Aviva Fortunata, as Sieglinde, blazed forth with a beautiful sound. A natural storyteller, this Canadian-Italian soprano was the best of an excellent lot.
Arthur Kaptainis, Classical Voice North America, Fall 2023
The Sigmund and Sieglinde (Viktor Antipenko and Aviva Fortunata) were both dramatically thrilling—partially because we know they’re not going to survive from the first moment they see each other. They are doomed by the curse put on the Ring in Rheingold, but also because Wotan, for all that he is the God over all the other gods of the pantheon, is weak and won’t protect them as he should. He’s God of Oaths but he can’t keep his own word; having said that, Antipenko and Fortunata sing in ways that convince us that as lovers, they have a long future ahead of them with the singers’ bright and lush voices that cut through the orchestra with ease, regardless of their moods. Even their whispers carry throughout the house. Both have had and will have fine careers.
Keith Dorwick, British Theatre Guide, Fall 2023
As Sieglinde, soprano Aviva Fortunata revealed a wonderfully rounded — even creamy — timbre, yet managed to be easily heard over the mega-watt fury of the Valkyries’ chorus.
Adrian Chamberlain, Times Colonist, Fall 2023
L'ORCHESTRE SYMPHONIQUE DE QUEBEC
MERVEILLEUSE AVIVA FORTUNATA
“Et Aviva Fortunata dans tout cela? Celle dont le nom est déjà promesse de vocalità happe dès son entrée sur scène pour l’air de concert Ah! Perfido! de Beethoven. Elle nous rend d’abord captifs par sa présence de tous les instants. Et ensuite par la voix. Et quelle voix! Un soprano lyrique à la fois léger et charnu, suprêmement contrôlé, égal dans tout le registre, en particulier dans les aigus, si faciles. Il est difficile de se rappeler d’un «Casta Diva» (de Norma de Bellini) aussi impeccable. Le «Chant à la lune» (dans Rusalka de Dvořák) est également tout à fait touchant.”
Emmanuel Bernier, Le Soleil Numerique, Winter 2022
"À la fin de la première partie du concert, la jeune soprano canado-italienne Aviva Fortunata a fait son entrée avec l’air « Ah! Perfido » de Beethoven. Tous sont surpris, subjugués par la force de cette soprano de l’ouest canadien. Fort expressive, dans cet air, elle campait parfaitement le drame d’une femme trahie et blessée par son bien-aimé. Avec une amplitude, une vaste tessiture, toute en nuances et en finesse, elle nous a ébloui. Quel talent nous venions de découvrir lors de ce concert!
En seconde partie de ce programme bien intéressant et varié, elle revient avec le fameux air « Casta diva », tiré du célèbre opéra Norma de Bellini. Elle en fait un bijou d’interprétation avec une immense délicatesse, pleine d’émotion qui nous a touché immanquablement. Par la suite, ce sera la beauté éthérée du « Chant à la lune » de Dvorak qui nous permet d’apprécier toute la dimension et l’étendue des possibilités de cette soprano.
Le concert s’est terminé par un des plus beaux lieder de Richard Strauss : Morgen. À nouveau, la soprano nous a émerveillé avec une superbe interprétation toute en douceur et délicatesse."
Jacques Leclerc, Les ArtsZé, Winter 2022
As Donna Anna, soprano Aviva Fortunata revealed a creamy timbre and earned some of the evening’s most enthusiastic applause. The technically demanding Non mi dir was notable for Fortunata’s secure high notes and nimble coloratura.
Adrian Chamberlain, Times Colonist, Spring 2022
Donna Anna and Don Ottavio were played by the brilliant soprano Aviva Fortunata and tenor Owen McCausland respectively. This duo was so well-matched; an absolute powerhouse of a couple with Fortunata’s soaring coloratura, and McCausland’s bright, full tenor. Even in the larger ensembles, their voices shone.
Melissa Ratcliffe, Schmopera, Spring 2022
“The cast was headed by Canadian soprano Aviva Fortunata, last heard in Calgary in the title role in Norma. Vocally she brought to the title role of The Merry Widow the presence and vividness of a lead soprano, most particularly in her Vilja Lied in the second act, the vocal highlight of the production. Throughout, there was excellent chemistry between her and Count Danilo, the man she is determined to have say to her the three magic words necessary for marriage. Comfortable in a comic role, she presented a slightly more earthy version of The Merry Widow than one customarily encounters, a reminder that the Widow has been “of the nobility” for only a very short time..”
Kenneth DeLong, Calgary Herald, Winter 2022
Andrew Love’s Danilo and Aviva Fortunata’s Hanna Glawari were an ideal match. Both have musical theatre in their blood, and it showed in every moment of stage action, dialogue, singing and acting. Even when they were not the focal point of the action, they managed to resonate a purposeful comic air. Best of all, Love’s Danilo provided the essential mock suavity and much-needed self-deprecation to match Fortunata’s charming wile and well-spun wit.
Stephan Bonfield, Opera Canada, Winter 2022
“Calgary-born soprano Aviva Fortunata . . . was outstanding. Besides her consistently strong musical form and unflagging stamina in a physically and vocally challenging role, she navigated the tribulations . . . with convincing acting skill. Both in moments of seething rage . . . and moments of vulnerably intimacy, . . . Fortunata demonstrated how suited she is for larger-than-life operatic moments. Her attacks on Pollione for abandoning her and their two children to pursue his new love interest, Adalgisa, screamed fatal threat. As she wrestled, sword in hard, with the urge to kill her own children, she viscerally rendered an unhinged energy of uncontrollable vindictiveness.”
Bill Rankin, Opera Canada, Spring 2020
“Fortunately, this production is blessed with an outstanding lead soprano in Aviva Fortunata. . . . Her voice is of diva soprano quality and strength, and vocally she is able to command the stage at all times, even in the company of other singers of very considerable ability. She was heard to best effect in the imperious side of Norma, where her vocal strength, brilliant top register, and excellent coloratura singing were heard to thrilling effect. . . . Fortunata certainly came up trumps in the famous Casta diva in the first act. And elsewhere, notably in the powerful final moments of the opera, she sang and acted with complete conviction. It was an impressive debut.”
Kenneth de Long, Calgary Herald, February 2020
GIORGETTTA / SUOR ANGELICA / NELLA
“While all the principals were terrific, soprano Aviva Fortunata emerged as a major star. In Il Tabarro she sang Giorgetta, wife of Michele. . . . [S]he brought beautiful tone and richness as well as believable chemistry with both men. As Sister Angelica . . . she broke my heart. Fortunata’s round, sumptuous rendition of “Senza mamma,” . . . should be forever in her concert repertoire. As Nella, Fortunata may not have been front-and-centre, but her skill for physical comedy was clear.”
Robin J. Miller, Opera Canada, Winter 2019
The singing and acting were first rate, with soprano Aviva Fortunata especially impressive. Fortunata’s heart-rending Senza mamma, one of Puccini’s finest arias, was tremendous, sung with creamy lyricism and thrilling high notes. Fortunata sang well as Giorgetta, the cheating wife, displaying a rounded, velvety timbre and fine projection with no hint of stridency.
Adrian Chamberlain, Victoria Times Colonist, October 2019
“Aviva Fortunata as Giorgetta is a standout in Tabarro, with a warm full soprano, and barely-contained frustration and anger at being made to stay on the boat. Her desperation when she tries to leave her estranged husband is palpable as she nearly betrays her plan to escape.”
Melissa Ratcliff, Schmopera.com, October 2019
The intense drama is well-served by soprano Aviva Fortunata as the wife Giorgetta, whose powerful voice hits the heart and the ears. Fortunata is an absolute force as Angelica, perfectly channeling the pain and transcendent power of the story and the music.
Check the Program podcast, Episode 29, October 2019
“Unleashing a rich and powerful voice, Fortunata dispatched her big Act I aria, “Abscheulicher!”, enormously demanding in its sustained phrases, with ease and control. And throughout the rest of the difficult opera, her voice retained its beauty and suppleness, soaring to the rafters when required.”
Robin J. Miller, Opera Canada, Winter 2018
“Soprano Aviva Fortunata played the title role of Fidelio/Leonore, and brought a great deal of sensitivity to a difficult role. Her voice was clear and pristine, and rang effortlessly to the back of the hall.”
Melissa Ratcliff, Schmopera.com, 2018
"Aviva Fortunata's Donna Elvira was the vocal standout of the evening, her voice moved seamlessly through its registers with a mixture of warm musicality and dramatic edginess"
Bruce Garman, Opera Canada, Winter 2017
“One standout was the jilted lover Donna Elvira, played by Aviva Fortunata. Fortunata’s striking soprano was expressive and expansive through bouts of inconsolable rage and sweet hope for love as Don Giovanni manipulates her affections. The chemistry between Donna Elvira and Don Giovanni was by far the most intriguing in the show.”
Matthew Olson, Saskatoon StarPhoenix, June 2017
“Last night it seemed very much about the Count and Countess, not least because of a quite stunning performance by Aviva Fortunata. This really was a bit special. From the first notes of Porgi amor to Più docile io sono she was commanding and very affecting.”
John Gilks, operaramblings.com, February 2016
“Soprano Aviva Fortunata has a powerful and gorgeous lirico-spinto that’s destined to go places. Her “Porgi amor” showed off her excellent sense of pitch, lovely legato and gleaming tone, with a nice dolcissimo high A-flat ending. Her “Dove sono” deservedly received huge applause from the audience.”
Joseph So, Musical Toronto, February 2016
“As The Countess, soprano Aviva Fortunata showed a new picture of professionalism and poise onstage; there was new maturity in the voice, a level of comfort with Mozart's music that allowed us to pay attention to her smart acting abilities. She made a real person out of the brooding Rosina, including fantastic comic timing in the kerfuffle-like scenes. She was a force alongside Gordon Bintner as Count Almaviva; the two of them had a chilly relationship that was ever so slightly cartoon-like, and wonderfully familiar.”
Jenna Douglas, shmopera.com, February 2016
“And speaking of singers I missed in the 2014 Ensemble Cosi, there’s Aviva Fortunata, with a voice & commitment to match Bintner. I wouldn’t dream of saying her voice sounds like anyone. It’s unique, but paticularly when she lets fly at the top of her range, it’s clear that the sky’s the limit.”
Leslie Barcza, barczablog.com, February 2016
“Aviva Fortunata sounded even more impressive the second time, her big voice showcased in this little role in one of the more interesting casting choices of the season, her colour adding a wonderful dimension to the ensembles she’s in.”
Leslie Barcza, barczablog.com, May 2015
“As Berta, Rosina's governess, Aviva Fortunata was hilarious. She had all that "listening action" that can be so full of comic moments; I want to see it again, and sit a bit closer, because I have a feeling Aviva had some priceless facial expressions. I was glad they kept Berta's aria for her, too.”
Jenna Douglas, schmopera.com, May 2015
“Soprano Aviva Fortunata applied a brilliant, dramatic tone and natural style of acting to the supporting role of the servant Berta.”
Arthur Kaptainis, The National Post, May 2015
“With power to spare and a well formed sense of expression Ensemble Studio soprano Aviva Fortunata's portrayal of Rosina's Governess, 'Berta', established her as a dominant presence even when she sang recitatives. Her big number in the second act was thrilling. Occasional awkwardness when standing still was transcended by the easy flow of her movements when she was central to the action. She has everything needed to be stealing scenes in the near future.”
Brian Hay, norules-nolights.com, May 2015
“Aviva Fortunata, blessed with a full, rich soprano, gave such a fine account of Berta’s “Il vecchiotto cerca moglie” one wished Rossini had given her character a larger role.”
Christopher Hoile, Opera News, July 2015, Vol. 80 – No. 1
“Fortunata is blessed with a gorgeous voice of richness and amplitude, with excellent squillo. She can make a big, well-focused sound, as evidenced in her current gig as Helmwige in Die Walkure – the high B’s and C’s hold no terror for her….”
Joseph So, Musical Toronto blog, February 2015
COSÌ FAN TUTTE
“Fortunata made a very impressive job of Come scoglio.”
John Gilks, operaramblings, February 2014
“… Aviva Fortunata introduced Fiordiligi as the perfectly relatable girl that [she is]; … made me laugh, and [she] sang superbly. As Fiordiligi, Aviva’s was some of the most impressive singing of the night. Her ‘Come scoglio’ earned tons of applause, and rightly so; she was fierce and hilarious, all channeled through her powerful instrument.”
Jenna Douglas, schmopera blog, February 2014
“The first act Fiordiligi, soprano Aviva Fortunata, has a big, soaring voice of infinite spinto coloratura possibilities. Is there a Lucia, or even a Brunhilde in her far future? She absolutely nailed her big aria Come Scoglio.”
Paula Citron, February 2014
“The women's voices blended beautifully, and Fortunata's creamy tones were a delight whenever she sang.”
Jon Kaplan, Glenn Sumi, Now Magazine, February 2014
“Soprano Aviva Fortunata returned at evening's end to offer a fine-grained and deeply moving account of the ‘Ave Maria’ in Otello."
Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, July 2013
“The evening closed with a beautiful, devastating version of “The Willow Song” from Verdi’s Otello sung by Canadian soprano Aviva Fortunata.”
John Marcher, A Beast in a Jungle, July 2013
POSTCARD FROM MOROCCO
A LADY WITH A CAKE BOX
“As A Lady with a Cake Box, soprano Aviva Fortunata sang with much power. Her voice is robust and penetrating, but her quiet notes were loveliest.”
Opera Tattler, July 2012
“Soprano Aviva Fortunata (A Lady with a Cake Box) showed us voice equally strong and face equally enigmatic, but her emotional commitment managed to break through the haze. As with Glueckert, she touched the heart. Only when the two of them interacted did we have a sense that something profound was unfolding amidst Nicholas Muni’s simple sets and Argento’s masterful score.”
Jason Serinus, San Francisco Classical Voice, July 2012
“[S]oprano Aviva Fortunata gave a heartfelt and perfectly lovely reminiscence of a bygone romance.”
Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, July 2012
AVIVA IN RECITAL
Vier letzte Lieder (Four Last Songs), by Strauss, arr. John Greer
I am happy to say Aviva Fortunata sang it very beautifully. First of all, her voice has the right weight and timbre for this cycle. Right off the bat, “Fruhling” has a very high tessitura with long, arching phrases. Fortunata tackled it nicely with rich, refulgent tone and ample breath! “September” is equally demanding, with a long phrase on the word “blumen” that sits low in the soprano range that often gives the singer trouble. Aviva did it marvellously. This was followed by arguably the most difficult passage for the soprano, several long, arching phrases up to a B natural and then drops to the lowest part of the soprano range, a line that has defeated many a great singer in the past. Impressively, Fortunata did it with rich, opulent tone and with plenty of breath.
Joseph So, Musical Toronto, May 2016
Poèmes pour Mì, by Messiaen
"Aviva Fortunata sang them with great commitment and near perfect diction; no mean feat with such demanding music. She was intensely physical in the bookend movements, using her full voice to great effect, especially in the ecstatic closing monosyllables of Épouvante. But she also throttled back beautifully in the middle movements. It was really quite impressive"
John Gilks, operaramblings blog, February 2015
Setting of Pushkin’s Ekho Poeta (The Poet’s Echo), by Britten
“The concert closed out with soprano Aviva Fortunata singing the Pushkin settings Ekho Poeta/The Poet’s Echo written for Galina Vishnevskaya. These are angry, dramatic pieces and do call for a full blooded sound, which Fortunata delivered. Good stuff.”
John Gilks, operaramblings, October 2013
BBC CARDIFF SINGER OF THE WORLD
“Last but not least was Canadian dramatic soprano Aviva Fortunata. She has a rich and round tone, carrying easily over the orchestra but never heavy. She carried off Elsa’s dream aria from Wagner’s Lohengrin with aplomb and showed a sound technique in Anna’s aria ‘Ah! Che invan su questo ciglio’ from Rossini’s little known Maometto II. ‘Chi il bel sogno di Doretta’ from Puccini’s La rondine, with its beautiful soaring melody, was a lovely aria on which to end her programme, and she met its challenges well.”
Cath Barton, Wales Arts Review, June 2015
“The third soprano of the evening was a very different proposition from the high-flying voices earlier, a full, creamy lirico-spinto with just enough additional heft for the Wagner. I doubt Aviva Fortunate will ever graduate to Brünnhilde or Isolde, but the lighter (relatively speaking) roles are already well within her grasp, judging from the excellent interpretation of Elsa's Dream. And this was an interpretation, with a degree of acting that we hadn't seen previously this evening. During the orchestral introduction (and the orchestra was playing extremely well tonight, throughout), she looked around the auditorium with a fearful gaze, turning the audience into the crowd present at her trial, and the jury into Elsa's judges.I have to admit that I detest Doretta's Dream, it's Puccini at his most saccharine and it gives me tooth-ache, but Fortunata sang it seductively, floating her top notes with elegant ease.”
Row B Seat 37 blog, June 2015