“A concert, originally performed in Turin for the season at the Lingotto Theatre, was offered at the Teatro Lirico to the Milanese public by the Banco San Paolo. Unable to count on the participation of the great Raina Kabaivanska, they found the person to whom she could pass on the torch. Perfectly tailored to soprano Madelyn Monti, the program was snobbishly understated consisting of pieces that are light or at least seem as if they are, all the way to the last encore, a fabulous waltz song.
Monti sings gathering her entire voice into one breath, almost creating the same timbre as the violins that double the melody, a characteristic that absorbs and transfigures the words. It is a rare example of musicality, breathing technique, phrasing and beauty of timbre.
One imagines that Monti’s technique and timbre are the result of years of study. Her ease at overcoming the obstacle of the passaggio of the voice attests to this fact. Programs that include a series of collected works, even if they are unified by a common thread, are dangerous for an artist. She must don the words as if she were wearing a dress and then immediately change into another. The same intimate ethos was apparent in Meine Lippen sie Kussen so heiss from Giuditta, another masterpiece by Franz Lehár.
But the beautiful Madelyn possesses, as everybody knows, a remarkable gift for comedy and irony, combined with a precise diction in at least five languages which is very rare.
This was already evident in The Entrance from The Merry Widow for which she also boasts the physique du role. She threw herself into Offenbach’s “Ah, que j’aime les militaires” from the The Grand Duchesse of Gerolstein and her voice sparkled like jewels in the Czardas from Strauss’s Die Fledermaus, as well as in the succession of gags in the aria from Offenbach’s La Perichole. The latter is a typical encore piece that is part of the “beauty case” of many famous sopranos, and many various and comic versions exist. Here it would seem that her acting skills prevail over her musical ones, but her rhythms, her musical hesitations, and her innate musicality are such that it allowed her to dictate the tempi to the conductor. The one who is led becomes the one who leads, like the young Caesar who was warmly greeted in Bithynia by King Nicomedes”.
Paolo Isotta – Corriera della Sera