“The best of the opera was mezzo-soprano Carolyn Sproule as Erika. Both vocally and theatrically she gave a flawless performance. Her voice is attractive, and she sings with great expressiveness. Ms. Sproule definitely has a career ahead of her."
José M. Irurzun, Seen and Heard International
Acclaimed for her "sizeable rich tone and striking presence" (Opera Canada), "whose star is deservedly on the rise" (Opera News), Canadian mezzo-soprano Carolyn Sproule is engaged in the 2021-2022 to open Houston Grand Opera's season as Carmen in Rob Ashford's dynamic production, conducted by Lidiya Yankovskaya. Ms. Sproule subsequently debuts at Teatro dell'Opera di Roma as Varvara in Kát’a Kabanová in a Richard Jones production, conducted by David Robertson; returns to The Metropolitan Opera for their production of Madama Butterfly; and debuts at Festival d'Aix-en-Provence in a new production of Salome.
In the 2020-2021 season, Ms. Sproule debuted at Opera Hong Kong in the title role of Carmen, and was scheduled to debut at San Diego Opera as La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi and La Zelatrice in Suor Angelica conducted by Yves Abel in a new production by Paul Curran; Des Moines Metro Opera as Pauline in Pique Dame; return to the Minnesota Orchestra for Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis conducted by Osmo Vänskä; debut at Pacific Opera Victoria as Carmen; the National Arts Centre as the alto soloist in Handel’s Messiah; English National Opera as Dorabella in Così fan Tutte, as well as a return to The Metropolitan Opera roster for Roberto Devereux.
Highlights of past seasons include singing Dorabella at The Metropolitan Opera in Phelim McDermott's Coney Island production of Così fan Tutte conducted by Harry Bicket, as well as Ines (Trovatore), Page (Salome), and Sandman (Hansel and Gretel) at The Met; Erika in Samuel Barber's Vanessa at The Wexford Festival for which she received unanimous critical acclaim and received an award from the festival as their favorite singer of the season. In her native Canada, Ms. Sproule has sung Maddalena in Rigoletto for her Canadian Opera Company debut in a Chris Alden production, as well as at Vancouver Opera, Opéra de Montréal and Houston Grand Opera. She has sung Olga in Eugene Onegin in Vancouver, Montreal, and for her Michigan Opera Theater debut.
A native of Montréal, Canada, Carolyn Sproule is a graduate of The Juilliard School (BM 2010), and Rice University (MM 2012). She also participated in residencies at the Merola Opera Program, Wolf Trap Opera (Filene Young Artist), the Houston Grand Opera Studio, Aspen Opera Theater, and The Banff Centre. She is a winner of a 2019 George London award, the Marcello Giordani memorial prize in the 2019 Premiere Opera Foundation Competition, as well as a recipient of grants from the Jacqueline Desmarais foundation, HGO studio, Wolf Trap Opera, and Merola.
As Carmen, HGO studio alumna Carolyn Sproule combined unshakeable confidence and irresistible charisma with a dark, luscious sound. The Canadian mezzo clearly relished the role."
Gregory Barnett, Opera News
"Mezzo-soprano Carolyn Sproule brought the title role an earthy, full-throated voice that exuded Carmen’s rebelliousness and free spirit. Right from her opening “Habanera,” this Carmen’s lusty tones showed that she was a larger-than-life figure. Especially in the “Habanera” and “Seguidilla,” Sproule complemented the lustiness with a lightness that brought out Carmen’s flirtatious, mercurial side...the sheer abandon of Sproule’s singing captured the power of the doomed heroine’s refusal to let him cling to her...and in her Act 3 “card” aria, Sproule’s voice grew from a hush into a surge of almost raw intensity. Even though Carmen’s music doesn’t center on high notes, Sproule’s voice soared aloft with an ease and vibrancy that made the occasional vaulting phrases into visceral expressions of Carmen’s courage in the face of doom."
Steven Brown, Texas Classical Review
"Sproule...is astonishing. Her Carmen is, first and foremost, a magnetic stage beauty, whose flared skirts split all the way to Seville. She owns her power. Her eyes flash, her smile radiates. Who could resist her? And then there's that voice – deep and rich, a plummy and complex Rioja Alta...She commands the stage and you can't take your eyes off her – or your ears."
D.L. Groover, Houston Press
"Starring as Carmen is Carolyn Sproule, an attention magnet from the moment she appears onstage...the Montreal native brings a dusky glamour and easy sensuality to the role...At certain moments Sproule seems to be almost purring, her supple mezzo-soprano luxuriating over the libretto and a come-hither twinkle in her eye. "
Chris Gray, Houston Chronicle
November 3, 5, 7, 2021
Houston Grand Opera
Lidiya Yankovskaya, Conductor
Rob Ashford, Director
Teatro dell'Opera di Roma
David Robertson, Conductor
Richard Jones, Director
April 3, 19, 22, 27, 30
May 4, 7, 2022
The Metropolitan Opera
Alexander Soddy, Conductor
Anthony Minghella, Director
Ein Page der Herodias
"rich and gleaming tone...a true mezzo"
"It was a real pleasure to get acquainted with the voice of mezzo Carolyn Sproule, the Maddalena in the COC Rigoletto this month. A true mezzo, her rich and gleaming tone was heard to advantage in Dalila’s “Mon Coeur” from Samson et Dalila."
Ludwig Van Toronto
"Breathtaking...her voice is lush and dark and phenomenally powerful even at her lowest range"
“Mezzo-soprano Carolyn Sproule was breathtaking as Olga. Her voice lush and dark, and phenomenally powerful, even at her lowest range. As one of the few non-Russian principals, one would think she’d be at a disadvantage, but her diction was so flawless, that a native Russian speaker in attendance was amazed that it wasn’t her first language. I hope this role becomes a staple in her repertoire.”
"...a mellifluous voice"
"There was much to enjoy from all five soloists, but it was mezzo-soprano Carolyn Sproule as Erika who stole the show. Possessing a mellifluous voice, Sproule transported us to a higher realm with her wisps of pianissimo hovering in the air while her tortured exclamations of Act II, as she learns that Anatol is engaged to Vanessa, cut us to the quick. It was her characterization that was so impressive. Sproule delved into the very soul of Erika, showing a convincing transition between the dreamy idealism of the start to the insightful, if thwarted, sexual realism as the opera progresses."
"sizeable, rich tone and striking presence."
“Carolyn Sproule, a Canadian mezzo-soprano who has done most of her training and performing in the US made her COC debut as Maddalena, sister of the nefarious assassin-for-hire, Sparafucile. She served notice with her sizeable, rich tone and striking presence.”
"star is deservedly on the rise"
“Mezzo-soprano Carolyn Sproule, whose star is deservedly on the rise, sang Tatyana’s sister Olga with energetic warmth, infusing the character with endearing sweetness.”
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