Musetta – La bohème, WNO
David Kempster and Kate Valentine presented a splendidly boisterous double act as Marcello and Musetta…a sparkling triumph for Welsh National Opera
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph – Full Review – 5 Stars
…(Kate) Valentine’s sophisticated, generously voiced Musetta and Allen’s hollow-eyed, dreaming, dangerous Mimi steal the show…
Anna Picard, The Independent – Full Review
Kate Valentine’s strongly projected Musetta resisted the temptation to play the ‘tart with a heart of gold’ in favour of a more searching interpretation, so that her eventual part in the tragedy of the final act became a natural development of what had gone before.
Peter Reynolds, Opera Now – 5 stars
Kate Valentine, meanwhile, was the Musetta of everyone’s dreams: utterly seductive.
Richard Bratby, Birmingham Post – Full Review – 5 stars
The strongest portrayal comes from David Kempster, whose Marcello makes the volatile relationship with Kate Valentine’s feisty Musetta a strong balance for the lovers Rodolfo and Mimì
Rian Evans, The Guardian – Full Review - 4 Stars
…There are many good performances. David Kempster’s Marcello has an embittered streak that adds a volatile edge to his scenes with Kate Valentine’s actressy Musetta. Both sing strongly…
Richard Morrison, The Times – 4 Stars
The casting is of a standard to do credit to any opera house…David Kempster’s Marcello and Kate Valentine’s Musetta, made the great contrasting passions of Act III as powerful as I have known them in the theatre.
Michael Tanner, The Spectator (23/6/2012) – Review
This production is one to see…(David Kempster’s Marcello’s)… relationship with Kate Valentine’s Musetta is physical and tender, and they are well-matched and play off each other with an edge and a clear desire.
Bethan Dudley Fryar, Opera Brittania – Full Review – 4.5 Stars
…from the moment when Musetta (Kate Valentine) struck up the waltz song, it was spell-binding…(her) account of Musetta’s waltz in act 2 was a delight, but Arden developed it into a real dramatic moment as well
Robert Hughill, Opera Today – Full Review
Anita Hartig, making her UK debut, was direct and pure-voiced as Mimi, brilliantly offset by Kate Valentine’s extravagant, luscious Musetta
Fiona Maddocks, The Observer – Full Review
Giselle Allen’s touching Mimì displays all the right qualities, her warm soprano contrasting effectively with that of Kate Valentine’s feisty Musetta.
John Allison, The Telegraph Seven Magazine – Full Review
As his feisty on-off lover, Kate Valentine’s attractively tart, borderline spinto sound was the perfect tonal foil for Hartig’s limpid Mimi, lasering out splendidly brash top Bs at the end of the waltz and never slipping into tired tart-with-a-heart cliche: like pretty much everyone else involved, the sincerity was palpable.
Katherine Cooper, Whatsonstage.com – Full Review – 4 Stars
Kate Valentine’s Musetta was perhaps the most captivating portrayal, a slight edge, especially during the second act, differentiating her nicely from Mimi. Indeed, the lilt, expertly judged, to Valentine’s rendition of ‘Quando me’n vo’ imparted character and sheer enjoyment in equal measure. Increased warmth of tone during the fourth act was apt and telling
Mark Berry, Boulezian – Full Review
For me, performance of the night goes to (soprano) Kate Valentine, who plays Musetta with admirable whorehouse swagger. Her “Quando me’n vo’“ dazzles – as though Puccini himself turned up and switched on the Surround Sound.
Stuart Macbeth, Oxford Mail – Full Review
Kate Valentine (Musetta) and David Kempster (Marcello) stand tall – literally and musically
Nigel Jarrett, South Wales Argus – Full Review
The support is strong… Kate Valentine makes a stylish Musetta
Steven Walsh, The Arts Desk – Full Review
This brand new production of Puccini’s famous opera is beautifully sung and acted by members of the WNO…Kate Valentine adds colour and style as (Marcello’s) on-off girlfriend.
Paul Martson, Tamworth Herald – Full review
The singing is uniformly glorious…Kate Valentine vamping it up sensationally as the sultry Musetta
Richard Bratvy – This is Tamworth – Full Review
As painter Marcello, David Kempster was mighty of stature and voice, characteristics shared with his Musetta (Kate Valentine).
Chris Gray- The Oxford Times – Full Review
The on-off romance of Marcello with Kate Valentine’s Musetta was a serious counter-poise to Rodolfo and Mimi rather than a side show. Valentine’s account of Musetta’s waltz in act 2 was a delight, but Arden developed it into a real dramatic moment as well
Robert Hughill – Opera Today – Full Review
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