to Nov 14

Soloist - "Alphine Symphony"

Knoxville Symphony Orchestra
"Alpine Symphony" & Arias by Mozart and Verdi

"While one was immediately drawn to Birsan’s poise and effortless delivery, that respect leapt even higher as she dramatically carried the song’s narrative along, supported by clean, sophisticated tone and miraculously crisp diction. The vocal agility of Birsan was beautifully matched by the echoing flavor and spice from Sperl and the clarinet.

An even greater thrill, though, came from Birsan in the Verdi arias, a performance that revealed surprising reserves of power, depth and warmth in her lower range, and a thrilling goose-bump raising ability in her substantial upper range. This is a singer that will soon be snapped up hungrily by the international operatic world, if there is any justice at all."  

- Alan Sherrod, Classical Music Knoxville, 2014


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to Oct 28

ITALIAN SINGER - R. Strass' Capriccio

"La Roche introduces yet further entertainment from the realm of musical theater: in a duet presented by the Italian Soprano and Italian Tenor in appropriate costume, Emily Birsan and Juan José de Léon sing their stereotypical roles with gusto and with exaggerated egos suited to their parts. Both singers perform delightfully in their cameo roles. The assembled company joins afterward in an octet of voices and opinions reminiscent of the cacophony in Strauss’s earlier Rosenkavalier."

- Opera Today, October 2014, FULL ARTICLE

"In Act 2 the comic antics of the Italian Soprano (Emily Birsan) and the Italian Tenor (Juan Jose de Leon) just about steal the show."

-Amy Munice , LA Splash Magazine,  FULL ARTICLE

"Similarly, the cacophony in the debate resembles the opening of the third act of Der Rosenkavalier, where the Italian singer recurs in Capriccio as two Italian singers, which Emily Birsan and Juan José de Léon execute with theatrical irony and musical deftness."  

- Seen and Heard International, 2014   FULL ARTICLE


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to Jun 8

SOLDIER GIRL - C. Orf's "The Clever One"

"Soprano lifts COT’s uneven double bill of wartime works... the two young lovers, the Soldier and Bubikopf, William Dwyer and Emily Birsan brought a fleeting moment of tender humanity.  Yet soprano Emily Birsan in the title role of the unnamed “Clever One” brought terrific vocal gleam and the kind of superbly expressive singing that has been largely absent at COT in recent seasons. Mitisek’s static treatment of her character as robotic archetype offered few dramatic opportunities yet Birsan’s lovely singing of her lullaby to the narcotized king was the high point of a rather uneven evening."

 - Lawrence Johnson,  June 01, 2014

"For sheer vocal splendor, however, Emily Birsan’s bright, agile singing as the clever girl crowned the night"

- Chicago on the Aisle

"...But one had no reservations whatsoever about Birsan's fully dimensional performance in the title role. This superb Ryan alumna floated her high-lying music with exquisite vocal sweetness and purity."

- John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune,  June 1, 2014

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to May 16

Soloist - Elgar's "Scenes from the Saga of King Olaf" 

Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus
Sir Andrew Davis, conductor
Bergen, Norway

"The vocal forces were outstanding, too. The baritone Alan Opie was imposing right from his opening Summon Now the God of Thunder, and Barry Banks deployed his high, incisive tenor fearlessly in some quite challenging passages. The American soprano Emily Birsan sang with radiant delicacy."

- John Allison, The Telegraph, London, 20 May 2014

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to May 4

Soloist - "The Gershwin Legacy"

  • Overture Center Madison, WI (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Madison Symphony Orchestra
May 2, 3, 4, 2014
John DeMain, conductor


"Pianist Garrick Olsen and soprano Emily Birsan dazzle in Madison Symphony Orchestra's Gershwin-themed program drawing on theatrical instincts as well as a voice that always makes my day (or evening), Birsan makes truly musical high points out of her solos. She is cute in a parody song about Johann Strauss (even waltzing briefly with the conductor). She is dazzling in "Glitter and Be Gay" from Bernstein's Candide, an aria really written for her. Also, in a duet from West Side Story with Olivo, she was quite touching…."

-John Barker, Isthmus Newspaper, 5/3/14

"Soprano Emily Birsan was here just four weeks ago as soloist in the MozartRequiem, and is showing every indication of being a bona fide darling diva in the making. With crystal clear diction and just the right dash of sass Birsan delighted in the clever “By Strauss,” and later unleashed her full upper range in a truly dazzling “Glitter and Be Gay” from Bernstein’s Candide. "

- Greg Hettmansberger, Madison Magazine 5/4/14


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to Apr 6

Soloist - Mozart's Requiem

  •  Overture Center, Madison, WI (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

April 4, 5, 6, 2014 7:30pm, 2:30pm

"Soprano Emily Birsan and contralto Daniela Mack are no strangers to Madison, and it was a pleasure to hear their continued artistic growth and fine shadings of vocalism. "

- Greg Hettmansberger, Madison Magazine, April 7, 2014

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12:00 PM12:00

Soloist - Rising Stars of Lyric

"No word from Tom… I go to him" A Rake's Progress - Stravinsky
"Una parola, Adina" Duet from Act 1 L'elisir d'amore - Donizetti


"Emily Birsan is now in her third and final year with the Ryan ensemble and is going out into the professional world a seasoned young pro; witness how smoothly she wrapped her lovely lyric soprano around the tricky intervals and wide range of Anne Trulove's aria from Stravinsky's "The Rake's Progress." 

- John Von Rhein, Chicago Tribune, March 30, 2014


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to Mar 23

SERVILIA - Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito

Directed by David McVicar, Marie Lambert
Conducted by Sir Andrew Davis

"Emily Birsan's Servilia revealed a fresh lyric soprano of fine quality that pealed above the ensembles very prettily."

 -OPERA NEWS, Mark Thomas Ketterson, 3/5/2014

"...she combines sincerity and rich beauty in her singing, current third-year Ryan soprano Emily Birsan matches Hall as Servilia"

-Andrew Patner Chicago Sun Times March 2014

"Emily Birsan, a current Ryan Opera Center member, sang with apt youthful purity as Servilia, Annio’s beloved, blending smoothly with Hall’s lovely mezzo."

-L. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review, March 2014

 "Emily Birsan’s cameo aria as the steadfast Servilia was completely charming; indeed she and Cecelia Hall (who portrayed Servilia’s sweetheart Annio (in the opera’s second trouser role) reminded one of the young couple in “The Magic Flute” — princess Pamina and prince Tamino, whose ravishingly innocent music Davis and his orchestra were most certainly channeling."

- Nancy Malitz, Chicago on the Aisle, March 2014

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