Carmen, Carmen Act III, Photo: Jim Caldwell, HGO


Her performance should start to be ranked as definitive.  – The Australian, Australia (on Firestone’s Carmen)

Firestone in the role is an “incredibly rare phenomenon” of a singer combining theatrical ability with musical precision. He compares working with her to the exhilaration directors must have felt working with Maria Callas. “It is one of the most extraordinary performances I’ve ever seen”.
– The Australian, Australia (Keith Warner, UK director, on Firestone’s Carmen)

She brings with her a reputation as one of the world’s great Carmens and it is hard to imagine a better performance than hers.– The Courier Mail, Australia

Adria Firestone enters the arena… The premiere on July 20, 1997 in Bellas Artes was a total success… Best of all was the performance of the USA mezzo soprano, Adria Firestone as Carmen. The singer showed herself to be a complete artist; in addition she is the possessor of a large, resonant voice, with body. During all of the opera she beautifully adorned the character with her dramatic and vocal gifts… The public gave an ovation to Firestone, who took the afternoon and converted it into the unforgettable. – El Economista, (E Z Morales) Mexico City 22 July ’97

Carmen, Carmen Act II, Photo: Ken Howard

Adria Firestone made of Carmen a history of love sung with a voice of fire…Of fire also was the ovation that the mezzo received from the public that filled the theater (Palacio de Bellas Artes) on Sunday afternoon. An applause that not ony acknowledged the singer, but also the actress and the dancer that come together in this American and that makes her interpretation of Bizet’s gypsy inhibit the fiction of the drama. – Reforma, Mexico City 22 July ’97

She snarls and stalks, she flits down three levels of scaffolding for her first entrance. She sings with power held in reserve to satisfy the demands of the last act. When imports deliver goods of this calibre, long may they mark the bench. The Bulletin, Australia 10 Oct ’95

A Wild New Carmen Firestone Gives Staging Its Flair.Los Angeles Times, USA April ’92


Carmen, Carmen Act I, Photo: Debra Hesser

Slim, with thick, curling black hair, her presence on stage was felt immediately. Firestone’s voice was big, lustrous and dark, with plenty of power and rich, even tone from top to bottom. – Newsday, New York USA

Spoleto, Italy – This year’s festival of Two Worlds included an often disconcerting Carmen, memorable for Adria Firestone’s infinitely provocative performance of the title role… – Opera News, Nov ’95

The key to the unfolding of Spoleto’s Carmen is mezzo-soprano Adria Firestone…who offers a memorable interpretation. Homogeneously velvet-voiced, very attractive, raven-haired – this singer, who knows how to dance and play the castanets very well, demonstrated with sure, undulating steps all of the sensuality, cruelty, fragility, knavery and the profound lust for freedom that composes a character both complex and fascinating. The result is that it is very difficult to conceive of a protagonist better suited to a production of Carmen that insists on “crazed love” and that continually emphasizes this character…as if she walked right out of the libretto. El Pais, Spain ’95


Dalila, Samson et Dalila, Act II Mon Coeur, Photo: William Long

I had missed Adria Firestone’s much admired 1995 Carmen for lyric Opera of Queensland, and was particularly looking forward to her Delilah; in the event, I was even more impressed than I had expected to be. . . not only does she have the ravishing good looks and slim figure to suit her for such roles to perfection, but she has a powerful, silky smooth mezzo, which she uses with great skill and musicality. – Opera Opera, Australia, June 97

Adria Firestone is, as to be expected, magnificent as Dalila. . . her singing is stunning. – Rave, Australia

Her voice is rich and versatile — we floated out of this world on her limpid rendering of the act to aria, Mon Coeur s’ouvre a ta voix. – Australian Financial Review, Australia, May 97

As Dalila, she is the most voluptuous creature imaginable, black waterfalls of hair, flashing eyes, and a, rich voice thrillingly language, but with an edge of steel.  When she sings that famous aria, Mon coeur s’ouvre a ta voix, her voice curls around Samson like a golden snake. – – – The Bulletin, Australia, May 97

Adria Firestone’s stunning Dalila dominates the production even more than did her Carmen two years ago.  A strong stage presence, considerable beauty and acting ability combine with a fine mezzo voice to bring life to a production that until her initial entrance was struggling. The Courier Mail, Australia, April 97

Saved by the belle. . . Adria Firestone is the best thing in Samson et Dalila just as she was the best thing in Carmen a couple of years ago. . . vixen-eyed and  exotic looking with long, wavy hair as black as original sin and a body with more dangerous curves than the Great Ocean Road, her Dalila flaunts everything she’s got. . . Firestone steals the show.Brisbane News, Australia May 97


Amneris, Aida, Act IV

Amneris, Aida, Act IV



Adria Firestone made a glamorous, vocally opulent Amneris, whose performance peaked in a tour-de-force judgment scene. – Opera News, USA Feb ’95

Adria Firestone is a wonderful Amneris.  Her voice has a bit of a hard age, but she more than compensates by having far and away the best stage presence.  Emotional and impetuous, yet thoroughly regal, one can only imagine that Radames would’ve had found marriage to Amneris more interesting on the long run than marriage to Aida — assuming, of course, that he didn’t mind the Egyptian equivalent of a toaster being hurled at him now and then.–  Gazette Telegraph, July ’93

Adria Firestone brings life and believable passion to a production distinguished by a dramatic unity difficult to achieve in a work split down the middle between private and political concerns.. . . and despite the fact that Amneris will  never be a candidate for the nice girl of the year award, Firestone manages the transition from selfishness to selflessness that makes her repentance and condemnation of ancient Egyptian justice wrenching. –  Boulder Daily Camera, July ’93



Santuzza, Cavalleria Rusticana, Photo: Patrick Pfister

Most extraordinary was the fiery Santuzza of Adria Firestone…she tore up the set, furiously involved, strong enough to dispatch her inadequate Turiddu with the flick of a high note. Opera News, USA July ’95


Adria Firestone, is out of the ordinary with fire in her soul, and a mezzo voice which only comes along once every ten years…with her exotic Latin beauty, her voice is powerful, with body, almost torrential, but with a soft color and timbre and an expressive sensuality that explains to me her triumphs in every house incarnating our immortal Carmen. A wild stage beast.– ABC de Sevilla, Spain Feb ’96

Candelas, El Amor Brujo, Photo: Debra Hesser

The mezzo-soprano Adria Firestone was a stupendous incarnation of the gypsy character Candelas. Here she showed her excellent dramatic qualities: she recited, she danced, and took maximum advantage of the brief time she had to exhibit her beautiful voice…Adria also intervened as the Grandmother in La Vida Breve, a totally opposite role to the first… handled with complete mastery. – Diario las Americas, USA Feb ’94


As Madame Flora, Adria Firestone reminds us again that the human voice is the most powerful, sensitive, flexible and profound of all instruments. In the role as The Medium, in Menotti’s two-act tragedy, hers is thrilling and chilling. To go with it is an acting portrayal of tremendous dimensions…– Tribune, USA July ’86


Baba, Menotti’s The Medium, Photo: Bill Scherer

…a superb performance…with lovely mezzo-soprano Adria Firestone giving a top-flight, chilling interpretation of the central rolePalm Beach Daily News, USA Nov ’80


Jerry Hadley, & Adria, San Diego Opera 1997 Photo: ML Hart

Doña Francisca de Matos, World Premiere, The Conquistador, by Myron Fink

Adria Firestone…a light in the darkness… – San Diego Union-Tribune, March ’97


Regina voices magnificent malevolence. It helps of course, that this production is so well acted by Adria Firestone who gives the title character an openly flirtatious, self-dramatizing quality that turns magnificently nasty when it needs to. . .Firestone’s repellent Regina is particularly watchable. Beckoning the other characters to her, her long fingers undulate like tentacles. And when she is in full Iago mode, declaring her contempt for meekness and her lust for wealth and power (“the things I could do with things,” she sings, her mouth almost watering), her snarling, wolverine-like countenance is positively frightening. – The Tennessean 2001 Nashville Opera


The Witch, Hansel & Gretel, Photo: Ken Howard

Adria Firestone as Regina recalls the Elizabeth Taylor of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? An accomplished actress as well as singer, Firestone has a sensuous beauty and intimidating charisma onstage that invites comparisons with the legendary older actress. And she has a big, rich, subtly expressive voice that she uses with comparable versatility.
– Nashville Scene 2001


World Premiere by Chester Biscardi & Henry Butler
Adria Firestone was stunning vocally and visually…
Opera News, Jan ’86



Comments on this entry are closed.