“The quartet was joined by soprano Uliana Alexyuk who made quite an impression as a last minute replacement Gilda in Houston Opera’s production of Rigoletto in January. She negotiated the role’s difficulties with ease and her more lyric voice smoothed out the piping that pepper the performances of many lighter-voiced coloraturas. My review is here. She was every bit as impressive in her selections with the St. Petersburg, in graceful adaptations by Aleksey Aronov. From Glinka’s groundbreaking opera, Ruslan and Ludmila, she sang Ludmila’s aria “Ah ty, dolya-dolushka.” Next came three songs by Rachmaninoff: “Margaritki,” “Daisies” and the best known of the bunch, “Ne poi, krasavitsa, pri mne.” She closed with Alyabiev’s “The Nightingale.” In all of these selections, she spun out a silken vocal thread that ran through every note and connected all of the phrases internally as well as with each other. The Russian diction, which is not as favorable to such legato singing (as say, Italian), did not give her the slightest pause. Admittedly, this is her language, but that alone cannot explain the legato core at the center of her voice. No, that is pure technical mastery combined with a stunning natural gift. It is like a moving stream into which she launches note after note and phrase after phase. This is not to imply that she lacks power or the ability to dramatically drive the voice when that is required. But even here, it is the connecting line that separates her from other singers.”
-Gregory Sullivan Isaacs
Read whole article here
“Earlier in the opera, back when she was still alive, the Gilda created by Uliana Alexyuk, is vocally amazing. She was a last-minute replacement, borrowed from the cast of The Passenger, which means she sang multiple shows on adjacent days. Consider the challenges presented of singing such diametrically separated roles in two operas that couldn’t be more different. But Gilda is a perfect fit at this stage of her career (and maybe always). The coloratura flights that Verdi wrote for the role are sung like shivers of the exhilaration of first love, rather than showoffy cadenzas. She sings the role so effortlessly, and in such a natural manner, that it’s easy to forget all about of its difficulties.”
-Gregory Sullivan Isaacs
“Soprano Uliana Alexyuk captured Gilda’s sweetness, ardor and vulnerability with her voice’s changing shades, from silky to vibrant to hushed. Alexyuk, a member of Houston Grand Opera Studio, stepped into the role late in rehearsals, replacing Elizabeth Zhdanoff; nevertheless, she dovetailed with the rest of the cast.”
“Alexyuk, poignantly charming as doomed Ivette in The Passenger, has a voice like glass: transparent and crystalline. It cuts through the orchestra and still manages to run up and down the scales with frightening agility and clarity. Her famous coloratura showstopper, Caro nome,” (“Sweet name”) is her apotheosis to first love, a giddy song from her young heart.”
– D.L. Grover
“Uliana Alexyuk, filling in for an indisposed Elizabeth Zharoff, conquered the vocal and dramatic complexities of Gilda. Already impressive in the small role of Ivette in the concurrent run of Weinberg’s The Passenger, Alexyuk’s easy coloratura and commanding stage presence were gratefully allowed to give full flight. If her earliest passages showed the slightest hint of nerves, her exquisite delivery of “Caro nome,” enthusiastically received by the audience, allowed her to blossom in the second and third acts. Indeed her vocal quivers and hesitant pacing at the door of Sparafucile’s inn were spine-chilling.”
-Marcus Karl Maroney
“Il ruolo di Gilda è stato reso in maniera adeguata dal soprano ucraino Uliana Alexyuk: fragile e vulnerabile nella sua caratterizzazione, dopo un inizio un po’ freddo è cresciuta in intensità fino alla sua aria “Caro nome”, in cui ha mostrato coloratura, flessibilità e luminosità vocale.”
-Carlo Rosas T.
Houston Grand Opera has chosen Uliana as one of their three new singers in its training program, HGO Studio. She joins two pianists also in the program next season. HGO received applications from 641 aspiring performers, and its staff heard more than 200 of them in auditions in Houston, New York, Philadelphia, Cincinnati and San Francisco. The five taken into the program will join seven returning from last season. Uliana will sing as her first role the part of Ida and the cover of Adele in J. Strauss’ Die Fledermaus: hopefully this will be only the first of many roles to come at the Texas opera house. Read more here
There were strong performances from the cast with Soile Isokoski as Ariadne, Kate Lindsey as the composer, Ulyana Aleksyuk as Zerbinetta, Sergey Skorokhodov as Bacchus, Thomas Allen as the music master, Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke as the dancing master and Dmitri Vargin as Harlequin with the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vladimir Jurowski. …
Aleksyuk displayed great charm as Zerbinetta, performing with great poise despite a rather revealing costume….
Aleksyuk was simply brilliant as Zerbinetta, coping with the elaborate coloratura and using it for the director’s purpose.”
Read the entire article here
Ulyana made an earlier-than-expected debut at the English festival this last Thursday, jumping in for an ailing colleague. She sang her debut with aplomb and had one commenter on The Spectator commenting:
“Ulyana Aleksyuk stood in for the indisposed Claycomb and looked astonishing – if ENSA really had performers like her they’d have had to put bromide in the tea of the troops in large quantities. Given the short notice she apparently had Ms Aleksyuk performed really well …”
“Whilst one must wish Laura Claycomb an alacritous recovery, her replacement Ulyana Aleksyuk gave a breath-taking Glyndebourne début as Zerbinetta, performing the role with all the coquettishness and coloratura agility required of an infamously difficult part.”
More pictures to come soon!