Hall‘s Serse is beautifully performed, both musically and in her acting. Her voice dominates the stage whether in more sensual arias, to which she brings a lyric sensuality, or her later rage-filled moments; and all the while her facial expressions and gestures are absolutely spot on to highlight the ridiculousness of her character.
– Michael Higgs, broadwayworld.com (July 1, 2022)
impressively secure-sounding, mellow-toned
– Erica Jeal, The Guardian (July 1, 2022)
Like Orsino in Twelfth Night, Serse finds music to be the food of love. Beautifully sung by mezzo soprano Cecelia Hall, Serse has already shown himself to be a man of sensibility, his famous opening aria, “Ombra mai fu” (“never was a shade dearer or more lovely”), extolling the consolations of his favourite plane tree.
– Jane Darcy, The Reviews Hub (July 1, 2022)
It was Cecelia Hall who outshone them all as Romeo. The dynamic flexibility with which Hall sang, shaping every phrase with dramatic intention, was a delightful example of bel canto singing.
– Kevin Hanrahan, Opera News (October 2021)
Vielleicht auch eine Neuentdeckung ist Cecelia Hall in der Titelrolle, ein „weiblicher“ Herrscher par excellence. Und da sitzen auch alle Koloraturen wie auf einer Kette aufgereiht dieser bemerkenswert leicht guttural getönten Prachtstimme. Wie sie sich immer wieder an Romilda heranpirscht und vermeintlich zum Schluß ihr erlösendes Ziel erreicht, ist neben ihrer smarten Frack-Erscheinung aber ihrer anmutigen Silberstimme geschuldet.
Perhaps a new discovery is Cecelia Hall in the title role, a trouser-role ruler par excellence. Her coloratura is strung on the necklace of her remarkably sonorous and radiant voice. It is thanks to her sharp, tailored appearance and her graceful, silver-toned voice that she seems to achieve redemption, even after stalking Romilda again and again.
– Friedeon Rosén, Online Merker (October 2020)
Cecelia Hall singt ihn mit kalter Wut und wärmenden Gefühlen, eine geschmeidige, ausgeglichene Stimme.
Cecelia Hall sings [Xerxes] with cold anger and warming emotion, a supple, poised voice.
– Andreas Bomba, Frankfurter Neue Presse (October 2020)
Cecelia Hall als Glitzerschnecke Irene, die Kaugummi kauend und mit Motorradhelm in die Szene platzt, lässt zeitgleich ihren Mezzosopran zu hochdramatischen Girlanden auffahren, sodass nicht nur dem bewegenden Bariton Liviu Holender als Leone beim Auftritt der Mund offen stehen bleibt.
Cecelia Hall as the glittering chick Irene, chewing gum and bursting into the scene wearing a motorcycle helmet, simultaneously lets her mezzo-soprano rise to highly dramatic garlands, so that not only the moving baritone Liviu Holender as Leone has his mouth open during the performance.
– Bettina Bodens, Frankfurt Neue Presse and Gießener Allgemeine Zeitung (November 9, 2019)
Irene – von der Mezzosopranistin Cecelia Hall als furchtlose Frau trefflich gesungen – wiederum ist die eigentliche Braut Tamerlanos, an der er aber kein Interesse zeigt. In ihrem Glitzer-Jumpsuit passt sie tatsächlich besser zum Manipulator und mit einer gehörigen Portion Selbstbewusstsein ausgestattet, ist sie nicht bereit, von Tamerlano zu lassen.
Irene – excellently sung by the mezzo-soprano Cecelia Hall as a fearless woman – is again Tamerlano’s actual bride, but he shows no interest in her. In her glittering jumpsuit she actually fits the manipulator better and, equipped with a good portion of self-confidence, she is not willing to let Tamerlano get away.
– Ljerka Oreskovic Herrmann, Ioco.de (November 16, 2019)
With the aria, “Par che mi nasca in seno,” mezzo-soprano Cecelia Hall restores the character’s humanity. From the first phrase, her voice is placid, shimmering yet unwavering. …Hall becomes a vessel of sincerity. Her genuineness is magnified by orchestral figures that vacillate between nobility and vulnerability.
– Jeremy Hirsch, Schmopera.com (November 19, 2019)
Wunderschön harmoniert dazu der satte Mezzosopran von Cecelia Hall als Idamante. Frau Hall lässt ihre schön timbrierte Stimme mit ausdrucksvoller, jugendlicher Emphase aufblühen.
The rich mezzo-soprano of Cecelia Hall as Idamante harmonizes beautifully with Ilia. Ms. Hall lets her beautifully timbred voice blossom with expressive, youthful emphasis.
– Kaspar Sannamann, Der Opern Freund (September 7, 2019)
Die Mezzosopranistin Cecelia Hall gab vor kurzem einen großartigen Liederabend im Holzfoyer, als Marguerite wandelt sie sich überzeugend von einer unbekümmert verliebten jungen Frau zur hoffnungslos Verzweifelten und sorgt mit der melodischen romantischen Trauerarie „D’amourl’ardente flamme“, der große Hit des Dramas, für herzbewegende Momente.
Mezzo-soprano Cecilia Hall recently gave a magnificent recital in the Holzfoyer [at Oper Frankfurt]. As Marguerite, she convincingly transforms herself from a young woman unconcernedly in love to a hopelessly desperate one, providing heart-moving moments with the melodic romantic funeral aria “D’amourl’ardente flamme”, the great hit of the drama.
– Markus Gründig, Kulturfreak.de (June 19, 2019)
Cecelia Hall gab als herziger Narziss Cherubino der Inszenierung mehr als nur einen hübschen Farbklecks.
Cecelia Hall, as the delightful Narcissus Cherubino, gave the production more than just a pretty splash of color.
– Matthias Gerhart, Frankfurt Neue Presse (April 8, 2019)
Spätestens jedoch mit dem Auftritt von Cecelia Hall als Cherubino ist das Eis gebrochen. Sie überzeugt als junger Schwerenöter mit herrlich frischem Mezzo vom ersten Ton an. Nach ihrem „Non so piu“ gibt es erste Versuche von Szenenapplaus. Von nun an geht das Publikum mit, amüsiert sich vernehmbar über die zahlreichen kleinen Scherze und läßtsich vergnügt auf das bunte Treiben auf der Bühne ein.
At last, with the performance of Cecelia Hall as Cherubino, the ice is broken. As a young philanderer, she convinces with wonderfully fresh mezzo from the very first note. After her “Non so piu” there are first attempts of scene applause. From now on, the audience goes along with her, is amused by the numerous little jokes, and merrily laughs at the colorful goings-on on stage.
– Michael Demel, Der Opern Freund (April 13 2019)
Cecelia Hall’s meaty mezzo matches him [Craig Verm] in fierce intensity as Clorinda, and both of them summon heart-rending color in their phrases of anguish and defeat. As the service member Sorrel, Ms. Hall turned in a searing vocal performance as a broken woman ravaged by her war experience, her portentous mezzo imparting tremulous weariness and dread as she tries to hang onto her sanity with fingertips of steel.
– James Sohre, Opera Today (September 19, 2018)
The protagonist of Lembit Beecher’s searing “I Have No Stories to Tell You,” about a female veteran suffering from PTSD, seemed even lonelier on the museum’s Great Staircase; mezzo Cecelia Hall was striking in the role, and the small period instrument ensemble, led by Gary Thor Wedow, capably created the eerie, flickering sounds of the trauma in her head.
– Heidi Waleson, Wall Street Journal (September 19, 2018)
Mezzo-soprano Cecelia Hall shows us that she is no stranger to the stylization of Monteverdi, singing with a beautiful depth that matches the surroundings. Philadelphia audiences have now heard Hall within just one year sing Mozart, Monteverdi and Beecher with nuance, class, and superior musicianship. What more proof do we need that she is a world-class vocalist?
– Erik Flaten, Schmopera (September 18, 2018)
… die zärtlich und aromatisch singende Cecelia Hall in der Rolle der Geliebten Dido.
… the tender and aromatic singing Cecelia Hall in the role of the lover Dido.
– Matthias Gerhart, Frankfurt Neue Presse (October 26, 2017)
… während Cecelia Hall jede Phase von Didos Entwicklung stimmlich und darstellerisch anrührend gestaltet. Namentlich ihr allmähliches Erlöschen nach Aeneas Abreise ist ebenso herzergreifend wie der an- und abschließende Trauerchor.
… while Cecelia Hall makes every phase of Dido’s development vocally and artistically touching. Her gradual extinction after Aenea’s departure is as heart-rending as the closing and closing funeral chorus.
– Asteria, Festspiele Forum (October 29, 2017)
Rosina, the lovely Cecelia Hall, is also a pleasure to hear and see. This very well-trained singer possesses purity of voice and very secure top and bottom registers, with good volume, great pitch control, and nicely done coloratura. Her “Una voce poco fa” was a thing of beauty, including her own personalized ornamentation.
– Luiz Gazzola, Opera Lively (January 12, 2018)
“Cecelia Hall, who sang the secondary role of Annio in Lyric’s 2014 production of the opera, looks suitably androgynous and sings triumphantly as Sesto, a role difficult to bring off convincingly.” – John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune (June 20 2017)
“Mezzo-soprano Cecilia Hall as Sesto, who betrays his friend out of love for Vitellia, has terrific acting chops and effortless coloratura. Both she and mezzo Emily D’Angelo, as Annio, were completely believable in their military trouser roles. ” – Sarah Bryan Miller, St. Louis Post Dispatch (June 11 2017)
“Sesto has much of the opera’s very best material, and Cecelia Hall was more than up to the task. Her pliant, plangent mezzo created a convincing case for a lovesick, gullible youth, blind to the fact that he is being manipulated not only to betray his best friend, but also to commit a heinous crime. Ms. Hall made Parto, parto into a finely detailed musical journey as she mused and debated her inevitable course of action.” – James Sohre, Opera Today (June 27 2017)
“Mezzo Cecelia Hall, a former Gerdine Young Artist, beautifully conveys the character’s passion for Vitellia and anguish at double-crossing his friend, and does it with a spectacular voice that easily negotiates the role’s most florid passages.” – Chuck Lavazzi, OnSTL (June 19, 2017)
“Cecelia Hall quite stole my heart last season as the young composer in Ariadne on Naxos (another “trouser role”). Here again she brings a superb voice and most convincing masculine ardor to the role of Sesto. She’s simply terrific as this beautiful young man.” – Steve Callahan, Broadway World (June 13, 2017)
“As Sesto, Hall is mesmerizing in a performance that is one of the season’s finest. Hall gives Sesto a troubling aspect ideally suited for the treacherous path he embarks on.” – Rob Levy, ReviewsSTL.com (June 23, 2017)
“American mezzo Cecelia Hall is gripping as Fulvia, whose emotions are toyed with by all around her. It is no wonder she begins to fear she is going mad. What dominates, however, in Hall’s performance is her passion and her strength, both conveyed by her beautifully full, agile voice and detailed acting.” – Christopher Hoile, Stage Door (December 10, 2016)
“Cecelia Hall introduced easy flexibility, arresting poise and enveloping warmth in the mezzo-soprano challenges.” – Martin Bernheimer, Financial Times (August 22, 2016)
“Cecelia Hall added a few embellishments to her ‘Laudate,’ in the Great Mass, beaming with an infectious joy.” – Jose Andrade, ZEALnyc (August 23, 2016)
“Her mezzo rich and fluid, Cecelia Hall gave a wonderful account of the Geisha’s striking, often melismatic music.” – David Shengold, Opera News (July 24, 2016)
“The composer is a ‘trousers role’ – a male role sung by a woman. In this role Cecelia Hall just trampled on my heart. She is so young, so earnest, so innocent, so ardent! She is so dedicated to her art. Slender, long-limbed, graceful in a convincingly boyish way — and with a superb clear sweet voice — she is perfect!” – Steve Callahan, Broadway World (June 8, 2016)
“Cecelia Hall sings stylishly as the put-upon Composer.” – John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune (June 21, 2016)
“Cecelia Hall was loudly received and well loved by the audience for her unfailingly musical and stylistically superb Composer.” – James Sohre, Opera Today (June 27, 2016)
“One of the delights of Ariadne is the breeches role of the Composer, performed by mezzo-soprano [Cecelia] Hall with a fine comic understanding of what an aesthete/drama queen this young man is meant to be.” – Sarah Boslaugh, PLAYBACK:stl (June 20, 2016)
“Rosina is often stereotyped as a saucy flirt but mezzo Cecelia Hall acts and sings the part more naturally, an infatuated young woman willing to collude in her release.” – Roy C. Dicks, News Observer (April 2, 2016)
“Cecelia Hall was a notable hit as the tomboyish Ruby, who helps Ada to adjust to her impoverished circumstances.” – Bernard Jacobson, Seen and Heard International (February 12, 2016)
“The role of Ruby is a nice, unlikely surprise, and in both her vocalism and body language, Cecelia Hall had youthful swagger.” – Peter Dobrin, Philly.com (February 8, 2016)
“Cecelia Hall, who comes by her North Carolina accent honestly, wove a distinctive and believable country counterpoint to Ada.” – Andrew Moravcsik, Opera Today (February 8, 2016)
“Cecelia Hall did a beautiful job of singing and presenting the resourceful, hardscrabble Ruby, who saves Ada’s farm.” – David Shengold, Opera News (February 7, 2016)
“Mezzo Cecelia Hall, already commands fine Mozartean style; her Zerlina was appealing but never cutesy.” – David Shengold, Opera News (November 8, 2015)
“Brenda Rae and Cecelia Hall were mesmerizing…Hall sparkled effortlessly in ‘E amore un ladroncello.'” – William Barnewitz, Urban Milwaukee (September 21, 2015)
“In the trouser role of Ramiro, Cecelia Hall sang with a purity and evenness of tone that unexpectedly summoned up the tragic aura of opera seria.” – Simon Williams, Opera News (August 8, 2015)
“Cecelia Hall brought an ardent despair to the trouser role of Ramiro.”
-Heidi Waleson, Wall Street Journal (August 10, 2015)
“As her erstwhile, but unsuccessful, suitor, mezzo-soprano Cecelia Hall, also in a company debut, was a believable male in the pants part of Ramiro. Her earnest wooing and crestfallen endurance of Arminda’s rejection brought a touch of normality to the silliness.”
– Gregory Sullivan Isaacs, Theater Jones (August 13, 2015)
“As steadfast Ramiro, pure-voiced mezzo Cecelia Hall—noblesse personified in ‘Dolce d’amor compagna,’ one of Mozart’s glorious, quasi-Handelian arias.”
– John Stege, Santa Fe Reporter (July 29, 2015)
“Cecelia Hall effected just the right hangdog look to engage our sympathies as Ramiro, and her creamy singing was vibrant and characterful.”
– James Sohre, Opera Today (August 30, 2015)
“The splendid voices included mezzo-soprano Cecelia Hall in the title role. Clad in a slinky black gown and a blood-red shawl that she shifted and re-tied for each song, she invested Piazzolla’s sinuous melodies with low-voiced richness and definition.”
-Harvey Steiman, The Aspen Times (August 15, 2015)
“Cherubino suffered a last-minute cast change, but Cecelia Hall has stepped in with aplomb and endearing awkwardness… She cuts a dashing figure in trousers (and manages to look awkward in female attire), so it’s easy to understand why so many women find her Cherubino irresistibly adorable. Her air of noble resolution as she launches herself off the edge of the stage into the orchestra pit is particularly funny.”
– Ilana Walder-Biesanz, Bach Track (December 9, 2014)
“The supporting roles made greater impact, particularly mezzo Cecelia Hall who brought extra personality to her singing as the Turk’s fiancée, Zaida.”
– Stephen J. Mudge, Opera News (July 7, 2014)
“One was grateful for the eventual appearance of minor keys in the music allotted Boland’s daughter Florinda, excellently interpreted by the affecting mezzo Cecelia Hall.”
– David Shengold, Opera News
“Cecelia Hall made an exquisitely charming Zerlina.”
– Melinda Bargreen Seattle Times (October 20, 2014)
“The lushly languid Cecelia Hall, with some stunningly beautiful high notes, as the ditzy flirt Zerlina.”
– Rosemary Ponnekanti, The News Tribune (October 23, 2014)
“I especially like Cecelia Hall’s curious and very human Zerlina, neatly matched to a warmly tremulous mezzo.”
– Thomas May, Bach Track (October 26, 2014)
“As Zerlina in both casts, mezzo Cecelia Hall sang with sensuality and looked beautiful and strong, nobody’s pushover.”
– Mark Mandel, Opera News (October 2014)
“Another Ryan grad, now in the Metropolitan Opera’s Young Artist program, has a breakout performance here. Mezzo-soprano Cecelia Hall as Annio (another friend of Sesto who is the male-half of the opera’s secondary love story) has a wonderful stage presence as a young aristocrat in the turn-of-the-19th-century style of David McVicar’s 2011 production from Aix-en-Provence. And she combines sincerity and rich beauty in her singing.”
– Andrew Patner, Chicago Sun Times (March 7, 2014)
“It was wonderful to see DiDonato and Cecelia Hall together at the start of Act 2: two mezzos in trouser roles, one securely established as one of the leading artists of our day and another who seems on the brink of stardom. Hall was sterling as the selfless Annio, singing with a creamy rich tone and showing dramatic acuity throughout.” – Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review (March 6, 2014)
“Mezzo Cecelia Hall made a fetching thing of Annio’s cajoling ‘Tu fosti tradito,’ and fielded a persuasively masculine characterization.”
– Mark Thomas Ketterson, Opera News (March 5, 2014)
“Cecelia Hall’s Dorabella was amusingly awkward and amorously adventurous, her voice blending nicely in the many duet passages with De Trejo.”
– Roy C. Dicks, News and Observer (October 4, 2013)
The swimming, flipping Rhinemaidens, who played the focused piping of Jennifer Zetlan (Woglinde) off the round, sensuous tones of Cecelia Hall (Wellgunde) and Renée Tatum (Flosshilde), also raised the bar.
– Mark Mandel, Opera News (August 4-9, 2013)
“Cecelia Hall is a real find for the Composer, her enameled mezzo strong and admirably deployed.”
– Scott Cantrell, Dallas Morning News (May 5, 2013)
“Cecelia Hall, a member of Lyric Opera’s Ryan Center, offered a stunning rendering of the title character, graced by prodigious technical assurance across the mezzo range and an unexaggerated, convincingly masculine characterization. The evening’s musical zenith was the duet ‘Cara/caro, ti dono in pegno il cor,’ which found Hall coruscating down the scale with absolute precision and blending beautifully with the warrior’s inamorata, the princess Agilea (Italian soprano Manuela Bisceglie).”
– Opera News (June 2012)
“Cecelia Hall made a quite sensational company debut in the title role Saturday night. A current member of the Lyric Opera’s Ryan Opera Center for Young Artists, Hall was wholly believable in the trousers role of the besieged soldier … Hall brought a rich mezzo voice and airtight security to her opportunities and was a consistently poised and understated dramatic presence.”
– Lawrence Johnson, Chicago Classical Review (April 2012)
“But Agilea’s heart is pledged to Teseo, a trouser role taken here by the gleaming-voiced mezzo-soprano Cecelia Hall, a rising star of Lyric’s Ryan Opera Center, who sounds headed for an important career.” “As her lover, Teseo (a part originally written for a castrato singer), Hall has the vocal beauty as well as the technique to spin the ornate vocal lines as if they are child’s play. She has no trouble mustering the heroic postures Handel requires, musically as well as histrionically.”
– John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune (April 2012)
“Cecelia Hall…sang with striking beauty.” – Washington Post (Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortileges at Castleton)
“Cecelia Hall wielded her rich voice to coquettish effect.” – New York Times (Ravel’s L’heure Espagnole at Juilliard)
“As the composer, mezzo-soprano Cecelia Hall is ardent and easily handles the high-lying vocal line of her great aria.” – The Boston Globe (Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos at Tanglewood)
“Hall’s voice has a caramel consistency, as delightful to listen to as her colorful acting was to watch’. – Boston Musical Intelligencer (Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos at Tanglewood)
“Cecelia Hall, a mezzo-soprano, brought a lithe, attractive sound and a winning swagger to the title role.” – New York Times (Handel’s Ariodante at Juilliard)
“In the title role, mezzo-soprano Cecelia Hall sang with fine musicianship, beguiling phrasing and a lovely sound. Her laid-back energy provided an attractive contrast to such high-octane Ariodantes as Tatiana Troyanos and Anne Sofie von Otter, and Hall’s rendition of the bleak, ‘Scherza, infida’ in Act II was superb. ” – Judith Malafronte Opera News (Handel’s Ariodante at Juilliard)