Marie

Of the singers, natural inclination leads us first to Lisette Oropesa, the silvery-voiced Marie, a world-renowned young soprano who already has over 100 performances with the Metropolitan Opera under her belt, and who last night presented more than adequate proof of her well-earned reputation. Lithe, lovely and agile, she was a delight throughout - vocally, visually, and histrionically. In addition to a remarkable voice of thrilling loveliness, she possesses outstanding talent as a comedienne. In the ballet lesson of Act Two, decked out in a flowing, billowy ballerina costume – and the combat boots she wore in Act One – her achievements were on a par with Lucille Ball’s attempt at learning the classical art of dance in the “I Love Lucy” episode we’ve all seen in reruns fifty times or more. In the pretty arias and ensemble numbers alike, her astonishing flights of coloratura were charmingly delightful. For a brief moment at the beginning of Act One, it seemed as if she might have a slight bit of difficulty in smoothly gliding down from her more florid flights, but this quickly disappeared, and she went on to create quite a sensation which was tumultuously approved by the audience at every opportunity.

The Pittsburgh Stage
May 3, 2015
George B. Parous

The ultimate star of the show, though, is Oropesa, an American soprano who is making her Lyric debut. An innate physical comedian with a comfortable, compelling stage presence, she is a complete natural as Marie.

Oropesa has a supple, agile soprano voice, with a winningly honest and direct style. Seemingly unfazed by the vocal or physical demands of this role, this indefatigable singer handles its legendary coloratura with eye-opening ease and aplomb. Expect to see Oropesa back as soon as Lyric can re-sign her.

Chicago Sun Times
Nov. 5, 2023
Kyle MacMillan

La fille du régiment

Lisette Oropesa
Nov. 1, 2023
Lyric Opera of Chicago
Lisette Oropesa
Nov. 1, 2023
Lyric Opera of Chicago

Oropesa, who dominated the recent WNO production of “The Marriage of Figaro” as Suzanna, does so again as the foundling Marie, displaying not only marvelous, trilling and thrilling singing chops, but also a gamine comedic touch that reminds one of silent-movie clowns. She’s athletic and not afraid of slapstick, and she even has to pretend to sing badly, always a neat trick for a superb singer.

The Georgetowner
Nov. 14, 2016
Gary Tischler

The role of Marie was sung by Baton Rouge soprano Lisette Oropesa on opening night, and she was perfect in this role so closely associated with Beverly Sills and Dame Joan Sutherland. She sang flawless runs and coloratura, acted in the humorous tradition of Carol Burnett, moved like a prima ballerina, and used vocal coloring for best emotional effect. Her pianissimo, crescendo and decrescendo were breathtaking. Clearly, Oropesa is a rising star of opera.

Washington Jewish Week
Nov. 17, 2016
Arnold Saltzman
Lisette Oropesa and Lawrence Brownlee
Nov. 1, 2023
Lyric Opera of Chicago

First there are the leads. Grabbing every scene by the short and curlies is an insuppressible Lisette Oropesa, singing her Marie with technical fabulousness and beautifully-toned buoyancy. If she veers a tad close to the chronically-cheerful tradition of Julie Andrews, she offsets it with some great physical comedy. 

Metro Weekly
Nov. 17, 2016
Kate Wingfield

For her own part, Oropesa’s Marie lacked neither virtuosity nor personality. With solid high notes, accurate coloratura and an endless supply of golden-age trills (I stopped counting after five), this endearing artist ran a vocal marathon that might have paralleled the physical feat she was preparing to run in Pittsburgh Marathon the next morning. Apparently untiring, she looked and sounded as fresh at the opera’s conclusion as she had been at her first entrance. With strikingly clear diction, she negotiated with facility not just the role’s vocal fireworks, but also the legato and tenderness of Marie’s slower solos, known in the original French as “Il faut partir” and “Par le rang.” 

Opera News
Aug. 1, 2015
Robert Croan

All the vocal performances impress, but none more so than Lisette Oropesa as Marie, the title character. Oropesa is in complete command throughout. Her coloratura is both delicate and precise, and equally as impressive, she makes the high notes demanded by the role seem easy. While it’s hard to point to any particular moment, her rendition of “Par le Rang”—one of the better known arias from this opera—was strikingly effortless and fluid. And her virtuosity is matched only by the joy she brings to the role with her acting and movement.

DC Theatre Scene
Nov. 14, 2016
Dante Atkins
Lisette Oropesa
Nov. 1, 2023
Michael Brosilow
Lisette Oropesa and Lawrence Brownlee
Nov. 1, 2023
Lyric Opera of Chicago
Lisette Oropesa and Lawrence Brownlee
Nov. 1, 2023
Lyric Opera of Chicago
Lisette Oropesa
Nov. 1, 2023
Michael Brosilow

Oropesa has sung Marie before — opposite Brownlee, no less, including a 2016 Washington National Opera production now famous for Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s cameo appearance as the Duchess of Crakentorp. Gawky and tomboyish, Oropesa’s Marie owns “Régiment’s” most hilarious and most vocally sublime moments. Oropesa’s coloratura stylings have a sturdy backbone, easily carrying over the orchestra and through the hall. Her upper register is tenacious, too — twice in this staging, Oropesa has to hit high notes while being hoisted in the air by castmates. Hearing her, one would never guess she was being tossed around like a Raggedy Ann doll while slugging out Ds above the staff.

 

But like Brownlee, Oropesa’s very best moments get bundled in balladic arias. Act 1′s “Il faut partir” and Act 2′s “Par le rang et par l’opulence,” in which Marie grieves leaving her beloved regiment behind, melt in the ear and pierce the heart. Later, she heralds their reunion with a gleaming “Quand le destin.”

Chicago Tribune
Nov. 6, 2023
Hannah Edgar
Lisette Oropesa and Ronnita Miller
Nov. 1, 2023
Lyric Opera of Chicago
Lisette Oropesa
Nov. 1, 2023
Michael Brosilow

Oropesa does not have a big sound, but her limpid tone and elegant phrasing pay dividends. This is especially true in "Il faut partir," Marie's Act 1 aria of farewell to Tonio after learning that she must leave him and the regiment to follow her new-found aunt. (The opera is performed in the original French; Ginsburg said her lines in English.)

The soprano is a natural comic actress, too. She has particular fun in the second act, when Marie, pushed to hone high-society ways, makes a mess of singing and dancing lessons.

Baltimore Sun
Nov. 15, 2016
Tim Smith
Lisette Oropesa and Lawrence Brownlee
Nov. 1, 2023
Lyric Opera of Chicago

Lisette Oropesa (one of two Maries performing the role during the production’s run) is equally strong, handling the wide dramatic range of the character from the comic music lesson, to the starkly beautiful “Par le rang et l’opulence” when left alone in the chateau. This moment is heightened by subtle and sensitive lighting shifts in Mark McCullough’s design. Oropesa’s control in her upper register is particularly dazzling.

MD Theatre Guide
Nov. 15, 2016
Chris Williams

Soprano Lisette Oropesa's Marie was a triumph at the Benedum Center, utterly winning in both the role's vocal challenges and the physical demands of Curran's staging. Her voice is wonderfully suited to the role, warm and rounded in tone but also pure, and sparkling in coloratura. “The Song of the Regiment” started with a lovely vocal flourish, then proceeded with irresistible elan.

Oropesa proved a master of physical comedy throughout, especially in a dance lesson Curran interpolates during the orchestra entr'acte after intermission. In the first act, we meet Tonio, Marie's guy, who joins the regiment to be with her. But at the end of that act the Marquise of Berkenfeld claims Marie as her “niece.”

The second act takes place at the castle of the Marquise, who is providing Marie with lessons to add refinement appropriate for an arranged aristocratic marriage. The choreography for the four dancers gives Marie klutzy moves right out of a routine by Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. Oropesa offered a perfect lesson in comic gestures and timing.

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
May 3, 2015
Mark Kanny
Lisette Oropesa
Nov. 1, 2023
Michael Brosilow

The title role of Marie, the regimental “daughter”, proved a winsome vehicle for Louisiana lyric coloratura soprano Lisette Oropesa. The role of Marie encompasses both light-hearted coloratura fireworks and highly emotional legato passages. Oropesa navigated the challenging role brilliantly.

Oropesa’s second act aria Par le rang et par l’opulence was one of the many high points of her performance. That aria, whose descending melodies seem to foreshadow later masterpieces of Giuseppe Verdi, the younger composer whom Donizetti mentored, was performed with exquisite sensibility and style.

Opera Warhorses
Nov. 20, 2016
William Burnett
Lisette Oropesa
Nov. 1, 2023
Michael Brosilow
Lisette Oropesa and Lawrence Brownlee
Nov. 1, 2023
Lyric Opera of Chicago

Lisette Oropesa gave a simply dazzling performance as tomboy-turned-lady, Marie. From the graceful, ardent first notes (sung off stage) to the glorious finale on the shoulders of the regiment, she was seemingly born to play the part. Her garçon persona – carried off with irresistible spirit and aplomb – was belied by one of those effortlessly lovely female voices, quite thrilling at the higher register, soaring above the chorus and the other leads when needed. It was a consummate performance, sung with notable facility.  

Bachtrack
Nov. 13, 2016
Hilary Stroh

Lisette Oropesa, whose star shone brightly as Susanna in WNO’s season-opening production of Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro,” outdoes even that fine performance in her star turn as Maria in WNO’s production. Bright, youthful and full of spunk, her tomboy attitude and her character’s essentially good nature combine to drive this opera’s lighter-than-air plot with loads of charm and—particularly in the second stanza—excellent comic acting and timing including a touch of slapstick and a few bars of intentionally bad singing.

Ms. Oropesa sings Maria with a bright, almost carefree lyrical approach, expertly shaping each line for effect but doing so in a natural way.

Communities Digital News
Nov. 17, 2016
Terry Ponick
Lisette Oropesa and Alessandro Corbelli
Nov. 1, 2023
Lyric Opera of Chicago

Oropesa’s soaring and sensitive Soprano come to the fore immediately with the initial regimental song that exudes the character’s charismatic affection for the camaraderie of her fellow army “fathers”(Aria: Chacun le sait. Chacun le dit /” Everyone knows it, everyone says it”.) The joy that this character feels, while exhibiting her nationalistic pride, is pervasive throughout the opera.

Ms. Oropesa possesses a thrilling soprano voice of infinite variety and an ethereal purity of tone.

DC Metro Theater Arts
Nov. 14, 2016
David Friscic

Soprano Lisette Oropesa returned to Pittsburgh Opera for her first performances of the title role. She made for a humorous, charming Marie, and, while not the most nimble, her dulcet voice showed shimmers of brilliance in high notes and trills. Her unceasing energy in the role’s dramatic and vocal acrobatics explained her impressive plans to run the Pittsburgh Marathon mere hours after the curtain dropped.

Pittsburgh Post Gazette
May 3, 2015
Elizabeth Bloom

Lisette Oropesa makes her Lyric debut in the title role, and is engaging every moment she is on stage. Her soprano floats beautifully with purity of tone, and there are thrilling top notes. Her virtuosic coloratura is a joy. Oropesa is also a splendid actress. In the first act she presents a spunky, headstrong tomboy with ebullient comedy, immediately endearing us to Marie. Her physical humor is pitched perfectly, with just the right amount of silliness. It is delightful that many of her funny gestures and movements are designed to match the music’s rhythms. 

When Marie is forced to hat up and leave the regiment with the Marquise, thus putting many klicks between her and those she loves, Oropesa turns to the comedy of obstinance. Every time she catches flak from the Marquise she generates many giggles with her pouting and mulish antics.

Hyde Park Herald
Nov. 13, 2023
M.L. Rantala
Lisette Oropesa
Nov. 1, 2023
Michael Brosilow
Lisette Oropesa
Nov. 1, 2023
Lyric Opera of Chicago

Despite it's highly visible ensemble of cheery papas, THE DAUGHTER OF THE REGIMENT is really a showcase for its two stars, Oropesa and Brownlee. The role of Marie is a coloratura soprano's dream and Oropesa makes the role look super fun and easy despite being the busiest presence onstage. Oropesa demonstrates impressive vocal control and agility. Possessed of a bright smile and prolific comedic talent, she is the highlight of the opera.

Broadway World
Nov. 17, 2016
Jennifer Minich
Lisette Oropesa and Ronnita Miller
Nov. 1, 2023
Lyric Opera of Chicago
Lisette Oropesa
Nov. 1, 2023
Michael Brosilow

a rollicking performance by soprano Lisette Oropesa as the heroine, Maria, in a Lyric debut that suggests a mash-up of Carol Burnett and Lily Pons. 

Chicago Reader
Nov. 6, 2023
Deanna Isaacs