Sandra Piques Eddy

"The finest performance of the afternoon belonged to Sandra Piques Eddy in the role of Varvara.   This is a well-meaning character who, in bringing together Katya and Boris, unwittingly dooms them both.  Eddy, with her lustrous voice and warm personality, fully inhabited the role: hers was a performance both believable and sympathetic.   She made me wish that Janáček had written an operatic sequel for her character alone."    

Jonathan Blumhofer, The Arts Fuse

"Mezzo-soprano Sandra Piques Eddy, as Varvara, a foundling living in Katya's home, and tenor Omar Najmi, as Vanya, her admirer, gave the strongest performances, displaying a vocal and dramatic ease that provided much of the evening's emotional depth."  

Kalen Ratzlaff, Opera News
CARMEN at Portland Opera

"Most valuable performer: Sandra Piques Eddy, who appeared with Portland Opera as a ravishing Zerlina in "Don Giovanni" a couple seasons ago, is a captivating Carmen for a new generation.  Vocally she was especially powerful and lustrous in the lower part of her range and appealing throughout...Dramatically and physically she was a tempest in a shapely, scalding teacup and a passionate yet pitiless femme fetale.  Chad Shelton was a suitably ingenuous Don José, with a sweet, strong tenor that blended especially well with her lovely mezzo in the second act."   

James McQuillen, The Oregonian

"...Sandra Piques Eddy's sensual powerhouse of a Carmen..What makes this production work (besides the undeniable appeal of the music and story, which together make  Carmen the gateway drug of operas) is the  richness of the production, a traditional but beautiful work of visual imagination ignited by Eddy's prowling, nervy, physically unshackled performance as Carmen."

Oregon Arts Watch

"On Friday night (February 6) at the Keller Auditorium, Sandra Piques Eddy gave one of the best performances of Carmen that anyone can possibly imagine.  She captivated the audience with a tantalizing combination of emotions that made Carmen absolutely bewitching.   One moment, she could be playful and enticing and then sullen and calculating and then mean and derisive.  Piques Eddy embodied it all with her beguiling mezzo and nuanced acting, which included flicking the ashes from her cigarette into the waiting palms of some poor schmuck."

James Bash, Northwest Reverb

"Sandra Piques Eddy's petite, impish, fun-loving, free-living Carmen was the best thing about Portland Opera's production of Bizet's opera (seen Feb 6).  Act I's bare-shouldered, fleet-footed, street beauty became Act IV's  corrida queen in tall mantilla and long train- a less mobile target for Don José.    In between, she danced seductively, played castanets perfectly and was liberal with kisses.  In addition to being the best actor onstage, Eddy sang with more nuance than her cast mates and more..."

Mark Mandel, Opera News

"On opening night Feb. 6 mezzo-soprano Sandra Piques Eddy played the title character as a sexy gypsy, barefoot and hiking up her peasant skirt.   In her famous "Habanera," she offhandedly seduces a fiercely brooding military man named Don José (Chad Shelton).   When he grabs Carmen's arm, you feel the heat between them... the singers resplend like Spanish sunshine.  Ultimately this opera lives and dies by the chemistry between Carmen and Don José, and Eddy and Shelton scorched one another and the audience with their combustive friction as the star-crossed lovers."

Richard Speer, Willamette Weekly

"Sandra Piques Eddy's magnificently sung Poppea has the feline presence of a young Sophia Loren."

Alfred Hickling, The Guardian

"It is no small praise to say Eddy delivers the vocal performance of the evening, given there are such strong challenges on all sides from this cast. The crucial (and well judged) reworking of the story-heightening the capricious barbarism of Nerone- lands the burden of a significant dramatic arc in Poppea's lap. She opens exuding sexual confidence then, in achieving her goal of becoming empress, comes to realize that she has married a monster-and yet, perhaps, a part of her actually loves this childish brute? It's a wonderfully layered portrayal, exquisitely sung."

Martin Thomasson, British Theatre Guide

"American mezzo Sandra Piques Eddy (who's already sung Carmen for Opera North and is no stranger to the Met in New York) was the scheming courtesan of the title to perfection, with a velvety low register in her voice to die for. James Laing (Nerone, ie the emperor Nero) is one of the best counter-tenors around and could (and did) match her move-for-move in the passion stakes. The heart melting When I See You at the end made you love the two of them, appalling amoral monsters though they were."

Robert Beale, Manchester Theatre Awards

"... and a chiffon dressing-gown trimmed with fur for Sandra Piques Eddy's magnetic Poppea...Piques Eddy dominates, a compelling and seductive actress and singer. Half of the fascination we have with Poppea's ascent to the throne is in seeing her reaction as her insinuations are translated into death sentences. As any second wife knows, what happens to the first wife might happen to them too...The final number, 'Pur ti miro' (Now I see you), provides the most memorable sequence of images and sounds, as Poppea and Nero sit at either end of the long table, singing to each other (not us), rising, embracing, making love and separating again. It's a duet of phenomenal phenomenal intensity. Look hard (how can one not), and you can see a shift in the balance of power and the terror in Poppea's eyes. "

Anna Picard, The Spectator

"As Poppea, Sandra Piques Eddy is perfect: a dark-haired diminutive minx whose voice is full of blandishments as seductive as the long furry cuffs on the sleeves of her silk gown, Her voice has masculine clout in contrast to her daintily feminine appearance and there is an edge of hysteria in the duets with Nerone: they ascend scales with athletic grace, as if running up flights of stairs. And when the two sing 'I love you' for the first time, the word love is drawn out, inhabited, as if each were discovering the note and emotion for the first time ...full marks for sexy, brave, unstandoffish performances from both lovers."

Kate Kellaway, The Guardian/Observer

"This is particularly true of the final duet between Poppea (lustfully and frankly, erotically performed by the gorgeous American mezzo-soprano, Sandra Piques Eddy) and Nero (a splendid performance by British counter-tenor, James Laing) where the loving couple seem temporarily absolved of their crimes and celebrate their union."

Richard Trinder, Yorkshire Times

"Aptly, it is set in the early 1960's, when we were first seduced by Poppea and when, arguably, the cult of celebrity and narcissism really took root and spread. Poppea (Sandra Piques Eddy, in powerful and lustrous voice...) is a cross between Liz Taylor and Christine Keeler; her lover, the Roman emperor Nerone, a dapper, grey-suited politician."

Hillary Finch, The Times (London)

"Sandra Piques Eddy rekindles her sultry Carmen (her previous role here) and similarly lusty tone as Poppea."

Martin Dreyer, The York Press

"Sandra Piques Eddy's sensual Poppea is the charismatic fulcrum on which the sexual drama pivots..."

Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times -London

"Sandra Piques Eddy's Poppea convinced of dewy-eyed ambition coupled with, again, a youthful infatuation. In this amorality story-the wrong-doers succeed in achieving their goal-she was a dramatic model of manipulative conniving. Vocally she was very impressive, with a strong and well controlled velvet darkness to the voice."

dan78, The Culture Vulture

"He (Laing) is partnered by the gorgeously self-regarding Sandra Piques Eddy who sings Poppea with passion and precision."

Ron Simpson, What's on Stage

"Sandra Piques Eddy is a wonderfully slinky and sexy Poppea."

Richard Wilcocks., Bachtrack

"The real stars of the show are British counter-tenor James Laing (Nerone) and American mezzo-soprano Sandra Piques Eddy (Poppea). The production kicks off with what must be the most erotically charged duet you are likely to see on an operatic stage. (Eddy is sizzling hot and Laing matches her with an enactment of obsessive desire.)"

Rich Jevons, The Public Reviews

"Sandra Piques Eddy is never more alluring than when she's clad in scarlet in Act 3 standing out among an improbably photogenic cast."

Graham Rickson, The Arts Desk

"In chiffon peignoir, Sandra Piques Eddy makes a sumptuous siren of a Poppea, who has clearly taught James Laing's petulant boy Nero some compelling bedroom'd be hard pushed to find one so tightly or vividly enacted."

Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph

"Mezzo Sandra Piques Eddy's embodiment of Poppea as a beautiful and sophisticated siren shows that this opera is as much about sexual lust as it is about ambition. The tall and shapely Piques Eddy looks wonderful: dressed to kill in a full length gown, she walks along the line of tables like a catwalk model...Laing's icy cold timbre and Piques Eddy's senuous dark chocolate tones are well matched in their duets 'Signor, deh, non partire! 'And the final blissfully sung 'Pur ti miro.' "

Geoffrey Mogridge, Opera Britannia

"The duets between Nero and his mistress Poppea are often sexually charged. A considerable strength of the show is Sandra Piques Eddy as Poppea because she makes it clear to us why the Emperor has lost his head over her. She really looks the part, flirts with seductive conviction and knows how and when to flash a thigh. She can sing too."

John Leeman, Seen and Heard International
CARMEN at Opera Colorado

"Mezzo-soprano Sandra Piques Eddy plays the extraordinarily demanding title role with shattering impact. From the famously seductive Habanera and Seguidilla in Act I, through the virtuosic Bohemian Dance and Castanet Song in Act I, Eddy is senusal and intoxicating. Not only is her voice luxuriantly radiant, she effortlessly combines magnificent singing with spectacular dancing. The character's shift to defiant acceptance of her fate and assertion of her independence is extremely believable through Eddy's portrayal."

Kelly Dean Hansen, Boulder Daily Camera

"[As Carmen] Eddy's mezzo proved rich and pliant, unfettered by the demands of the low tessitura; she delivered an understated, sensual Habanera and handled the subsequent arias (and her castanets) with aplomb."

Opera News

"There was, in the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, a particularly charming Carmen offered up by earthy mezzo soprano Sandra Piques Eddy, who made her character's reckless abuse of lovers seem matter-of-fact."

Ray Mark Rinaldi, Denver Post

Sandra Piques Eddy in the lead role of Carmen was quite excellent, giving her role a fun and flirty air and a wonderful voice to complete the package.

Michael Mulhern, Opera

"And now, I come last but certainly not least to the mezzo-soprano who brings the gorgeous and gregarious (as well as intelligent) Rosina to life. Sandra Piques Eddy is captivating in looks and voice, and her beautifully supple and sensuous sound is adept handling the serious moments (as in the cavatina "Una voce poco fa") as she is playing with sillier ones (the "Dunque io son...tu non m'inganni?" duet with McKern's Figaro being just one example). Her chemistry with Stayton is good, her acting skills are impeccable and her energy is engaging. She's already appeared at the Met, and I bet she'll grace that and other grand houses many times before she retires from the stage. See her now so you can brag about it later."

Evans Donnell, Arts Nash
"Mezzo-Soprano Sandra Piques Eddy makes a sensational Nashville Opera debut as Rosina. She demonstrates great artistry-covering a tremendous vocal range with clarity and speed- along with considerable comedic instincts. Her "Una voce poco fa" is simply spectacular."
Amy Stumpfl, The Tennessean
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