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Review

The Pearl Fishers / Lyric Opera of Chicago

Last heard as Donna Anna in Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” to begin Lyric’s 2014-15 season, Rebeka sang luminously as the ethereal Leila, tracing the delicate coloratura of her Act 1 aria with an attractively silvery timbre that took on rich colorations in her middle and lower registers."

Marina Rebeka was a fitting and fully understandable object of desire as Leïla, the alluring pivot of this Ceylonese romantic triangle … the Latvian soprano brought tonal refinement and flexible singing to the role. Rebeka was at her best in a lovely rendering of Leïla’s Act II cavatina “Comme autrefois dans la nuit sombre” and duly impassioned with Polenzani in the ensuing love duet.”

Lawrence A. Johnson – Chicago Classical Review

“Sung from a bed strewn with rose petals, Rebeka’s bravura rendering of Leila’s long and ardor-driven aria (“Comme autrefois dans la nuit sombre“) was magnificent, ideally capturing her enduring passion for Nadir, which is then fully realized in the pair’s erotically charged duet (“Léïla! Léïla!…Dieu puissant, le voilà!“).

The feverish urgency Rebeka brought to the dishonored goddess’ plea to Zurga to show mercy for her beloved Nadir, while offering up her own life instead, was masterful, and made it clear why Zurga’s jealousy was only inflamed.”

Hedy Weiss – Chicago Sun-Times

“Rebeka’s rich voice and warm colors gave Leïla nuances other artists can miss, especially in her opening aria (‘Dans le ciel’). Her clarity, exemplary style, and attention to the score drew rapt attention from the audience. She also added subtle touches, as in the sustained piano at the end of the line ‘Et mon chant léger, ainsi qu’un oiseau semble voltiger’ (and my delicate song seems to hover like a bird). Rebeka was particularly moving at the opening of the third act, pleading for Nadir’s life and inciting Zurga’s jealousy. Dramatically defiant, she was also vocally powerful when she cursed Zurga and vowed her eternal love for Nadir (‘Et je l’aime à jamais!’).”

James L. Zychowicz – Seen and Heard International

“The gem of this production is, of course, the Latvian soprano Marina Rebeka (Leïla), who first demonstrated her portrayal of this vibrant character in 2014 at the Zurich Opera House. Characterized by Director Freud as a singer with “extraordinary vocal dexterity and theatrical flair”, in her role of Leïla Rebeka demonstrates even more of her vocal mastery and careful, yet confident approach to each note. The glorious beauty of her voice, face, figure and the artistry with which she performs this role will sure enough leave unforgettable memories in the heart of every audience member.”

Chicago Patch

“Soprano Marina Rebeka is a splendid Leïla, drawing bold distinctions between the young woman who presents herself to the world as remote and pious and the young woman who is passionately in love with Nadir. She has brilliant sound at the top and a pleasing fullness throughout her range.”

M. L. Rantala – Hyde Park Herald