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
Portrayed by…Emily Fons, Cherubino most unselfconsciously embodied the lusty spirit of this production. Fons effortlessly captured the charm, confusion, resourcefulness and raging hormones of adolescence, and her Act I aria, “Non so piu cosa son,” and her Act II canzona, “Voi che sapete,” were sung with such innocence, such lyrical purity, that they were among the most memorable moments in the opera. Her acting didn’t seem like acting…James Chute for Opera News January 2019
At the heart of this story is, of course, Sister Helen Prejean. Emily Fons makes her Kentucky Opera debut in this role, bringing Prejean’s humor, outspokenness and deep faith to light. Fons’ warm voice foregrounds Prejean’s compassion, while still showing the doubts she has about undertaking this journey and, ultimately, the strength of her convictions to see her commitment through.
The cast commands the story and the score is led by mezzo-soprano Emily Fons’ naïve Prejean, striving to find a way to keep her faith close to her and do the right thing. Fons’ voice has the youthful quality of her character but also has maturity and clarity of purpose. (Fons also sang the role of Ruby in Santa Fe Opera’s 2015 world premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s “Cold Mountain.”)
The second half of the program was a live concert performance of Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges, featuring a who’s who of young opera talent. Toronto audiences may remember mezzo soprano Emily Fons from her memorable turn as Cherubino in the Claus Guth-directed version of Le nozze di Figaro produced by the Canadian Opera Company in early 2016. Performing as the petulant “l’enfant” of the title, Fons used a compulsively watchable mix of theatrical gesture and vocal pyrotechnics to embody her character.
Mezzo-soprano Emily Fons created a fiery, deeply human Donna Elvira, blending a dark, warm, mezzo sound, with vocal agility and an easy command of the role’s soprano range.
The standout of the cast was a Woody Guthrie-inspired Cherubino in jeans, cowboy hat, and carrying a guitar, performed outstandingly by Emily Fons. The classic pants role was convincingly acted. Her boyish tosses of the arm and a gawky posture simply made the audience forget they were looking at a woman until she opened her mouth and her liquid legato and gorgeous phrasing shone.
The equal of Majeski’s Fiordiligi was Emily Fons’s Dorabella. Fons’s rich voice, elegant line, and playful manner left one longing for more. The duets between the sisters were transcendent: Majeski and Fons sang with such consonance of breath, dynamic, phrasing, and emotion it was as if they were one voice singing in perfect harmony with itself.
– Kevin Hanarahan for Opera News
Fons was an affecting Susanna, with her gorgeous rich tone, super diction, exquisite coloratura and her detailed attention to the text producing lambent tones on critical notes. One can single out the air “Bending to the throne of glory” as displaying all her strengths, with a sustained controlled cadenza in the da capo. Another tour de force was the air “If guiltless blood be your intent”, surpassed only by her final glorious air “Guilt trembling spoke my doom”, a stunning piece of singing virtuosity.
Im perfekt aufeinander abgestimmten Solistenensemble brillierte Emily Fons in der Titelpartie mit ihrem wunderbar warmen, ausdrucksstarken Mezzosopran.
In the perfectly harmonized ensemble of soloists Emily Fons excelled in the title part with her wonderfully warm, expressive mezzo-soprano.