Louisa Jonason
Don Pasquale

Louisa Jonason as Norina in Don Pasquale at the American Opera Center at the Juilliard School.


Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci, Santuzza and Nedda
New Orleans Opera, March, 1993

“Louisa Jonason sang with the appropriate weight for Santuzza and the nicely placed trill that is Nedda’s in Pagliacci. She has a beauty of tone and evenness of weight in the middle and lower registers that would be the envy of many a first-night Metropolitan Opera diva.”
Frank Gagnard, The Times-Picayune

Christophe Columb, Isabella
Brooklyn College Opera Theater, October, 1992

“Louisa Jonason’s powerful, attractive soprano was well suited to Isabella, and she gave a wonderful account of the queen’s prayer after the reconquest of Granada.”
Allan Kozinn, New York Times

“In the almost as demanding part of Queen Isabella, New York City Opera soprano Louisa Jonason was outstanding in every way; her voice is brilliant, opulent and easily produced, and she was at all times a strong dramatic presence.”
Bill Zakariasen, Daily News

Madama Butterfly, Cio-Cio San
New York City Opera, August, 1984

“Louisa Jonason’s debut as ’Madama Butterfly’ at the New York City Opera Wednesday night went straight to the hearts of her listeners. The young American soprano elicited long and enthusiastic response from the beginning of her performance to its end.”
Bernard Holland, New York Times

Madama Butterfly, Cio-Cio San
New York City Opera at Orange County Performing Arts Center, January, 1986

“She made a mighty sound. It was an undeniably impressive sound - a strong, rare, full-throated spinto sound that cut through the orchestral and choral fabric with laughing ease. ... she asserted herself as the sort of singer who makes one look forward to the climaxes. Jonason began to explore the light and shade of mezza di voce contrasts. She lightened and brightened her tone, seemed girlish where, before, she had seemed womanly. She also found telling expressive nuances in the text. .. .she offered generous compensation in the ascending pianissimo shimmer of the offstage lullaby and in the poignant simplicity of the death scene.”
Martin Bernheimer, Los Angeles Times

Madama Butterfly, Cio-Cio San
Chattanooga Symphony and Opera Association, March, 1992

“Louisa Jonason and David Hamilton were a well-matched pair to sing the roles of Cio-Cio San (Madame Butterfly) and Lt. B.F. Pinkerton, and their voices blended beautiful in the love duets of Act I. Ms. Jonason’s performance of the opera’s most famous arias, Un bel di (One fine day), was glorious yet heart-rending. Ms. Jonason’s acting skills, too, were evident as she moved from joyful anticipation at Pinkerton’s imminent return to profound sorrow upon realizing he no longer wanted her for his wife.”
Emily McDonald, The Chattanooga Times

“In Act One, Butterfly, magnificently acted and sung by soprano Louisa Jonason, is wed... Ms. Jonason possesses an amazingly strong and clear voice, reaching notes effortlessly. Combined with her tremendous acting abilities, she reduced the audience to tears in her portrayal of love and tragedy.”
Chris Shackleford, Chattanooga News-Free Press

Madama Butterfly, Cio-Cio San
Asbury Park Paramount Theatre, July, 1988

“The evening belonged to Louisa Jonason who has sung the Cio-Cio San role more than a hundred times. She projected a true doll-like geisha quality with her gliding walk and graceful stylized hand movements. Ms. Jonason gave the role a flame-like intensity of life that made her suicide all the more tragic. Her big, flexible soprano is full of shades and nuances that reflect every fleeting emotion. She sang the famous Butterfly theme with coquettish charm and soared up to high C with ease in the love duet. She sang the famous ‘One Fine Day’ in a trance of happiness.”
Jane Lee Andersen, July 18, Asbury Park Press

Madama Butterfly, Cio-Cio San
Fargo-Moorhead Civic Opera Company, July, 1988

“Louisa Jonason may be said to have taken out a long-term lease on the property. Especially striking are two arias in Act II which range from the passionate infectious hope of ‘Un bel di’ (‘One fine day’) to the despair of ‘Che tua madre.’ Her final farewell to her son is perhaps the most emotional music of the entire opera pleading as it does for him to remember his mother and to honor her sacrifice for him. Ms. Jonason’s voice is a powerful, at times awesome, instrument here. In Act I it is perhaps like new china or silver - clean, fine, sharp-edged, vibrant with the purity and strengths of youth and naIve trust. Later in Act II she extends the range of emotions with depth and fullness as Butterfly’s theme (‘Un bel di’) of misplaced hope and faith plays ironically in the lower, darker registers of the orchestra. At her most expressive, Ms. Jonason outsings everyone in the upper registers where she electrifies the atmosphere of the play and splits the air of Festival Concert Hall like a crack of (vocal) lightening.”

Madama Butterfly, Cio-Cio San
Durham Arts Council, June 1987

“Ms. Jonason was nothing short of brilliant Friday.”
Jim Wise, Durham Morning Herald, North Carolina

Madama Butterfly, Cio-Cio San
Lyric Opera of Dallas, July, 1986

“Soprano Louisa Jonason raised goose pimples with her fervent singing of Butterfly.”
Olin Chism, Dallas Times Herald

Madama Butterfly, Cio-Cio San
Baton Rouge Opera, March, 1985

“By and large, it was Jonason who kept the onstage performance convincing. Physically, the diminutive soprano is a perfect Butterfly. In the second act, affecting western dress and a page-boy haircut, she called to mind the vulnerable image of actress Miyoshi Umeki. Her radiant face was a compelling image. But the inner strength of her characterization was also the production’s strength—a touching and honest piece of work. The role is a vocal marathon, one that Jonason seemed to have finished Wednesday with comparative ease. If her voice wasn’t velvety, seamless or readily flexible, it had power and personality that spoke well for Butterfly. The tone grew in warmth and suppleness as the night wore on, and so did the singer’s ability to create meaningful dynamic contrasts. Jonason’s reading of the big second-act aria (the erstwhile ‘Un bel di’) was vivid in its tension and certainty. Later, though, in Butterfly’s ecstatic outburst when she sights Pinkerton’s ship, Jonsaon’s voice rode the line powerfully. In the aria just before Butterfly’s suicide (the erstwhile ‘Tu, tu, tu... piccolo iddio!’), Jonason was well in command of her big, bright soprano.”
David Foil, Morning Advocate

Madama Butterfly, Cio-Cio San
Anchorage Civic Opera, March, 1984

“Star of the show was Butterfly, sung by Louisa Jonason, a New York-based soprano. Jonason is certainly on the verge of a major career. Her voice is size-able and well-controlled, and her performing ability is awesome.”
Suzanne Dobkin, Anchorage Daily News

“Louisa Jonason is an opera lover’s fantasy of the ideal Butterfly. Her clear tones can bubble through Puccini’s rich melody one minute and the next minute slam against the rear wall with the force of a tidal wave. Jonason’s acting power matches her voice. From the giggling 15-year-old bride in the first act to the tragic heroine in the third, Jonason evokes a remarkable range of emotion.”
Catherine Stadem, The Times Anchorage

Madama Butterfly, Cio-Cio San
Virginia Opera

“The difficult role requires a mature voice, which she certainly has, and a dramatic ability that is both authentically Oriental and expressively Italian.”
Norfolk Ledger-Star

Madama Butterfly, Cio-Cio San
Annapolis Civic Opera

“Ms. Jonason’s voice is perfectly suited to Puccini’s music...her high pianissimos are exquisite, her acting flawless and natural.”
Annapolis Evening Capitol

Falstaff, Alice Ford
Monadnock Music, August, 1990

“Louisa Jonasan brought to the role of Alice Ford... a real vocal elegance and a charming flirtatiousness.”
Anthony Tommasini, Special to the Globe

“Soprano Louisa Jonasan has been singing Butterfly and Mim at the New York City Opera since 1982, but she’s new to me and a real find. She’s diminutive but with a big, warm voice, a highly readable mobile face and a sparkling, confident stage presence. Her Alice Ford was a mobilizing force—witty, charming and generous. The role, which is the major for a soprano in the opera, isn’t a star turn, but Jonason made one perceive what a wonderful role it is.”
Lloyd Schwartz, The Boston Phoenix

“And then there was Louisa Jonason’s Alice Ford, richly sung and acted with eye-batting wit as she led the duped Falstaff down the garden path into disaster.”
Richard F. Binder, The Telegraph

“As Alice, Louisa Jonasan led the way with strong and spirited singing.”
Alice Fuld, The Keene Sentinel

Cavalleria Rusticana, Santuzza
Fargo-Moorhead Civic Opera Company, October, 1989

“Louisa Jonasan, a native of Pelican Rapids, Minnesota, and a principal with the New York City Opera, is intense as the rejected lover, Santuzza.”
Cathy Mauk, The Forum

La Bohème, Mimi
Metro Lyric Opera, August, 1988

“Soprano Louisa Jonason has a big voice with a seamless register, secure top notes and a perfect diminuendo to almost a whisper. She was a frail, defenseless and very endearing Mimi. She looked a shade too robust on her death bed, but she acted frail and wan.”
Jane Lee Andersen, Asbury Park Press

Cosi Fan Tutte, Fiordiligi
The Young Artists Opera, Inc.

“It isn’t often we come across a singer who can manage the most difficult Mozart arias in full voice without faltering...Fiordiligi was memorable for Louisa Jonason, he unbelievable range... her vocal dynamics left us breathless, and her characterization was an absolute joy.”
Schulman, Backstage

Hansel and Gretel, Hansel
The Bronx Opera

“The highest level of vocal performance dwelt in Louisa Jonason’s clear resonant, nicely articulated Hansel. This attractive soprano showed solid musicianship, an ability to project lines and a good deal of charm.”
Opera News

Fedora, Fedora
The New York Lyric Opera

“Louisa Jonason in the title role had the right vocal quality—a full spinto soprano with ample power and a firmly focused tone—and as a piece of pure singing there was much to admire in her performance.”
Peter G. Davis, New York Times

Tosca, Tosca
Manhasset Bay Opera Company

“When Jonason sang, it was as if no one else was onstage. Her voice is smooth and very warm, opening like a rose toward the top.”
New York Newsday

Tales of Hoffmann, Antonia
Hawaii Opera Theater

“Louisa Jonason as Antonia displayed an expressive dramatic soprano voice of clear register, range and power.”
New York Newsday

“Louisa Jonason’s lovely voice did complete justice to the role of Antonia"
Joseph Maltby, Honolulu Star-Bulletin

“Those who attended the Hawaii Opera Theater’s ’Operantics’ fundraiser at the Kahala Mall attest that the highlight was the singing of the love duet from La Bohème by tenor Barry McCauley and stunning soprano Louisa Jonason.”
David Donelly, Honolulu Star-Bulletin

Madama Butterfly, Cio-Cio San
New York City Opera National Company, 1987

“But the chief artistic strength lay in a cast of uncommonly gifted young singers, whose efforts were galvanized by the phenomenal power and conviction of soprano Louisa Jonason, an internationally renowned veteran of the title role making her Canadian career debut. On stage and singing almost continuously during each act, Jonason combined soaring brilliance and tonal purity with one of the most compelling and consistent dramatic portrayals to be found anywhere Madama Butterfly is performed. It earned her a spontaneous standing ovation from an audience of 1,227 that filled only 64 percent of theatre seats, but applauded like a full house. Petite and gracefully expressive in every movement, Jonason possesses the enviable asset of being able to look the character as effortlessly as she voiced it. Soon after her first university performances as the l5-year-old Cio-Cio San, however, Jonason started from scratch to study the disciplined movement patterns of Japanese kabuki theatre, the classic repertoire of facial expression, and even the ancient tea-pouring ceremony. Instead of being the image, her doll-like makeup and demure kimono simply completed it. The result was a believable person whose complex blend of fragility and strength was allowed free and spontaneous play... Cio-Cio San undergoes enormous changes of character and attitude, forced on her by unsought independence. Jonason captured that growth vividly in a firmer, more outspoken approach that prepared touchingly for the final act... Even in the difficult hara-kiri scene, Jonason preserved her character’s dignity without trivializing or exaggerating the act itself. Her resonant, unforced sound, which seems to thrive on Puccini’s arduous high-ranging lines, combined with a rare gift for nuance and stress, as well as exquisite Italian diction.”
Pauline Durichen, Record Showcase (Canada)

“In 40 years of various Butterflies... no soprano ever made a more immediate and stunning dramatic impression in the role than soprano Louisa Jonason. In the first act, her acting was delicate and full of youthful innocence. And from there she moved securely into the heroine’s heavier scenes culminating with her disillusionment and death in Act III. Vocally, Ms. Jonason was also impressive. She never forced or resorted to vocalized tears to make her point. Her placement, her intonation and breath control, the quality of her sound - everything that should be right is right. If Miss Jonason doesn’t have a star’s career, then there simply is no justice in the operatic world.”
Charles Staff, Indianapolis News

“But thanks mainly to Louisa Jonason’s portrayal of Madame Butterfly, the New York City Opera National Company’s production brings the people-sized scale of the opera’s events to the forefront. Jonason showed Butterfly’s growth from the picture of girlish innocence in the first act through the determined young mother fending off doubts in Act II to the despairing yet heroic figure of the final act. Her characterization was thoroughly unified through her singing and acting. In Cio-Cio San’s most famous aria, Un bel di vedremo, the singer began in a kneeling posture beside her faithful servant Suzuki. .. She rose, making a natural yet compelling downstage cross and ended her fantasy of her beloved’s return in the middle of the stage, arms outstretched. Movement alone wouldn’t make this oft-heard aria convincing in this context. But it was acted to the hilt as well, and the impression produced was not of a poor, deluded young woman but a surprisingly mature person in the grip of a strong imaginative desire for a future worth believing in.”
Jay Harvey, The Indianapolis Star

“Louisa Jonason was lovely and ingenious as the 15-year-old Butterfly, showing flashes of the passion which would ultimately cause her downfall. Jonason has a superb, rich voice with a steady low range. Her mid-range voice has a powerful depth and resonance.”
Karen Campbell, Bronx, NY