Last weekend, IMGA singers Lianna Haroutounian and Justina Gringyte, made their debuts at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in their production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. Soprano Lianna Haroutounian is cast in the title role, whilst mezzo-soprano Justina Gringyte makes her role debut as Suzuki in a sold-out run stretching between 12th and 29th January.

Ms Haroutounian, one of the world’s leading interpreters of Verdi and Puccini, has been widely praised for her “extraordinary performance” (El Pais) in her Liceu debut. Read below for more press relating to Madama Butterfly.

“Emotion is brought about by the extraordinary performance, of the Armenian soprano Lianna Haroutounian in her Liceu debut, a very great Cio-Cio San who excited audiences under the enthusiastic direction of Giampaolo Bisanti…Haroutounian brought out the drama’s richness with a beautiful, full voice, rich in nuance and firm throughout. Her interpretation of Cio-Cio San, emotional and sincere, conveys the suffering and grandeur of the unfortunate geisha with great onstage present and overflowing expressiveness.” (El Pais)

“In an opera with practically one major character, as it is here, the performer must be the sort around which everything else works. And that is what happens with Lianna Haroutounian’s Butterfly. The Armenian soprano has debuted at the Liceu with a masterful interpretation: nuanced, alive, with a rounded voice in the middle register and secure in the top that had a precious color that was a pleasure to hear, as it gained intensity.” (El Nacional)

“The Armenian soprano made a memorable debut at the Liceu as Butterfly, to the point of receiving applause while still crying from the end of the performance. It was the perfect encapsulation of what happened Saturday night at the premiere of this operatic masterpiece.

Haroutounian demonstrated a profound knowledge of the character, dominating the vocal part, as well as the scenic elements with delicate and precise gestures.” (ABC)

“There’s something in Lianna Haroutounian that is really appreciated. Apart from her lyrical spinto soprano, which last night was full-bodied, creamy, and seamless, there is something not always found in a performer who gives life to Madama Butterfly: the ability to be minimal, to display emotions – the many and intense emotions of that massive role of the operatic repertoire – without letting her gestures ruin her characterization….In total, there were eight minutes of standing ovations. Not a bad start to the New Year.” (La Vanguardia)

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