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"The other rôle with only one attribution is that of the pathetic Brunelda, a fallen diva who falls in love with the homeless man, played by the excellent Allison Cook, a seasoned performer in this repertoire"
(Katy Oberlé , Anaclase)
"Allison Cook’s role is that of the singer Brunelda, who sends her twelve-tone coloratura across the room in two  grandiose quasi-solos; first a dissolving show number, then in a bathtub scene of the highest vocal presence ( to put it mildly). A tour de force through the realms of modern singing…"
(Frank Piontek , Der
"Brunelda was impressively sung by the British mezzo-soprano Allison Cook with her spectacular coloratura."
(Michael Fisher , Seen and Heard International)
"Allison Cook plays Brunelda with a vast vocal range and impeccable ability to utilise it. In terms of acting, she makes the character even more sophisticated than Kafkas."
(Der Klassikkritiker)
"Of course the singer Brunelda who gives Haubenstock-Ramati a glamorous performance with a distorted coloratura aria ( Allison Cook does this with the most flying colours)."
(Oper Aktuell)
"Allison Cook, Kundry, sang with the intensity and expressive varierty demanded by the complexity of the role. With resounding lower register and extremely secure top, when woken in the second act, the fiendishly difficult phrases, as if she were still dreaming, were sublimely executed. After being rejected by Parsifal, she sang the extended 'Grausamer!' passage with great dramatic effect and vocal intensity while trying to seduce Parsifal this time by means of compassion."
(Beckmesser , January 2023)
"For her part, Allison Cook completed this great cast with an extremely detailed interpretation in terms of phrasing, making credible with the changes of register and colour, the dual nature of Kundry as both a seductrice and as a repentant. The timbre is beautiful and the voice runs equally well in all registers."
(Scherzo , January 2023)
"Allison Cook's Miss Jessel , a dramatic soprano with a fascinating timbre and precise singing line, probably the character in which vocal quality and stage presence blended best."
(GB Opera , October 2022)
"Allison Cook sings a magnetic and tormented Miss Jessel."
(Opera Click , October 2022)
"In the hands of an excellent soprano like Allison Cook the line was imbued with Straussian roundness."
(Criticà de Clasicà January 2022)
"Allison Cook convinces as Venus with lascivious playfulness and dark coloured highs."
(Online Musik Magazin , March 2022)
"Allison Cook made the evening as Venus not only with her solid soprano voice but also with her diverse acting ability."
( March 2022)
"When Allison Cook sings, Wagnerian and Strauss roles come to mind for the audience especially since the singer has such warmth and depth."
"The interpreters of the original production return and are masterful in their roles, mezzo Allison Cook as he Marquise de Merteul and baritone Robin Adams as the Vicomte de Valmont. Both were amazing, their voices using all possible registers and techniques, from the passionate to the declamatory up to the coloratura..."
(Renato Verga, Bachtrack, October 2019)
"Allison Cook knew how to understand Casablancas’ music and produced a pure, translucent tone. He composed a character who experiences pain to ecstasy, through struggle and love to the other, expressed in a line of sensual singing on an axis that goes from modal to diatonism. The result was delicious and captivating.”
(Bachtrack, February 2019)
"(...)here rendered with intensity by the outstanding mezzo soprano Allison Cook, the high spiriling vocal writing projected thrillingly, her expertise in contemporary opera evident through her balance of complex vocal lines with effective, alluring stage action."
(Musical Opinion Quarterly, April 2019)
“Mezzo soprano Allison Cook excelled in the demanding role of Lea both in the dramatic aspect as well as in her ease of projection and employing a timbre endowed with an ethereal quality.”
(La Platea, February 2019)
"As Lea, mezzo-soprano Allison Cook was mesmerizing. A stalwart supporter of edgy modern works, who was superb in the equally difficult 2017 production of "Quartett", here she combined an attractive presence, skilled acting and a beautiful voice.
(Metropolitan , February 2019)
“Allison Cook gives a totally committed performance in the title-role, keeping her nerve with steely assurance to sing with great skill and security.” (Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, September 2018)
“Where she stood out was with the colour and drama of the voice; imperious and enticing in her dealings with Narraboth, desperate and fiery with Jochanaan, cold and forceful with Herod. Her final scene was compellingly delivered, sung with dramatic intelligence and entranced passion.” (Bachtrack, September 2018)
“Allison Cook looks ideally the modern, young Salome this production requires and gives everything she has. A mezzo in what is nominally a soprano role, she sings with unusually dark colours, and a clean, rapier-like top.” (Financial Times, October 2018)
“Cook is a mesmerising singer-actor who never lacks intensity or intelligence.” (The Times, October 2018)
“Allison Cook as Eddy’s real mum and lover whose aria lamenting the death of her abusive husband was matchless.” (Classical Source, August 2017)
“The two soloists fully assume the requirement of is first of all the astonishing performance of Allison Cook as the Marquise that will be remembered, passing from one hallucination to another at will, with pyrotechnics as much musical as they were psychic.” (Anaclase, March 2017)

“The Marquise de Merteuil was performed by the mezzo soprano Allison Cook; unmatchable on stage and delivering a vocal performance which proved most convincing.” (Beckmesser, February 2017)


“Allison Cook [was] spellbinding as Miss Jessel.” (Opera Magazine, December 2016)

“Susan Bullock and Allison Cook gave virtuoso performances in the chameleon-like soprano roles – both singers blurring the lines between humanity and caricature.” (Opera Magazine, October 2017)

"Allison Cook also gives a tour de force performance. It’s not so much that she portrays the Duchess, rather she reincarnates her. First as a playful sex-goddess, then as a fallen angel. With a final number as gripping as the best bel canto aria.” (Koen Van Boxem, Tijd, September 2015)

“Allison Cook’s portrayal of the Duchess – a triumph in one of the New York City Opera’s last productions – remains a tour de force, brilliantly sung and stunning in its psychological breadth.” (George Loomis, Opera Magazine, August 2015)

“Baritone Robin Adams and mezzo Allison Cook are formidable singers and actors. Cook is also the sexiest woman ever seen on an opera stage in a while, to the point that the question of how the performance of this opera could go on without her is inevitable.” (Federico Monjeau, Clarin, June 2015)

“The Scottish mezzo-soprano Allison Cook coped with the demands of the vocal part with flying colours, despite the extreme intervals and huge vocal scope of the piece. Standing ovations all round.” (Kurier, May 2014)

“The considerable task of around 70 minutes completely alone on stage falls to Allison Cook. The way the mezzo-soprano solves this theatrically and vocally is downright phenomenal. She mastered the extreme demands of the difficult vocal part which was predominantly in French, partly in English, with flying colours – be it during the more ordinary writing or the extreme and almost unsingable heights - and the rest of her role was sung with incredibly purity and sophistication.” (Helmut Christian Mayer, Opernnetz, June 2014)

“Allison Cook spends one and a quarter hours demonstrating all manner of vocal and interpretative layers to portray a gripping and moving character. From delicate internal struggles to dramatic outbursts; from speech to a large aria; the mezzo-soprano shows a wide range of technique and huge potential to keep the audience present at every moment.” (Salzburger Nachrichten, June 2014)

“The Scottish mezzo-soprano Allison Cook coped with the demands of the vocal part with flying colours, despite the extreme intervals and huge vocal scope of the piece. Standing ovations all round.” (Kurier, May 2014)

“Best of all was Phaedra, where the mezzo-soprano Allison Cook was immersed in the dance, and became part of it. She caught wonderfully the queen's distracted passion, her lonely figure hemmed in by a sea of accusing dancers, as implacable as a Greek chorus.” Ivan Hewett, The Daily Telegraph, November 2013)

“...thanks to the lithe and charismatic mezzo-soprano Allison Cook, who not only sings with a rich, dark passion but prowls the stage with remarkable grace, Phaedra emerges as dynamic and inspired.” (Debrah Craine, The Times, November 2013)

“His heroine is performed by magnetic mezzo soprano Allison Cook, who moves among the ten dancers in a detailed choreography of emotion: her body shuddering with small tremors of guilt, her fingers threading with despair.” (Judith Mackrell, The Guardian, November 2013)

“Ms. Cook took the remainder of the show onto her shoulders, moving with consummate insight and dignity through one of contemporary opera’s most psychologically nuanced sequences…. [She] rose to the task, her Duchess a dark reflection of Strauss’ Marschallin for an age in which noblesse is no longer obliged.” (Steve Smith, The New York Times, February 2013)

“Allison Cook was the Duchess, in full command of her part, still looking glamorous in decline (as the libretto suggests she thinks she does), and singing strongly. She almost made us capitulate in sympathy to her plight at the end.” (John Rockwell, Opera, February 2013)

“Cook’s fearlessly intense performance.” (James Jorden, Musical America, February 2013)

“As the Duchess, Allison Cook was nothing less than superb. A compelling presence at all times, she handled the vocal and dramatic demands of the role stylishly and with apparent fearlessness. Again and again I was impressed by the timing of her gestures and utterances, the nuance which she brought to the expression of an elaborately constructed personality. Cook managed to be at once pitiable and commanding as she negotiated a path through her own history, until the last of her delusions was stripped, leaving her with only bitter truths about society and herself.” (paperblog, February 2013)

“They needed a visually exciting setting for this complex score, composed for two orchestras and two singers, with the Marquise de Merteuil sung by the extraordinary Allison Cook.” (Giornale della Musica, April 2011)

“Most of the spectators were speechless after watching for an hour and a half without intervals, the cruel and ruthless erotic games of the Marquise de Marteull played by soprano Allison Cook.” (El Pais, April 2011)

“Phenomenal…. It would be impossible to imagine a more beautiful, intense, predatory and tragically glacial Marquise than that created by Allison Cook.” (Il Giorno, April 2011)

“Allison Cook is a perfect Marquise de Merteuil; an intelligent, cynical, sophisticated, androgynous beauty. Cook is a star with scenic charisma and voice control allowing her to withstand the sharp contrasts of the music and capture all the variety of expression in this dynamic role.” (, April 2011)

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