Helen Lawrence


STRAUSS FOUR LAST SONGS   Halle Orchestra   1966
Helen Lawrence must be on her way to becoming one of Britain's finest sopranos... her voice is magnificent. Its clarity and well controlled power enable it to float beautifully against heavy blocks of orchestral sound. She has the makings of a splendid Wagnerian.     Manchester Evening News

Constanze is not an easy role, Helen Lawrence translated it with poise and feeling. Her handling of "Marten aller Arten" one of the most elaborate and difficult of all coloratura arias, reminded us of the seesntially serious nature of Constanze's music.      The Daily Telegraph

Evidence of Helen Lawrence's quality came early in her song recital at the Wigmore Hall last night....And indeed the whole of this opening group revealed a singer of unusual intelligence, with real command of a big soprano range and quite exceptional gifts of colouring and characterization.      The Times

BALLO IN MASCHERA,   (Amelia)   Richmond Theatre,   London, 1975
.....handsome physical and vocal effect in Helen Lawrence and Graham Clark....Their Act II duet was spun on a beautifully fluid line of passion and lyricism which held the audience in thrall and Miss Lawrence's Act III scena extended her characterization with striking intensity.      Opera

DON GIOVANNI,   Ludwigsburg Festival,   Germany, 1977
The two great arias of Donna Anna were shaped by Helen Lawrence from London, with virtuoso technique.      Sudkurier

LUCREZIA BORGIA   Donizetti,   St. John's, Smith Square,   London, 1978
Chief interest lay in the brilliant, musicianly and grandly expressive singing of Helen Lawrence in the title role.      The Times

Miss Lawrence has the ability, invaluable in an opera singer, to take wing emotionally while retaining full control over her voice.      Opera

FEDORA,   Giordano,   St. John's, Smith Square,   London 1979
This was an exciting performance, climbing without strain to the passionate heights, and compellingly acted through the voice.      The Times

MEDEE   Cherubini,   St. John's, Smith Square,   London 1979
The exacting title role was undertaken by Helen Lawrence with a vivid authority and often thrilling assurance.      The Daily Telegraph

MACBETH   Verdi,   (Lady Macbeth),   Independent Opera (UK Tour) 1979-80
Helen Lawrence, a fiery and striking dramatic soprano.          The Sunday Times

Review of NORMA   Covent Garden 1980
....but hope that the next revival will have a marvellous real soprano in the title role. Who will triumph in this noble difficult part, tomorrow or the day after? Scotto or Ricciarelli, Helen Lawrence or Freni...any of these might attempt it in time.      Opera

CANTATA PARA AMERICA MAGICA   Ginastera,   Lontano Ensemble,  St. John's, 1983
It was lustily delivered by the soprano Helen Lawrence (whom I last encountered making an impressive meal of Cherubini's Medea: why do we not hear more of this bold and interesting singer?)      Financial Times

LA VESTALE   Spontini,   Chelsea Opera,   Queen Elizabeth Hall, London 1988
Helen Lawrence, who had taken over the role of Julia at very short notice, did full justice to her task, especially the second act suplication to Vesta.      Opera

BEATRICE CENCI,  Berthold Goldschmidt,  Queen Elizabeth Hall 1988
Helen Lawrence, strongly cast in the title role seized her occasional big moments with passion and power.      The Independent

the soprano Helen Lawrence, who gave a passionately involved performance of the title role.      Financial Times

..warmly projected by mezzo-soprano Helen Lawrence.      The Independent
Helen Lawrence gave committed performances.     The Times
Helen Lawrence attacked his songs with considerable dramatic fire.     The Guardian

Helen Lawrence's mezzo, wonderfully rich without being plummy, was particularly memorable for the sheer passion of her open-throated lower notes.      Derby Evening Telegraph

In the operatic anthology the refulgence of tone and the biting attack are quite breath-taking. Her ensanguined approach in the Verdi is notable as is her well- judged pacing in Vissi d'Arte. Nothing is rushed... in the Mozart she is both clear and brilliant. Beauty is the watchword in the proto-Sibelian Cilea aria. The Pushkin recital is given in Russian... a splendid, almost stentorian, darkness in the Dargomizhky. In the Gretchaninov there is a brooding sombre resentment in the words and music. The Rimsky quartet of songs is typically colourful and imaginative... the Medtner are, as expected more subtle... For me this confirms the need for a complete edition of Medtner songs. This is a winner waiting to be discovered
Classical music on the Web, June 2000

The first disc offers virtues absent from many a singer on the international scene: well judged tone colour, clear projection of text and meaning backed up by a warm middle register and incisive chest voice. Essential, though is the Russian song recital. Lawrence's gift for dramatic narrative sustains the gloom of Gretchaninov's 'The Prisoner' and evokes the shades of Vishnevskaya for Shostakovich's 'In the depths of the Siberian Mines'. Presentation and sound are as clear and direct as the singer's delivery throughout.
BBC Music Magazine, January 2001

The first of the two CDs shows her in full vigour as an operatic singer, and expansive soprano voice with a particularly strong and even middle register, enriched by mezzo shading. She shows her full dramatic potential in the opening items, Abigaille's Act 1 aria from Nabucco and Puccini's 'Vissi d'arte', and her control of line in arias by Bellini and Mozart. The second CD is based on her recent Pushkin recital and ranges from Glinka and Mussorgsky to Shostakovitch; I was particularly impressed by the gentle shading and variety of expressive colour in her voice - perhaps most of all in the Rimsky-Korsakov group, which she sings in an intimate manner and with real depth of feeling
Stanley Sadie, (former Editor, Groves Dictionary of Music), 2001