Making her Royal Opera House and European debut, Janai Brugger is praised as the “real hero” of this revival (Bachtrack):
“This was the first time I had heard his Pamina, Jania Brugger, but I very much hope that it will not be the last. Her performance balanced dignity and beauty of tone in properly Mozartian manner, her second-act aria an object lesson in pathos without exaggeration.” - Mark Berry, Seen and Heard International
“He deserves a fine Pamina and gets one in the beautiful, melting singing of Janai Brugger…” - Richard Fairman, The Financial Times
“Soprano Janai Brugger, a newcomer to the Royal Opera whose performance, both vocal and physical, is more than promising; she offers a Pamina of unflawed tonal clarity and subtle colouring, beautifully shaded in detail, and like Spence she looks the part as well as proving a fluent actor.” - George Hall, The Guardian
“Pamina turns out to be the real hero. Making her Royal Opera debut, Janai Brugger made a strong impression in the role, her creamy soprano well inflected in the aria “Ach ich fühls”, her very fast vibrato adding to her sense of vulnerability. She brought a sense of pathos and calm dignity.” - Mark Pullinger, Bachtrack
“It helped that he was matched by Janai Brugger’s beautifully performed Pamina, which managed to embrace the role both as archetype and character. This American soprano seems to have it all – a warm, subtle presence, a gleaming, mobile voice full of colour and nuance, packed with emotion in a show-stopping ‘Ich fühl’s’, and a natural connection with the music. Together with Spence, they became the point of the opera.” - Peter Reed, classicalsource.com
“… There’s a warmth and vulnerability to Chicago-born Janai Brugger’s timbre that makes her the ideal Pamina in Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Indeed, I can’t recall a soprano in this slightly silly part who has been quite so genuinely touching.” - Mark Valencia, What’s on Stage
“Amongst the ‘discoveries’ of the evening in vocal terms, the most promising was Janai Brugger, making her house debut as a lustrous Pamina; singing with directness and sweetness of tone yet with an edge to her phrasing, she resembled the unforgettable Ileana Cotrubas in this role.” - Melanie Eskenazi, Music OMH
Meanwhile Benjamin Bevan’s performance of The Speaker has been described as “grandly articulate” (George Hall, The Guardian) and “expansive” (Peter Reed, classicalsource.com). Singing this smaller but significant role, Mark Berry comments on how he brings “gravitas leavened by humanity” (Seen and Heard International) to the part, giving it “the required grandeur and authority” (Melanie Eskenazi, Music OMH).
Die Zauberflöte at the Royal Opera House runs until 11th March 2015. To find out more about the production please click here.