THE METROPOLITAN OPERA , IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA 2017 , BERTA
" PROMISING DEBUT "
And there was a promising debut by the chocolaty mezzo Karolina Pilou , in the tiny role of the housekeeper , Berta .
ZACHARY WOOLFE , NEW YORK TIMES
Karolina Pilou made a strong debut , showing a bitter edge as Berta .
ERIC SIMPSON , NEW YORK CLASSICAL REVIEW
PROMISING DEBUT "
And in a promising Met debut , the Greek mezzo Karoina Pilou is Berta , Dr. Bartolo's housekeeper , and sings her aria "Il vecchiotto cerca moglie " with verve and confidence . "
WILBORN HAMPRON , HUFFINGTON POST
...THIS MEZZO HAS A BIG FUTURE "
As Berta , the Met audience was in for a treat . Karolina Pilou , who was making her Met debut , has a voice with an attractive color that could easily cover the rest of the cast . However, she made sure to blend well with the rest of the cast in the large ensemble . But it was in her short aria that one could see that this mezzo has a big future and will be given more than these smaller roles in seasons to come .
FRANCISCO SALAZAR , OPERA WIRE
" EXPANSIVE TONE "
In her Met debut as the maid Berta , Karolina Pilou offered an expansive tone underserved by her single aria .
CHRISTOPHER BROWNER , CLASSICAL SOURCE
" ...NATURALLY GRACED WITH FLUIDITY AND AGILITY "
Often sung by an older mezzo, Karolina Pilou played a youthful Berta and really showed off her acting chops. She was always in character. I kept my eye on her through my binoculars every time she was on stage. She filled the space with her big voice, which is naturally graced with fluidity and agility. She also made her vocal presence forcefully felt in the ensembles, in which she really delivered.
ALLEGRI CON FUOCO
" CHARMING COMPANY DEBUT "
Karolina Pilou made a charming company debut in the often overlooked role of Bartolo’s housekeeper Berta.
PAUL DU QUENOY , CONCERTONET
Marquise de Berkenfield , La Fille du Régiment Prelude to Performance 2015
“ Eminently ready for prime time ”
Of the singers involved in this light comedy […] two of the character performers sounded eminently ready for prime time.As the busybody aunt of the orphan, Karolina Pilou revealed a booming contralto and a larger-than-life campy sense of the absurd. She has the natural comedian’s gift of being able to take a gag almost over the top without ever wearing out her welcome with the audience. This is a major personality who will go far. Matching her shtick for shtick was bass-baritone Jacopo Buora as the irascible Sergeant Sulpice. What’s more, he (like Ms. Pilou) boasted suave French diction both in song and in spoken dialogue.
James Jorden , Observer
“ Majestic Marquise ”
[…] Karolina Pilou’s majestic Marquise. Pilou wielded her monumental mezzo to winning comic and dramatic effect, and she boasted the most idiomatic French in the cast.
Joanne Sydney Lessner , Opera News
“ A delight ”
Karolina Pilou was a delight as the Marquise de Berkenfield, her rich, expressive expansive mezzo and comic antics caught every eye and ear. One could not help but yield to her vocal and histrionic charms.
Nino Pantano , Brooklyn Daily Eagle
“ Impeccable sense of comic timing ”
Marie is the long-lost illegitimate daughter of the Marquise de Berkenfield. One could not imagine a better performance than that of Karolina Pilou, endowed with a very substantial mezzo and an impeccable sense of comic timing.
Meche Kroop , Voce di Meche
Loft Opera , Verdi in Concert , Summer Sessions 2015 Amneris (Aida) and Federica (Luisa Miller) scenes
“ Massive , sinfully rich voice ”
Cream of the as-always rich crop of LoftOpera artists was Karolina Pilou, a statuesque mezzo with a massive, sinfully rich voice.
James Jorden , Observer
“ Engrossing rendition ”
As Federica, the mezzo-soprano Karolina Pilou demonstrated a lovely, plummy lower range in the Act I scene from “Luisa Miller” where Rodolfo (the bright-voiced tenor Dominick Rodriguez) rejects her for another woman. The two also joined forces for an engrossing rendition of Scene I, Act IV from “Aida.”
Vivien Schweitzer , New York Times
“ Pilou was magnificent as Amneris ”
The climax of the evening was achieved in the opening duet of Act IV of Aida. Pilou was magnificent as Amneris who attempts to win Radames’ love and save his life. Rodriguez gave a great portrayal of a defiant Radames, who remains stalwartly loyal to the fugitive Aida. Both singers fully embraced their characters and the scene.
Arlo McKinnon , Opera News
“ One suspects she could blast the house down if she cared to ”
Pilou is a big woman with a voice of near-contralto grandeur, though high notes do not unsettle her. The instrument is deep but subtle, full of curious pastel colors that she wielded cleverly to imply her yearning for Rodrigo’s love and her rage when he speaks of another woman. She did not drown him out, either—mind you, Rodriguez might take some singing over—though one suspects she could blast the house down if she cared to. (Ortrud, anyone?)
Their second selection was the confrontation that opens Act IV of Aida, and you know I was muttering—everyone was muttering—“Finish it. Just sing the whole scene. We’ll sing the priests.” But they concluded with Radames’ exit to be waterboarded. […] Pilou, in contrast, was entirely controlled, a true Amneris sound, wonderful serene dark phrases and a very slow build to indicate the furies beneath. This scene (with what follows) demonstrates why the opera should be named Amneris, and a great Amneris can easily steal the show. Pilou understood—all four singers understood—the personality of the characters they were playing, the text, the nuances, the way a melody should be shaped to the mercurial changes of active debate.
John Yohalem , Parterre Box
“ The dramatic demands on her voice thrilled the listener ”
Mezzo-soprano Karolina Pilou was set against tenor Dominick Rodriguez in scenes from Luisa Miller and Aida, and both blossomed beneath the demands of the music. Pilou’s first scene from Luisa Miller was pleasing, with her round and present lower voice, but in the scenes from Aida, the dramatic demands on her voice thrilled the listener. Her high notes were powerful without ever bordering on shrill, and her steady stage presence suggested all the gravity of a princess wronged.
Alexis Rodda , OPERA TODAY
VERTICAL PLAYER REPERTORY , PACINI'S "MALVINA DI SCOZIA" (Morna)
like any good Amneris, she seemed quite capable of stealing the whole show
...the massive contralto of Karolina Pilou as the neglected Princess Morna. Pilou, singing despite a touch of flu, stopped the show with a huge double aria (over two octaves in range) and much flashy ornament, all this expressing her delight in her forthcoming nuptials before Arturo even comes in. It’s all downhill from there, but like any good Amneris, she seemed quite capable of stealing the whole show with her rage and reconciliation moments, and the duet between the two ladies, exploiting the contrasts of their voices (“Mira, O Morna” –that isn’t what it’s called but I couldn’t resist) was especially charming. "
John Yohalem , Parterre >
..Pilou whose voice, once heard, will not be forgotten nor will it be duplicated
And the singing!!! A fine cast was assembled and we were most impressed with the memorable dramatic mezzo-soprano of Karolina Pilou whose voice, once heard, will not be forgotten nor will it be duplicated. In a world of cookie-cutter voices, it is a treat to hear a unique timbre like this one. Ms. Pilou portrayed Morna, who gets to be noble in her compassion, as she spares the life of Malvina, the woman with whom her intended has bonded
Meche Kroop, Voce di Meche
" She has a chesty sound and an agility that are truly mesmerizing "
"The arrival of mezzo soprano Karolina Pilou late in the first act took the evening to a whole other level. She has a chesty sound and an agility that are truly mesmerizing. Her wonderful instrument sounds like a velvety plum, with such an effortless purity and fluidity and the overall effect of enveloping the listener in an hypnotic liquid. Singing the role of Morna, the betrothed of the prince, she had enough to do over the course of the evening to keep me thoroughly plugged in. Her opening cavatina Fra lo splendore e i cantici, where Morna sings her love, joy and excitement of marrying Arturo, was one of the highlights of the evening. In the romanza Stella nemica e infausta Pilou displayed more heart wrenching dramatic colors. After having discovered her at a LoftOpera event last fall, it was a pleasure to hear her take on something even meatier. She is a singer to watch out for."
Lei & Lui , Allegri con Fuoco
"scene-stealing, earthy voiced "
"Meanwhile, the baritone (a fierce Benjamin Bloomfield as Arturo, heir to the throne) and contralto (a scene-stealing, earthy-voiced Karolina Pilou as Morna, his arranged bride) get to tear things up quite nicely"
Richard Sasanow , Broadway World
Mistress Quickly , Falstaff Mannes Opera 2011
I was especially taken with the warm Mezzo of Karolina Pilou, as Mistress Quickly.
Glenn Loney, New York Theater Wire
Azucena , Il Trovatore English Opera Singers 2009
“ Stunning dramatic delivery with seemingly effortless intensity ”
The revelation of the evening was Greek mezzo Karolina Pilou as the gypsy Azucena. This is possibly opera's most vengeful character - it is only in the final seconds it becomes clear she has spent her entire life raising the baby son of her sworn enemy into adulthood in order to watch him die and repay her mother's murder. Pilou's stunning dramatic delivery with seemingly effortless intensity throughout her wide range leaves her character's final victory in no doubt.