As Christine Storch in Intermezzo:

Intermezzo was captivating on virtually every level, not least Mary Dunleavy as Christine Storch, a role requiring immense stamina as well as sensitively detailed characterization.” – Opera Now, September 2015

"Mary Dunleavy brought a light, glowing soprano, refinement, and oodles of charm to the role of Christine Storch." – Opernwelt, August 2015

“Ravella gets an entirely convincing performance from Mary Dunleavy in a mature and multifaceted portrayal of Christine, lighter-voiced than some, but radiant in her effusions.” — The Sunday Times, July 2015

“It is a little tease by Strauss of his hyper-critical wife who found being married to a famous composer trying. But it has the ability — beautifully brought out by Mary Dunleavy as Christine the wife — suddenly to move from light comedy to true feeling and great pathos.” – The Spectator, July 2015

“First-rate singing from American soprano Mary Dunleavy as the shrewish Christine Storch. Dunleavy is making her British debut here and this feisty, pocket battleship of a singer should be booked again pronto.” – The Mail on Sunday, June 2015

“These passionate outpourings also reveal that there is more to the hectoring, insecure Christine than you think and in Mary Dunleavy’s sympathetic portrayal there’s a dash of several better-known Strauss heroines: possessive, assertive women either delivering redemption or loudly demanding it. This is a graceful and subtle performance that any Straussian should relish.” – The Times of London, June 2015

“Mary Dunleavy sang the impossibly arduous part of Christine Storch (alias Pauline de Ahna Strauss), a role vast in size and almost entirely conceived in parlando mode. Her light, bright soprano, elegant manner and canny acting skills brought her considerable success in the assignment.” – Opera News, June 2015

“Mary Dunleavy’s vocal security was matched to a subtle reading of Christine’s character that extracted her from the realm of patronising, even misogynistic caricature: no mere ‘shrew’ here, but a credible woman of strengths, weaknesses, above all agency.” – Opera Today, June 2015

“Dunleavy dominates the stage every moment of the evening, drawing us all into her moods of exasperation, fury, nostalgia, and tenderness, and enchanting us with the beauty of her sound.” – The Independent, June 2015

“Ravella is helped immeasurably by practically perfect performances from Mary Dunleavy and Mark Stone as Mr. and Mrs. Storch. Dunleavy’s bravado masks a deep vulnerability, to which she can only give way when alone.” – The Guardian, June 2015

“As Christine Storch/Pauline Strauss (around whom everything revolves), the American soprano Mary Dunleavy has an excellent line in fiery temperament, manipulation, snobbery and imperiousness, with a light-sounding voice of considerable power.” – Classical Source, June 2015

“The main thrust of the evening falls on Mary Dunleavy, who sings the role of Christine Storch (alias – in real life – Pauline Strauss). She presents the obstreperous, touchy woman with unerring skill, and never tires throughout what is for her, at least, a long and extremely demanding evening.” – The Stage, June 2015

“The role of Christine is punishing (she is on stage for virtually the whole of Act I) and Mary Dunleavy plays it to perfection, displaying both the obsessive-compulsive house-proudness (for which Pauline Strauss was notorious) and the desperate boredom and searching for companionship of a housewife abandoned at home for long periods by a husband who is always travelling at work.” — Bachtrack, June 2015

“Mary Dunleavy came late to the production but she gives a fully rounded performance, capturing the vulnerability behind the waspish tongue, nowhere more so than when she is alone and misses the husband whom she had so recently sent away without a kiss. As a Strauss soprano she is more akin to Karita Mattila than to Lucia Popp, and she easily rides the orchestra even in its most tumultuous passages.” – MusicOMH, June 2015

“Mary Dunleavy is superb in the strenuous role of Christine, on stage for virtually the whole of Act One. Her slightly metallic tone captures the character’s edginess but she also conveys the vulnerability and warmth under the prickly exterior.” – The Sunday Express, June 2015

“Mary Dunleavy gives a tremendous, vocally superb portrayal of the tedious Christine.” –, June 2015

“Mary Dunleavy excels as his wife Christine.” – The London Evening Standard, June 2015

"In the soprano Mary Dunleavy City Opera has an ideal Christine: one with appealing tone, ample volume and range, sufficient endurance to meet the role's demands and an ability to shift on a dime from doting to needling, admirable to near atrocious. City Opera is presenting the work in Andrew Porter's English translation; Ms. Dunleavy's enunciation and projection make the projected titles nearly unnecessary." - The New York Times, November 2010

"Ms. Dunleavy's penetrating, silvery soprano and slight dizzy demeanor brought out Christine's exasperating unreasonableness, yet the warmth in her portrayal demonstrated the character's deeper feelings as she deftly balanced the comedy with a more nuanced psychological undercurrent." - The Wall Street Journal, November 2010

"In the huge dramatic soprano role of spousezilla Christine, Mary Dunleavy spun out her light coloratura, saving its full gleam for the radiant final pages of each act. She wisely underplayed the drama queen, striking a note of slightly absurd chic in a series of fussy art-deco frocks designed by Martha Mann." - New York Post, November 2010

"Any performance of Intermezzo must depend to a large extent on the soprano playing the role of Christine, since she is on-stage virtually throughout. City Opera is fortunate in having Mary Dunleavy in the part. Her vibrant voice and lively acting give a warm and sympathetic quality to a character that could easily be seen as merely vain and tiresome." - Associated Press, November 2010

"Dunleavy's honeyed voice resembles that of Renee Fleming. Her girlish qualities are stronger than they seem (as was probably also true of Pauline Strauss, for whom her husband wrote so many of his loveliest songs), and she has no problem riding the full blast of a lush orchestra. At moments of stress, a metallic sheen (very Strauss, very Jugendstil, like the gold slathered on a Klimt portrait) gleams through the instrumental texture, which argues not merely ability but craft: Dunleavy knows just how to slice through a heavy orchestra without putting herself under undue strain. Nor did it hurt that, with her marcelled hair and suave twenties costumes, her pert, imperious manner recalled the slangy heroines played by Myrna Loy and Jean Arthur. Add to this a balletic figure and a charm that almost persuades you Christine would be endurable, and you have the finest achievement of a singing actress on New York's opera stages this fall." - Opera Today, November 2010

"But of course, the star must be Christine: she almost never leaves the stage and her complexities are suited only for a fine singing actress. Mary Dunleavy is nothing short of perfect: the voice itself is a fine, attractive instrument and she conveys Christine's quick-changing moods with insight. Christine can be a nag, loving, and monstrously self-centered and needy, and Ms. Dunleavy has it all." - Classics Today, November 2010

"Intermezzo is dominated by a soprano. City Opera has Mary Dunleavy, who, on the night I attended, did the part proud. Her timbre was hectoring without being ugly. She sang piercingly while retaining beauty. She was also uncannily accurate. I scribbled in my notes, 'A miracle of pitch.' This is fairly rare in singing, even in great singing. Also, Dunleavy showed herself to be a real actress - not just a singer acting in an opera, but a bona fide actress. I dare say that Pauline, seeing this performance, would have smiled. (But who knows?) Other members of the cast were adequate, though none held a candle to the soprano." - City Arts, November 2010

"Mary Dunleavy brought a very different persona and voice to Christine's marathon part - tons of charm and a light touch helped make her prima donna tantrums palatable. It was an excellent interpretation, making one wish to hear this resourceful artist as Strauss' Daphne." - Gay City News, November 2010

"Mary Dunleavy, a superb singing actress, undertakes the wifely role, a woman who may seem like a shrew, but who in fact is the a partner in a marriage that happily lasted for over 55 years. In Dunleavy's compelling performance we understand both Richard's attraction, and some of what bound the two. Dunleavy sings the first lovely tune as Strauss leaves to work. She anticipates her loneliness without him, already longing for his return. Her performance ranges from beautiful lines to the spoken word with seeming ease." - Berkshire Fine Arts, November 2010

As Marguerite in Faust:

"Dunleavy is unarguably radiant. A fluent interpreter of lyric soprano repertoire who admirably maintains a vocal production that is both free and fresh, Dunleavy paces herself and never seems to let herself get caught up in the moment until the finale. That was her way in La Traviata last spring and she followed suit here when she sang with abandon in the prison scene and final trio." - Opera News, June 2014

"Mary Dunleavy has the rare combination of qualities that make for an ideal Marguerite. She has a youthful and pure sound; ample volume and staying power; nice range, with a fine, unforced top; and flexible coloratura technique for the acrobatic moments. At this stage, her voice sometimes brings to mind that of Joan Sutherland. There’s even some of Sutherland’s trademark "weeping" sound in Dunleavy’s singing. It is worth the price of the ticket just to hear this voice in this role." -, March 2014

"Through it all, Ms. Dunleavy consistently lived in the bubble where sound technique lays the foundation for artistic expression. She knows what she wants to express and has the technical know-how to make her point. She was the jewel of the production and helped elevate a fine regional effort into a world-class affair." -, March 2014

"There’s an uncanny resemblance in musical outpouring to that of Natalie Dessay during the vilifications stemming from Valentin. Her final acrobatics entering eternal salvation are captivating. One can’t help but have tremendous pathos for the condemned mortal." -, March 2014

"The American Mary Dunleavy is an ideal Marguerite, innocent but always present, with a lovely voice and very good French." - La Presse, May 2012

"Mary Dunleavy’s warm, dark soprano was well suited for Marguerite. Her singing ran an impressive gamut from wrenching remorse, aching tenderness, to juvenile delight." -, May 2012

"Mary Dunleavy embodies a fragile, very touching Marguerite. The voice is ductile, flexible, even throughout her range, at ease in all registers and well supported in the church scene. This role fits her like a glove: she was lively and full of enthusiasm in her Act III aria, and sublime in Act IV's 'Il ne revient pas' marked by a poignant resignation." - ForumOpera, May 2012

"Soprano Mary Dunleavy is a wonderful Marguerite. She has the voice but also looks the part. Great stage presence, very involved, with a very clear vision of her character." - ResMusica, May 2012

"Mary Dunleavy's Marguerite (worth noting for her very good diction), attracts all the sympathies of the public with sensitive and true acting and her singing highlighted with the finest nuances. She excels in both the meditative atmosphere of 'la Chanson du roi de Thulé' and in the virtuosity of 'l'Air des bijoux', followed by the tender love and despair of the abandoned woman and in her big dramatic scenes of the church and the prison." - Avant Scene Opera, May 2012

"Although Faust is the one who sells his soul to the devil, his object of desire, Marguerite, gets the widest emotional range, which Mary Dunleavy expertly explored. Her warm, attractive soprano was capable of great delicacy or soaring power, as needed." - Raleigh News and Observer, April 2011

"Soprano Mary Dunleavy melds outstanding acting ability with a flexible and gorgeous voice. Marguerite's innocence was perfectly conveyed by 'la Chanson du roi de Thulé' followed by her exquisite spinning of the 'Jewel Song.' Her anguish and pain were heartbreaking in her 'Il ne revient pas!' as was her distracted madness over the course of 'C'est toi!' - Classical Voice of North Carolina, April 2011

"Dunleavy's bright tone is fluid and natural. She transcends the small stage with her acting ability, on top of her breathtaking vocals." - Triangle Arts and Entertainment, April 2011

"If there were ever any doubts that Mary Dunleavy, an acclaimed veteran of 65 Violettas, could nail down the role of Marguerite, they were dispelled the first time she sang a note. Looking strikingly like a young Kim Novak, Dunleavy brought to the opera's heroine a combination of unsuspecting innocence and strength of conviction as she rode a wave of emotions from elation to deep sorrow. But as fine as her dramatics were, they were eclipsed by her pearly soprano, which radiated through the Wright Center with brilliance and might." - The Birmingham News, January 2011

As Violetta in La traviata:

"Although this is Dunleavy’s Atlanta Opera debut, she has portrayed Violetta more than 60 times. With that experience, one could call it a signature role, so the singing is expected to be brilliant. It is." - Atlanta Journal-Constiution, March 2013

"The casting of Dunleavy as the 19th-century Parisian courtesan was brilliant. Verdi undoubtedly would be pleased with the Atlanta Opera’s staging of the work, because Dunleavy delivers an exquisite performance of his heroine in every aspect." -, March 2013

"The standout portrayal of the season was Mary Dunleavy's world-class Violetta. Her effortless, nuanced acting and flawless singing, together with Jonathan Miller's blessedly cliche-free direction, made this Traviata a sublimely memorable experience." - Opera News, November 2009

"The one must-see is Verdi's Traviata, the work of the insightful and inventive director Jonathan Miller, who draws humane and natural portrayals from an engaging cast, headed by the soprano Mary Dunleavy, who gives a sensitive, vocally formidable and textured portrayal of Violetta." - The New York Times, August 2009

"Dunleavy's mastery of the complex four-section aria, 'e strano!' leading to 'Sempre libera,' was so beautifully nuanced, so perfectly articulated, and so brilliant, that it rivaled any living soprano's work." - Berkshire Review for the Arts, August 2009

"The wonderful, gorgeously sung Violetta of Mary Dunleavy, whose multi-colored voice and intelligent reading of the text are masterly; indeed, a world class performance." - Classics Today, August 2009

"Among all the Violettas of my experience, only Patricia Brooks, Nelly Miricioiu and Dunleavy have seemed to inhabit Violetta's every utterance rather than to present their reading of the famous role." - Boston Music Intelligencer, August 2009

"An operatic cyclone hit the War Memorial Opera House on Tuesday night. It was soprano Mary Dunleavy injecting some much-needed vitality into the San Francisco Opera revival of Verdi's La Traviata, and the results were magnificent." - San Francisco Chronicle, October 2004

"Dunleavy's voice has an uncommon clarity, flexibility and sweetness of tone that compel rapt attention the moment she starts to sing. She is capable of striking contrasts in volume and color and has no fear of embracing extremes of character, embodying them with conviction and completeness." - Opera News, October 2001

"Mary Dunleavy's singing as Violetta sparkles and warms your heart, and her acting of the complex title role remains unsurpassed in my 53-year experience of this opera." - Village Voice, October 2000

As Desdemona in Otello:

"Soprano Mary Dunleavy makes a dazzling Nashville Opera debut as fair Desdemona. Her gorgeous rendition of the Willow Song is but one highlight. But I also was struck by Dunleavy’s abilities as an actress, with a nicely detailed performance throughout." - The Tennessean, April 2014

"...the Act IV Willow Song in where the silence throughout Polk Theater after Dunleavy sings 'Willow, willow, willow' is testament to the artist’s total command of artistry and technique..." - ArtsNash, April 2014

As Micaëla in Carmen:

"American soprano Mary Dunleavy proved a worthy colleague in the production as Micaëla, utilizing a voice that manages to be both powerful and sweet to bring a sense of resolve to a character that can dissolve too easily into spinelessness. Ultimately, however, this production is a showcase for two great singers, and it’s the performances by Margaine and Dunleavy that make this a Carmen worth seeing and hearing." - D Magazine, October 2013

"The production opens with the brightly lit plaza scene and the bright dress of the blond, pure Micaëla; performed fantastically by soprano, Mary Dunleavy. Dunleavy serves as the perfect contrast to Carmen and her gypsy camp throughout the work as her crisp, soaring high range seems to be showing Don José the “light” he should have followed -, October 2013

As Gilda in Rigoletto:

"Besides sparkling technique and polished coloratura, Dunleavy possesses a pearly, soft-edged voice that makes her ideal for portraying an innocent such as Gilda. As the opera progressed, she brought to bear darker vocal timbres and added emotional heft, effectively conveying the evolution of this ultimately tortured woman who cannot bring herself to accept revenge on the Duke." - Opera News, July 2010

"There's a fine line between excellent and amazing, and on Saturday night, soprano Mary Dunleavy definitely fell into the latter category... Dunleavy was exceptional as Gilda, the cloistered daughter of a revenge-minded court jester... Ultimately it is Dunleavy, whose rippling arias seem to flow so effortlessly, who sends theatergoers home with indelible images - and sounds - in their heads." - Kansas City Star, March 2010

"Dunleavy proved throughout the performance that she is one of the most versatile, expressive singers on the opera stage today." - KC Metropolis, March 2010

"Mary Dunleavy's Gilda was pure magic. She captured the essence of her character from the moment she set foot on the stage. Her portrayal was glorious and she was totally convincing as the naive, protected young girl both in voice and movement." - The Opera Critic, October 2006

"Dunleavy and Gavanelli commanded the house. Rigoletto cradled her in his arms, as they yearned their way through 'Lassu -- in cielo' in hushed voices dying into each other. It was terrible. It was exquisite. The curtain fell before anyone could take in all the dreadful beauty Verdi created and these two singers found." - San Francisco Chronicle, October 2006

"But with a volume superior to those who normally assume the role, her work was at a higher level both vocally and interpretatively, and the 'Tutte le feste...' was decidedly exceptional, with an intelligent handling of her instrument, including 'mezza voce' at the required moment." - La Segunda, August 2004

As the Infanta in Der Zwerg:

"Mary Dunleavy as the selfish Infanta moves through the opera with incredible physical grace and she sings exquisitely. In mezza-voce passages, her voice is particularly silky and caressing." - Opera, April 2011

"A wonderful performance from the beauteous Mary Dunleavy (a credible Infanta, dispensing long, diaphanous lines)." - Opera News, April 2011

"Mary Dunleavy, graceful in appearance and voice, is the childish, unconsciously cruel Infanta Clara." - Opernwelt, February 2011

"Mary Dunleavy, who is most often seen on stage as Violetta in La traviata, plays a very convincing spoiled twelve-year-old princess." - Music Media Monthly, December 2010

"The production of Der Zwerg was dominated by two especially powerful performances...Rodrick Dixon was partnered by Mary Dunleavy as Donna Clara, the Infanta, whose cool, dismissive beauty was disturbingly enhanced by the unbroken, smooth quality of her voice." - Opera News, May 2008

"Soprano Mary Dunleavy turned in a crystalline, radiant performance as Donna Clara, the Infanta." - Musical America, February 2008

"Any lesser Dwarf interpreter here would have deflected the major kudos to the radiant soprano Mary Dunleavy, a poised blonde reminiscent of the late Beverly Sills in her prime." -, February 2008

As Leila in Les pecheurs de perles:

"Dunleavy was totally in command, with perfect intonation, impeccable coloratura and a measured performing style that fully conveyed the character's emotions. Her spellbinding Act 2 aria drew a chorus of cheers." - Denver Post, February 2009

"Mary Dunleavy, the lovely Leila, soared with exquisite poise, limpid tone and dynamic sensitivity through the central ecstasies and agonies." - Financial Times, April 2005

"Listening to her seemingly effortless and dreamy 'Comme autrefois dans la nuit sombre,' followed immediately by her soaring line in the love duet 'Ton couer n'a pas compris le mien,' I was struck with her naturalness, so rare in the opera world. It wasn't as if she were practicing an art form at all: She actually was this chimerical princess." - New York Sun, April 2005

As Thais in Thais:

"Dunleavy managed Thais's tumble into sainthood with consummate skill, rising to an almost arrogant interrogation of the mirror (and a pearly B-flat) in her big monologue, ending with a chaste, economically shaped death scene." - Opera News, October 2003

"The outstanding performance of Mary Dunleavy in the title role of the 4th-century Alexandrian courtesan-turned-saint. Dunleavy was in stunningly beautiful voice. Petite and attractive, she holds the stage effortlessly, and her acting gifts are of a high order." - Financial Times, July 2003

As Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni:

"Soprano Mary Dunleavy sang with focus and nuance as Donna Elvira and stopped the show with 'Mi tradì.'" - Opera News, February 2013

"Mary Dunleavy's Donna Elvira pleaded, warned, and showed an incredible emotional range that totally won over the audience." - Oregon Music News, November 2012

As Countess Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro:

"Mary Dunleavy makes a memorable Countess with a gleaming voice with a free and easy top. She spins out long phrases with excellent breath control, and her 'Dove sono' is a particular highlight." - The Opera Critic, June 2006

"Mary Dunleavy makes her first-ever Countess visually and vocally appealing - also moving, her lovely soft singing in 'Dove sono' and the Letter Duet holding the audience at rapt attention." - Philadelphia City Paper, May 2006

As Pamina in Die Zauberflote:

"The best performance of the day belonged to Mary Dunleavy. Having now followed in Lucia Popp's footsteps and retired the role of the queen for that of Pamina, she nailed one of Mozart's most poignant and difficult arias, 'Ach, ich fuhl's, es ist verschwunden' and intoned charmingly with the trio of Genii." - New York Sun, January 2006

"Treasure especially Mary Dunleavy's multi-mooded, exquisitely sung Pamina." - Village Voice, January 2006

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