Mezzo-soprano Fons, especially, brought range (both vocal and emotional) to a character who isn’t much more than an archetype in the libretto. As some reviewers opined of the opera’s world premiere at Santa Fe Opera in 2017, the story here turns on a disappointing cliché: that of a good woman who helps a socially challenged genius become a better person. There’s no denying this — though there’s talk of Laurene’s MBA and professional ambitions, she first appears onstage to tell Steve he’s working too hard and needs to take a break. That Laurene is more fully fleshed out than her initial appearance suggests is thanks entirely to Fons’ performance; it’s reason alone to buy a ticket.Megan Burbank for The Seattle Times
American Mezzo Soprano
Emily Fons has made several exciting role and company debuts in recent seasons that have set her apart as a versatile, powerful, and engaging performer. She was hailed by Opera News as one of opera's rising stars and one of the best singing actresses of her generation, and received a Grammy nomination for her work on Jennifer Higdon's Cold Mountain.
“Emily Fons is one of the best singing actors of her generation.”
“The mezzo’s characterizations have ranged from a sharp-elbowed, drily witty Rosina at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis to an endearingly gawky Cherubino in Santa Fe and a bespectacled, man-hungry Peep-Bo in The Mikado at Lyric Opera of Chicago, where she was a member of that company’s Ryan Center. This past summer, the thirty-two-year-old Wisconsin native created the role of the strong-willed, resourceful Ruby in Santa Fe Opera’s world premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain.”