...inspired the audience with their irrefutable artistic qualities. Close - with her brilliant vocal technique, beautiful diction, stage presence and freedom … broad dynamic range, conformed to the character and the tempo of each song…This was one true musical feast… I hope we will be able to listen to these performers of such class also at home, in Bulgaria.
Art Song Recital – Conservatorio Giuseppe Tartini
“Music Horizons Magazine”- National Academy of Music, Bulgaria Prof. Rostislav Yovchev
Translated by Kalin Tchonev
… succeeded in creating a magnificent portrait in the role of Kundry. She comes from the mezzo “Fach” and has a rich lower register at her disposal - all the more astonishing therefore are her effortlessly radiant high tones. She succeeds in creating a fascinating interpretation of this most enigmatic of all Wagner figures.
Parsifal, Kundry – National Theater Mannheim
Shirley Close sings this role for the first time; the French, diction, sense of the text and the line, and finally her natural nobility are exemplary. And together with her courage (and her success) to perform the impossible recitative “Grands Dieux soutenez” sotto voce, on the breath and to obtain in the nuance of the piano, and achieve a haunting, intense effect, unique.
Alceste, Opéra du Rhin, Strasbourg, France
(André Tubeuf ) Diapason Harmonie
Shirley Close expresses the feeling of the role with wonderful intensity. She sings and acts in a truly gripping manner and also adds to the figure those subtly expressive nuances, which grow out of the musical gesture itself.
Alceste, Opéra du Rhin
…sensitivity and conviction of her enticing voice.
Cavalleria Rusticana, Santuzza, Opéra de Nantes
Presse Océan France
Shirley Close est une belle et grand soprano dramatique.”
Santuzza, Opéra de Nantes
Liberté de l'est
Shirley Close fills out the title role completely. She sings Tosca with great verve and with very dramatic diction, as clear as glass.
Tosca, National Theater Mannheim
That Shirley Close jumped into the role of Varvara so convincingly and with conductor John Fiore bringing such a brilliant sound from the orchestra made this evening very exciting.
Káťa Kabanová, Varvara, Opera der Stadt Köln
Shirley Close is a Geneviève with a beautiful cultivated timbre.
Pelleas et Mélisande, Geneviève, Oper der Stadt Köln
… a showcase of what it means to use the whole body to the service of the voice, as well as interiorizing the work as the basis of its aesthetic representation. The subtle but indispensable variations in the dynamics from the extreme starting pianissimo and ending fortissimo showed her intention was not to exhibit vocal abilities but to fully express the emotion of the text.
Art Song Recital, Las Rosas Conservatorio, Morelia, Mexico
La Jornada Michoacán
Close’s artfully sung portrayal of the Egyptian princess Amneris. Close is a consummate actress. She vividly conveyed the progression of this complicated character from coquettishness to cunning to bile to remorse. Whether decadently lounging as she is attended by her servants or weeping her contrite heart out over the grave of Radames and Aida, Close was completely convincing.
Aida, Amneris, Atlanta Opera
Close, whose mezzo is near-ideal for the Gypsy, sang with fine, controlled line, suggesting a woman consumed by wrath.
Il trovatore, Azucena, Opera Carolina
Shirley Close, singing both the Mozart aria and the Pasatieri cantata, displayed solid technique, a voice of some flexibility, textual sensitivity and strong audience rapport. “Rites de Passage,” a 16-minute monodrama in an eclectic, post-Ellington harmonic style, was given a total performance of impact and polish, with soloist, conductor and instrumentalists apparently wallowing in its complexities.
Chamber Music Concert, Pasadena Chamber Orchestra
The Los Angeles Times
Miss Close, who flew in from New York the morning of the Mass, took over for the indisposed Miss DeGaetani at the start of the “Credo”. Her expressive, controlled performance of the “Agnus Dei” revealed a voice of rich beauty.
Bach B minor Mass, Winter Park Bach Festival
...dramatic….seamless legatos….sound musicianship, virtually consistent pitch security, evenly burnished tone quality and emotional awareness. Textual perceptivity and vocal refinements. Her brightest and most fully convincing moments came with four songs by Poulenc. The nasal attributes of the French language, a kind of Gallic portamento, and a felicitously communicated stylistic affinity all distinguished the Poulenc set, most notably a radiant “Main domineé par le coeur.” Two of the most satisfying entries of the event were encores. One was Brahms’ “Die Mainacht,” sung with such affecting opulence that one wondered at the absence of Brahms on the program. The second was “In the Mornin’,” a spiritual arranged by Charles Ives. To this Miss Close also brought heartfelt conviction.
Gwendolyn Roberts Young Artist Award (sponsored by NATS)
Los Angeles Times
The warmth, resonance and clarity Close exhibited throughout her entire range was ravishing and at times, astonishing.
Rossini Stabat Mater
New Haven Register
…her warm, rich voice and warm personality endeared her to the listening audience….
Art Song Recital
The Evening News New Glasgow, Nova Scotia
A voice that ranges from alto to soprano…an essay in singing and explains why the mezzo is in demand as a soloist all over the United States.
Art Song Recital
The Sault Star, Sault St. Marie, Canada
No less accomplished was the Adalgisa of Shirley Close, whose mezzo sounded tailor-made for her duets with Norma, and whose strong acting resulted in a vivid portrait of a passionate young woman torn between love and loyalty.
Norma, Adalgisa Atlanta Opera
Shirley Close was the mezzo-soprano in the pit, expressively interpreting the folk-inspired music by Luciano Berio that is a setting for each gemlike choreographic miniature.
Luciano Berio Folksongs with the Joffrey Ballet
The New York Times
Mezzo-soprano Shirley Close like-wise was outstanding for the cutting authority of her singing and her close attention to hairpin dynamics.
Verdi, Requiem, Carnegie Hall, New York Choral Society
New York Daily News
Shirley Close proved the most expressive of the soloists, providing textual point and religious commitment in every phrase. She, practically alone, reminded us, first that “Messiah” is a masterpiece and, second, what its subject is.
Messiah Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles
Los Angeles Times