“Maria Guleghina walked to the front of the stage, blew kisses to the crowd over and over and kept tapping her right hand against her heart. A diva curtain call from the golden age.
The Ukrainian soprano returned to the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Verdi’s “Nabucco” as Abigaille on Tuesday night, a famously difficult role she sang when the staging debuted a decade ago. With penetrating, thrilling high notes, she dominated the entertaining revival and was rewarded with a standing ovation . . .
Whether standing near the top of John Napier’s massive, rotating set in regal robes or running about like a warrior, Guleghina was commanding in a role sung at the La Scala premiere in 1842 by Giuseppina Strepponi, who later became Verdi’s second wife. This was a woman who loved power in a male-dominated society. If the pitch on some notes was uncertain, it was compensated by her ferocious intensity.”
The Washington Post
“Maria Guleghina sang Abigaille, a perennial role for her in this house, with great power and prowess, maneuvering between the coloratura passages and full-voice attacks with apparent ease . . . with dramatic intensity and sheer vocal power, enough to be convincing in the opening scene where she enters wielding a sword, and her pleading despair in her touching final scene.”
The Classical Review
“An opera like Verdi´s “Nabucco” needs a very strong cast, specially a soprano with a magnetic stage presence and a powerful voice that will do justice to the larger-than-life role of Abigaille. The MET had in soprano Maria Guleghina one of the best Abigailles of the last twenty years and, paired with the commanding Nabucco of Zeljko Lucic, this was a performance that did justice to Verdi’s first masterpiece…..
…. Maria Guleghina is a force of nature when she sings a role such as Abigaille. Since the moment she enters the stage, you can’t stop looking at her. She embodies the role both vocally and as an actress in such a way that you feel grateful to see such committment from a singer. She has blazing high Cs, Ds and even a high E at the end of the duet that caused an electrifying effect of Abigaille’s desperation. Guleghina has the stamina to sing with lovely mezza voce and legato the aria “Chi s’avanza” and then turn into a tigress in the cabaletta “Salgo già del trono aurato” … She also excelled in “Su me, morente, esanime.”