Der Komponist, Ariadne auf Naxos, Berkshire Opera Company
“The quality of the singing is astounding. Garman and Loy have assembled a dazzling cast, including the three brilliant leading female singers: Zabala as the composer, Haslett as Zerbinetta, and Stonikas as Ariadne.”
-Barbara Waldinger, Berkshireonstage.com
“Adriana Zabala offers a thrilling assault of anger and despair...”
-Sharon Smullen, The Berkshire Eagle
“As to Adriana Zabala, the Composer, Nicole Haslett as Zerbinetta and Marcy Stonikas as Ariadne, we cannot imagine, at least last night in that house, greater perfections. Zabala, lithe and trim in the pants role of (a male) composer, sang movingly (with perfect soupçons of adolescent cosmic angst) in her exquisite mezzo. Exiting the theater, glamorously accoutered as a real star, she confided to us how much she loves this role. Charming and disarming.”
- Tom Schemmer, Boston Music Intelligencer
“Mezzo-soprano Adriana Zabala took the difficult first act role of The Composer and made it her own. Singing with vivacious expression her voice has a refined quality, so easy on the ear. A great performance, met by wild applause.”
-Rex Hearn, The Berkshire Record
“Mezzo-soprano Adriana Zabala as the Composer was the standout in the Prologue. Alternately indignant about the desecration of his masterpiece and excited about the idea of creating something new, Zabala commands the stage with feverish intensity.
-Walter Carroll, New England Public Radio
“As the prologue’s Komponist, mezzo Zabala flung herself into her role, dialing up the parodic elements of the composer as navel-gazing solipsist, and mooning conceitedly over her score in the black leather jacket of a misunderstood hipster-artiste.”
-Joel Rozen, Parterre.com
“...Adriana Zabala, in the trouser role of The Composer, gives a passionate, lithe…and utterly Byronic portrait of the artist as a young egotist. Her vibrant, throbbing, white-hot vocalism is ribbed with steel in the role’s moments of unsurpassed indignation, yet melts into translucent rapture... [there was] exquisite vocal chemistry between Haslett and Zabala."
- Charles Geyer, MyScena.com
The New York Times
“Zabala has the richness of the role to play...She gives a strong and healthy impression with her strong mezzo-soprano tones to the firmness, and the finesse, of the unnamed artist...Zabala brings that very sense of compassion to the role making her voice ring with the occasional hollow tone that expresses the loneliness he feels...This is a superb performance.”
-J. Peter Bergman, The Berkshire Edge
Carrie, Sister Carrie, Florentine Opera Company and world premiere recording on Naxos
Performance + CD Review | Listen Here
"Mezzo Ariana Zabala, as Carrie, shows remarkable vocal and dramatic versatility..."
-Joshua Rosenblum, Opera News
“Mezzo-soprano Adriana Zabala gave a dramatically compelling, beautifully sung performance in the title role...”
-Elaine Schmidt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“Magnificently sung and acted by its two leads... It is hard to imagine a better Carrie than mezzo Adriana Zabala… Zabala’s posture becomes an acting element, conveying allure, demands, humor — whatever role Carrie has molded herself into.”
-Dominique Paul Noth, Urban Milwaukee
“Adriana Zabala created a sympathetic Carrie whose actions were entirely understandable. Zabala’s warmly-textured lyric mezzo registered enchantingly, with an easy fluidity.”
-Mark Thomas Ketterson, Opera News, Critic's Choice
"...on the basis of this superb Naxos recording of the Florentine Opera premiere production, Sister Carrie deserves to become a staple in opera houses in America and beyond...mezzo-soprano Adriana Zabala (as Carrie), baritone Keith Phares (Hurstwood), set high standards for future casts.""
Dorabella, Così fan tutte, Opera Saratoga
"The two stunning female leads are equally talented...Mezzo Adriana Zabala as Dorabella is a knock-out singer, her creamy tones lending intimacy to the music, and her acting shining with star quality."
-Judith White, The Saratogan
Lucy Talbot, Dinner at Eight, world premiere with Minnesota Opera
“…each of the nine principal characters gets one short aria. Some of them connect: The waltzy “Don’t bother, dear,” sung by Adriana Zabala, forthright as Lucy Talbot…has some heft and feeling.”
-Heidi Waleson, Wall Street Journal
“…but Adriana Zabala steals the show with Lucy Talbot’s smoky cabaret blues arietta.”
“The opera’s most finely crafted aria comes from Adriana Zabala...”
- Rob Hubbard- St. Paul Pioneer Press
"...Garland and Zabala’s chemistry is compellingly interesting...
- Basil Considine, Twin Cities Arts Reader
“...Adriana Zabala brings unexpected beauty to her aria, torn by her husband's betrayals, yet still in love with him.”
-Arthur Dorman, TalkinBroadway.com
"Another highlight of the evening was the scene between Andrew Garland and Adriana Zabala, whose coppery sound lent a deeper twist of the knife to her emotionally wrought musical lines."
- I Care If You Listen Blog
Sister James, Doubt, world premiere with Minnesota Opera
"Adriana Zabala, with a clear mezzo soprano, made both Sister James’s almost comically sweet innocence and her late acquisition of backbone believable."
-James Oestreich, The New York Times
"Also outstanding is Adriana Zabala, who brings youthful effervescence and enthusiasm to the young nun, Sister James, and engages with Worth in the closest thing that this opera holds to a love duet (although about a different kind of love)."
-Rob Hubbard, St. Paul Pioneer Press
"As Sister James, the young nun whose tenuous innocence is shattered by the opera's end, Adriana Zabala sings with passion and compassion."
-Larry Fuchsberg, The Minneapolis Star Tribune
Niklausse/ Muse, Les contes d'Hoffmann, Madison Opera
“Finally, speaking of the muse, Zabala was wonderful. Her personality was engaging, she sang beautifully – and much of the time she was either lying down or moving around, all without missing a beat.”
-Channel 3000 Madison
Niklausse/ Muse, Les contes d'Hoffmann, Minnesota Opera
“The other constant is Hoffmann’s Muse, sung in a tux by the charming mezzo Adriana Zabala.”
-Lyndsay Christian, The Capital Times
"...Zabala is fabulous...her polish and vocal agility make her an ideal Muse/Niklausse...the bacarolle was one of the loveliest moments in the show."
-Jay Furst, The Post-Bulletin
"A night in Venice is evoked splendidly by a solo as blissful and soothing as a ride down the canal, courtesy of Adriana Zabala."
-Ron Hubbard, St. Paul Pioneer Press
Pinocchio, The Adventures of Pinocchio, Minnesota Opera
"...Pinocchio is brought to vivid life by the gifted mezzo-soprano, Adriana Zabala. With her versatile range complimented by emotive feeling, Zabala powerfully projects Pinocchio’s stages of maturation...She carries the character on his adventure with a vibrancy..."
-Brad Richason, Twin Cities Performance Art Examiner
"As Pinocchio, mezzo Adriana Zabala demonstrated tremendous stamina and boy-like flair; she made his alternation of foolish behavior and abject remorse seem perfectly credible."
-Heidi Waleson, The Wall Street Journal
"Zabala, who was onstage almost the entire evening, bounded about with relentless boyish energy and displayed a firmly focused mezzo that was resonant from top notes to bottom."
-Michael Anthony, Opera News
"As the title character, Adriana Zabala sings with intense innocence and joy, projecting life and intensity through all the makeup and beyond Pinocchio’s growing nose. Hardly leaving the stage, Zabala captures the sympathy and attention of the audience throughout the tall tale."
-Rebecca Mitchell, Twin Cities Daily Planet
Amore, Diana's Garden, Minnesota Opera
"Zabala...is in her element in the trouser role as the impish Amore, with personality to spare and a vocal boldness and clarity that has characterized her many other roles..."
-Jay Furst for the Post Bulletin
"As Amore, though, Zabala steals every scene she is in, embodying both the vocal artistry and physicality that marks this production."
-Lydia Lunning for Twin Cities Arts Reader
Cherubino, Le nozze di Figaro, Florentine Opera Company
"Mezzo Adriana Zabala put on a singing clinic as Cherubino. What a brilliant, clear, utterly controlled voice, unified top to bottom, pristine in pitch and aglow with rich and harmonious overtones. Her phrasing….opened expansively to model Cherubino’s runaway enthusiasm, his tangle of love, lust and starry, poetic romanticism. She sang thus amid some of the best and most athletic physical comedy you’ll see in an opera."
-Tom Strini, Third Coast Daily
Cherubino, Le nozze di Figaro, Minnesota Opera
“Adriana Zabala is fearless as the lusty Cherubino.”
-Jay Furst, Post Bulletin
“Add strong singing and vivid comic characterizations by Adriana Zabala, Matt Boehler, and Nadia Fayad, and you have quite the impressive ensemble."
-Rob Hubbard, St. Paul Pioneer Press
“And one must not fail to mention at this point the stellar and wildly wily performance of Adriana Zabala, who performed Cherubino splendidly...she understood so well the bearing and swagger of a young, arrogant, handsome adolescent boy...in fact, so spot on that there were times in which I forgot I was watching a female performing…Zabala was astounding to watch and marvelous to hear. A true delight.”
- LifeInRevue Blog
Paula, Florencia en el Amazonas, San Diego Opera
“The singing is potent throughout, and the acting is strong as well…Mezzo-soprano Zabala brings a kind of world-weary maturity to her musical moments of sorrowful regret and joyful reunion.”
-Times of San Diego
Paula, Florencia en el Amazonas, Madison Opera
"The eloquent and affecting mezzo-soprano Adriana Zabala is especially moving...she has the maturity and resonance of a performer at the top of her craft…"
-Lindsay Christians , The Capitol Times
Paula, Florencia en el Amazonas, Arizona Opera
"Adriana Zabala is a standout as Paula for her melancholy mezzo, along with her wonderful comic chemistry with Levi Hernandez as Álvaro."
-Kerry Lengel, The Republic
Sesto, Giulio Cesare, Florentine Opera Company
"Mezzo-soprano Adriana Zabala gave a strikingly believable performance in the "pants" role of Sesto. She blended vocal clarity, a youthful emotional directness and a light-footed stage presence to create a highly sympathetic character."
-Elaine Schmidt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Miss Jessel, The Turn of the Screw, OnSite Opera NYC
" Zabala's powerful mezzo soprano taking on a deep-blue timbre as she went, making her dead former governess strangely sympathetic. In her scenes with Flora, her kind glances took on a malevolent undertone."
-Gabrielle Ferrari, Parterre Box
"As his ghostly counterpart, Adriana Zabala as Miss Jessell...was chilling in her traumatized, post-mortem neediness and warped affection toward Flora. When Armstrong and Zabala converge on the line “The ceremony of innocence is drowned,” it was one of the opera’s most searing moments."
-Sean Piccoli, New York Classical Review
Mary Johnson, Fellow Travelers, Madison Opera
"...Mary, played by the marvelous Adriana Zabala. (Zabala’s Act II aria, “I worry, that’s all,” is another distinct pleasure.)"
-Lindsay Christians, The Madison Capital Times
Mary Johnson, Fellow Travelers, Minnesota Opera
"Adriana Zabala...shines in a pivotal role as Mary Johnson...she’s the conscience of the story. And Zabala’s singing is terrific."
-Pamela Espeland, MinnPost
Joanna, Romulus Hunt, Nashville Opera
"Mezzo soprano Adriana Zabala is particularly lovely as Rom’s mother, Joanna, delivering a heartfelt rendition of “It’s My Downfall..."
-Amy Stumpfl- Tennessean.com
Isabella Linton, Wuthering Heights, Minnesota Opera
"Adriana Zabala boils over in frustration as Heathcliff’s eventual wife Isabella."
-George Loomis, The London Financial Times
"Minnesota fielded a strong cast... Adriana Zabala, as Isabella Linton, went convincingly from flirty to terrified after she makes the mistake of marrying Heathcliff."
-Heidi Walleson, The Wall Street Journal
The Barbarian Girl, Waiting for the Barbarians, Austin Opera
"...Mezzo-soprano Adriana Zabala was lustrous as the Barbarian Girl. Too bad Glass didn't give her more to do."
-Mike Greenberg, San Antonio Express News
"As the barbarian girl...Adriana Zabala sang with a bright, penetrating voice. She was a vivid, fearless presence in the physically demanding role, which required her to perform one scene completely unclothed and covered with bruises.”
-Steve Smith, The New York Times
"Adriana Zabala...was extraordinary, a young, vibrant mezzo-soprano."
-Mark Swed, The Los Angeles Times
"One wished for a larger role for the barbarian girl as mezzo-soprano Adriana Zabala had an impressive clarity and emotion."
-Jeanne Claire van Ryzin, Austin American-Statesman
Rosina, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Opera Carolina
"Even among this strong ensemble cast, the Rosina of Adriana Zabala was a particular delight. She was a high-spirited...and Zabala's singing was equally effective...Her acting was particularly alive to each possible nuance...her expression of delighted astonishment at learning Almaviva's true identity was priceless."
-Luther Wade, Opera News
"The mezzo-soprano Adriana Zabala made a lithe, sexy Rosina, making the character charming and smart. Her voice had the luster of liquid silver in the middle range and beautiful fire at the top."
-David Williams, The Charleston Gazette
Rosina, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Syracuse Opera
"The sooner Syracuse Opera can bring back Adriana Zabala, the better...with a mezzo soprano that sometimes soared, sometimes floated and was consistently lyrical and effortless, proved to be the highlight of last weekend's lively production of "The Barber of Seville."
-Joan E. Vadeboncoeur, The Post-Standard
"The standout...is Adriana Zabala, whose delightful Rosina captured all the coquettish charm of her character, whether she was singing or acting. Her engaging mezzo-soprano is brilliant in its high register and deep in the low register, dazzling the crowd in "Una vocepoco fa" with her poise and elan."
-David Abrams, The Post-Standard
Rosina, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Minnesota Opera
"Adriana Zabala's astonishing flexibility and her characterization of Rosina was broad and brazen, but never became caricature."
-William Randall Beard, St. Paul Pioneer Press
Angelina, La Cenerentola, Arizona Opera
"Adriana Zabala sailed effortlessly through Angelina’s music in a dazzling singing portrait and she looked the part, perky and excited at her luck and being released from her indentured servitude."
-Chris Curcio, Curtain Up Phoenix
"In the title role, mezzo-soprano Adriana Zabala showed an extremely agile voice that grew bigger and stronger as
the evening wore on. By the last scene - her character's big moment - Zabala was singing with easy power
and songbird grace."
-Kenneth LeFave, The Arizona Republic
Erminella, Volpone, world premiere with Wolf Trap Opera Company
"As classy Madame Erminella, mezzo-soprano Adriana Zabala was authoritative, yet affecting. Her opening aria...was the best set piece in the opera, a jewellike musical moment defining her character..."
-T. L. Ponick The Washington Times
"The eloquent and affecting
mezzo-soprano Adriana Zabala is particularly moving...she has the maturity and resonance of a
performer at the top of her craft."
-Lindsay Christians, The Capitol Times
Alto Soloist, Parables DVD, Recording with University of Minnesota Orchestras & Choirs
"...The powerful, resolute mezzo Adriana Zabala delivers the story of Job with finely chiseled diction."
-Joshua Rosenblum, Opera News, Critic's Choice
Durey Rediscovered: The Unpublished Manuscripts of Louis Durey, world premiere recording on New Focus Recordings
"I was completely bowled over. These songs are nearly all gems...The musicians, led by pianist and Durey scholar Jocelyn Dueck, along with a team of very fine singers: baritones Jesse Blumberg and Sidney Outlaw, tenor William Burden and mezzo-soprano Adriana Zabala, make the best possible case for this enigmatic composer, who is perhaps to be valued much higher than he is presently."
-Music For Several Instruments Blog
Lelio, Le dernier sorcier, world premiere recording on Bridge Records
"...The gorgeous duet for the lovers Stella (soprano Camille Zamora) and Lelio (a trouser role sung by mezzo Adriana Zabala) even rivals the beauty of Hoffmann."
"…Of particular distinction among an already excellent cast, is the beautiful shaded mezzo with impeccable French, Adriana Zabala."
-Alfred Caron, Avant Scène Opéra (translated from French)
"The mezzo-soprano Adriana Zabala is wonderful as the enamoured Lelio and Jamie Barton is a majestic Fairy Queen."
-Thea Derks, Cultuurpers (translated from Dutch)
Exhilaration: Emily Dickenson Songs, Yeats Songs, Weill Hall recital & world premiere recording with pianist & composer, Gregg Kallor
"Mr. Kallor's own "Exhilaration", in its world premiere, made a lovely first impression... This song cycle on Poems by Emily Dickinson was magnificently sung by a mezzo-soprano, Adriana Zabala."
-Harris Goldsmith, New York Concert Review
"Kallor has found a wonderful exponent in Adriana Zabala, a gifted, agile mezzo-soprano. Kallor knows how to make these words sing, and Zabala gives perfect flight to them. Singing with uncommon clarity and natural beauty, she seems to be deep inside both the poems and Kallor's musical realizations..."
-Joshua Rosenblum, Opera News
"Kallor's piano phrases frame Zabala's voice perfectly, weaving around the lyrics, sometimes in unison, other times an echo…."A Drunken Man's Praise of Sobriety" rolls in with the comic earnestness of an Arthur Sullivan melody, foreshadowing the serio-comic lyrics."
-Richard Kamins, The Hartford Courant
"This disc of songs by Gregg Kallor, fabulously sung by Adriana Zabala, is packed with lovely and effective music. These songs...are simply beautiful and poignant works that I hope more people hear. The focus remains on Ms. Zabala’s sensitive and expressive voice while the piano is always serving a background role..."
- Jay Batzner, Sequenza 21
Bernstein Memories, Madison Symphony
"Zabala returned to give a highly entertaining rendition of "What a Movie!" from "Trouble in Tahiti," one of Bernstein's two operas. The mezzo-soprano has a wonderful range and a good sense of comic timing, both of which were put to excellent use.
-Michael Muckian, The Capital Times
Gershwin, Ellington, and Porter, Syracuse Symphony
" Zabala exhibited depth and sparkle in her song interpretations. She was especially effective singing Gershwin’s “You Don’t Know Paree,” and Ellington’s “Prelude to a Kiss,” ... the finale included the stellar performance of Zabala and Russo on “I Got it Bad (And that Ain’t Good)."
-Michael Muckian, The Capital Times
Teatros Españoles, The New York Festival of Song
"Adriana Zabala, who has a strong, clear mezzo-soprano that she uses adroitly…sang a number of the evening’s highlights…(including) a breathtakingly rapid tongue-twister of a patter song, which she coolly pulled off."
-Anne Midgette, The New York Times
"Tackling the title song from Ernesto Lecuona's María la O, Adriana Zabala brought sultry style to these Cuban blues."
-Bruce-Michael Gelbert, Theater Scene.Net