Reviews

About Salome:

“The second premiere found a unique fascination in the young Deborah Raymond. No Salome-Sexpot, fortunately not, rather a confused childlike ‘Daughter of passion’, ...Her limited low Sprechgesang culminates in an enrapturing soprano top. One has seldom experienced such a tender, sensitive princess since [Maria] Cebotari.”

Ernst Krause, OPERNWELT, March 1988

“I saw the second premiere with Deborah Raymond in the title role: a cat woman, as in October 1930 Richard Strauss as conductor thought to have found in Maria Rajdl…Now to here and today. One would almost not have entrusted the physically ideal Raymond with the vocal stamina through to the final monologue. Her success was beautiful reality.”

Hans Boehm, OPERN UND KONZERT, June 1988

“As the title character, soprano Deborah Raymond carried the show with a voice that can take on anything the large orchestra dishes out Ad her “Dance of the Seven Veils” is a psycho-sexual display that would make Freud blush (no she’s not nude).”

Dean Smith, THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, February 1995

“Deborah Raymond is an outstanding artist whose vocal prowess and sheer dramatic presence took full command of this most difficult and volatile role. Her unrestrained and unabashed proclamations of desire and projection of nubile innocence were both totally convincing and captivating. And the evocation of beguiling adolescent curiosity was as wonderful as it was disturbing. Ms. Raymond’s performance of the infamous “dance of the seven veils” served as an effective reminder of the more subtle and alluring qualities of human sensuality so often lost in our post-Madonna age.”

Richard Prior, THE LEADER, February 1995

“Deborah Raymond’s Salome was as complete as one might hope to see She understood the warped psyche of the spoiled young princess who demands the head of John the Baptist on a silver platter after he rejects her love. As importantly, she showed a strong grasp of Strauss’ detailed musical language, both in the subtleties of the music she sand and its cues of action. Her every move and expression was tightly choreographed and to dramatic effect….her singing was a thing of silvery beauty seductive charm and studied precision.”

Daniel Buckley, ARIZONA CITIZEN, 1997

“...it is Deborah Raymond’s performance as Salome that is the tour de force. She sings with passion, power and radiance, acts with demonic abandon and dances with abundant carnal grace. Seldom does a performer so totally and fluently capture her characterization so intensely and perfectly. She looks like Salome. She acts like Salome. She is Salome. Those who witness Raymond’s performance will be overwhelmed. Those who miss it are to be pitied.”

Robert Fuller, DES MOINES REGISTER, June 2002

Marie in Wozzeck:

“Deborah Raymond is a ‘little girl’ Marie, a vulnerable, delicate figure, who without a clue drifts toward the oncoming catastrophe. This mixture of innocence and provocation Deborah Raymond shows in a stifling manner.”

Imre Fabian, OPERNWELT, March 1989

Tosca:

“Deborah Raymond has a fierce voice as Floria Tosca. The tiny soprano proves that she can play larger-than-life…and she can wield a big bloody knife with panache.”

Yvonne Beasley, November 2005

“Soprano Deborah Raymond sings gloriously. Her “Vissi d’arte” is as exquisite as her acting. She’s entrancing every moment she’s on stage.”

Jack Neal, November 2005

'Singing her first Tosca, soprano Deborah Raymond showed great assurance and stylistic command. Her seamless voice had the power and projection to fill the Weidner Auditorium (2020 seats) with rich colorful tone, and her strong stage sense let her move Tosca’s character convincingly from grand diva to vulnerable lover and vengeful victim.”

Christine Gransier, September 1996

“Deborah Raymond was diminutive in stature but not in musicality. …How rare to hear the role sung from start to finish with such scrupulous attention to detail, to hear line, sculpted with such fidelity to verista style. Although Raymond’s voice is more rounded, less reedy, she often reminded me of the legendary Magda Olivero.”

Erik Eriksson, DOOR COUNTY ADVOCATE, September 1996

Nedda in I Pagliacci:

"Topping the strong cast was soprano Deborah Raymond as Nedda… The contrast in her interaction with these two men was a clear representation of the conflict in her life, while a third side to her personality was seen in her cruel treatment of Tonio. Her voice also had several facets, as she changed from unhappy wife to passionate lover. When she acted the part of Colombine, her voice took on an appropriate brightness.”

Hampton Roads THE VIRGINIAN PILOT March 1997:

“Deborah Raymond’s soprano was clear, lyrical and dramatic, as was her Nedda, the girl desired by Canio, Tonio, and Silvio, focused and convincing.”

THE VIRGINIA GAZETTE March 1997

Madama Butterfly:

“Soprano Deborah Raymond creates a demure and vulnerable Cio-Cio-San and is entirely believable as the jilted Japanese youngster who gives her heart to the attractive American navel lieutenant. Miss Raymond’s singing is the perfect match for her stylish dramatic portrayal. She underplays and it works, and she never oversings and that works gloriously. Miss Raymond’s supple voice is exquisitely fine tuned and always superbly sculpted to the score’s ultra-lyric demands. Her “Un bel di” is hauntingly delivered – a triumph in fresh and moving singing of an aria that too often has lost its dramatic punch. It’s dramatic punch and a gorgeous voice that Miss Raymond consistently delivers.”

Jack Neal November 2003

Mimi in La Bohème:

“Deborah Raymond was absolutely fantastic as the ill-fated Mimì who finally succumbs to her coughing at the end of the opera. She gave Mimì zest, vitality, and animation until the disease finally catches up with her. She was undaunted in her pursuit of life and all it had to offer. Her singing added fresh air to an otherwise stifling situation. She was beautiful exciting and in exceptional good voice.”

Charles Epstein, INDIANAPOLIS June 1995

Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni – Arizona Opera:

“Deborah Raymond as the jilted Donna Elvira brings a gravity to her part that isn’t always present (Elvira often is turned into a joke, but not here).”

Richard Nilson, The Arizona Republic March 2009

Concerts:

Second String Quartet, Schoenberg - Spoleto USA: “Raymond proved to be a gifted singer, with a fresh radiant voice superbly suited to the slow third movement…and the very slow fourth movement…Raymond’s soft voice was hypnotic for the “Litany” and demonstrated her skill with a two octave leap. In the fourth movement “departure from earth to another planet” according to the composer, Raymond’s soprano floated the poetry’s symbolism effortlessly."

William Furtwangler, POST and COURIER June 1997

Second String Quartet, Schoenberg - Sedona Chamber Music Festival : “Ms. Raymond’s mastery of her instrument showed us a world-class artist at work in a favored métier, and Schoenberg’s challenging vocal lines flowed easily. Enhanced by her nuanced-command of German, Ms. Raymond’s rich soprano blended superbly with the lush strings [of the Chicago String Quartet].”

Meredith Wynne, FLAGSTAFF LIVE! May 2001

A Grand Finale:

NAU “Because We Remember Them” ends the academic year on a strong note.

In somber reflection on one of the most horrific events in human history, the extermination of six million men, women and children in the notorious Nazi concentration camps during the Second World War, commemoration of these lives was the theme of a remarkable program at NAU’s Ardrey Auditorium on Saturday evening, May 2.

Described by NAU College of Arts and Letters Dean Michael Vincent as “a once in a lifetime event”, a commemoration through personal accounts, music, dance and drama featured distinguished members of the NAU performing arts faculty in performance of works by composers whose lives and careers were fatally intertwined with the events of those war years.

The program’s musical selections alternated with narration by two Flagstaff residents who offered personal reflections of their experience during those war years. Doris Martin, now 90 years of age, is a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp…Nando Schellen … was a young boy in Holland and Belgium during the war years, and in seven colorful and moving vignettes he recalled his childhood perspective on the horrific events of the time.

Soprano Deborah Raymond, director and producer of this notable musical, literary and artistic event, gave a profound reading of Viktor Ullmann’s “Five Love Songs”, accompanied by pianist Rita Borden and Andrew Needhammer’s choreography for four female dancers.

A more recent composer who was not a victim of the Holocaust, Ellwood Derr, has created musical settings of profound, often tragic, and yet lyrical poetry drawn from the legacy of youthful internees at Terezin, entitled “I Never Saw Another Butterfly”. [performed by Deborah Raymond, Rita Borden, and Jonathan Bergeron].

Concluding this memorable evening, mezzo-soprano Judith Cloud was seated at center stage, accompanying herself on guitar in a heartrending lullaby by Ilse Weber. …A hushed and deeply moved audience in the nearly full auditorium sat quietly and momentarily overcome by this moment in time, a stunning conclusion to a memorable and beautifully presented musical, literary and artistic reflection on a tragic period in the history of mankind.

Charly Spining, Arizona Sun, Sunday, May 17, 2015

Marie in Wozzeck, Landestheater Coburg:

Deborah Raymond

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