Magda, La Rondine

8th Oct 2016

Magda, La Rondine Puccini 
‘.. Central to the strength and credibility of this performance was soprano Ilona Domnich, who gave Magda a depth of character that had elements of Verdi’s tragic Violetta from La Traviata, in that she must sacrifice her true love, and also of Strauss’s Marschallin from Rosenkavalier, the older woman facing up to inevitable loss. Making Ruggero’s hope for children the necessary end to Magda’s deception, the stumbling block of her own romantic dream, Domnich’s creamy soprano was artfully delivered, carrying real emotional validity right to the final poignant high farewell.. ‘The Guardian, Rian Evans, Monday 9th June

‘.. At its heart is Magda, played by Ilona Domnich as a sensuous, elegant woman with plenty of mystery and conspiratorial charm (inspired in Occhipinti’s production by the outrageous Marchesa Luisa Casati). A magnetic presence, Domnich sings with passion and skilled lyricism. She uses the power of stillness to suggest a character with a rich internal life living out her ultimate fantasy, balanced with the kinetic energy of a consummate actress who almost fools herself into believing her assumed role. An expert seducer consciously allowing herself to be seduced, Magda uses Ruggero to fall in love with love again. There is something both touchingly desperate and coldly deliberate about the way Magda pursues him; yet, when her fantasy threatens to become reality, the complexity of her sorrow is truly moving. Magda plays with fire, and does not escape unscorched; we both love and pity Domnich. Puccini’s wonderful catalyst for his finale, the letter of congratulation (from Ruggero’s mother), is agonisingly cruel, as are the bells that chime softly in the background as Ruggero hopelessly begs Magda to stay: bells are the ultimate Italian emotional shorthand for homecoming, campanilismo, which Ruggero represents, but which Magda cannot endure.. ‘The Bachtrack, Charlotte Valori 17th June

‘.. Oliver Gooch conducts the excellent Chroma ensemble and a well-chosen cast, led by the creamy-voiced Ilona Domnich, who sings with ravishing sensuality and warmth as the flighty titular courtesan (La Rondine means “the swallow”).The Telegraph, Rupert Christiansen, 11th June

‘.. As the heroine Magda (‘the swallow’ of the title), Ilona Domnich compensated for the role’s lack of development with a sphinx-like self-possession, the kept woman who intuitively knows the extent to which she controls and is controlled, and her powerful soprano exuded a sense of glamorous resignation her contribution to ‘Chi il bel sogno’ had the audience itching to applaud. ‘Classic source, Peter reed, 10th June

‘.. Magda, played by the young Russian-born singer Ilona Domnich, was outstanding. There was an intelligence and depth to her performance which made her potentially creaky decision to leave Ruggero and return to her wealthy patron almost inevitable. Ruggero himself was played by James Edwards – another powerful singer with a gloriously rich voice. Both, I am sure, are destined for great things. Their final scene together at the end of Act III was a real emotional tour de force; there were, no doubt, more than a few of us wiping our eyes by the end of it.’The Fine Times Recorder , DG, 17th June

Melisande, Pelleas et Melisande

8th Sep 2016

Melisande, Grimebourn Festival And Bury Court Opera Production Of Debussy’s Pelleas Et Melisande
“…Ilona Domnich’s Mélisande is as mesmerising as the other characters keep saying she is, her voice finds a place where you could confuse girlish temerity with repressed passion, her subtle performance well up to Mélisande’s moody, confusing allure. Kieron Quirke Evening standard

”…The charismatic Ilona Domnich made a poised yet sensual Melisande, her soprano both clean-toned and ripely palpitating.’
**** Yehuda Shapiro, Opera

“…Alan Ewing’s Golaud prowled Minotaur-like in a cavern of misery, crucified by love for Ilona Domnich’s radiant, childlike Mélisande, the most mesmerising, tender and idiomatic impersonation of this role that I have seen.” Anna Picard, The Independent
“…Ilona Domnich, a distracted, other-worldly Mélisande, has an exquisite, even tone. She could happily sing the role on any of the world’s stages, and in due course she probably will. Mark Valencia, Whats on stage

”…’..This was Mélisande’s night; it was her feelings that mattered, whilst the other characters inhabited her world trying to explain the unexplainable: what does this Mélisande feel? Whatever the answer, it was all so touching, so delicate, as complex as a woman’s soul. Ilona Domnich rose to the occasion with a dreamlike interpretation: a secure, firm voice of attractive colour; her performance at times like a frightened animal, at times like a comforting mother to the deeply troubled Golaud. She was helped to create this impression by her subtlely flowing costume, long blonde tresses and a remarkably expressive face which did not hesitate to laugh with relief when the doors close at the end, leaving her alone with Pelléas outside the castle..’ **** Auditorium 2013
“…The French accents of Golaud (Alan Ewing), Mélisande (Ilona Domnich) and Pelléas (Simon Wallfisch) are especially good. Ilona Domnich (who reminded me very much, in looks, of the American actress Reese Witherspoon) was a beautiful, ethereal Mélisande, whose steady disconnection from the world she portrayed with moving pathos in the first four acts, while the fifth act saw her finally become a living doll, strapped into a wheelchair with a spidering porcelain-crack on her forehead, singing with eerie stillness and remarkable poise. She gave a frankly spellbinding performance.” Charlotte Valori, One stop arts more..
“…Ilona Domnich’s Melisande had luxuriant long blond hair.. Domnich provided some stunningly beautiful singing and finely modulated phrases, responding to Debussy’s subtle music. Everyone in the opera talks about Melisande’s attraction and her eyes, and Domnich incarnated this superbly. She was mesmerising to listen to and to watch. It was an extraordinary performance.” Robert Hugill

Jaqueline, Fortunio by Andre Messager

8th Aug 2016

Jacqueline, Grange Park Opera 2013 Production Of Fortunio, Andre Messager
“…Daniel Slater’s gimmick-free, period-set, unashamedly simple production ideally complements the subtlety and finesse of the melodic masterpiece that is Messager’s score, conductor Toby Purser capturing its Debussy-like understatement. Its charm and elegance, too, epitomised in Ilona Domnich’s gorgeously sung and acted performance as the Jacqueline, the young wife of an elderly lawyer who enters into an affair with a womanizing soldier before finding true love with her husband’s innocent junior clerk, Fortunio.” Bernard Lee, Sheffield telegraph
“… Ilona Domnich looked the part in spades from the moment she sauntered onstage: elegant, slightly aloof, beautifully costumed and moving like a panther. And her voice proved lovely for the part – more than a soubrette, with occasional moments of lyrical power that absolutely soared over the orchestral texture that underpins her. Mike Reynolds, Music critisizm

“…I like Ilona Domnich’s Jacqueline – a nice blend of the respectable and the sensual” Stephen Walsh, The Art desk

“…Domnich’s silver-tongued soprano allows her to get away with her multiple duplicities.” George Hall, The Guardian
“…Domnich made a ravishing Jacqueline, singing beautifully and being attractively touching whilst clearly scheming away. Her way with Messager’s melodic lines was highly effective, and there was something in her voice which reminded me of Ileana Cotrubas. I enjoyed Domnich’s Tatyana last year for Grange Park Opera’s Rising Stars and her performance as Jacqueline shows that she is just as adept at the lighter repertoire.” Robert Hugill
“…The chief interest lies in Ilona Domnich’s Jacqueline – pretty of voice and appearance, properly demure in the “public” scenes..” Financial Times