In an article in the Vancouver Sun, David Gordon Duke reviews Vancouver Opera’s production of Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette (production continuing until December 3rd, 2011) staring UBC Opera alumni Simone Osborne. Below are excerpts from the article.
Beyond willingness to explore an increasingly neglected byway of the repertoire, the best single reason for this particular revival is as a showcase for Canadian soprano Simone Osborne, making her Vancouver Opera Debut in the role of Juliette. Osborne’s career was launched in 2008 with a resounding success at the Metropolitan Opera auditions; in recent seasons she’s been heard in roles with Toronto’s Canadian Opera Company.
For a young singer in the early dawn of her career, the role of Juliette might almost seem to be typecasting; Osborne’s boisterous girlishness in Act One seems appropriate and natural. But vocally, Juliette is anything but an ingenue. The composer demands a soprano with both agility, good top notes, and considerable dramatic range. Osborne acquits herself admirably, achieving her personal best in her grand Act Four soliloquy.
Is this one of Vancouver Opera’s memorable hits? That call will depend on one’s perspective. If only as the vehicle that brought Simone Osborne back to Vancouver, it should stay in our collective memory for some considerable time.