Johanni van Oostrum | Reviews

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Reviews

Lohengrin – Elsa

Bayerische Staatsoper München 2019

"A silver-voiced last-minute substitute, Johanni van Oostrum, received six curtain calls alongside her castmates,. She inhabited the character of the traumatized Elsa with extraordinary commitment, and sang with even, silvery, and rich tone, insightful and varied dynamics, and beautiful intonation.

She sounds, in fact, something like a younger Mattila; with a similar fogginess in the upper register that made their duets particularly poignant. The audience rewarded this evening of Wagner with six curtain calls, with the loudest cheers for van Oostrum; even after repeated goodbye waves from the cast, a core crew of (mostly) balcony-dwellers demanded a final duo bow for the lead pair."

Parterre, Ben Miller November 25th 2019

 

Freischütz – Agathe

Barbican Hall London 2019

"There were astonishing central performances from Stanislas de Barbeyrac as Max and Johanni van Oostrum as Agathe, truly outstanding singers with major careers ahead of them. Van Oostrum sounded glorious in Leise, Leise and floated exquisite pianissimos in Und ob Die Wolke: this is an exceptionally beautiful voice."

The Guardian, Tim Ashley November 5th 2019

 

"The two leads were outstanding. The soprano Johanni van Oostrum weighed into Agathe’s conflict with sumptuous, ardent singing leavened with an innocence that made you think of Wagner’s Elsa and Elisabeth forming an orderly queue behind the role, while Agathe’s two big numbers, ‘Wie nahte mir die Schlummer’ and ‘Und ob die Wolke’, movingly balanced Mozartian grace and romantic yearning."

Classical Source, Peter Reed November 4th 2019 

 

"Agathe was an unexpected revelation. Floating Weber’s gleaming lines with pearly brilliance at the top, warming the sound into something fleshier at the bottom, South African soprano Johanni van Oostrum was the outstanding voice here – a radiant foil to the baritonal muscularity of de Barbeyrac."

The Artsdesk, Alexandra Coghlan November 5th 2019

Der Fliegende Holländer - Senta

Festival D’Opéra de Québec 2019

“Johanni van Oostrum Shines in François Girard’s Visually Arresting New Production

Displaying a bright, attractive and penetrating full lyric spinto soprano, van Oostrum’s Senta was sensitive, strong, determined and appealing onstage and at the center of the evening’s best moments.

Taken slowly and introspectively, the ballad was a good vehicle for van Oostrum’s good breath control, very clean attacks, and her impressive range of dynamics. “…” in the last stanza of the ballad, van Oostrum displayed very secure and powerful high notes. Senta had made her stance and nothing would stop her.

As a whole, her voice is very even throughout the register and always pierces through the orchestra. Ultimately, Johanni van Oostrum was able to carry the performance and she triumphed."

Operawire, Sebastien Turgeon, 24 August 2019

 

Freischütz – Agathe

Theater an der Wien 2019

“Wie nahte mir der Schlummer” displayed a sensual mid-voice timbre and excellent breath control with dazzling F-sharp, G-natural and G-sharp fermate on “schöne”, “neu” and “Himmel” and a splendid pianissimo on “Zu dir wende Ich die Hände”. “Und ob die Wolke sie verhülle” was enhanced by a gorgeous cello obbligato and van Oostrum again displayed her velvety vocal colour, impeccable breath control and elegant phrasing. Fabulous floaty top A-flat fermate and downward scale passages on “aller” and “meiner” was Grümmer reincarnated. Another wonderful A-natural came in the closing scene when Agathe extols “O Max!” Bulls-eye for van Oostrum."

Operawire, Jonathan Sutherland, April 2019

Die Tote Stadt – Marietta

Opéra de Limoges 2019

"One would go a long way to find a Marietta such as Johanni van Oostrum. The soprano is a wonderful discovery: the voice is beautiful and homogenous throughout the range, with well-controlled line and perfect diction. There is simply nothing lacking from this perfect interpretation. When, at the end of the performance, she presents a fresh and suddenly softened Marietta, one is struck by the sheer contrast she establishes with the character’s earlier aggressive sensuality. Two singers in one? In any case a real feat of characterisation from an artist who is undoubtedly one to follow."
Olyrix,  Paula Gaubert, 29 January 2019 

"…in the role of Marietta, Johanni van Oostrum hovers above the orchestra with her radiant and warm, Straussian voice. The South African soprano is intensely present, her full-bodied, agile voice secure and beautiful throughout its range, thanks to a robust singing technique, at the same time both powerful and gentle. At the end of the evening, she managed to produce a dazzling high-pitched, spinning pianissimo, with the voice seemingly gaining in brightness and ease as the evening progressed. The spoken repliques were delivered with clarity and charm and when she takes on Marie’s ghostly voice, the ominously sweet tone of her phrasing sends a shiver down the spine."
Resmusica, Steeve Boscardin, 28 january 2019 

 

Salome – Salome

Oper Graz 2018

"…it was clear van Oostrum is an immensely accomplished singer with a rock-solid technique and rare gift for immaculately articulated word coloring. The voice is more on the lyric end of the scale but has plenty of meat and metal when required. The enormous vocal challenges of the part seemed effortless  – even the impossibly low G-flats such as “eine” before “Gruft” and the final “Todes,” were actually sung with an impressive chest voice. The expansive “Jochanaan” at the B-major key change in the confrontation scene soared  superbly over the shimmering strings and the multiple top B-naturals such as “weiss”, “nichts” and“Johanaan” had steely Nilsson-esque ping whilst maintaining lyric limpidness.  “Ich bin bereit, Tetrach” was sung with the teasing timbre of an innocent adolescent. 

The real test of vocal stamina comes in the closing monologue and from the sustained fortissimo G-sharp on “Küssen,” it was obvious that nothing in the enormous vocal scope of the scena was beyond the technical skills of the South African soprano. 

This was in all respects a tour-de-force performance and confirmed Van Oostrum in the forefront of current day Strausssopranos."

Operawire, Jonathan Sutherland, December 2018

"In the title role, the young South African soprano Johanni van Oostrum had a brilliant evening in every respect. Her vivid and authentic portrayal of the Lolita-like Salome’s ambiguous search for self-confidence, the character’s desperate desire to acquire the head of Jochanaan and the spectacular collapse of her deal with Herod, was underpinned by the sheer musicality and versatility of her youthful dramatic soprano voice – from the many treacherous heights of the role to the depths of, for example, ‘…wie eine Gruft’. The introspective tone and phrasing of the final monologue over the blood-drenched corpse was one of the highlights of the evening. A great talent!"
Online Merker, Klaus Billand, November 15th 2018 

"Blessed with a glorious voice and exceptional expressive abilities, Johanni van Oostrum was the undisputed highlight of the evening. She threw herself into the gory role with all the necessary self-denial required, culminating in a most memorable final scene."
Online Merker, Peter Skorepa, November 11th 2018

"This was an impressive role debut for Johanni van Oostrum. A carefully controlled start steadily gave way to skilfully paced fervour, climaxing in a grand finale in which she sang herself into a state of veritable intoxication.… it is in the middle and upper registers that her soprano blossomed wonderfully, bringing to the character a suitably complex mixture of bored defiance and pure madness. Dramatically, van Oostrum’s committed performance drew a vivid picture of a young woman raised in a highly dysfunctional environment, one where the abuse of power and sexualised violence were at the order of the day – an environment whose behavioural patterns would ultimately set the stage for her to act out and relish in her ultimate revenge.... This is a new production not to be missed, if only to experience Johanni van Oostrum in this most gripping interpretation of the title role."
Bachtrack, Isabella Steppan, 11 November 2018, “Salome”, Oper Graz

"Johanni van Oostrum… now makes her triumphant role debut as the complex title character Salome, portraying, on the one hand, the precocious seductress who employs every fatal mechanism at her disposal, while on the other, she retreats in fear, like a cowering child. With her dynamic energy and fascinating tone colouring…. the soprano brings all the required nuances to the role. "
Concerti, Eckhard Webere, November 13th 2018

 

Contessa – Le Nozze di Figaro 

Minnesota Opera 2017

"Johanni van Oostrum as the Countess, whose every aria was a transfixing combination of strength and delicacy. There was such a wondrous wistfulness in her opening lament, hers such a supple soprano voice …"
Twin Cities Pioneer Press, Rob Hubbard, November 12th 2017 

"One of the standout stars of this Figaro is South African soprano Johanni van Oostrum and her lithe and alluring voice. It is easy to picture van Oostrum’s Countess as the grown-up Rosina from The Barber of Seville …"
Twin Cities Arts Reader, Basil Considine, November 14th 2017

"Her opening cavatina as Countess Rosina Almaviva in Act II, “Porgi amor qualche ristoro” as well as Act III’s aria, “Dove sono i bei momenti” gave testimony to her vocal musicianship and superb dolcissimo song and landed her a favored and cherished position in the hearts of those attending—as evident at the final ovation … A most effective and emotive performance."
Life in Revue, Mark Anthony Rodriguez November 15th 2017

"South African soprano Johanni van Oostrum is stunning as the long-abused Countess; her aria lamenting lost happiness, “Dove sono i bei momenti ” is the musical and emotional centerpiece of the show, and van Oostrum is glorious, with a warmth and purity of tone that floats to all corners of the hall."
Postbullitin, Jay Furst, November 18th 2017

 

Ellen Orford – Peter Grimes

Staatstheater Wiesbaden 2017

"The evening´s vocal highlight is set by Johanni van Oostrum in the role of Ellen Orford. She is nothing short of ideal for the part. The middle voice is wonderfully rich, the deep tones are unusually strong and the high notes a glowing illuminated sound. She is the not-so-secret heroine of the performance."
Der Opernfreund, Michael Demel, February 2017

 

Eva – Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Komische Oper Berlin 2016

"The best vocal performance of the evening, was by the South African soprano, Johanni van Oostrum. Whether in recitative, Legato, resolute dramatic parts or in the big interval jumps; technically her well-tempered lyric soprano voice - which tends to Spinto, seems to have no boundaries. The beginning of the quintet „Selig wie die Sonne“ sounded celestially, and for the famous „Schwarzkopf-Trill in the third act, even the strict Schwarzkopf would likely have given applause. Little wonder that the Bavarian State Opera has this wonderful singer, whose name one should remember, under contract as Figaro countess in November."
Der neue merker, Dr. Ingobert Waltenberger, October 2nd 2016

 

Judith - Holofernes

Theater Bonn 2016

"Johanni van Oostrum is perfect for the part; a voice with sensual seductive beauty, and unstrained dramatic vocal power."
WDR5, Ulrike Gondorf, May 30st 2016

"Johanni van Oostrum´s impressive, touching portrayal of Judith was impeccably sung. 
Her soprano is rich in tonal colour, and she masters the difficult part with confident bravado."
Der Opernfreund, Jochen Rüth, May 30st 2016


 

Grete - Der Ferne Klang

Oper Graz 2015

"Johanni van Oostrum as Grete left not a single facet to be desired. Her effortlessly blossoming, gleaming, precisely pitched soprano is the vocal highlight of the evening… “
Kronen Zeitung September 28th 2015 

"Johanni van Oostrum as Grete impresses with radiant, melodious singing over the whole dynamic range of the role and asserts herself with completely unforced heights against the sound waves from the orchestra pit.
She gives a gripping and many-facetted acting performance, portraying the descent of the innocent Grete to the depressed courtesan Greta, to the fallen street prostitute. With emotionally loaded voice and total engagement, she throws herself fully into the role, even hanging head down from a Pole Dance bar!"  
Bach Track, Isabella Steppan Sep 28th 2015

"With her clear soprano voice and technical precision, she was an ideal Grete. She understood wonderfully how to stretch the big melodious curves and how to develop the notes from a shimmering piano to a blooming radiant sound. As an actress she convinced with her naturalness."
Der Opernfreund, Hermann Becke, September 27th 2015

"Johanni van Oostrum as Grete offered a compelling portrayal in all acts, from the rebellious teenager in love, the transformation to Star of the brothel, and the following descent to Street whore, up to the last suffocated cry of despair over the lifeless body of her lover. The South African lyrico-spinto soprano who has been trained i.a. by Mimi Coertse, set highlights with her confidant and radiant singing. Joyful cheers came from the audience for Van Oostrum and Dirk Kaftan”.
Der Neue Merker, Peter Skorepa, September 26th 2015

"Vocally the work demands a lot of the protagonists: Johanni van Oostrum is a highly intensive Grete, and offers both ethereal piano singing as well as full bodied glowing passions." 
Opernnetz, Helmut Christian Mayer Sep 26th 2015 
“Johanni van Oostrum proves to be the ideal Grete with her agile voice both in the lyrical parts and in the dramatic outbursts."
Deutschlandradio Kultur, Jörn Florian Fuchs Sep 26th 2015


 

Elsa - Lohengrin

Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden 2015

"The South African soprano Johanni van Oostrum, makes a radiant appearance as Elsa, and has the ability to connect a touching girlish lucidity with dramatic high-altitude flights." 
Allgemeine Zeitung, Volker Milch Mar 17th 2015 


 

Marschallin – Der Rosenkavalier

Deutsches National Theater 2014

"The Marschallin of Johanni van Oostrum makes the evening worthwhile: Singing with clear and tender attention to the text, her voice blossoming wonderfully with generous radiance - a noble Marschallin."
Neue Muzikzeitung, Joachim Lang, November 2nd2014

"The Feldmarschallin of Johanni van Oostrum masterly possesses the many facetted layers of mature love that is aroused in a woman with humble melancholy and noble character. She pours out with generous vocal beauty in the famous monolog at the end of the first act - "Die Zeit, die ist ein sonderbar Ding."
Wolfgang Schreiber October. 2014)

"Johanni van Oostrum captures the melancholic longing of the renouncing woman and sings with deep understanding of the text. She can make her voice blossom and sings with startling radiance."
Deutschlandradio Kultur, Uwe Friedrich October 31st 2014 


 

Elsa – Lohengrin 

Deutsches National Theater Weimar 2013

"The "Redeemer" of the evening was Johanni van Oostrum. Had it not been for her, the Weimar public would not have had this vocally brilliant premiere of  "Lohengrin" to cheer so loudly about. Johanni van Oostrum undoubtedly is a name to remember."
 

Der Operfreund, Frank Piontek, September 7th 2013
 
"The discovery of the evening is Johanni van Oostrum as Elsa. One must search hard and long to find such an Elsa. She alone is worth travelling to Weimar for! " 
Neues Deutschland, September 7th 2013
 
"The way in which Johanni van Oostrum as Elsa masters both lyrical and dramatical demands of the role, singing with vocal freshness, even after four opera hours, is absolutely astonishing."
Thüringer Allgemeine, September 7th 2013

"Johanni van Oostrum has seductive appeal with her youthful and radiant soprano. She portrays the doubting Elsa convincingly."
Die Deutsche Bühne September 7th 2013