La Pasajera, Teatro Real

The leading roles fall to Daveda Karanas as Lisa and Amanda Majeski as Marta, the passenger. Both performers manage to take the viewer through a torrent of intense emotions during the operatic journey that is this imposing production. Ovation more than deserved.

Moisés C. Alabau, En Platea, March 2024

The cast assembled at the Teatro Real is downright solid, led by Amanda Majeski as Marta and with Daveda Karanas as Lisa. The first displays a limpid and flexible instrument, with easy lyricism and stoic expressiveness, capable of a rarely magnetic containment. The second, on the other hand, manages to convey in an outstanding way the desperation of her character, the dread that she experiences before the ghost of her former prisoner.

Alejandro Martínez, Platea Magazine, March 2024

The cast seems impeccable, with the vocal lead role of Lisa, the SS jailer played with unblemished truth by the mezzo Daveda Karanas. Karanas brushes the limits of her instrument, with metallic echoes that heighten the suffering of her character. At her side, she displayed the diabolical mastery of her instrument.

Jordi Maddalen, La Vanguardia, March 2024

The long and varied cast was led by soprano Amanda Majeski (Lisa, the jailer) and mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas (Marta, the prisoner), both wonderful singers and actresses in their respective roles.

Federico Figueroa, Opera World, March 2024

Mezzo Daveda Karanas (Lisa) also manages to embody a character that is not a caricature of evil. She is not a monster, a concept that also serves to remove everything uncomfortable, but rather someone who constructs a story that is not only justifiable and whose wound is, although it may seem incomprehensible, the hatred of the prisoners. She is not able to tear down Marta’s dignity, which places her in front of the mirror of her own insecurity.

Jorge Dioni, Vanity Fair, March 2024

The cast was notable, both vocally and interpretively, led by soprano Amanda Majeski and mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas, who together received a standing ovation from the audience. Equally notable is the mezzo Daveda Karanas as Lisa, the Auschwitz jailer, with solid vocal
means in the center and low and a great characterization of this woman who is capable of exclaiming “They all hate us” regarding the prisoners of the camp – what did I expect – while she revels in this cruelty, but also shows weakness and bewilderment in the face of Marta’s fortitude and moral superiority, as well as tremendous remorse and fear at the consequences of the passenger’s appearance at that moment in her life.

Raul Chamorro Mena, Codalario La Revista de Música, March 2024

Soprano Amanda Majeski (Marta) and mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas (Lisa) led a perfect choral cast of 16 nationalities who sang in 7 languages a libretto that gives space to others who suffered the horror despite not being European Jews.

Manuel Cuellar, El Asombrario & Co. Público, March 2024

On a vocal level, the level of all the performers is of great quality but without a doubt the two protagonists stand out, Daveda Karanas ‘ Lisa and Amanda Majeski ‘s Marta , both excellently well performed.

Jean Valjean, El Español, March 2024

The singers, in any case, shone at a high level. Daveda Karenas , with a limpid and luminous voice, composed a tormented and raw Liese.

José María Marco, Ópera Actual, March 2024

What we have heard and seen – and that can be heard and seen until March 24, in the seven performances of the eight that the Teatro Real has scheduled – is, simply, impressive. There are no words to describe it. To everything reviewed we must add what has already been mentioned about the splendid cast with seventeen important roles, who sing in seven different languages (the chorus parts, in Spanish). Marta, the victim, is the soprano Amanda Majeski. Lisa, her executioner, mezzo Daveda Karanas. Karanas hugged Majeski in the final greetings, just when the audience broke the previously mentioned seconds of silence with that resounding applause, she said it all.

Nacho Fresno, Shangay, March 2024

The robustness of the cast is not a minor issue. By focusing on the protagonists, Lisa’s tormented intimacy has someone powerful and particularly disturbing in Daveda Karanas.

Alberto González Lapuente, ABC España, March 2024

The two protagonists stand out, as is almost obligatory, Amanda Majeski’s Marta, full of feeling and with complete vocal adaptation to the chiaroscuro of the score. As for the villain of the opera, the Nazi Lisa, Daveda Karanas handles her with great ductility.

Jorge Fernández Guerra, El Pais, March 2024

As happens in these works, so well articulated, that they manage to function as a perfect gear, it is difficult to point out individualities, to distinguish some from others. The formidable work of the singers, from first to last, results in the undisputed success of the performance. The success in extracting all the complexity of Lisa’s character provided by mezzo Daveda Karanas.

Caesar Wonenburger, El Debate, March 2024

The busy cast delivered to satisfaction, apparently without a single failure. The two protagonists were up to the task: Daveda Karanas, lyrical mezzo, knew how to mark the numerous alternations of the former Auschwitz jailer.

Arturo Reverter, La Razon, March 2024

Regarding the singers, Amanda Majeski (Marta), Daveda Karanas (Lisa) and Nikolai Schukoff (Walter) lead an undoubtedly choral cast that does an excellent job.

Joaquin Jesus Sanchez, El Periódico de España, March 2024

The performance, with an impressive staging, has featured in its leading roles the applauded voices of the American soprano Amanda Majeski, who plays the Jewish prisoner Marta, and the Greek-American mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas, who plays the jailer, Lisa.

Marina Estevez Torreblanca, El Diario, March 2024

The two main characters, the SS guard at Auschwitz, Liese, and the prisoner Marta, played by the applauded and cheered mezzo-soprano and soprano Daveda Karanas and Amanda Majeski, respectively.

Europa Press Culture, March 2024

Musically, there was a large cast of first-class singers. They are all good, although the vocal and expressive capacity of Amanda Majeski and Daveda Karanas and, among the men, Gyula Orendt and Nikolai Schukoff can be highlighted, although they were all excellent.

Thomas Marco, El Mundo March 2024

Soprano Amanda Majeski (Marta) and mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas (Lisa) will transport us to that atrocious moment that humanity experienced, with the hope that this opera by Weinberg reminds us of the sacrificed lives that fought for their dignity and freedom in the midst of of hell and that humanism is revived in our hearts.

Adriana Bianco, Aquí Madrid, March 2024

Mahler’s Second Symphony, Athens Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall

Two of Klopstock’s poems were sung: “Primal Light,” which displayed the influence of William Blake (Immortal life! Immortal life! / Will He who called you, give you”) was sung magnificently and sumptuously by Mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas.

Kevin T. McEneaney, The Millbrook Independent, October 2019

Thursday’s performance was blessed with two vocal soloists whose well-matched, mellifluous voices meshed well with the chorus…Mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas brought a lieder-like sensitivity and diction to “Urlicht,” the work’s fourth movement, simply expressing humanity’s aspiration to be one with God, despite the trials of this world.

David Wright, New York Classical Review, October 2019

Mezzo Soprano Daveda Karanas’ wonderfully rich, velvety voice brought a particularly poignant lieder-like quality to the Wunderhorn tune. She had the appearance as if she was in another world as she unveiled the pathos and weltshmertz of the poetry, and her voice wafted effortlessly across the hall in deep dark waves.

Peter Danish, Broadway World, October 2019

Mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas’s voice was radiant in the Urlicht movement.

Jeffrey Williams, New York Concert Review, October 2019

The true glories came, inevitably in the last two movements. Mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas walked on stage carrying a rose, in honor of the first line from her aria. But she needed no flowers, for her voice blossomed out of the orchestra and bloomed through the night. Lovely, underplayed, dramatic at the right moments.

Harry Rolnick,, October 2019

The Passenger, The Israeli Opera

American mezzo soprano Daveda Karanas was superb in the dramatic role of Lisa. The acting was realistic and very well coordinated, as was the stage directing as a whole. The audience that filled the auditorium to capacity responded with standing ovation.

Jehoash Hirshberg, Opera News, August 2019

In the major roles, thee American mezzo Daveda Karanas made a first class Lisa, her firm, powerful voice well suited to her remorseless character, too much for her weak, morally compromised, ambitious diplomat husband Walter…

Mark Glanville, Opera Now, June 2019

With outstanding artists in the lead roles, supported by a host of dedicated, first-class singers, attentive, finely-shaped choral singing and the precise- and detailed playing of the Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon LeZion drawing together the threads of the work’s eclectic mix of musical styles, Steven Mercurio navigated “The Passenger” through stormy waters with much sensitiveness and just as much attention to the beauty and meaning of the work. Never over-dramatic, never over-sentimental, the performance kept audience members at the edge of their seats. An outstanding work in stage performance of the highest standard.

Pamela Hickman, Concert Critique Blog, May 2019

Liza – Germany – played by Daveda Karanas of the United States. On the first evening I had performed for the first time in Israel. It was very loud, strong and clean. The excitement felt in her singing and playing was very good. There were many nuances in the plot.

Eli Leon, Member of the Association of Journalists of Tel Aviv, May 2019

What’s more, mezzo soprano of Karanas is simply wonderful – and her range as a dramatic actress is no different.

 Amit Slonim, Walla! Communications, May 2019

Daveda Karanas, the American singer who performed at the Israeli Opera, had a strong voice and sang “Half of the Kingdom” as required.

Orna Langer, Megafon News, May 2019

Great roles were created by American Daveda Karanas as Anneliese, Hungarian Adrienn Miksch very credible as Marta carrying courage and consolation to other prisoners, but also Dane David Danholt as Walter and Morgan Smith as Tadeusz (his Polish language was almost flawless).

Anna S. Debowska, Wyborcza, May 2019

75th Anniversary Celebration Concert, New Orleans Opera

Throughout the two acts, the stage was filled with vocal power.

Nell Nolen, The New Orleans Advocate, May 2018

Das Rheingold, Arizona Opera

Daveda Karanas was a velvet-voiced, soft-edged Fricka who admitted wanting the new castle to bind Wotan closer to her.

Maria Nockin, Opera Today, April 2018

It is in this context ~ the merging of stagecraft and technology ~ that an exceptional cast fulfills its role and captures the intense struggle and tradeoffs between gods and men to secure powers greater than they have…These are rich and robust performances to which are added, most notably, those of Dana Beth Miller as Erda, Dennis Petersen as Mime, and Daveda Karanas as Fricka.

Herbert Paine, Broadway World, April 2018

Tabasco, New Orleans Opera

The principal characters played their delightfully unlikely parts with verve and fine singing.

Steven Ledbetter, The Boston Musical Intelligencer, February 2018

All of the singers were in fine voice and proved convincing actors as well.

Dean M. Shapiro, The New Orleans Advocate, January 2018

Rusalka, Arizona Opera

Daveda Karanas was a human looking Ježibaba. She sang with dramatic vocal colors…

Maria Nockin, Opera Today, November 2016

Other outstanding vocal performances included…commanding mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas as Ježibaba, the witch who gives Rusalka a potion to cross over into the human world…

Cathalena E. Burch, Arizona Daily Star, November 2016

Also impressive was Daveda Karanas’ as the evil witch Ježibaba and Alexandra Loutsion as The Foreign Princess.

Chris Curcio, Curtain Up Phoenix, November 2016

The Passenger, Florida Grand Opera

As Liese, the mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas gave a richly textured performance, with a gleaming voice and first-class acting. She effectively communicated a person being overwhelmed by guilt, as her desperate rationalizations failed her (“I never beat anyone. They appreciated that.”). And somehow, despite her participation in terrible crimes, she came off as more appealing than her weaselly husband, whose horror at learning of her past evaporated when it appeared the secret was safe and would not impede his career.

David Fleshler, Miami Herald, April 2016

Daveda Karanas as Liese is compelling in an ambivalent, thankless role.

Sebastian Spreng, Knight Foundation, April 2016

The Greek mezzo Daveda Karanas was an excellent Liese, with a big, strong instrument and plenty of vocal stamina and believable acting hauteur.

Greg Stepanich, Palm Beach Arts Paper, April 2016

The woman “who saw a ghost,” Liese, magnificently acted and sung by Daveda Karanas…

Jeffrey Bruce, Talkin’ Broadway, April 2016

The Passenger, Michigan Opera Theatre

The cast, too, was exceptional from top to bottom. Mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas brought vocal heft and a range of color to Liese, creating a three-dimensional, conflicted characterization.

Mark Stryker, Detroit Free Press, November 2015

As unsympathetic as her role is, mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas delves keenly into her character, showing her as a woman rationalizing her behavior at Auschwitz as just following orders, and even refers to the prisoners as being “blinded by hate.” Karanas also has a big, confident voice, shaded by sunset colors.

George Bulanda, The Detroit News, November 2015

Karanas manages the transformation from middle-aged wife to a girl of about 20 as an SS guard. Her acting as the panicked diplomat’s wife and the manipulative young guard, combines with her sublime vocals for a special experience at the opera.

David Kiley, Encore Michigan, November 2015

Liese, a challenging if thankless role, is a difficult character to like. Karanas delivered a nuanced, accomplished performance of fear and unresolved guilt accompanied by an infuriating naïveté: “they hated us,” she marvels, “we couldn’t get used to it.”

Jennifer Goltz-Taylor, Opera News, November 2015

The Passenger, Lyric Opera of Chicago

The arresting mezzo-soprano, Daveda Karanas. She does splendidly on her own terms, showing us the vulnerable cracks in the tough, domineering armor of unrepentant death-camp warden.

John Von Rhein, Chicago Tribune, February 2015

Daveda Karanas was outstanding as Liese, an assignment that could easily become an unsympathetic character in lesser hands.

Mark Thomas Ketterson, Opera News, February 2015

The soft edges of Karanas’ rich mezzo-soprano conveyed Liese’s terror, but her tone became appropriately commanding in her scenes as a manipulative SS guard.

Wynne Delacoma, Chicago-Sun Times, February 2015

Mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas, who last season sang Kundry in Wagner’s Parsifal, is riveting as the panicked woman Liese, now in midlife, who seems to be on the brink of a new life, with her husband of 15 years. The composer and librettist give this role spectacular material and Karanas makes good use of it, seemingly distracted from the start, her music fringed with Hitchcockian worry even before she catches sight of the mysterious woman who gives her such a fright.

Nacy Malitz, Chicago on the Aisle, February 2015

The mezzo-soprano delivered a superbly rounded performance, singing with a big tone and proved credible as both the frightened wife and scarily sadistic Auschwitz guard.

Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review, February 2015

Lyric’s multilingual run is also benefiting from excellent performances by mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas as the bedeviled Liese…

Deanna Isaacs, Chicago Reader, March 2015

Majeski and Karanas in particular dig deep into their performances, and they prove worthy dramatic foils despite the power imbalance between their characters.

Scott C. Morgan, The Daily Herald, February 2015

Daveda Karanas navigated extreme dramatic shifts as Liese periodically lost and regained composure, delivering her lines with remarkable diction and bringing to life anguish and internal conflicts. Her manipulative and sometimes sinister sides are more pointed in the second act, which reveals details she kept from her husband, eventually leading to the final confrontation with the mysterious passenger. It is the kind of character study associated with Alfred Hitchcock, and a tribute both to Weinberg’s compositional skills and to Karanas’ acting ability.

James L, Zychowicz, Seen and Heard International, March 2015 

Both sang extremely well, and carried their personas convincingly.

Sarah Bryan Miller, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 2015

Tristan und Isolde, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra

Daveda Karanas made a real character of Brangäne, tied by destiny to the fate of her mistress.

William Dart, The New Zealand Herald, July 2014

Dialogues of the Carmelites, Opera Theatre of St. Louis

In her OTSL debut, Daveda Karanas sang Mother Marie with admirable skill.

Lynn Venhaus, Belleville News-Democrat, June 2014

Daveda Karanas brings resonant vocal authority to Mother Marie.

George Loomis, Financial Times, June 2014

Daveda Karanas has a warm, rich mezzo voice that serves to give Mother Marie the graceful authority and compassion that this saintly woman requires.

Steve Callahan, Broadway World, June 2014

Karanas made a memorable OTSL debut as Mother Marie of the Incarnation, an aristocrat disappointed in her expectations first of succeeding the old prioress, and then of dying a martyr’s death. She’s tall and commanding, with a big, gorgeous voice that’s seamless from top to bottom.

 Sarah Bryan Miller, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 2014

Parsifal, Lyric Opera of Chicago

A newcomer to Lyric, Greek-American mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas was compelling as the mysterious Kundry. Her voice combined clear silver and dark smoke as she alternated easily between half-mad guilt, seductive guile and serene redemption.

Wynne Delacoma, Chicago Sun-Times, November 2013

The Greek-American soprano Daveda Karanas gave an equally strong interpretation of Kundry, with a resilient, aurally compelling voice. Yet she also shaped the character dramatically, making it believable, despite the amalgam of personas Wagner packed into the role. In the second act, her performance was exceptional in its depiction of sometimes conflicted emotions, giving a sense of being a pawn of Klingsor, rather than a slave or thrall.

James L. Zychowicz, Seen and Heard International, December 2013

In her role debut as Kundry, Greek–American mezzo Daveda Karanas delivered a performance that was similarly lyrically satisfying. Karanas is quite musical and made a poignantly sympathetic figure of the tortured wild woman.

Mark Thomas Ketterson, Opera News, November 2013

Tristan und Isolde, Canadian Opera Company

The supporting roles in this production were first-rate as well. Daveda Karanas sang the role of Isolde’s companion, Brangäne (for whom Wagner wrote some of the most beautiful music in the opera) with conviction and verve.

Robert T Harris, The Globe and Mail, January 2013

Khovanshchina, Oper Frankfurt

Finally is Daveda Karanas and it should be mentioned that the role of Marfa is her German debut. With a warm mezzo, Karanas creates very emotional moments when she thinks wistfully of Andrej’s love and, in return, proves dramatically talented when she predicts Golitsyn’s future or when she is committed to the firey death in the last act.

Thomas Molke, Online Musik Magazin, October 2012

Bluebeard’s Castle, Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino

Bluebeard’s Castle is after all a very long duet, ultimately successful only if both protagonists are on the same level. The considerable gamble the Maggio took by casting as Judit a young singer in the beginning phase of her career paid off handsomely. The Greek-American mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas, making her European debut, managed not only not to look out of place opposite such an experienced artist as Goerne, but held her own, with a most passionate interpretation and a bright, almost piercing instrument that reflected the heroine’s youthful impulsiveness.  The high C of the fifth door, a nightmare for so many mezzo-sopranos tackling this hybrid role, was splendidly nailed.

Nicola Lischi, Opera Britannia, June 2012

AIDA, Vancouver Opera

Mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas’s Amneris is a standout among standouts, perfectly bringing to life director David Gately’s vision of emotionally true characterizations. Just watch her acting in her scene with Aida, singing sweetly and adoringly to coax her slave to confess her love, then turning cold and spiteful. She displays even more complexity later on, as Amneris’s blind jealousy finds shades of remorse; at one point she slumps in her throne in horror at what she’s done. As for her voice? It’s a clear, polished mezzo that enunciates meaning in every word.

Janet Smith, The Straight, April 2012

The women, Mlada Khudoley and Daveda Karanas, are gloriously gifted as Aida, the Ethiopian prisoner (and secret princess), and Amneris, the Egyptian princess, respectively. As mismatched rivals for Radames’ heart – Aida having the upper hand despite being Amneris’ servant – it’s fascinating to see how Karanas reveals Amneris’ unhinged longing, allowing a steely hint of madness to permeate her mezzo-soprano.

Andrea Warner, The Globe and Mail, April 2012

This excellent work from the men, plus a strong performance from mezzo Daveda Karanas as Amneris, Aida’s rival, produced remarkable intensity.

David Gordon Duke, Vancouver Sun, April 2012

AIDA, Arizona Opera

As Amneris, Greek-American mezzo Daveda Karanas possesses a tightly focused, slightly steely voice that easily penetrated the orchestra – rather in the mold of Fiorenza Cossotto. Her interpretation is that of a mature artist, and she is a compelling actress.

Andrew Moravcsik, Opera Today, March 2012

Finally, it should be repeated that ‘Aida’ should probably be called ‘Amneris’, since the Pharaoh’s daughter is clearly the most interesting character in the story. Aida and Radames are fairly conventional lovers, but Amneris and her conflicted emotions are more believable, more human and more relatable, and credit should go to Daveda Karanas, who managed to convey that character.

Richard Nilsen, The Arizona Republic, March 2012

IL TROVATORE, Opera Grand Rapids

Debuting as well as the gypsy Azucena, Daveda Karanas sang with a mighty mezzo soprano that could peel paint off the banister as she described her mother’s death to Manrico.

Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk, The Grand Rapids Press, October 2011


Daveda Karanas brought theatrical intensity to her Waltraute in “Götterdämmerung”.

Heidi Waleson, Wall Street Journal, July 2011

Daveda Karanas contributed an anguished Waltraute. The Norns, who appeared to be toiling inside a giant motherboard (connecting cables, rather than a weaving rope) voiced eloquently.

Georgia Rowe, Musical America, June 2011

Back on Brünnhilde’s rock, Daveda Karanas as Valkyrie Waltraute gave one of the Cycle’s finest performances in a powerful scene with Stemme.

David Sckolnik, Colorado Springs Gazette, June 2011

The three Norns who weave the rope of fate (in this production it’s an Internet cable) were strongly portrayed by Ronnita Miller, soprano Heidi Melton, and mezzo Daveda Karanas.

Mike Silverman, Associated Press, June 2011

It’s rather more common for the roles of the “Rheingold” and “Walküre” Wotans to be split, as the Siegfried roles often are. It’s rather more extraordinary to assign the same artist the Waltraute roles in “Walküre” (one of eight valkyries whom even veteran attendees of “Ring” performances may have trouble identifying as individuals as the move around stage” and in “Götterdämmerung”(a character in an extended scene with Brünnhilde, requiring a large voice). But Daveda Karanas performed both and deserves kudos for an immensely successful effort.

William Burnett, Opera Warhorses, June 2011

Former SFO Adler Fellow Daveda Karanas stands out as the Second Norn, and also, later, as Brünnhilde’s Valkyrie sister Waltraute.

Michael J. Vaughn, The Opera Critic, June 2011

Kudos to the fine Rheinmaiden trio…and to Norns Ronnita Miller (also a resonant Erda), Daveda Karanas (an outstanding Waltraute), and Heidi Melton.

Lisa Hirsch, San Francisco Classical Voice, June 2011

…and the Norns were superbly sung by Ronnita Miller, Daveda Karanas (who returned as Waltraute), and Heidi Melton.

Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, June 2011

Norns (Ronnita Miller, Daveda Karanas, Heidi Melton)…gave fine ensemble performances.

Janos Gereben, San Francisco Examiner, June 2011

The grand, deep-voiced Ronnita Miller, the bright and vivid [mezzo] soprano of Daveda Karanas, the contrasting, focused grainier soprano of Heidi Melton all carried the scene persuasively. Daveda Karanas, as the fine second Norn, doubled as Waltraute, making the Valkyries’ visit to implore Brünnhilde to give up the Ring as gripping as it must be.

Robert P. Commanday, San Francisco Classical Voice, June 2011


She boasts a large, brawny instrument with more than a touch of steel, and it’s been gratifying during the recent years to hear how well she’s learned to channel that power into expressive and carefully modulated phrasing. Karanas can still unleash a powerhouse of sound when she needs to, and her upper register sounded especially potent and true on Sunday. But her finest showing came in the more intimate passages of the recital, which she delivered with tender eloquence.

– Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, April 2011

MADAMA BUTTERFLY, San Francisco Opera

Luisotti built success, then, on the other singers. Daveda Karanas saturated the role of Suzuki with an intensity of feeling that left no doubt about her empathetic understanding of Butterfly’s emotion and of her impeding doom. Karanas’ rich mezzo – almost a contralto voice – worked magic in this crucial part.

John Bender, San Francisco Classical Voice, October 2010

Mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas, a former Adler Fellow, was a similarly arresting vocal presence as the maid Suzuki – an incongruous view of this deferential character, but Karanas’ technical assurance made it work.

Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, October 2010

As Suzuki, Butterfly’s devoted servant, American mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas (a former Adler Fellow) proved to be powerful and exquisite in the second half.

Richard Scheinin, San Jose Mercury News, October 2010

Karanas’ round, warm mezzo voice had the opposite effect. It contained within it an intense pathos that never undermined Vassileva’s proud Cio-Cio San. The sonic contrast between Karanas and Vassileva’s voice – one edgier, the other more inviting – made the drama of the second act, as Cio-Cio San and Suzuki watch time inch forward, all the more pronounced. I look forward to seeing how Karanas’ skills translate to the roles of Waltraute and the Second Norn in the SFO’s upcoming Ring Cycle.

Laura Biggs,, October 2010

Quinn Kelsey and Daveda Karanas portrayed the U.S. Consul Sharpless and Butterfly’s maid Suzuki, who try to protect Cio-Cio San, with an extra measure of warmth and handsome presence, representing the humanity at the center at the opera.

NBC Bay Area, October 2010

DIE WALKÜRE, San Francisco Opera

And as the final index of this production’s greatness, consider that even the eight Valkyries in Act 3 – so often an undifferentiated mass of female vocalism – sounded brilliant. They were Wendy Bryn Harmer, Tamara Wapinsky, Daveda Karanas, Suzanne Hendrix, Molly Fillmore, Maya Lahyani, Pamela Dillard and Priti Gandhi; a hearty “ho-jo-to-ho” to the lot of them.

Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, June 2010

The third-act brings the expected dramatic climaxes. The Ride of the Valkyries is as exciting, and as thurderously played and sung, as you please, led by Valkyries Wendy Bryn Harmer, Tamara Wapinsky, Daveda Karanas, Suzanne Hendrix, Molly Fillmore, Maya Lahyani, Pamela Dillard, and Priti Gandhi.

Lisa Hirsch, San Francisco Classical Voice, June 2010

ARIAS CONCERT, Arizona Opera

Mezzo Daveda Karanas stunned the audience with works by Verdi and Bellini. What a treat. The aria from “Macbeth” Ms. Karanas emoted made one long to hear the entire work sung by her.

Donald Behnke, Green Valley News and Sun, March 2010

She has a smooth, buttery quality to her voice and she sang the aria, ‘La luce langue,’ from Verdi’s Macbeth with considerable dramatic power. Her rendition of ‘O don fatale’ from the same composer’s Don Carlo soared over the orchestration with sumptuous tones as did her lines in the Bellini duet ‘Mira, o Norma’.

Maria Nockin, Opera Today, March 2010


Daveda Karanas sang “D’amour, l’ardente flamme” from La Damnation de Faust, joining Tamara Wapinsky in a powerful Anna Bolena duet at the end of the concert.

Janos Gereben, San Francisco Classical Voice, December 2009


The stand-out in the 1st half was absolutely the Tristan scene. Daveda Karanas’s 1st dramatic utterance got my attention right away. It was as if the volume of the show had been suddenly turned up several notches.

Axel Feldheim, Not For Fun Only, December 2008

BORIS GODUNOV, San Francisco Opera

Three present Adler Fellows and a former one contributed mightily. Daveda Karanas’ Nurse and Catherine Cook’s Innkeeper were excellent.

Janos Gereben, San Francisco Classical Voice, October 2008


Daveda Karanas, a 28 year-old mezzo-soprano from Louisiana, offered formidable performances of arias by Meyerbeer and Purcell (a gripping “When I am Laid in Earth” from “Dido and Aeneas”.

Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, February 2008 


Cassandra’s aria, “Malheureux Roi” (Unhappy King), from Berlioz’ “Les Troyens,” prophesizes the fall of ancient Troy. As Karanas began the piece on Sunday, it was clear that much brighter tidings are in store for the mezzo…Karanas offered the biggest voice of the day, filling the hall with resonance and vitality. If the Met judges are looking for voices to fill that massive house, they’ve found it. Her follow up aria, “All that Gold” from Menotti’s “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” was an unexpected choice from the judges, but one that allowed Karanas to also deliver a powerfully dramatic reading.

Theodore P. Mahne, The Times Picayune, January 2008

MEROLA GRAND FINALE, Merola Opera Program

And just before the end came what was probably the evenings finest offering, a solo from Meyerbeer’s “Le Prophète”done with capacious power and vaunting athleticism by mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas. To hear her unleash those dark-hued, precisely placed tones in the service of an emotionally probing performance was a rare delight.

Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, August 2007

Shaking rafters with song…so did mezzo soprano Daveda Karanas, who sculpted her large, golden voice with glistening beauty in Fides’ aria “O prêtres de Baal” (Oh, priests of Baal) from Meyerbeer’sLe Prophète…what these singers shared was the ability to bring their audience to them, to demand to be listened to, to share the musical moment, to lift the music from the page and make it real.

James Keolker, San Francisco Classical Voice, August 2007

Daveda Karanas provided a show stopper as Fides in “O prêtres de Baal,” from Meyerbeer’s Le Prophète

Janos Gereben, San Francisco Classical Voice, August 2007

The audience also went wild over mezzo Daveda Karanas’ performance of “O Prêtres de Baal” from Meyerbeer’s rarely performed Le Prophète. Karanas’ range, coloratura facility, and strength on high were impressive.

Jason Victor Serinus, Bay Area Reporter, August 2007

Daveda Karanas offered the third high point of the evening. It’s hard to stand out, all the singers were so amazing, but she managed the feat. A big voice that fills the opera house effortlessly, she still sounded delicate and always accurate…she could be immobile, with a voice like hers, she’ll convey the emotions of the part effectively, and she’ll get people’s attention.

Cedric Westphal,, August 2007

By far the most dramatic voice among the women was that of Greek-American mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas, from Mandeville, Louisiana, whose teachers include Marilyn Horne, in “O Prêtres de Baal” from Meyerbeer’s Le Prophète.

Ruth C. Jacobs, Opera L Archives, August 2007

LA CENERENTOLA, Merola Opera Program

It testifies to the depth of this summer’s Merola company that a voice lustrous and exciting as that of mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas would turn up in the minor role of Tisbe.

Steven Winn, San Francisco Chronicle, July 2007

Two vicious-ridiculous stepsisters, sung by soprano Ani Maldjian (Clorinda) and mezzo Daveda Karanas (Tisbe), both outstanding singer-actors, making their caricature characters both funny and believable.

Janos Gereben, The Examiner, July 2007

The sisters, Ani Maldjian and Daveda Karanas, enjoyed their stage antics and tossed off fine vocalism at every turn.

John Bender, San Francisco Classical Voice, July 2007

Soprano Ani Maldjian and mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas lent sweet tone and lively characterizations to the roles of Cenerentola’s venomous stepsisters, Clorinda and Tisbe.

Georgia Rowe, Contra Costa Times, July 2007


Daveda Karanas was the sympathetic Ericlea.

John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune, March 2007

They are more than supported by several standout young singers…mezzo Daveda Karanas as Penelope’s maid.

Andrew Patner, Chicago Sun Times, March 2007

MOSES UND ARON, Boston Symphony Orchestra

And a quartet of future stars from Boston University’s Opera Institute – Jessica Tarnish, Michelle Johnson, Valerie Arboit, and Daveda Karanas – made a vivid impression as (please don’t tell their parents) Four Naked Virgins.

T.J. Medrek, Boston Herald, October 2006