Reviews

March 9, 2015
ONTARIO ARTS REVIEW (Judith Caldwell)
(Charlene was the featured soloist in Easter Hymn)

“The first half wrapped up with the Easter Hymn from Cavalleria Rusticana by Mascagni… it was glorious.”

February 22, 2013
CANADIAN MUSIC CENTRE REVIEW (Lelland Reed)
“The role of the Fox was intensely sung by soprano Charlene Santoni… The sinfonietta has the command to fill the GGS, and very effectively accompany the two powerful voices of Santoni and Wang. The combination of the singers and the ensembles performance, as well as the wonderful music and libretto created by Ross and Tsang, is an example of artistic collaboration at its best. The intimate space of the Glenn Gould Studio provided the icing on the cake. Northern Lights, Eastern Fire from an audience standpoint was a very satisfying musical experience, and I hope the reincarnation of this premiere is heard again sometime soon in Toronto.”

February 26, 2012
ONTARIO ARTS REVIEW (Danny Gaisin)

“Ms. Santoni’s first solo was the Vilja from Lehar’s ‘The Merry Widow’. Her clarity and measured vibrato is an aural delight. But it was during the post-interval’s ‘Naughty Marietta’ excerpt that we could appreciate her ease in reaching & maintaining the C6 (two-octaves over middle C) that is the hallmark of the perfect soprano. The lady also demonstrated a comedic acting-bent in her rendering of the duets from ‘Night in Venice’ and ‘Die Fledermaus’. Her accomplice in both was Keith Klassen …His (Alexander Dobson) duet with Santoni in another ‘Merry Widow’ excerpt – ‘Lippen schweigen’ which translates as ‘loose lips’ was so well acted as sung that they gave meaning to the moment where the song occurs.”

November 28, 2011
THE HALIBURTON ECHO (Angelica Blenich)

“Soprano star Charlene Santoni mesmerized with a powerful and stunning voice… As Santoni grasped each note with conviction, she delivered a melodic tune with a softness that was both striking and fascinating.”

February 27, 2011
ONTARIO ARTS REVIEW (Danny Gaisin)

“Santoni’s Doretta was touching and demonstrated both her range and confidence, especially in octaves above mid-C… when he (Keith Klassen) as Alfredo, and Santoni as the lady of the camellias: Violetta, sang the duet ‘Un di, felice’ the vocal blending and expressive interaction made anyone familiar with the tragic story recall the dramatic setting where the duet occurs.”

November 28, 2010
ONTARIO ARTS REVIEW (Danny Gaisin)

“Miss Santoni has a delicate and effortless projection that is tonally faultless… she epitomizes Puccini’s Mimi; a role she has previously performed, and one that I hope she’ll invite me to witness next time she sings in a Bohème presentation.”

August 30, 2010
OPERA CANADA (Winter 2010) (Dawn Martens)

“But Charlene Santoni as Mimi delivered the most memorable performance. She was absolutely convincing as the tubercular heroine, and her voice embraced the darker tones of Puccini’s score.”

August 31, 2009
OPERA CANADA (Spring 2010) (Dawn Martens)

“Charlene Santoni (The Queen of the Night) did an admirable job of her two arias… both Santoni and Fina were superb actors.”

November 20, 2008
LA PRESSE (Claude Gingras)

“Charlene Santoni grimace comme quelque terrifiante Reine de la nuit, avec des notes piquées tellement précises qu’on les dirait produites par ordinateur.”

Translation:
“Charlene Santoni grimaces as some terrifying Queen of the Night, with notes so precise that one might say they were produced by a computer.”

October 20, 2008
Adrian Chamberlain

“One of the delights of Pacific Opera Victoria’s production of Thais was soprano Charlene Santoni. This gifted singer tackled the technically-challenging role of la charmeuse with a tremendous level of technical skill, at the same time revealing great tonal beauty. This is a young vocalist to watch.”

October 18, 2008
VICTORIA TIMES COLONIST (Adrian Chamberlain)

“Also superb was the Act II dance scene. It’s a cleverly choreographed divertissement with girls in crimson fezzes nimbly dancing, followed by soprano Charlene Santoni, who confidently navigated tricky flights of song.”

June 17, 2008
BROADWAYSTARS.COM (Michael Portantiere)

“…and the five liebeslieders — Emily Hindrichs, Charlene Santoni, Kristin Hoff, Mark Van Arsdale, and Christopher Johnstone — sang magnificently well.”

February 20, 2007
THE KITCHENER RECORD (Daniel Ariaratnam)

“Charlene Santoni, a former member of the Grand Youth who’s currently a graduate student at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music, was the guest soloist, performing a song by Erich Korngold, in which she filled the hall with her rich and penetrating operatic voice.”

January 6, 2007
THEATRE ONTARIO ADJUDICATOR (Ron Cameron-Lewis)

“The entrance of the Queen of the night was suitably dramatic in terms of lighting, costuming and staging. It was a clever directorial choice to “hide” the three Ladies upstage behind the pillars where we could see them. While it is not my function to critique the singing in the opera, I thought Charlene Santoni did an admirable job with the famous Act One aria especially for a singer so young.”

October 25, 2006
THE GLOBE AND MAIL (Ken Winters)
(Article on Voice Teacher: Mary Morrison)

“The list of her successes includes sopranos Valdine Anderson, Nancy Argenta, Ingrid Attrot, Kathleen Brett, Measha Brueggergosman, Tracy Dahl, Barbara Hannigan, Joni Henson, Shannon Mercer, Adrianne Pieczonka and Charlene Santoni; the remarkable mezzo-soprano Megan Latham; and the sensational Quebec tenor John Tessier.”

February 25, 2002
THE KITCHENER RECORD (Colleen Johnston)

“With Walker’s expert assistance, soprano Charlene Smith displayed her vast tonal and expressive range in the aria Ach, Ich Fuhl’s from Mozart’s opera Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute).”

May 14, 2001
THE KITCHENER RECORD (Colleen Johnston)

“Charlene Smith’s delivery of late Baroque composer Benedetto Marcello’s aria Il mio bel foco superbly captured the passion intended with excellent vocal technique.”

February 21, 2001
THE KITCHENER RECORD (Colleen Johnston)
“Following this, clarity and balance with gospel swing ensued, and then a brilliant, pin-dropping rendition of Lloyd Webber’s Pie Jesu (featuring crystalline-voiced sister sopranos Charlene and Lesley Smith). Kudos all around.”