REVIEWS

"Cassandra Black, as the Duchess, went along with this approach, painting a terrifying picture of advancing mental illness. She depicted someone detached from reality and incapable of self-control, disconnected from her own mind, her voice dancing over the complexities of Ades' music producing sounds of clarity and emotional impact. "
-Jonathan Richmond, Opera Magazine

"Black's Duchess was appropriately proud, sexually charged, and, at the end, woeful. In the final scene as the Duchess was being evicted, penniless, from her hotel, she sings that the only people who were ever good to me were paid for it. Throughout, Blacks performance sold the role with vocal athleticism and dramatic presence. In the end, her superb pathos was delivered like a gut punch. We were all invited to contemplate the effects of celebrity with which society saddles some women on their way up and horsewhips them viciously on their way down."
-William Barnewitz, Urban Milwaukee


"Cassandra Black's remarkable performance walks that tightrope perfectly. Like all the singers, she negotiates the challenging music with assurance, but also creates a palpable presence; you simply can't take your eyes off her." Powder Her Face
-Paul Kosidowski, Milwaukee Magazine

"The cast is led by the marvelous soprano Cassandra Black, who performs an almost magical feat of moving from a sultry siren who absolutely oozes sexuality to a woman on the edge of life, alone and adrift."
Powder Her Face

-Dave Begel, On Milwaukee

"Black's 'Vissi darte' was gripping and not at all sentimental... Black was the stronger actor of the two, giving us a character as consistently mentally sick as Scarpia, one who could logically integrate killing with overpowering religious conviction."
-Jonathan Richmond, Opera Magazine UK

"Perhaps the most amazing performance was by the American soprano Cassandra Black. For Suwana Sama, Black, as the statue, must sit completely immobile on stage for 70 minutes, before coming to life to sing her one and only aria - a sensational showpiece, dazzlingly sung."
-Michael Proudfoot, Bangkok Post

"Cassandra Black revels in the primal energy of Tosca... Black commands the opera."
-Peggy Sue Dunigan, Broadway World  

"...focus on the stunning performance of Cassandra Black (Tosca), who digs deep into the soul of the moment, and renders Puccinis aching lines with clarity and emotional resonance."

-Paul Kosidowski, Milwaukee Magazine

"Soprano Cassandra Black was a strong, very human Tosca. She sang with an even, clear, powerful sound, crafting musical phrases with drama and nuance. The communicative facial and physical elements of her characterization were perfectly scaled to the small theater."
-Elaine Schmidt, Journal Sentinel

"Cassandra Black sings the role of Tosca with a stunning voice and a depth of portrayal that is powerful. In the first act, she is the coquette, the ultimate diva, a dedicated flirt whose pangs of jealousy fill the Cabot Theatre with just the right touch of flutter in her voice. In the second act, she turns into a courageous and determined women who finds strengths we never saw, strengths that may even be a surprise to her. The depth of Black's soprano in the second act matched the transition beautifully. Under the imaginative and detailed direction of Ponasik, Black delivered a fully formed and yet nuanced character, avoiding the single dimension that sometimes creeps into Tosca."
-Dave Begel, On Milwaukee

"Cassandra Black was magnificently Wagnerian as the soprano Snow Dragon."
-Michael Proudfoot, Auditorium

"Powerfully sung by the Junoesque Cassandra Black."
-Michael Proudfoot, Bangkok Post

"As the Snow Dragon, Cassandra Black delivered some impressive singing, vocally bringing to mind a role like Richard Strauss' Salome."
-Rick Walters, Shepherd Express

"The most powerful singing stems from majestic big soprano, Cassandra Black as the elevated, winged Snow Dragon."
-Dominique Paul Noth, Urban Milwaukee Dial

"From the first note Cassandra Black sang as Leonore and Fidelio to the last, her presence on stage sent chills across the theatre and set the tone for story. Her vocal range was flawless and captivating as she sang about her husbands freedom. The want and need to see her husband again, and her deep love for him, spread out from the stage through her voice. This made a personal connection between her and the audience, one not lost throughout the operas entirety."
-Hannah Byron, The Marquette Tribune

"Black is an absolute marvel given that we are in on the joke from the very beginning. Her longing to find her husband all the while playing an uncomfortable role are palpable emotions made even deeper because of her powerful voice."
-Dave Begel, Milwaukee's Daily Magazine

"As Leonore, Black made the most of her face, too. She showed her anguish while disguised as Fidelio, unable to respond to Marzelline's yearning but also unwilling to blow her cover. When she finally throws off her turban and reveals herself to Pizarro in jail, she is both radiant and defiant in her femininity."
-Jim Higgins, Journal Sentinel

"Cassandra Black …was fully up to the musical and dramatic challenges. Unfazed by the punishingly wide-range vocal writing she sang with allure and acted with assurance."
-William Albright, UK's Opera Magazine
Februay 2012, Powder Her Face


"Gorgeous dramatic soprano Cassandra Black absolutely and completely owns the stage as the Duchess of Argyll. Her singing is nothing  short of miraculous, filling Zilkha Hall with the abundant richness and firm placement of each note and the many colors of her vivid and powerful instrument. Her acting is so magnificent, it is as if she has channeled the Duchess herself. The magnificent Ms. Black has graciously given us one of the best performances of the season.  What is surprising and revelatory about Ms. Black's deft portrayal of the Duchess is that we feel pity for her. Indeed, tears welled up in my eyes when the hotel manager appears in her suite to evict her for lack of payment. A resounding "Brava!" to Ms. Black for her brilliant work.
-Buzz Belmont, Houston Chronicle

"Such an opera cannot succeed without a commanding soprano in the lead role, and Cassandra Black is nothing short of thrilling as The Duchess. This is a role to conquer, but not without showing equal parts of defiance and vulnerability. It seems a paradox that as the character ages, her singing becomes greater, bigger, more insistent. As well, it becomes even more at odds with the orchestra, and Black never wavered in her portrayal, delivering every phrase with the utmost perfection. She is a consummate actor as well. Its a complicated character, to say the least, and Black manages to show every side of her as if reflected in a broken mirror."
-Theodore Bale, CultureMap Houston

"Cassandra Black dominated the stage with her powerful soprano and thoughtful character portrayal in the highly demanding role of Her Grace. Black's vocal palette was rich in color and her acting commendable given that the libretto left her with a somewhat onesided character."
-Chris Johnson, Arts and Culture Magazine


"The biggest opera news for me this autumn is Opera Vistas November production at Zilkha Hall of Powder Her Face, a sort-of chamber opera from 1995 by young British composer Thomas Adés. The glamorous Cassandra Aaron Black will sing the lead role of the Dirty Duchess Margaret of Argyll, who apparently scandalized Britain in 1963 during divorce proceedings."
-Theodore Bale, CultureMap Houston  

"St. Petersburg Opera excels in pacing and performance in Mozart's 'Cosi Fan Tutte' As Fiordiligi, Cassandra Black was dazzling."

-John Flemming, St. Petersburg Times


"“Perfect and polished in every way."”  
-Houston Chronicle

"As Doll, (Vera of Las Vegas) soprano Cassandra Black was the best - stylish, big-voiced and sassy."
-Charles Ward, Houston Chronicle


"Soprano Cassandra Black as Taimi Lepassar had everything the role demanded: A soft-likeness, stunning voice and a convincing stage presence. She had the sensitivity and intuition to react appropriately and masterfully to the challenging musical and psychological demands of the work. "

-Joel Luks, CultureMap Houston

"Soprano Cassandra Black’s performance as Taimi Lepasaar is moving, masterful, and marvelous and will haunt me for years to come."
 -Buzz Bellmont, Houston Chronicle

"Opera Vista’s Production of AND THEN I REMEMBER
is a Maginificent Masterpiece to Remember. Black is stately and statuesque, bringing a forthright gravity to Taimi."

-DL Groover, Dance Source Houston

PRESS