April 3rd, 2011Death and the Powers, Chicago Tribune, John von Rhein
"There's also a singing chandelier, vaguely resembling a large winged pelvis, whose wings curl in and out. On its strings Evvy (soprano Emily Albrink, singing beautifully) strums a duet of erotic reunion with her husband." - Chicago Opera Theater
March 24th, 2011Death and the Powers, Wall Street Journal, Heidi Waleson
Evvy (soprano Emily Albrink) was all lush sensuality, singing "Touch me" as she strummed the Simon-chandelier that moved to surround her and an electronic Simon voice-layer purred in response. - American Repertory Theatre
March 22nd, 2011Death and the Powers, Variety, Frank Rizzo
Evvy is entranced (and expresses it beautifully in a sensual aria and dance with the chandelier where she longs for her husband's touch). - American Repertory Theatre
March 21st, 2011Death and the Powers, Boston Globe, Jeremy Eichler
Emily Albrink sang lustrously as the wife, Evvy, at one point erotically engaged with the chandelier as her husband’s proxy. - American Repertory Theatre
February 25th, 2011Magic Flute, Washington Post, Anne Midgette
Emily Albrink, a Domingo-Cafritz alumna, was a lovely strong Pamina, also with a touch of metal at the edge of her soprano. - Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
February 25th, 2011Magic Flute, Baltimore Sun, Tim Smith
Emily Albrink was an endearing Pamina. Occasional edginess in the singing was easily forgotten amid all the expressive richness and charm. - Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
October 28th, 2010L'Elisir d'Amore, The Arts Louisville, J. Barrett Cooper
But the evening belonged to Emily Albrink and her portrayal of the beautiful, willful and flirtatiously tormenting, Adina. Ms. Albrink brings to the role a maturity well beyond her years, and her characterization is not measured or stilted, as you might see in some productions. No, her performance has fluidity, a grace; one gets a sense of the music being the word, the word the musical note, and both combine to make a resonant impact on the listener. She is able to captivate not only by her presence but a scintillating and rich voice, which can play both the comedic and the dramatic. Welcome home. We hope you plan to stay for some time. - Kentucky Opera
October 18th, 2010l'Elisir d'Amore, Courier Journal, Jeffrey Lee Puckett
When Emily Albrink was growing up in Louisville, she was no stranger to the performing arts. Between plays at Walden Theatre and art-song recitals with her pianist mother, Albrink kept plenty busy.
Opera, however, was not an option.
“I thought it was boring," Albrink said. “I wasn't interested in it at all in high school, or even at
college in the beginning. I was like, ‘No, I am not singing opera.' "
Much has changed as Albrink prepares to sing the role of Adina in the Kentucky Opera's production of Gaetano Donizetti's “The Elixir of Love." Albrink, a light lyric soprano, is a rising star who has performed with the Washington National Opera, at Carnegie Hall, and in two productions conducted by the legendary James Levine.
Albrink, 28, finally embraced opera while studying musical theater at the University of Michigan, having realized that it was a perfect vehicle for her clear, dynamic voice and love of acting. Her reputation has partly been made on the subtle characterization she brings to even small roles, although critics have fallen more in love with her tone, diction and her command of the text.
“The Elixir of Love" marks Albrink's Kentucky Opera debut. She has recently moved back to Louisville after living in Washington, D.C., where she is an alumna of the Washington National Opera's Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, a demanding program for promising singers, conductors and stage directors.
Since leaving Louisville for college, she has returned most often to visit family, but in 2008, she performed a recital as part of The Kentucky Center's Gheens Great Expectations Project. Former Courier- Journal critic Andrew Adler at the time praised her “spot-on intonation and a fundamental confidence in her ability to inhabit a … character."
During a break in near-constant rehearsals, Albrink said any nerves inspired by her high-profile return are overshadowed by the comforts of home. She expects a number of old friends and fans to be at the Brown Theatre Oct. 22 and 24.
“Louisville has been so incredibly supportive, and I've never felt apprehension coming home," Albrink said. “It's been much more like a wonderful, receptive feeling. I started giving recitals with my mom when I was in high school here, so I've developed a real relationship with my audience here."
“The Elixir of Love" is also an ideal vehicle, she said. It's the story of a peasant, Nemorino (played by Victor Ryan Robertson), who is in love with Adina, a well-to-do landowner. She's engaged to the pompous Belcore (played by Louisville native Chad Sloan). In a last-ditch attempt to win Adina, Nemorino buys a love potion, which is fake. Hilarity and arias ensue.
“This is a really accessible love story," Albrink said.
“There are some really lovable characters, but there a
re also some who are stock comedy characters. It's very, very funny. It's like a romantic comedy, if you were going to see a movie. It's very easy to relate to."
Albrink graduated from Kentucky Country Day High School and was a regular at Walden Theater. She attended the University of Michigan specifically to study musical theater, in which she received her degree, but opera began luring her away.
“I realized that it's so rich, and there's so much going on, and you can really express yourself as an actor. I've said this a million times, but people have a preconceived notion that people just stand and sing and it's really boring, but it does not have to be that way. It can be very exciting and relevant."It's also cutthroat, with notoriously stiff competition for roles. Albrink said that her rise could be considered fast when factoring in her late start, but not extraordinarily so. She has yet to find an agent, she said, and learning her craft is a mentally and physically demanding process that never ends.
“I read an article that said opera singing was very much like being a fighter pilot, and that it used the same amount of parts of the brain at once. It's a very demanding art form. It's very exhausting. You're sweating by the end, and then you just want to go
out and eat," she said, laughing. - Kentucky Opera
May 8th, 2010Le Nozze di Figaro, Washington Post, Joe Banno
Soprano Emily Albrink's pert, pearl-toned Susanna may have been the liveliest, most affectionately detailed performance of the evening. - Washington National Opera
May 1st, 2010Le Nozze di Figaro, ConcertoNet.com, Micaele Spiracino
Another fine credit to this production is the exceptionally fine soprano Emily Albrink in the brief role of Barbarina. Her voice is easily on a par with Ms. Cangemi and Ms. Tola. Your ears become alert whenever she sings. - Washington National Opera
May 1st, 2010Le Nozze di Figaro, Intermission Mag, Ronald G. Precup
soprano Emily Albrink delighted as a sweet, endearing Barbarina. - Washington National Opera
April 26th, 2010Le Nozze di Figaro, Washington Post, Anne Midgette
As Barbarina, the WNO Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Emily Albrink sounded ready to take her place on their [leading singers] level. - Washington National Opera
October 26th, 2009Ariadne auf Naxos, Washington Times, T.L Ponick
Comic thespians ... were smashing in ensemble as were their counterparts in Ariadne's retinue, Naiad (Jennifer Lynn Waters), Dryad (Cynthia Hanna), and Echo (Emily Albrink). - Washington National Opera
October 26th, 2009Ariadne auf Naxos, Washington Post, Anne Midgette
They were backed up by good work from three of the company's Domingo-Cafritz young artists: Jennifer Lynn Waters, Cynthia Hanna and Emily Albrink as Naiad, Dryad and Echo, the spirits of nature who bemoan Ariadne's fate. - Washington National Opera
June 8th, 2009Pittsburgh Jewish Music Festival, Pittsburgh Tribune, Mark Kanny
Soprano Emily Albrink sang in true chamber music style, topping an arpeggio, for example, as exquisitely as an instrumentalist. - Tenebrae by Osvaldo Golijov.
March 31st, 2009Peter Grimes, The Baltimore Sun, Tim Smith
Two of the company’s young artists, Micaela Oeste and Emily Albrink, revealed sparkling soprano voices as the Nieces. - Washington National Opera
March 23rd, 2009Peter Grimes, Washington Post, Anne Midgette
Two sopranos from the company's young-artist program, Emily Albrink and Micaëla Oeste, were well used as Auntie's "nieces." Beyond Curran's sometimes distracting stage business for them, their only weakness lay in representing, through no fault of their own, a pair of disproportionately classy village prostitutes. - Washington National Opera
March 23rd, 2009Peter Grimes, Washington Times, T.L Ponick
Kudos as well to the artists who convincingly sang the large number of character roles, including... and Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists Micaela Oeste and Emily Albrink (Auntie's two supposed nieces). - Washington National Opera
December 8th, 2008Ainadamar, New York Times, Allan Kozinn
Nuria’s music never quite matches Margarita’s in emotional power, but Emily Albrink’s portrayal captured the sense that Nuria had absorbed her teacher’s work and concerns. - Orchestra of St. Luke's, Carnegie Hall
April 20th, 2008Boccherini's Stabat Mater, Courier Journal, Andrew Adler
Albrink is establishing a pretty fair national career in her mid-20s, and she sang with masterly projection of tone and complete identification with her texts. - Bourbon Baroque
March 8th, 2008Courier Journal, Andrew Adler
Music review: Emily Albrink, soprano
With a string of well-received performances already on her résumé, soprano Emily Albrink is building the kind of career that most fellow singers in their mid-20s might envy. But until Friday night at the Kentucky Center's Bomhard Theater, the Louisville native had not sung a formal recital as a professional. Now she has, and during her Gheens Great Expectations program there was much to admire.
Albrink does not have a voice that wraps around you with gobs of lusciousness. She produced more of a clean, chiseled tone in which the leading edge of a phrase tends to be emphasized. Her way with French chanson, heard last night via Poulenc, was respectably managed yet not truly to her best advantage. Though her precise diction (secure even in the thorniest textures) could hardly have been better, what emerged expressively was a little too cool.
Moving after intermission to Mussorgsky's spiky, carefree evocation of "The Nursery," Albrink demonstrated why she'd been getting such laudatory attention. A superb singing actor (not surprising for an alumna of Louisville's Walden Theatre), she sang with tremendous affection and interpretive focus. Russian is not an easy language to make sense of as a non-native speaker, but Albrink — channeling a delightfully quirky inner child — sounded like the Belle of St. Petersburg.
Partnered adroitly by pianist Angelina Gadeliya, Albrink treated her best material as an invitation to create compelling narratives lasting just a minute or two. She didn't shrink from employing her arms or, for that matter, her entire body in service to what the texts were stressing. Coupled with spot-on intonation and a fundamental confidence in her ability to inhabit a momentary character, she knew how to deliver the musical goods.
There was no better evidence than her final group of songs by American composer Jake Heggie, with whom Albrink has established a special bond. Last night's performances, whether speaking of devil-may-care love or the wistful recollection of a cherished set of wheels, confirmed that this soprano knows what it is to sing the truth.
August 13th, 2007Cosi fan Tutte, The New York Times, James Oestereich
Emily Albrink was delightful and vocally strong and versatile as Despina, the character who best fit the "Saturday Night Live" mold. - Tanglewood Music Center
August 13th, 2007Cosi fan Tutte, The Boston Globe, Jeremy Eichler
Emily Albrink was a livewire Despina, dominating most scenes in which she appeared - Tanglewood Music Center
August 10th, 2007The Boston Globe, David Weininger
"It's so fresh, it makes the opera seem so relevant," says soprano Emily Albrink, who sings Despina in the first cast. "It just brings the opera into everyone's world." - Cosi fan Tutte, Tanglewood Music Center
July 21st, 2007Ainadamar, Rocky Mountain News, Marc Schulgold
Nuria was sung wonderfully by the promising soprano Emily Albrink, who more than held her own alongside the amazing Rivera and O'Connor. - Colorado Music Festival
July 20th, 2007Ainadamar, Daily Camera, Kelly Dean Hansen
Emily Albrink, who portrays Margarita's student Nuria, has a piercing, beautiful soprano voice, yet she is also capable of producing wonderful low notes. - Colorado Music Festival
April 17th, 2007The New York Times, Vivien Schweitzer
"Clarice Assad, whose “Confessions" opened the program Sunday, discovered that the soprano she had been paired with, Emily Albrink, sings both opera and musical theater. So Ms. Assad, a Brazilian, wrote a humorous piece about the insecurities and obsessions of modern women that swings between musical theater and cabaret, with jazzy piano riffs and tango-tinged strings. It was ideal for Ms. Albrink, who delivered a lively, dramatic performance." - "Female Confessions" by Clarice Assad, Carnegie Hall Premiere
January 13th, 2007The Tender Land, Opera News, Oussama Zahr
Emily Albrink led the cast as Laurie Moss, the graduation girl who decides to break off from her family and discover the world beyond the fence that encircles their home. Albrink's bright lyric soprano gained in warmth and security as the night progressed, allowing her to take gradual command of the opera — just as the character of Laurie does. The previously mentioned quintet tested the ranges of many of the singers, but Albrink led them unfazed, riding the orchestra's crescendos. She went on to sing a beautiful love duet... - The Bronx Opera
July 29th, 2006Mavra, New York Times, Allan Kozinn
Emily Albrink was a striking Parasha - Tanglewood Music Center