about enchanting Hoffmann. Big issue The real-person love is Stella, here Hoffmann’s leading lady (as Greta Garbo might have been), and manifestations of her appear in the various Tales as respectively Olympia, Antonia and Giulietta, all four superbly acted and stylishly sung by Ilona Domnich. Classical source

Mimi, La boheme

8th Nov 2016

Mimi, La Boheme 2015

‘Ilona Domnich’s Mimi: intelligently-scales, soaring singing especially in the 3rd act..’o mia vita’ hit home hard. Her performance of this act was one of the most harrowing I’ve experienced.’ Opera

‘Set within this hard-edged realism the fragile love between Mimi and Rodolfo seems like water springing from a desert. It is beautifully expressed, too, in the singing of Ilona Domnich and David Butt Philip. The Russian soprano has a lovely lyrical legato, and her portrayal of a Mimi exhausted but proud is touching from first to last. ‘ The Times

‘Ms Domnich herself developed Mimi’s character from subdued coquettishness to gaiety, anxiety and death – a beautiful performance by an extraordinarily attractive singer. But the emotionally gripping moments were the preserve of David Butt Philip and Ilona Domnich as Rodolfo and Mimi. These are singers who could fill the larger auditoriums in London, and as the ETO tours smaller theatres around the country the visceral impact of their performance is not to be missed.’ Mark Ronan

‘The highlight of La bohème is, of course, Puccini’s superb writing for the lovers at its heart. Ilona Domnich was a moving, engaging, and playful Mimì, trembling with emotion, fully alive to the beauty of the world and of Puccini’s music. Her phrasing exquisitely judged, her acting faultless, Domnich was a treat throughout: her warm, lyrical and utterly distinctive soprano seemed perfect for Mimì. Her masterful performance makes this production worth seeing for Domnich alone.’ Bachtrack

‘While Ilona Domnich is an absolutely enchanting Mimi, spot on vocally and plausibly frail and near to death in the icy cold of the Barrière d’Enfer. Telegraph

‘Ilona Domnich brings genuine fragility to Mimì and gives her a clean, lyrical line.’ Guardian

‘The doomed heroine herself is sung by Ilona Domnich, whose beguiling Mélisande was such a revelation. And Mimì suits her just as well: indeed, few recent sopranos have captured the dying woman’s emotional and physical frailty with such devastating fullness. Yet throughout her character’s suffering Domnich’s stylish intonation and carefully considered vocal colours remain faultless.’ What’sOnStage

Magda, La Rondine

8th Oct 2016

Magda, La Rondine Puccini 
‘.. Central to the strength and credibility of this performance was soprano Ilona Domnich, who gave Magda a depth of character that had elements of Verdi’s tragic Violetta from La Traviata, in that she must sacrifice her true love, and also of Strauss’s Marschallin from Rosenkavalier, the older woman facing up to inevitable loss. Making Ruggero’s hope for children the necessary end to Magda’s deception, the stumbling block of her own romantic dream, Domnich’s creamy soprano was artfully delivered, carrying real emotional validity right to the final poignant high farewell.. ‘The Guardian, Rian Evans, Monday 9th June

‘.. At its heart is Magda, played by Ilona Domnich as a sensuous, elegant woman with plenty of mystery and conspiratorial charm (inspired in Occhipinti’s production by the outrageous Marchesa Luisa Casati). A magnetic presence, Domnich sings with passion and skilled lyricism. She uses the power of stillness to suggest a character with a rich internal life living out her ultimate fantasy, balanced with the kinetic energy of a consummate actress who almost fools herself into believing her assumed role. An expert seducer consciously allowing herself to be seduced, Magda uses Ruggero to fall in love with love again. There is something both touchingly desperate and coldly deliberate about the way Magda pursues him; yet, when her fantasy threatens to become reality, the complexity of her sorrow is truly moving. Magda plays with fire, and does not escape unscorched; we both love and pity Domnich. Puccini’s wonderful catalyst for his finale, the letter of congratulation (from Ruggero’s mother), is agonisingly cruel, as are the bells that chime softly in the background as Ruggero hopelessly begs Magda to stay: bells are the ultimate Italian emotional shorthand for homecoming, campanilismo, which Ruggero represents, but which Magda cannot endure.. ‘The Bachtrack, Charlotte Valori 17th June

‘.. Oliver Gooch conducts the excellent Chroma ensemble and a well-chosen cast, led by the creamy-voiced Ilona Domnich, who sings with ravishing sensuality and warmth as the flighty titular courtesan (La Rondine means “the swallow”).The Telegraph, Rupert Christiansen, 11th June

‘.. As the heroine Magda (‘the swallow’ of the title), Ilona Domnich compensated for the role’s lack of development with a sphinx-like self-possession, the kept woman who intuitively knows the extent to which she controls and is controlled, and her powerful soprano exuded a sense of glamorous resignation her contribution to ‘Chi il bel sogno’ had the audience itching to applaud. ‘Classic source, Peter reed, 10th June

‘.. Magda, played by the young Russian-born singer Ilona Domnich, was outstanding. There was an intelligence and depth to her performance which made her potentially creaky decision to leave Ruggero and return to her wealthy patron almost inevitable. Ruggero himself was played by James Edwards – another powerful singer with a gloriously rich voice. Both, I am sure, are destined for great things. Their final scene together at the end of Act III was a real emotional tour de force; there were, no doubt, more than a few of us wiping our eyes by the end of it.’The Fine Times Recorder , DG, 17th June

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