First-Rank Soprano Tackles Russian Romance
Eugene Opera brings Tchaikovsky’s ‘Eugene Onegin’ to town
Randi Bjornstad of The Register-Guard wrote a wonderful lead-up to tonight’s performance of Eugene Onegin. Here is an excerpt…
Soprano Jill Gardner seems to get rave reviews wherever she goes.
“Lustrous, golden soprano and riveting stage presence,” the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle enthused.
“Ability to convey vocally the slightest nuance of emotion, making for gripping theater,” the Opera News gushed.
“Dynamite, in voice and acting,” the Honolulu Star-Advertiser concluded.
All very good news, given that Gardner is singing the female lead role of Tatiana in Eugene Opera’s “Eugene Onegin” this weekend. She’ll be paired with Anton Belov — whose smoldering baritone has been called “rich, mellifluous” by The New York Times — in the title role.
The other main character, Prince Gremin, is taken by Gardner’s real-life husband, bass-baritone Jake Gardner, who has sung in Eugene several times and has put his stamp in recent years to great reviews — including a year ago in Eugene — on the role of Judge Turpin in the creepy but mesmerizing “Sweeney Todd.”
But behind every opera star is a real person, and in Jill Gardner’s case, the highly regarded voice and impressive résumé belong to a down-to-earth woman with a warm personality and a rich sense of humor…