Special to Town Times by Larrykellum( May 11th)
SPANISH INQUISITION IN MIDDLETOWN
"Not only were all four roles well cast with veteran singers, but they were joined by two others (the cavernous bass of Stefan Szafarowsky as the Inquisitor and the dramatic baritone of Andrew Costello as Posa) to create a sextet of glorious Verdian voices. Standouts were the gentle floated pianissimos of soprano Jurate Svedaite (Elisabetta) and the bold knock-'em-dead high notes of Galina Ivannikova (Eboli), while CLO favorites Daniel Juarez (Carlo) and Steve Frederiks (Philip) sang as effortlessly as they always do here in every role."
Thomas Lenihan (Il Trovatore, May31-June6), p.16
Galina Ivannikova played Azucena. She has a stupendous voice that similarly was flexible at the same time; she went from thrilling top notes to deep chest tones with ease. Ivannikova excelled in the famous “Stride la Vampa” in which she recalls her mother burning at the stake.
Paul Pelkonen ( Un Ballo in maschera, June 3rd, 2019)
"Galina Ivannikova brought the full power of her mezzo to Ulrica, the witch whose prophecies turn out to always be right."
Nino Pantano ( Aida, November 7th)
“Galina Ivannikova’s scene with Radames, “Gia i Sacerdoti Adunansi-Misero appien mi festi,” in Act 4 was sung with the most emotional passion. Caruso’s 1910 recording of this with American mezzo Louise Homer bears listening – such intensity. Ms. Ivannikova’s scenes with Aida were properly spiteful and with Radames seething and despondent but in the Act Four Judgement scene “A lui vivo, la tomba!” was sung powerfully, ending with “Empia Razza! Anatemo su voi! La vendetta del ciel” which left us virtually gasping for air! Such magnificent singing, such emoting, such despair! Ms. Ivannikova’s sumptuous mezzo soprano with its passionate top burnished lows trembling mood left the audience like sinners at a Billy Graham rally – transfixed, stunned and rhapsodic!”
Nino Pantano (Hansel and Gretel, November 18th)
"The Witch was brilliantly played by Ukrainian mezzo Galina Ivannikova, who sang with dark bewitching tones and beguiled the children to listen to her commands. Her using her magic wand to “freeze” the children in place and her other magical chicanery made her a Witch to bitch about."
Greg Geis ( Aida, November 3rd, 2018)
" It was so moving and powerful... your voice SOARED! your interpretation was SO DEEP and had so much feeling! As you heard during your applause the audience LOVED you!"
“Galina Ivannikova, the sort of powerhouse Amneris that Verdi must have had in mind for the role, gave unstinting commitment from the start and dazzled in particular, as expected, with her searing contribution to the fourth act Judgment Scene—a true treasure! “
Madelyn Vinacore (Aida, May 2018)
“I swear, I almost ran up on stage to comfort you during your Aria, it was that compelling and heartbreaking. Consider me a fan. Such an amazing talent. such a voice. What a privilege to hear you sing. Thank you.”
A Favorite Mezzo Limns an Extraordinary Favorite of the King
" In the big aria, Ivannikova lavished rich, dark velvety tone on “O mio Fernando,” concluding the haunting cavatina with a high B, and followed it with an embellished, show-stopping “Scritto in cielo,” crowning the powerhouse cabaletta with a formidable high C.
Ivannikova and Samuel Varhan, as Fernando, made sparks fly in the fiery first act duet “Ah, mio bene! Ah, mio bene! … Fia vero? Lasciarti!,” capped with their high C, and ended the opera with a moving “Pietoso al par di Numi … Vieni, ah vien! Io m’abbandono,” Leonora’s death scene."
“Mezzo-soprano Galina Ivannikova gave us the best Sara, Duchess of Nottingham imaginable, torn between love and torment, and singing in rich, rubicund tone in entrance solo “All’aflitto è dolce il pianto” and desperate duets with Devereux “
“Galina Ivannikova, as Ulrica, displayed big, glorious Verdi voices in the Golden Age tradition.Ivanakova gave us such a powerful “Re dell’abisso … È lui, è lui! ne’ palpiti,” her mezzo even from bottom to top, that one regretted that she had only the single scene”
“Galina Ivannikova, as Maddalena, helped anchor both the quartet “Bella figlia dell’amore” and the storm scene trio with her sturdy and colorful mezzo-soprano”
“Maestro Clenny touts Galina Ivanakova as a natural successor to Giulietta Simionato and Fiorenza Cossotto, no less, as Azucena, and he doesn’t exaggerate. Dr. Ivanakova contributes an uninhibited, scorching portrayal of the vengeful gypsy. She and Giuliano generate considerable heat with their second act, supposed mother-and-son scene, which will keep you riveted, and she doesn’t stint on the written high C, in her cadenza, as some mezzo-sopranos do.”
“Galina Ivannikova sang a lush and well-projected La Cieca. She showed and imposing instrument and passion” David Shengold “Opera Magazine (London) October 2016