“From the composer’s Five Lieder, soprano Ariadne Greif performed ‘Ich wandle unter Blume’ and ‘Laue Sommernacht’ with a perceptive magnetism, framing the delicate balance of complex harmonies and distinct melodies that make Schindler-Mahler’s works so gripping. Greif’s bold yet smooth voice entered and blossomed glowingly, as if emerging directly from the composer’s miniature worlds of storytelling genius.”
“…Ariadne Greif’s performance was a recollection of childhood’s storytelling, fairytales and creative play as distorted by adult recollection and understanding. She arrived on stage on a scooter with a sense of being lost, takes a nap, immersed herself in a series of books, made a paper boat and then drew water for the boat to sail on. As children often will, she took the painting off on a very creative tangent. Her painting is a liberating and playful expression of herself. To accompany these stories Ariadne uses her extraordinary non-verbal vocalisations. Opera is her language and she combines this with the pre-speech verbalisations of children to create a narrative. Ariadne’s soaring operatic voice had excellent accompaniment from Alessandro Pittorino’s organ and Benjamin Carey’s electronics. It includes new work from Shawn Jaeger, Ricardo Romaneiro and Ryan Chase. Ariadne’s spectacular finale was a spine chilling rendition of Schubert’s Erlkonig and the highlight of the evening.”
RESONANT BODIES was designed to display adventurous vocalists and these performances were excellent realisations of this intention. From reading about RESONANT BODIES FESTIVAL I was concerned it may have been potentially inaccessible and unapproachable experimental performance art, but the singing of both artists and the interplay with the musicians and staging was of such a high calibre that it was an enjoyable and memorable evening.”
"I was delighted that the two singers on the program were of such high caliber. Judging by the ovations, others thought the same. Baritone Roberto Borgatti, clearly a ham on stage, delivered Bizet’s Toreador Song from “Carmen” and “Come Paride vezzoso” from Donizetti’s “L’Elisir d’Amore” with pomposity and humor. While virile with a warm depth, his voice also brandished a delightful flexibility. It would be wonderful to see him again on the Sarasota Opera House stage.
The same for the extraordinary voice of soprano Ariadne Greif. Her first turn on stage was a little tentative and I worried about the amplification distorting her voice in the middle range. “Song to the Moon” from Dvorak’s “Rusalka” introduced us to her glorious soaring upper range. When Greif returned with “The Jewel Song” from Gounod’s “Faust,” she excelled in the delicious coloratura that gives this music its charm."
"...Greif lent her exciting voice to Christopher Cerrone’s “The Pieces That Fall to Earth,” based on poetry by Kay Ryan. “This piece asks a singer to do everything she can do,” said the Brooklyn-based composer, who attended the concert. And indeed it did.
“Should there be more? Should there be more?” she cried in the strong opening, laced with percussive bells, chimes, vibraphone and other mallet instruments. Later her voice rose to a commanding shriek, nimbly made shocking jumps and sank to a whisper, an effect that comes right to the edge of being a little too much..."
"Celebrated New York soprano Ariadne Greif is no stranger to Orlando stages or audiences of any stripe. In the last two years, Greif has performed with the Orlando Philharmonic in the operas The Magic Flute and Elixir of Love, as well as an incandescent solo turn as part of the Women in Song series at the Plaza Live.
On Thursday, the adventurous singer returns with a similarly fearless group of comrades: the 17-piece Alterity Chamber Orchestra..."
"Soprano Ariadne Greif plays THREE, dressed as a maid but acting like a housekeeper with a decidedly rebellious streak. Also presented with a rangy role, Greif sang quite beautifully, particularly in the ensemble passages, where she blended seamlessly with her colleagues."
--Classical Voice America
"The performance concluded with the arrival of the soprano Ariadne Greif and two other musicians from the Knights, one playing a French horn. Taking up the poem with rival vivacity, Ms. Greif engaged Mr. Kentridge in an electrifying duet. More polished than any vintage Dada performance, and richer in freely accessible humor, Mr. Kentridge’s “Ursonate” nonetheless paid homage to its predecessors by demonstrating how helpful the language of absurdism can still be in addressing a world that makes no sense." -NYTimes
"And then all hell – or at least tonality – broke lose during the last two movements, during which Greif brought her blazingly expressive singing to the two heart-wrenching poems anchoring them. Bold and insightful, the performance strongly emphasized the intrinsic beauty and the emotional resonance of the game-changing quartet."
"The last work on the program was Franz Schubert's animated song "Erlkönig". Based on a famous poem by Goethe, which was itself inspired by a Scandinavian folktale, this four-minute ballad shows an inordinate sense of drama and impressive compositional sophistication from the 18-year-old youngster that Schubert was at the time. The sharply defined four characters gave Greif a priceless opportunity to display her remarkable gift for spellbinding narrative and on-the-spot shifts in rhythmical nuances."
"If this concert had one other star is was soprano Ariadne Greif. The vocal works here were more suitable constellations around Mr. Schoenberg. But the selections were, with few exceptions echt-Romantic, music which was pulling at the yokes of the diatonic scale, sometimes breaking through, but always retaining its passion.…
And she was the soprano to essay each one. Coming near to the hysteria of the poems, but always, always keeping hold of her stunning voice.…
Ms. Greif was not afraid to pull out the Romantic steps from Mr. Korngold, a Schoenberg student whose own genius was in opera and film. Nor did she hold back in the first version of Alban Berg’s Close Both My Eyes.…
Even the songs of Webern became dramatically intense, as sung by Mr. Greif, with pianist Conor Hanick. One thought of dodecaphonic tone-rows as bagatelles, little jewels which were held up somehow on their delicate strings.…
The last two movements were highlighted again by Ms. Greif. Her voice here was not ethereal. It was searing, throaty and sometimes with striking emotion.
Whatever the title “Air Schoenberg” might have meant, she helped it soar on wings of song, while the others of International Street Cannibals brought the mesmerized audience the extremes of fire, ice and frequently even warmth."
Music history doesn’t have many neat watershed moments, but a pivotal work in the career of Schoenberg — and the development of Western music — was his String Quartet No. 2 (Op. 10), written when he was shaken by personal trauma. The enterprising new-music ensemble International Street Cannibals takes this quartet as fodder for an evening that explores the currents of influence that seem to intersect in this work.
Under the title “Air Schoenberg: Connecting Flights,” the concert, on Wednesday, March 22, includes music by Brahms, Zemlinsky, Korngold and Berg. Among the performers are the brilliant pianist Conor Hanick and the soprano Ariadne Greif, an artist known for her fearless performances of raw emotionality. Together they traverse art songs spanning Schubert and Schnittke. (St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery; streetcannibals.com.)
"The singing deserved the audience’s full attention. Ariadne Greif, as haughty Adina, has tonally pleasing high notes and a delightful sparkling quality to both her singing and acting."
"Opposite these men was Ariadne Greif as the sassy Adina. Greif's voice soars and trills though arias. She tells the story through all of her body language. In fact all of the lead performers fit their roles well."
“The singing was splendid and the piece is musically brilliant...Soprano Greif, praised by the New York Times for her “luminous, expressive voice,” drew on a wide range of emotions to brilliantly capture the bothersome mother and the not-too menacing witch."
Thank you, Penny Schwartz!