Mezzo-Soprano

Virginie Verrez

With a voice described as “silvery [and] dark-hued” and ” attractive throughout her range” by the New York Times, French Mezzo-Soprano Virginie Verrez is a rising star on the opera stage.

© Dario Acosta

Introduction

French mezzo-soprano Virginie Verrez is a graduate of New York’s Juilliard School.  She is the winner of the 2016 Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition and a winner of the 2015 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.  She was a member of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program 2015-2017.

In the 2018/19 season, Virginie will join the ensemble of the Wiener Staatsoper where her roles will include Cherubino Le nozze di Figaro, Lola Cavalleria Rusticana, Idamante Idomeneo, Tisbe La Cenerentola and Meg Page Falstaff. She will also return to the Opéra de Paris as Flora Bervoix La traviata .

Recent highlights have included Erika in Barber’s Vanessa at the Glyndebourne Festival and in Santa Fe, Zerlina Don Giovanni for the Dallas Opera, Dorabella Così fan tutte for L’Opéra de Lille, Mercédès Carmen for the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and Stephano Roméo et Juliette for the Metropolitan Opera.


  • More info  
    05 Aug 18 BARBER Vanessa
    Glyndebourne Festival Opera

    “As Erika, Virginie Verrez projected firm-toned purity to match the character’s pitiless clear-sightedness, and her richly glowing ‘Must the winter come so soon’ was ravishingly sung.”
    John Allison, Opera, October 2018

    “Virginie Verrez was outstanding as Erika, with a voice that was pure, confident and strong and a lovely sense of line. I believed utterly in her character as it morphed through sexual awakening to self-destructive obstinacy; her stage presence was magnetic to the point where one felt that the opera could easily have been entitled Erika, not Vanessa.”
    ★★★★ David Karlin, Bachtrack, 06 August 2018

    “…stealing the honours – the sensational mezzo-soprano Virginie Verrez as tragic Erika”
    Neil Fisher, The Times, 08 August 2018

    “It is Erika whose part evolves most, beginning innocent , ending close to madness, and here the splendid mezzo Virginie Verrez excels.”
    Stephen Pettitt, The Sunday Times, 12 August 2018

    “Emma Bell gives a complex performance as Vanessa, Virginie Verrez a stellar one as Erika.”
    Mark Valencia, What’s on Stage, 06 August 2018

    “Emma Bell as Vanessa and Virginie Verrez as Erica, are both sweepingly opulent”
    Yehuda Shapiro, The Stage, 06 August 2018

    “Virginie Verrez is grippingly strong and intense as the younger Erika, whose unfolding tragedy is the mirror image of Vanessa’s past.”
    Richard Fairman, Financial Times, 06 August 2018

    “Verrez’s proud, sensual Erika”
    Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 06 August 2018

    “Verrez, wide-eyed beneath her perky bob, sang with a fierce radiance that revealed a brittle edge — a shattering piece of vocal characterisation, heightened by Warner’s stylised, intentionally melodramatic movement direction.”
    Richard Bratby, The Spectator, 11 August

    “We saw Virginie Verrez as Erika in Santa Fe in 2016, and here she seemed to have developed her performance, creating an Erika who was burningly passionate yet intensely conflicted. Her account of Erika’s refusal of Anatol’s offer of marriage was powerfully projected, capturing the character’s inner troubles.”

    ★★★★½, Planet Hugill, 06 August 2018

    “Emma Bell and Virginie Verrez complement each other superbly as the two leading ladies…Verrez sharing [Bell’s] intensity as the dramatic screw turns in the evening’s second half.”
    David Nice, The Arts Desk, 06 August 2018

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    17 Apr 18 MOZART Don Giovanni
    Dallas Opera

    “As Zerlina, mezzo-soprano Virginie Verrez offers a complete vocal change from the light soubrette soprano we traditionally hear in this role. Her voice is nothing short of amazing and her portrayal of this peasant girl, being seduced by the handsome nobleman, shows spunk and how conflicted Giovanni’s ministrations can make a young girl.”
    Gregory Sullivan Isaacs, TheaterJones, 15 April 2018

    “Mezzo-soprano Virginie Verrez as Zerlina and bass-baritone André Courville as Masetto gave solid performances. Their passionate duet, in spite of its horrifying admonition that Masetto should beat Zerlina for her dalliance with Giovanni, was especially well sung.”
    Monica Smart, Dallas Observer, 16 April 2018

    “Mezzo Virgine Verrez as Zerlina projects a sensual energy while remaining the naive victim of Giovanni.”
    Arnold Wayne Jones, Dallas Voice, 14 April 2018

    “Mezzo-soprano Virginie Verrez, who arrived later in the first act, was in full command both vocally and dramatically as Zerlina, carrying off the emotionally difficult, submissive aria “Batti, batti o bel Masetto” with a winning combination of a clear, lyric quality.”
    Wayne Lee Gay, Texas Classical Review, 14 April 2018

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    07 Feb 18 VERDI La traviata
    Opéra national de Paris

    “La Flora de Virginie Verrez est vive et sensuelle…

    “Virginie Verrez’s Flora is sensual and full of life…”
    Suzanna Lay-Canessa, 4 February 2018

    “Isabelle Druet, Julien Dran et Philippe Rouillon sont des seconds rôles de luxe tout comme la Flora sonore de Virginie Verrez et le docteur Grenvil au grave profond de Tomislav Lavoie…”

    “Isabelle Druet, Julien Dran and Philippe Rouillon, the secondary cast, give us dramatic luxury, just like the sonorous Flora of Virginie Verrez and the doctor Grenvil deep bass of Tomislav Lavoie…”
    Christian Peter, Forum Opera, 2 February 2018

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    13 Oct 17 MOZART Così fan tutte
    Opéra de Lille

    “De son côté, la jeune mezzo française (formée aux Etats-Unis) Virginie Verrez offre une superbe voix de mezzo-soprano…”

    “On the other hand, the young French Mezzo-Soprano Virginie Verrez (who trained in the United States) offers a superb mezzo voice…”
    Emmanuel Andrieu, Opera Online, 13 October 2017

     

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    13 Jul 17 Bizet Carmen
    Festival d'Aix-en-Provence

    “Mercédès presque surdimensionnée de Virginie Verrez (qu’on entendrait volontiers en… Carmen !)”
    Chantal Cazaux, L’Avant-Scène Opéra, 10 July 2017

    “Très belle révélation de la soirée, la Mercédès de Virginie Verrez, simplement formidable”
    Elodie Martinez, Toute la Culture, 10 July 2017

    “Bien todos los secundarios, pero hay que dejar constancia de la excepcional calidad musical y vocal de la mezzosoprano Virginie Verrez como Mercedes, la mayor alegría de la noche en una noche de pocas alegrías.”
    Luis Gago, El Pais, 06 July 2017

    “La Frasquita de la soprano Gabrielle Philiponet se tient à la crête de tous les ensembles, mais ne parvient pas à éclipser Mercédès, interprétée par la mezzo-soprano Virginie Verrez. Son timbre au dessin unique, découpant tactilement la ligne vocale, fait partie de ceux que l’on voudrait toucher et emporter avec soi une fois le rideau tombé.”
    Florence Lethurgez, Olyrix, 06 July 2017

    “Gabrielle Philiponet and Virginie Verrez contrasted nicely with d’Oustrac as a terrific Frasquita and Mercédès.”
    Mark Pullinger, Bachtrack, 05 July 2017

    “Mais les rôles secondaires sont très bien tenus aussi, à commencer par l’excellent Moralès de Pierre Doyen mais aussi la Mercedes de Virginie Verrez et la Frasquita de Gabrielle Philiponet, très vives, avec des voix jeunes et claires, bien projetées.”
    Guy Cherqui, Wanderer, 12 July 2017

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    14 Feb 17 Bellini I Puritani
    Metropolitan Opera, New York

    “As Enrichetta, mezzo Virginie Verrez offered plummy tone that filled the house.”
    Judith Malafronte, Opera News, May 2017

    “The role of Enrichetta, the imprisoned queen, is essentially a plot device with few moments of vocal glory, but Virginie Verrez made the most of it, showing a fine, dark lustre in her singing.”
    Eric C. Simpson, New York Classical Review, 11 February 2017

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    22 Mar 15 Mozart & Barber National Council Auditions
    Metropolitan Opera Orchestra/Fabio Luisi

    “The French mezzo-soprano Virginie Verrez also made a strong impression, her silvery, dark-hued voice attractive throughout her range, demonstrating impressive control in her interpretations of selections from Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito and Barber’s Vanessa.”
    Vivien Schweitzer, New York Times, 23 March 2015

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    03 Jan 17 Gounod Roméo et Juliette
    Metropolitan Opera, New York

    “The mezzo-soprano Virginie Verrez brought youthful sass and a bright voice to the male role of Stéphano, Roméo’s page.”
    Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, 01 January 2017

    “Virginie Verrez showed an airy, bright mezzo in the trouser role of Stephano.”
    Eric C. Simpson, New York Classical Review, 01 January 2017

    “The younger characters smoldered: Diego Silva, properly harsh in his debut as the sneering Tybalt; Elliot Madore, an unusually violence-prone Mercutio; and Virginie Verrez, an aggressor-in-training as the page Stéphano, swishing a sword around indiscriminately in her Act III aria.”
    Heidi Waleson, The Wall Street Journal, 03 January 2017

    “Virginie Verrez sang well as Stéphano.”
    Robert Levine, Bachtrack, 05 January 2017

    “Virginie Verrez brought a flexible mezzo to the page Stéphano.”
    Christopher Browner, Classical Source, 10 January 2017

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    01 Aug 16 Barber Vanessa
    Santa Fe Opera

    “Erika was portrayed by Virginie Verrez, a mezzo-soprano near the outset of her career. “Must the winter come so soon?” — the opera’s most often extracted aria — was a catalyst in launching her career; she included it in her prize-winning performance at the 2015 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. She is French but sang with perfect American-English diction, and her depiction was suitable for a character whose emotional state ranges from subdued to despondent. Her appealing voice is bound to take on ever greater emotional depth as time unrolls.”
    James M. Keller, The New Mexican, 01 August 2016

    “The mezzo-soprano Virginie Verrez, winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, was strong as Erika, both her gestures and her steely voice suggesting the character’s tightly wired repression.”
    Charles T. Downey, Washington Post, 02 August 2016

    “As Erika, [Vanessa’s] niece and victim of Anatol’s doubtful affection, mezzo Virginie Verrez makes a gratifying SFO debut. Her trademark aria, “Must winter come so soon,” rings with a fresh vocal intelligence that informs her presence throughout as the opera’s most sympathetic character. She’s called a “wounded bird,” but her demeanor is much more than that.”
    John Stege, Santa Fe Reporter, 03 August 2016

    “The young French mezzo Virginie Verrez is, if anything, an even more glorious singer [than Erin Wall], with a voice of impressive power but also expressive eloquence.”
    Scott Cantrell, Dallas Morning News, 05 August 2016

    “Erika, the niece of Vanessa, becomes throughout the course of the opera, even more neurotic than her aunt. French mezzo-soprano Virginie Verrez traverses her journey from relative innocence to ultimately assuming the posture of her aunt.”
    D.S. Crafts, Albuquerque Journal, 07 August 2016

    “Virginie Verrez made Erika’s momentary awakening and ultimate choice of permanent repression chilling.”
    Heidi Waleson, Wall Street Journal, 09 August 2016

    “In many ways, the central character of this opera is Erika, the innocent, younger woman—Vanessa’s doppelgänger perhaps—who both inherits and then grapples with the same past and future realities that forever altered her Aunt Vanessa’s life. Virginie Verrez, with her deeply-informed and passionate mezzo voice, weaves these erratic and erotic visions together to create a deeply complex, affecting and memorable character.”
    Terry Ponick, Communities Digital News, 14 August 2016

    “Vanessa’s sister Erica, Virginie Verrez, is a singer I had never heard live before, but can’t wait until my next encounter. As Vanessa is on her manic roller coaster up, her sister is on the opposite track, moving from an innocent girl straight down to a personal hell. Erica has the daunting job of singing a standard “hit” aria within the first few minutes of the opera, a difficult task because of audience expectations. But Verrez delivered “Must the winter come so soon?” with such grace and longing, not to mention gorgeous phrasing and wonderful control, that the opera was kick-started into a plethora of emotions that didn’t quit until the final curtain.”
    Glen Roven, The Huffington Post, 15 August 2016 

    “Virginia Verrez sings Erika in a full mezzo. Her touch is light, suggesting the fragility of this character, her inexperience and her yearning.”
    Susan Hall, ConcertoNet, 23 August 2016

    “In the pivotal role of the niece Erika, mezzo Virginie Verrez showed great promise. The voice is large and beautiful — one can understand why she won the Met Auditions. Her “Must the Winter Come So Soon” was lovely.”
    Joseph So, Musical Toronto, 08 August 2016

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    05 Apr 16 Manuel de Falla The Three Cornered Hat
    New York Philharmonic/Bramwell Tovey

    “Perhaps oddest is the score’s use — or underuse — of a mezzo-soprano for a total of two brief songs. Here it was Virginie Verrez, who brought the bundled brilliance of her voice to this modest part.”
    Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, New York Times, 01 April 2016

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    16 Feb 16 Puccini Manon Lescaut
    Metropolitan Opera, New York

    “Virginie Verrez, sounding lovely and fresh as the leader of the madrigal singers.”
    Eric C. Simpson, New York Classical Review, 13 February 2016

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    28 Apr 15 Mozart Le nozze di Figaro
    The Juilliard School

    “Thesele Kemane, the Figaro, was appealing, as was Virginie Verrez, as Cherubino.”
    James R. Oestreich & Vivien Schweitzer New York Times, 26 April 2015

    “Virginie Verrez, an adorable Cherubino.”
    John Rockwell, Opera, July 2014

Repertoire

OPERA

BARBER
‘Vanessa’ (Erika)

BELLINI
‘I puritani’ (Enrichetta di Francia)

BERLIOZ
‘Beatrice et Bénédict’ (Beatrice)

BIZET
‘Carmen’ (Mercedes)

GOUNOD
‘Romeo et Juliette’ (Stéphano)

MASSANET
‘Cendrillon’ (Le Prince Charmant) *upcoming

MOZART
‘Così fan tutte’ (Dorabella)
‘Don Giovanni’ (Zerlina)
‘Le nozze di Figaro’ (Cherubino) *upcoming

VERDI
‘La traviata’ (Flora Bervoix)

CONCERT

BEETHOVEN
Symphony No. 9

DURUFLÉ
Requiem

HAYDN
Nelson Mass

RAVEL
Shéhérazade

Discography

 
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    DURUFLE 'Requiem'

    Release Date: 01 Mar 17

    Mezzo-soprano: Virginie Verrez
    Baritone: Benjamin Appl
    Cello: Michael Müller
    Organ: Jan Hage

    Groot Omroepkoor/Ed Spanjaard