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-- Steve Butler
Bronx, New York
As Zerbinetta in "Ariadne auf Naxos," Finnish National
"The real savior and good spirit of the Ariadne performance
is Osceola Davis' Zerbinetta, this nightingale-like
virtuoso. Her characterization is quite perfect, a seductive frolicker who
changes from moment to moment with mercurial fickleness, is
always as unpredictable and as captivating. Osceola Davis' appearance
combines most delicate gracefulness and great strength.
Zerbinetta's movements and gestures could hardly be more enticing and
pulsating. Her expressions portray childlike bewilderment,
tittering coquetry aw well as shrewdness. One of Strauss' magic tricks is the
way in which he transforms the cabaret-like melodies of
Zerbinetta and her companions into a refined coloratura splendor. Osceola
Davis' nightingale-like voice sounds at the same time like
the purring of a cat."
-- Hannu-Tlari Lampila, Helsingin Sanomat
In recital with Jorma Hynninen:
"Osceola Davis isn't as familiar a singer as Battle, but on the
basis of Sunday's concert she should be. Her winsome
personality was instantaneously appealing, her tone glowed like freshly
fallen snow, and her direct, heartfelt interpretive manner was
absolutely perfect for this beloved yet often so artistically elusive repertory...
That selection and Davis' ecstatic rendition of 'He's Got
the Whole World in His Hands' (capped by a stunning high E Flat) got the
biggest ovations of the afternoon, but the entire program
was a delightful, frequently very moving experience."
-- Bill Zakariasen, The Daily News
"Osceola Davis' unusual recital a few hours later in the
same hall was devoted entirely to the repertory for high
coloratura soprano. Her calling card, Reinhold Gliere's concerto for wordless
vocalization, offered a quick resume of her
qualifications in florid music, to wit: staccati quite firm and accurate; extreme
high notes very good indeed -- clear, vibrant and full
right up to the high F region... there is definitely work to be had for a voice of
this size and altitude..."
-- Will Crutchfield, The New York Times
"On the following Sunday afternoon at Carnegie Hall,
Soprano Osceola Davis (Metropolitan Opera) offered three of
Richard Strauss' 'Brentano' lieder and Debussy's 'Quatre Chansons de
jeunesse' as centerpieces of her program... Four finely-crafted
songs by Betty Jackson King(3) and Margaret Garwood (1) were given
superb readings. Miss Davis showed her great skill as a
singing-actress in excerpt from Bellini's 'La Sonnambula' and Thomas'
'Hamlet.' The shifting moods of Ophelia in the latter were
captured to perfection."
-- Raoul Abdul, New York Amsterdam News
In Concert: Opera Gala With Patrice Munsel
"Many of the evening's highlights belonged to coloratura
soprano Osceola Davis, who displayed effortless control
and consummate artistry in handling the wandering passages and high
notes in works by Meyerbeer and Rossini. Hearing her, one
could better understand why her performances of Mozart's fiendishly difficult
role, the Queen of the Night, are so well known."
-- John Mangan, The New Haven Register
"But there was delightful singing from Osceola Davis,
silvery in Zerbinetta's aria from 'Ariadne auf Naxos,'"
-- Richard Dyer, The Boston Sunday Globe
In Recital with George Shirley:
"In a joint recital with the tenor George Shirley at Alice Tully
Hall yesterday afternoon, Osceola Davis confirmed the
impression made at her recital debut a few seasons back. The young
Americam soprano, who has been active with the Finnish
National Opera, has a light coloratura voice of pleasing quality, fresh right up
to the high F's of Mozart's 'Mia speranza adorata.' She
did some nice phrasing in her Mozart selections, and sang her spirituals --
especially 'Ain't Got Time to Die' -- in a vocal style closer to
current popular music than that usually encountered."
-- Will Crutchfield, The New York Times
A native of New Jersey, Osceola Davis began her career
as an elementary school teacher, which she truly enjoyed. This allowed
her the opportunity to mentor handicapped as well as musically gifted
children. From there she was invited to New York to participate in the
opera studio at the Metropolitan Opera for promising artists. The studio
presented their programs in the public schools to introduce young
audiences to new repertoire. These experiences led her to perform on
Broadway, then continued on to perform in Europe. When she returned to
the U.S., this time it was to sing on the Metropolitan Opera stage. This
began her career as a major international attraction.
Earlier recordings of Osceola includes a joint project with Artistic Director of the Savonlinna Festival and the Metropolitan Opera’s Finnish baritone, Jorma Hynninen. She also recorded for The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, MA where she was, for a number of years, soloist as well.
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