St John Passion review: Sydney Philharmonic Choirs deliver the best performance of this work you'll hear

Harriet Cunningham | Sydney Morning Herald | April 1, 2015

The soloists – both instrumental and vocal – also give a near-ideal performance: clarity is the norm. Laser-guided pitch brings Bach's meandering, long lines home to their longed-for resolution with unerring accuracy. Above all, much of the music – and it's hard not to single out singers Nicole Car and Fiona Campbell, and viola da gamba player Anthea Cottee – is just so beautiful.

You are not likely to experience a better performance of this work. Hear it if you can. 

Review: St. John Passion (Sydney Philharmonia Choirs)

Clive Paget | Limelight Magazine | April 1, 2015

The two female soloists were terrific. Fiona Campbell delivered her arias with a beautifully warm mezzo, occasionally disappearing beneath the orchestral waves but always alert to message. Her Es ist vollbracht was appropriately the concert’s emotional highpoint. Nicole Car had no trouble coming across the orchestra, her first aria with flutes (Ich folge dir gleichfalls) a glittering affair sung with taste and flair. Her second aria was equally clear and noble of line.

 

Opera Australia | Faust Review (Sydney)

Simon Parris | Man In Chair | Feb 28, 2015

The gloriously melodious music of Gounod’s Faust is welcome in any season, but with a cast as superb as the design is extravagant, this production is one of opera’s must-see events of the year.

This is the new production that Sydney audiences have waited for this year, and Opera Australia has not disappointed. Lavish production values, theatrical magic and   a mixed cast of local and international singers combine to give as fully realised a performance of Faust as one could hope to see. It certainly wipes the floor with the current sparse, ill-conceived Met Opera Faust.

Fast rising Australian soprano Nicole Car conveys a similarly affecting arc for dear Marguerite, taking her from innocent subservient girl to passionate lover to pitiful fallen woman. The luscious tone of Car’s pristine soprano is in top form, and this is a role she could play for many years to come. Car’s gorgeous rendition of “Ah! je ris de me voir si belle en ce miroir (the Jewel Song)” is enhanced by the quality of her acting, as her body language conveys the way Marguerite gradually succumbs to the seductive appeal of the glittering jewels.

Having sung so beautifully individually, anticipation is high for Fabiano and Car’s first duet, “Laisse-moi, laisse-moi contempler ton visage,” as Faust begins his to conquer the virtuous young woman. Duets, and, indeed, the many trio and quartets scenes, are very well balanced, with Maestro Guillaume Tourniaire keep a tight but highly supportive reign over singers and the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra. The orchestra particularly impresses during the generous servings of ballet music, especially the exciting dance music in act five.

Fingers are crossed that this production will visit Melbourne in the near future. Meanwhile, four Sydney performances remain in this current season. Opera lovers are urged not to miss Faust.

Faust | Opera Australia

Eleanor Wood | Aussie Theatre | Feb 26, 2015

The devil comes to town in McVicar’s thrilling new production of Faust for Opera Australia.

The casting is a rare treat, particularly with the three leads Michael Fabiano, Teddy Tahu Rhodes and Nicole Car giving such finely tuned performances.

As Margerite, Nicole Car captures the character’s youthful innocence and her lush lyric soprano is in full bloom. She sings with intuitive musicality and makes the Jewel Song sound all too easy.

With taut revival direction from Bruno Ravella and a knock-out cast, this is the production OA audiences have been waiting for. If the 2015 season has left you a little luke-warm up until now, this could well be the show to change your mind.

Faust

Peter Rose | Australian Book Review | Feb 23, 2015

Nicole Car, singing Marguerite for the first time, was as impressive as past Australian Marguerites such as Deborah Ridel, Marilyn Richardson, and (most affectingly when I saw her in 1980) Joan Carden. Car looked the part: lissome, modest, splendidly dressed (all the costumes were superb, thanks to Brigitte Reiffenstuel); then, as the diabolical night wore on, by turns ardent and possessed, humiliated and uncomprehending. After ‘Il était un roi de Thulé’ and an assured, unmannered Jewel Song, Car got even better, especially in the duets and ensembles, with some thrilling, sustained high notes along the way. Her duets with Fabiano, especially the famous Act III one, were exceptional: it was such a tonic to see two youthful principals in these great dramatic roles. By the soaring Trio that ends the opera, Car was utterly fearless in attack – just what this extravagant music demands. If anyone deserved to be assumed into heaven after this performance it was Nicole Car. It will be excellent to see Car in Melbourne this year, repeating her Sydney Donna Elvira from last year and singing her second Countess in David McVicar’s new productions of Le nozze di Figaro.

First nights can be edgy affairs, but on this occasion there was no sign of nervousness or unreadiness. Opera Australia can’t have staged many more successful opening nights than this one. It was a sensational occasion, and the house will doubtless be full until the season ends in mid-March.

Faust | Opera Australia

Eliza Eggler | Australian Stage | Feb 22, 2015

The success of this production lies in the combination of great singing and dancing on an attractive looking set that manages to feel strangely contemporary thanks to the costume, set and lighting design.

Nicole Car, in the role of Faust's unfortunate love-object, sings with a warm tone that has a particularly impressive upper register, and her acting is sincere and believable.

Faust

Jo Litson | Scene and Heard | Feb 21, 2015

Sir David McVicar’s production of Faust, which premiered at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in 2004, arrives now at Opera Australia. It’s an impressive staging in its own right – but what makes it especially exciting are the three central performances by Michael Fabiano, Nicole Car and Teddy Tahu Rhodes.

Car – a young Australian soprano who made such an impression as Tatyana in last year’s Kasper Holten’s production of Eugene Onegin for OA – is again radiant. In her role debut as Marguerite, her singing has a sweet, luscious beauty and is full of emotion, and she is a beautiful actor, her early innocence every bit as convincing as her later anguish. She and Fabiano work together superbly, their voices making for a premium blend.

The production received a huge response from the opening night audience with many on their feet at the end. As for Fabiano and Car, both will doubtless go far. Catch them now while you can.

Faust @ the Dame Joan

Lynne Lancaster | Sydney Arts Guide | Feb 21, 2015

 Visually stunning, musically glorious, with three superb leading performers, this is a magical highlight of this year’s Opera Australia season.

The show has been perfectly cast by Opera Australia and has been recreated with immense attention to detail by Bruno Ravella, the director of this revival.

Nicole Car’s vocal performance as innocent, betrayed Marguerite is excellent, — sensitive musically and beautifully pure. Her performance of the famous Jewel Song  was a fabulous example of how to combine operatic voice with a strong acting technique and she ‘brought the house down’ with it.

The audience reaction at the conclusion was ecstatic and an extra performance has been scheduled because of public demand – quick ! run and book now if you can.

What would you sell your soul for ?

Faust: Sydney Opera House

Carol Simmer | Stage Whispers | Feb 20, 2015

A resounding, standing ovation rang through the Joan Sutherland Theatre as the cast of this new production of Faust returned to the opening night stage for curtain call after curtain call.

Led by Teddy Tahu Rhodes as Méphistophélès, Nicole Car as Marguerite and featuring American tenor Michael Fabiano as the gullible Faust, this a stunning cast in an unforgettable production that is the essence of “Grand Opera”.

The beginning of Act 3 finds lovesick Siébel singing the very beautiful Faites’lui mes aveux. Dowlsey’s voice is hauntingly clear and the anguished notes of her unrequited love linger with the flowers she leaves for Marguerite, flowers that can’t compete with the casket of jewels Méphistophélès provides. Marguerite finds the jewels and is beguiled by them in the much-loved ‘Jewel Song’, which Nicole Car sings with ringing clarity and power.

This is a most amazing and uplifting production. Music, voices, acting, dancing, set and costumes combine to make this a wonderful experience for opera lovers – and for those who want a taste of what ‘grand opera’ is all about

 

BWW Reviews: Opera Australia's FAUST Is A Fantastic Dance with The Devil

Jade Kops | Broadway World | Feb 20, 2015

Michael Fabiano captures Faust's desire, regret and despair as he evolves from selling his soul to be with the beautiful and innocent Marguerite (Nicole Car) to realising what Méphistophélès'(Teddy Tahu Rhodes) bargain really entails. Car, as the young innocent girl that Méphistophélès uses to lure Faust into the deal, perfectly captures the character with her clear soprano that rings out her love for Faust following the temptation of the jewels Méphistophélès has left her on Faust's behalf, and later her despair at his desertion and the decent into madness as she is cursed by Méphistophélès and rejected by her brother and the village.

 

Review: Gounod’s Faust/ Opera Australia

Shamistha de Soysa | Sounds Like Sydney | Feb 20, 2015

Nicole Car as Marguerite combines both coloratura and a firm spinto sound, continuing to mature at an astonishing rate both vocally and dramatically, delivering a shimmering resplendence in a commanding portrayal of this very demanding role. 

Although Sir David McVicar worked with a different Set Designer (Robert Jones) for last year’s production of Don Giovanni there are many similarities in themes and dramatisations. Coincidentally, two of the principals from that production (Nicole Car and Teddy Tahu Rhodes) reprise their partnership in this successful team.

This presentation of Faust has been so eagerly anticipated in Sydney that it was almost sold out even before opening night. To accommodate the demand, Opera Australia have added an extra performance.

With their standing ovation and demand for tickets, Sydney audiences have vindicated themselves demonstrating that there is support in this city for skilled performances of accurate, intelligent and imaginative productions of rarely seen great operas. Sydney is all the richer for being able to experience this vision of Faust.

I am not in the habit of inciting readers to violence but if you can’t acquire a ticket, ambush someone who has. To resort to a cliché -this production is not to be missed.

 

Faust

Jason Catlett | Time Out Sydney | Feb 19, 2015

A quartet of killer vocalists come together in David McVicar's epic production of Gounod's Faust

Nicole Car looks the part and sings it amazingly well, conspicuously the famous Jewel Song where she enthuses over a box of jewellery left in her path by the devil. Her avenging brother Valentin was sung so well by Giorgio Caoduro that this quartet of extraordinary voices always seemed balanced yet distinct throughout.

You won’t find grand opera done much better anywhere: it’s spectacular yet thoughtful, easy to listen to but performed at the highest level. Novices will enjoy it as well as old timers. Sell anything short of your soul to get a ticket.

 

Faust by Gounod: Live Review

Angus McPherson | Cut Common | Feb 19, 2015

Nicole Car was brilliant as a nuanced Marguerite, her Jewel Song shone with ease and innocent pleasure, and her soft laughter following the death of Valentin (wonderfully performed by Giorgio Caoduro) was one of the most unsettling moments of the evening.

 

Opera review: Teddy Tahu Rhodes gives Opera Australia’s Gounod’s Faust the devil of a twist

Tom Pillans | The Daily Telegraph | Feb 19, 2015

.....He’s not the only huge talent in this. Nicole Car, the versatile jazz singer-turned-soprano, brings sweetness and clear focus to the role of Marguerite, the innocent young girl who, with the help of Mephistopheles, falls into the arms of the jaded Dr Faust.

Car’s subtle rendering of the Jewel Song is a delight, so unforced and effortlessly convincing.

David McVicar mines Gounod's Faust for sadistic aspects

Murray Black | The Australian | Feb 19, 2015

As Marguerite, soprano Nicole Car was outstanding. Strong across her range, she displayed pealing clarity, excellent dynamic control and a strong sense of line.

She convincingly conveyed Marguerite's journey from ingenue to passionate lover and remorseful penitent.

The Spiritual and the hedonistic: MC Vicar's take on Faust triumphs in Sydney 

Zolan Szabo | Bachtrack | Feb 18, 2015

I had never before had the chance to hear the young Australian soprano Nicole Car and I found her performance in the role of Marguerite exemplary. With an attractive stage personality and dependable French diction (alas, not a universal feature of this production), she made her demanding back-to-back arias – the Ballad of the King of Thule and the Jewel Song – her own, singing with intense ardour when demanded but with melancholic pianissimos in the appropriate places.

It takes some courage and a solid technique to sing softly to the large audience in an opera theatre. One of the great assets of the conductor, Guillaume Tourniaire, is his ability to and persistence in convincing the entire cast – orchestra, chorus and principal singers – to perform with the required dynamic contrasts consistently. Of course, much of that is clearly marked in the score, yet traditionally seldom observed. When that happens however, the delicate balance between stage and orchestra, as well as between the individual voices, starts to work and bring fruit immediately – as it did on this opening night....

The collaboration of conductor and musicians resulted in one of the strongest overall performances of Opera Australia in recent times.

Faust Review | Sydney Operas House

Ben Neutze | Daily Review - Crikey | Feb 18, 2015

Nicole Car’s vocal performance as Marguerite is faultless — musically sensitive and effortlessly clear. Her performance of the Jewel Song is a masterclass in how to seamlessly combine operatic voice with a strong acting technique.

With the chorus in excellent voice and the full spectacle of a ‘grand opera’, a large portion of the audience was brought to their feet at the curtain call. Although the production is superb, that kind of response is usually reserved for absolute triumphs with some extraordinary, novel feature. Were we hearing the relief and appreciation of OA’s loyal Sydney subscribers that they’ve finally been given a new production? It has been a while.

For my money, it’s Car who deserves the standing ovation more than anybody onstage. The young soprano is already one of the most consistent singers and actors in the OA stable, and her vocal and dramatic style becomes more idiosyncratic and unique every time she takes to the stage. It’s those honest, individual vocal characteristics which will undoubtedly see her triumph on the world stage. She’s running on full steam in Faust, and that’s reason enough to visit this production.

Faust Review: Michael Fabio leads a devilishly good ensemble

Harriet Cunningham | Sydney Morning Herald | Feb 18, 2015

As for the voices, this is luxury casting indeed: Mephistopheles is a gift of a role, and Teddy Tahu Rhodes grabs it whole-heartedly. Physically and vocally, it's a great match. Nicole Car continues to impress with her even yet passionate tone. Marguerite is a tough challenge, musically and dramatically, but she shatters those top notes with a dazzling but never harsh focus, managing to make grand opera intimate.

Review Faust  (Opera Australia) : McVicar's masterly Gounod pits devilish theatricals against Second Empire morals.

Clive Paget | Limelight Magazine | Feb 17, 2015

First discovered as a barmaid at the Cabaret L’Enfer, Nicole Car adds another leading role to her growing list of accolades as Marguerite. She captures the innocence of this naïve young woman with an engaging freshness and sings the role with an effortlessness that belies its considerable demands. Her King of Thule is warm and full, her Jewel Song sounds less treacherous at the top than is often the case. She makes an excellent case for Marguerite as a vehicle for a true lyric soprano, and it's a pleasure to hear such an instinctive command of the music.

Duisburg Philharmonic New Years Concert: Young Voices Enthusiastic

Ingo Hoddick | RP Online | Jan 6, 2015

The discovery of the evening was the Australian soprano Nicole Car She won first prize at the 2013 International Singing Competition "New Voices" in Gutersloh, then assisted by the Duisburg Philharmonic under Bellincampi. Now for the New Year they had five impressive opera arias prepared by the rock aria of Fiordiligi "Come scoglio" from the opera "Cosi fan tutte" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to the little-known but beautiful aria Adriana "Io son l'utile ancella "from the opera" Adriana Lecouvreur "by Francesco Cilea.  Especially in the Cavatina and Cabaletta showed Leonora "Tacea la notte placida" from the "Troubadour" and Marguerite jewel aria "O Dieu! Que de bijoux" from the opera "Faust" by Charles Gounod Nicole Car as a truly world-class lyric dramatic coloratura soprano.

Duisburg Philharmonic New Years Concert

Rudolf Hermes | WAZ | Jan 3, 2015

Soprano Nicole Car, the Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra and music director Giordano Bellincampi already met in 2013 in the contest "New Voices" in Gütersloh. At that time, the singer won the 1st prize, the orchestra accompanied the participants. When New Year's concert at the Theater am Marientor there was the opportunity to deepen the artistic cooperation.

The young singer presented with arias from its wide-ranging repertoire: With 'Come scoglio "from" Cosi fan tutte "Nicole Car starts and takes the audience caught the same.  The coloratura pearl light, the course of the aria designed smart.  In the aria of Micaela from "Carmen" and "O mio babbino caro" from Puccini's "Gianni Schicchi" she shows her lyrical qualities, and her voice bathes in the far risen melodies. The Cavatina and Cabaletta of Leonore in Verdi's "Il Trovatore" would you really do not trust a lyric soprano, but Nicole Car unfolds in this dramatic piece new energies and many great effect.

 

Photo: Karen Almond | The Dallas Opera

Photo: Karen Almond | The Dallas Opera

Review: The Marriage of Figaro

Drew Jackson | Edge Dallas | Nov 10, 2014

The cast was extraordinary. It's no small feat to harmonize the frivolous comedy with the splendid singing. The major players were Mirco Palazzi (Figaro), Beate Ritter (Susanna), Joshua Hopkins (the Count), Nicole Car (the Countess), Diana Montague (Marcellina) and Kevin Langan (Dr. Bartolo.) Hopkins and Car were especially outstanding.

 

Review: Dallas Opera’s ‘Marriage of Figaro’ an effervescent delight

Gregory Sullivan Isaacs | DFW | Oct 30, 2014

DALLAS The Dallas Opera opened its new season with a sparkling Marriage of Figaro, Mozart’s comic masterpiece, last weekend. The production is musically tight, dramatically taut and scenically opulent. It is also very funny.

Music Director Emmanuel Villaume delivered a near-perfect performance Friday night of a notoriously complicated score. Stage director Kevin Moriarty, artistic director of the Dallas Theater Center and new to staging opera, tossed out moribund traditions and brought a fresh character-driven realization.

Canadian baritone Joshua Hopkins gives a nuanced performance as the Count. In public, he is royally reserved. Alone, he is conflicted but mercurial when cornered. As his taken-for-granted Countess, Australian soprano Nicole Car (in her U.S. debut) eschews being the usual tragedienne. She sparks with the spunk to trick her wayward husband, yet the sadness in her creamy voice breaks your heart.


The Dallas Opera Launches 2014-2015 Season With a Charming Figaro

Catherine Womack | DMagazine | Oct 28, 2014

Vocally, the Count and Countess Almaviva, played by Joshua Hopkins and Nicole Car respectively, stole the show. Hopkins’ baritone is strong, beautiful, and confident. He sings with musicality, bringing depth to a character whose insatiable lust and violent jealousy typically do not endear him to the audience. This brute has feelings, albeit entirely selfish ones, and Hopkin’s portrayal of the Count makes it easier to forgive him in the end.

The Countess is a more endearing character to begin with: heartbroken, wronged, innocent and neglected. But Nicole Car’s Countess Almaviva is far from a helpless victim; the strength and richness of her voice infuses this character with dignity and conviction.

On Sunday, Car was the only vocalist on stage who was consistently and effortlessly able to sing above the orchestra, which at times swelled too boldly and romantically.


Illuminating Mozart | Dallas Opera opens its 2014-2015 season with a strong, beautifully sung The Marriage of Figaro

Zachariah Stoughton | TheatreJones | Oct 28, 2014

Nicole Car’s Countess Almaviva was luxurious and suave. Her Porgi, amor was purely gorgeous. Paired with the sugary sweetness of Susanna (sung by Beate Ritter), the absolute dichotomy of position and class between servant and countess was made obvious.


Dallas Opera opens season on a high note with splendid 'Marriage of Figaro'

Scott Cantrell | The Dallas Morning News | Oct 25, 2014

A splendidly sung and played Marriage of Figaro on Friday night was a fine season opener for the Dallas Opera. With one reservation, you’d be hard pressed anywhere to hear more consistently satisfying singing. 

The Winspear Opera House performance, before a crowd dolled up in couture and tuxes, was simulcast live in Klyde Warren Park for a crowd estimated between 4,000 and 5,000.

The vocal standout is Australian soprano Nicole Car, in her U.S. debut, as Countess Almaviva. With a lustrous shine on a warm core of sound, and generous amplitude and expressivity, she could be a wonderful Straussian, although she never overdoes anything here. She also has a strikingly expressive face, registering the painful emotional ambiguities of her relationship with the Count.

Dallas Opera — The Marriage of Figaro | Karen Almond

Dallas Opera — The Marriage of Figaro | Karen Almond

Strong Cast Opens Dallas Opera 2014-15 Season

David Weuste | Opera Pulse | Oct 25, 2014

Ritter was only rivaled on the vocal front by fellow soprano Nicole Car, who also made her U.S. opera debut. Car as Countess Almaviva gives the least comedic and most touching moment in the opera with her Dove soon i bei momenti aria in Act III. Car and Ritter combined for what was easily the top performance of the evening in their hauntingly hilarious rendition of the duplicitous Sull’aria…che soave zeffiretto “Letter Duet.”

Norma Review | Victorian Opera

Alexandra Mathew | Limelight Magazine | Aug 26, 2014

If Bellini had been in the audience for this particular performance, I suspect he might have renamed his opera Adalgisa, because Nicole Car was without doubt the star of the show. Her voice is at once rich, sweet, crystalline, moving, focused, and her onstage presence superb. Robed in regal purple and virginal white Car made her entrance, and even without sets and costumes to aid our imaginations, we as the audience were drawn into the temple of Irminsul, to find Adalgisa praying at the altar. Although the role is often performed by a mezzo soprano, the music comfortably fitted Car’s voice, and her opening aria Sgombra e la sacra selva was a lesson in bel canto singing: consistent in tone from the bottom of her range right to the top, and unceasingly lovely. Car is already among the top operatic performers in this country; a fantastic achievement considering she’s not yet 30. Following her recent win at the Nueue Stimmen International Singing Competition, Car’s star is likely to rapidly rise, and we can consider ourselves fortunate to have witnessed such a fabulous artist at this exciting stage of her career.

Concert Performance - Norma | Victorian Opera

Heather Leviston | Classic Melbourne | Aug 25, 2014

Nicole Car’s acting was also a major contributor to this performance as a full operatic experience. Although she does not have the vocal weight of either Hernandez or other singers usually heard in this role, her voice has real substance. When she began singing after Pollione, (an ardent Rosario La Spina), had praised her cheerful innocence, you could see his point. Every note Car sang was imbued with sincerity and charm. Her voice was effortless and even throughout an extensive range. If a mezzo undertakes the role of Adalgisa, she has to have secure top notes and considerable flexibility, both of which Car has in spades.

During the quieter ensembles in the second act there was a truly beautiful matching of the two soprano voices and these provided some of the most gratifying moments for the evening. It was difficult to believe that the prolonged interval caused by the indisposition of a singer, who had requested not to be named, could have been Nicole Car, but her pallor suggested that this was the case and that she had made a heroic effort to perform so splendidly.

Norma Review | Victorian Opera

Simon Parris | Man In Chair | Aug 24, 2014

Meteoric young soprano Nicole Car proved a particularly strong partner for Hernández, their duets proving a highlight of the night. Car’s sweet facial expression suited the role of Adalgisa, a priestess who has innocently fallen in love with Norma’s lover Pollione, and the tender elegance of her soprano provided a lovely complement to Hernández’s power.

Concert Performance - Norma | Victorian Opera

Barney Zwartz | Sydney Morning Herald | Aug 23, 2014

Victorian Opera subscribers showed how discriminating an audience they are by selling out this concert performance of Bellini's Norma last November, so that tickets never reached the public.
They must have left the Melbourne Recital Centre aglow after a thrilling performance of great artistry and conviction....

... After Norma, the next requirement is an excellent Adalgisa, and Nicole Car was certainly that. What a marvellous singer she has become, following recent triumphs as Tatyana and Donna Elvira for Opera Australia, and as the young druid acolyte she was virginal, tender and pure; her lighter, agile voice coping effortlessly with the colouratura. Her duets with Norma, one of the great joys of this opera, were deeply moving.

Opera Australia | Don Giovanni | Sydney

Simon Parris | Man In Chair | Aug 16, 2014

Thankfully Teddy Tahu Rhodes has well and truly worn out the black leather trunks of the previous version; this new staging is really in a league of its own. Respectfully traditional, yet cutting edge in execution, the monochrome grayscale stylings are sleekly attractive. And the singing and acting are outstanding.

Luminous soprano Nicole Car captures the eternal longing of Donna Elvira, the characteristic lustre of her voice a fine asset to her performance. “Mi tradi quell’alma ingrate” is a tender, affecting act two highlight.

Opera Australia | Don Giovanni

Peter Rose | Australian Book Review | Aug 11, 2014

Donna Elvira – Don Giovanni’s hounder and inamorata – is often played with a kind of exhausting freneticism, always in top hysterical gear. Nicole Car’s Elvira is much less motorised. Her trousered entrance, long hair down, more youthful than most Donna Elviras, is arresting. Car (so impressive earlier this year as Tatiana, in Sydney and Melbourne, and clearly the audience favourite here) remains compelling all night but scales new vocal and dramatic heights in the thrilling Act Two aria (‘Mi tradì quell’alma ingrata’).

Live Review | Don Giovanni

Spencer Darby | Cut Common Mag | Aug 6, 2014

Nicole Car was outstanding as Donna Elvira, providing a world-class level of Mozart interpretation and stylistic awareness. She threw herself around the stage according to her character’s change-with-the-wind modus operandi. She was well supported by her gang of do-gooders, all out to bring the Don to justice. 

Opera Australia | Don Giovanni

Lynne Lancaster | Sydney Arts Guide | Aug 3, 2014

The tricky tessitura was sung effortlessly by Nicole Car, as the deeply troubled and torn Donna Elvira. Car sang the second act aria ‘ Mi tradi quell’alma ingrate ‘( in effect asking herself “How could I fall for that ghastly creep?”) with an even clarity and great smoothness. Her Donna Elvira is beautifully sung, comfortable at the top, clear and never overplayed at the bottom. In a moving and detailed portrayal she inhabits the conflicted character from her first arrival in men’s travelling attire to her final desperate attempts to save her defiler.

Opera Australia | Malevolence abounds in gripping dark Don Giovanni

Peter McCallum | Sydney Morning Herald | Jul 27, 2014

Nicole Car, as the conflicted Donna Elvira, sang the second act aria Mi tradi quell’alma ingrate (roughly “How could I fall for that creep?”) with unifying smoothness, gently thrilling clarity in the upper register and even purity throughout.

Opera Australia | Don Giovanni

Clive Paget | Limelight Magazine | Jul 26, 2014

The all-Australian cast is generally excellent. Following her outstanding performance in Eugene Onegin (why no Helpmann nomination?), Nicole Car proves again why she’s the young singer of the moment. Her Donna Elvira is beautifully sung, comfortable at the top, clear and never overplayed at the bottom. In a moving and detailed portrayal she inhabits the conflicted character totally, from her first arrival in men’s travelling attire to her final desperate attempts to return to the arms of her abuser. Mi tradì quell'alma ingrate was a textbook both musically and dramatically and you wouldn’t be surprised to see a couple of men with straightjackets arrive to take her away at the end.

 

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Opera Australia | Eugene Onegin Review

Simon Paris | Man in Chair - Theatre People | May 1, 2014

Fast rising young Australian soprano Nicole Car cements her status as the one to watch with this breakout performance of breathtaking quality. Her luscious, full-bodied soprano is as expressive as it is gorgeous, and her strong acting skills allow her to create an endearing and heartbreaking characterisation of a passionate young woman. Future engagements are highly anticipated.

 

Eugene Onegin | Triumph for Tchaikovsky and Opera Australia

Carolyn McDowall | The Culture Concept | Apr 22, 2014

The Australian born Soprano Nicole Car is the lovely Tatyana, and what a sublime performance she gave at the Melbourne premiere.

Full of courage, glorious singing at every aspect of her voice’s range, confident while modest and so full of grace and beauty it was hard for the audience not to ache all over for her predicament.

Hers wasn’t a decision of spite, but one of true love. She displayed great pathos; musical melody exploited by the human voice, in a powerful performance of sensuous beauty and soaring vitality.

Car was quite simply outstanding in this very demanding and very difficult role. She played with every inch of our emotions throughout her stunning performance.

What a rich, round wonderful voice she has, full of warmth and beauty, one that resonates all the way through both your head and your heart.

The long letter scene where she is singing for an extended period of time revealed her voice’s great strength as it soared through every aspect of her extensive vocal range. Technically she was superb, but wait there’s more.

In her notes both high and low Nicole’s voice was always pure, beautifully paced, never forced and really quite remarkable.  It had great depth and feeling.

You can sense in the mature scenes of her performance, the dormant passion now held well in control, unlike the young country girl whose innocent heart had spoken so openly and truthfully at first about her feelings to the man she loved.

Nicole is Tatyana, modest, gentle and self-assured, as she unleashes what can only be described as her own elegant style of quiet majesty on every level.

We are completely convinced she is Tatyana most importantly in her soul, which is the place where her wonderful voice truly comes from.

Nicole Car’s repertoire is indeed impressive to date, and she’s already won numerous awards and if she doesn’t take one out for this, then there is something wrong with the system. If you could give her an Oscar you would.

 

Opera Australia | Eugene Onegin

Josephine Giles | AussieTheatre | Apr 20, 2014

Standing out like a jewel amidst the usual fare of Verdi, Bizet and Donizetti at Opera Australia's Autumn Melbourne season is Tchaikovsky's rarely performed Eugene Onegin. Directed by Danish opera director Kasper Holten, Artistic director of Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in 2013, this stylish production is matched by top-notch singing and affirms the rising-star status of young Australian soprano Nicole Car

Nicole Car is without doubt the best Australian soprano that I have seen in many years – a true lyric with warm strength across her entire range capped off with a ringing upper register. As Tatyana she communicates a thoughtful and sensitive sensibility, coupled with an assured physical presence.

 

Live Review | Eugene Onegin - State Theatre Melbourne

Lucy Rush | Cut Common | Apr 19, 2014

I’ll admit this production is quite the rollercoaster ride, but certainly one that has been engineered to perfection. To top it all off, there’s some singing going on, too. Paulo Szot gives a tremendous performance, his hearty baritone a good match for the strength of Onegin’s character. It’s clear he is a proficient actor; acting so well, in fact, that he runs (slightly) out of puff in the closing scenes. Yet, although we know Onegin owns the title of the production, it is clear that Tatyana – or, more accurately, Car – owns the production itself.

Nicole Car’s performance is sublime. Her Tatyana is elegant, thoughtful, convincing, and never overdone. The audience connects with her at all stages: from youthful, loved-up innocence right through to her selfless maturity as a married woman. It’s a tough gig, not least due to the emotional palette demanded by the role. No biggie: Car tackles the task with grace and finesse, and her vocal skill is stunning. The sound is rich and effortless at all points in her range and, as one punter next to me whispered, "always seems linked to Tatyana". At the curtain call, a standing ovation. Car alone is reason to book a ticket.

 

Eugene Onegin | Opera Australia - Classic Melbourne

Heather Leviston | Classic Melbourne | Apr 18, 2014

In the realms of vocal and dramatic strength Nicole Car’s Tatyana was nothing short of a triumph. She fully deserved the tribute given to her by conductor Guillaume Tourniaire, who fell to his knees before her when she welcomed him onto the stage for his curtain call. She seems to be at a point in her career where physical attributes and vocal maturity are in perfect balance. Youth, beauty, natural acting flair and a fresh but sumptuous voice combine to make her an ideal Tatyana. Car is given the extra task in this production of a whole of series quick transformations between an older Tatyana remembering her younger self with yearning affection and actually being that young, infatuated self, full of passion for the Romantic ideal.

 

Eugene Onegin | Opera Australia - State Theatre Melbourne

Coral Douryn | Stage Whispers | Apr 17, 2014

From the moment the curtains open on Mia Stensgaard’s deliciously romantic set, to the first notes of Tchaikovsky’s exquisitely lyrical score; you know that Eugene Onegin will be something special – bittersweet but totally satisfying: and indeed it is.

Nicole Car is exquisite as Tatyana. Not only is the voice very special, with a brilliance and clarity that never fails, and especially bright in her top register at full power, but she also brings great acting skills to the role. She was mesmerising in The Letter scene right from the mellifluous first notes of “Are you my Angel or my Tempter?” which rang with passion and emotion, and for that twelve minutes we totally believed she and Emily Ranford were two parts of the one person. Her standing ovation was richly deserved and there was an electrifying sensation that we were seeing the next great Diva taking her first steps to true greatness. 

 

Eugene Onegin review: star power delivers all round

Michael Shmith | Sydney Morning Herald | Apr 18, 2014

Let it be said that Brazilian bass-baritone Szot and Australian soprano Car are both exceptional artists. Anyone who make Onegin sympathetic rather than supercilious, and sing beautifully and pointedly into the bargain, is all right in my book. But it’s Car who is the real star. On Wednesday, her singing was transfixing and assured, her strong but supple soprano filling the house. Tatyana’s letter scene was, as it should be, eagerly romantic, but already tinged with the ominous melancholy that is never far away.

 

Eugene Onegin | Opera Australia - State Theatre Melbourne

Catherine Lambert | Herald Sun | Apr 17, 2014

Singing does not get any better than this with soprano Nicole Car as Tatyana attracting well-deserved hollering from the audience. She has a voice dripped in rich honey that is full of emotion, power and range. She can also act and is thoroughly convincing as an innocent girl bravely declaring her love for Onegin.

Tatyana initiates what she dares to hope will be a romance but he rebukes her, only to mature in the second act and face his love but his realisation has been marred with tragedy and comes too late. She is equally as powerful as the mature Tatyana, committed to a successful, adoring, Prince Gremin.

A not-to-be-missed production, full of sincerity, authenticity and stellar singing.

Pleasure of the refreshing ‘Onegin'

Helen Musa | CityNews | Mar 28, 2014

IT IS refreshing indeed for Opera Australia to have introduced this production into its repertoire.

With a regular diet of Verdi, Puccini and Mozart interspersed with occasional alternative popular favourites, it was a sheer pleasure to enjoy an opera so full of real emotion and beautiful singing.

This opera requires a high degree of naturalism in the acting, in part because both the central characters, Tatyana and Eugene, undergo significant character developments throughout the course of the opera.

As both the young and the older Tatyana, the Australian soprano, Nicole Car, was simply radiant, capturing both the novel-fuelled romanticism of a young country girl and the grace of a mature princess at the end.

Eugene Onegin | Opera Australia

Bill Stephens | Canberra Critics Circle | Mar 14, 2014

Nicole Car is perfectly cast as Tatyana. Not only does she look beautiful, and sing gloriously, but she also has the acting ability to make totally convincing her overwhelming attraction for the mysterious Onegin, and her devastation when her declarations of love are ultimately rejected by Onegin.


Eugene Onegin | Opera Australia

Deborah Jones | DJ's Diary | Mar 13, 2014

Eugene Onegin. It is such a ravishing piece. I went on Tuesday, to the fourth performance, and while the house was reasonable it was far from over-flowing. It should have been. One can quibble about some aspects of Kaspar Holten’s production – a co-production with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and Fondazione Teatro Regio, Turin – but there’s no quibbling where Nicole Car is concerned. She was greeted at the curtain with stamps and cheers after a glorious Tatyana and deserves every accolade she has received. The young singer – she is not yet 30 – is in full bloom. Her soprano is richly coloured, lyrical in quality and gorgeously produced from top to bottom, and Car looks a dream on stage, moving well and acting with natural ease. She makes her US debut with Dallas Opera as the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro in October and has a US agent. So I suspect we may not be seeing as much of her (understatement!) as we have been used to over the past couple of years, during which she has been well nurtured by Opera Australia. There are four more chances to catch Car’s Tatyana, on March 15, 19, 22 and 28.


Onegin | Opera Australia

Lynne Lancaster | Sydney Arts Guide | Mar 7, 2014

This opera could perhaps be called ‘Tatyana’ rather than Onegin as she emerges as the dominant character and it is seen through her eyes, Nicole Car as Tatyana is superb, absolutely brilliant and ravishing . She holds the stage and handles the long and very difficult famous ‘Letter aria’ scene , which is at the heart of the opera ,passionately and magnificently , stopping the show. She is thoughtful , studious and passionate simultaneously . Her crisp but rich soprano is easily ,evenly spread across the full range and always linked to her character She reveals clarity ,freshness and vivid colour combined with expressive immediacy. And I love the beautiful Renoir like white ruffled dress she wears.


Opera Australia's Eugene Onegin, a Triumph of Substance and Style

David Allen | AussieTheatre | Mar 6, 2014

Nicole Car and Dalibor Jenis star as leads Tatyana and Eugene Onegin respectively. Though Onegin owns the title, Tatyana realistically owns the show. A young daughter of country nobility at the outset of the opera, she is willful and romantic – a flighty young girl with sweet but largely unrealistic ideals about love and romance influenced heavily by the books she reads. 

The show of course belongs to Onegin and Tatyana, and though Dalibor Jenis delivers a master class in transformation and emotion, the show belongs to his co star Nicole Car, who delivered, on opening night, one of the most glorious performances to be seen in the Joan Sutherland Theatre in recent years. Young, passionate and fiery at the outset, she never resorts to cliché antics as she transforms slowly to an aristocratic and world weary lady of high standing. Vocally impeccable – Car inhabits her character with such fire and poise that it truly is impossible to take your eyes off her.


Nicole Car steals the show in Opera Australia’s production of Eugene Onegin

Tom Pillans | DailyTelegraph | Mar 3, 2014

It’s always satisfying to see a young performer reach beyond his or her comfort zone, testing the limits of their abilities in a demanding role — and so it was with Nicole Car in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin.

The talented young Australian soprano gave the performance of her career so far as Tatyana, the dreamy country girl rejected by the selfish and distant intellectual Onegin, who lives to regret his mistake.

Car’s honeyed voice, clear expression and delightfully focused performance was used to impressive effect right from the opening scene.

Her transformation from love-stricken girl to mortified and wounded young woman, culminating in the so-called Letter Aria (“Let me die, but first ...”) was heart-wrenching.

More than anything, it was Nicole Car’s night and she deserved every bit of the applause.


Eugene Onegin | Opera Australia - Sydney Opera House

Onegin and Tatyana reflect in a daring capture of opera’s spirit

Murray Black | The Australian | Mar 3, 2014

Soprano Nicole Car was outstanding as Tatyana. Strong across her range, she sang with clarity and power. She captured her character’s conflicting emotions in the letter scene and was utterly believable in conveying Tatyana’s evolution from girlish innocence to mature worldliness.


Eugene Onegin | Opera Australia - Sydney Opera House

Jo Litson | Scene and Heard | Mar 3, 2014

When Nicole Car went to the wings to lead conductor Guillaume Tourniaire on stage during the opening night curtain call for Eugene Onegin, he dropped to one knee and kissed her hand.

It seemed the perfect acknowledgement of Car’s radiant performance as Tatyana in Tchaikovksy’s passionate, melancholic opera of lost love based on Pushkin’s novel.

The emotion is all there in the music anyway and Car, in particular, is such an expressive performer vocally and dramatically....Making her debut in the role, Car is outstanding as Tatyana. She sings beautifully across her entire range with a gorgeous clarity and expressiveness, while her acting rings deeply true as she moves convincingly from youthful naivety to mature dignity.


Eugene Onegin | Opera Australia - Sydney Opera House

Lloyd Bradford Syke | Daily Review by Crikey | Mar 3, 2014

To top it all off, there’s a bit of singing going on, too. Nicole Car is singing better than ever and her dramatic performance is as good as she’s ever given, too. As Tatyana, we feel for her at all stages of her life, whether as a young innocent head-over-heels in love with the more experienced and blasé Onegin, or as a more mature woman who’s married well and who selflessly chooses loyalty over longing because she believe it the right thing to do.


Eugene Onegin: Opera Australia opens doors into a doomed relationship

Peter McCallum | Sydney Morning Herald | smh.com.au | Mar 3, 2014

A great triumph: Nicole Car is a standout as Tatyana in Opera Australia's new production of Tchaikovsky's work.

Vocally the production is a great triumph for Nicole Car as Tatyana, who gives a wholly absorbing account of the letter scene in which the young girl intemperately pours out her heart to the older man.

Her voice has wonderfully vivid colour, freshness, clarity and expressive immediacy, and she establishes a subtly complex relationship with her dancing double Emily Ranford.


Inspired production of Eugene Onegin comes to Sydney

David Larkin | Bachtrack | Mar 2, 2014

The star in this cast was undoubtedly Nicole Car. She is young enough to convey the adolescent fragility of Tatyana winningly, but her portrayal of the older married woman was also convincing. She is already a cultivated artist, with a voice that is warm and expressive throughout its range, and her top notes were strong and unstrained.


Eugene Onegin | Opera Australia - Sydney Opera House

Clive Paget | Limelight Magazine | Mar 1, 2014

It’s an excellent cast with no real weak links, but it must be said that Nicole Car is an absolute stand out. Her Tatyana is simple, thoughtful, passionate and bookish all at once. She never overplays her hand, yet convinces throughout as she runs the emotional gamut. Her vocal performance is remarkable. Her rich, clean soprano is evenly produced across the full range, never losing power at the bottom, never forcing at the top, and crucially connected at all times to the character. Having seen Krasimira Stoyanova’s performance in the Covent Garden cast I was curious to see how a younger Tatyana would fare (and prepared to be disappointed as Stoyanova was quite remarkable – well worth the price of the DVD if you have the inclination). Car is different – closer in some ways to the younger Tatyana (the excellent dancer Emily Ranford), less agonised perhaps but also more believable when singing in ‘real time’, as it were. The letter scene is at the heart of Holten’s production (as it should be) and here Car is magnificent. As she shoves the fatal paper at her younger self she relives her excited memories, yet at the same time wishes she could be spared the pain. Such moments of simplicity and complexity are the hallmark of Holten’s revelatory approach.


Eugene Onegin | Opera Australia - Sydney Opera House

Diana Simmonds | StageNoise | Mar 1, 2014

Nicole Car is outstanding - don't miss her

The first and possibly most consequential is the musical and artistic coming-of-age of Nicole Car as Tatyana, the girl who hopelessly loved, lost and finally - painfully - grew up. She is vocally superb with a strongly developing and true soprano and the confidence to take it where she will. She is also dramatically and visually convincing as the young country girl who puts heartache behind her to become the dutiful wife of Prince Gremin (Konstantin Gorny) and therefore a queen of Moscow high society. Hers is the pivotal presence in this staging (European singers performed the premiere London season) and she is outstanding. She is not yet 30 and an international career must surely be in her hands, should she wish to take it.


Eurgene Onegin | Opera Australia - Sydney Opera House

Derek Parker | Fine Music 102.5 | Feb 28, 2014

The success of the new production of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin at the Opera House is built on the splendid Tatyana of Nicole Car, who was little short – if at all short – of splendid; a rich totally assured soprano at its best, and a fine dramatic actress not only accomplished but offering much for the future.

La Boheme | Opera Australia - Sydney Opera House

Lynne Lancaster | Sydney Arts Guide | Jan 12, 2014

Nicole Car as Mimi is sensational  – sweet , pure and fragile, dreaming of beauty with a  huge, opulent voice and at times tremulous emotion .Her rendering of  her introductory aria ‘ Si, mi chiamano Mimi ‘  was beautifully nuanced, allowing her performance to further build in the final acts.

Don Giovanni | WA Opera

Anna Locke | Australian Stage Online | Jul 18, 2013

Three strong female singers round out the leads; Nicole Car (Donna Anna), Katja Webb (Donna Elvira) and Sara Macliver (Zerlina). As the heartbroken, devastated Donna AnnaCar was the standout for her crisp, clear voice. 

DonG0003.jpg

Carmen opens on Sydney Harbour

Alexandra Spring | Vogue Australia | Apr 02, 2013

Israeli mezzo-soprano Rinat Shaham stars as Carmen, the provocative gypsy who lives and dies with passion, while Ukranian tenor Dmytro Popov is the murderously jealous Don José. Opera fans will be thrilled to see Nicole Car, the Melbourne-born 25-year old soprano hotly tipped as the next Dame Joan Sutherland as the jilted Micaëla.

Carmen | Mrs Macquaries Point, Sydney

Lloyd Bradford Syke | Crikey | Apr 02, 2013 

Nicole Car is (as a promising young soprano on the threshold, one senses and hopes, of a big breakthrough), in a way, his counterpart and counterpoint. Her Micaela is as fragile and vulnerable as one might hope for and her tone almost achingly beautiful; she is, as has been much and rightly attested already, another shooting star in OA’s stable.

Carmen | Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour

Veronica Hannon | Gay News Network | Apr 02, 2013

Ukrainian tenor Dmytro Popov as Don Jose is the perfect foil to Shaham’s free spirit and soprano Nicole Car as Micaela offers one of the emotional highlights of the evening, when in Act 3, she flawlessly sings her aria atop a suspended shipping container.

Carmen | Handa Opera is Carmen to a harbour near you

Tom Pillans | Manly Daily | Mar 28, 2013

For me, the star performance of opening night was that of soprano Nicole Car, as Micaela, the good girl abandoned by Don Jose in favour of the gypsy Carmen.

Car's ringingly clear soprano stood out - no small achievement given the competition. Her aria in act three, sung high above the stage, was a showstopper.

Carmen | Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour

Diana Simmonds | Mar 28, 2013 | StageNoise

Our own Nicole Car is also superb in the soprano role as the luckless Micaela. She more than holds her own, vocally and histrionically, with the imported stars - even when singing in a spotlight from the top of a shipping container high above the stage and, presumably, surrounded by a black abyss!

Carmen | Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour 

Bill Stephens | Canberra Critics Circle | Mar 28, 2013

Nicole Car, who was outstanding earlier this year as Mimi in Gale Edwards’ production of “La Boheme”, is again very impressive as Don Jose’ childhood sweetheart, Micaela. She’s also incredibly brave, at one stage singing while kneeling on top of a swaying shipping container suspended high in the air. It looked so precarious as to be almost unbearable to watch.

Carmen | Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour

Simon Paris | Theatre People | Mar 23, 2013

To detract nothing from these leading performers, the star performance of the night comes from fast rising young soprano Nicole Car as Micaela. Conveying a pure and noble presence, Car achieves a strong characterisation that stands out clearly amidst all the spectacle, and her singing is truly beautiful. Her act three aria, sung high above the stage, absolutely brings down the house.

Carmen | Opera Australia’s Carmen On The Harbour

Clive Paget | Limelight Magazine | Mar 23, 2013

Nicole Car makes a surprisingly passionate Micaëla, giving Carmen more of a run for her money than is sometimes the case. Vocally she is clear as a bell, with excellent diction

La Boheme | Opera Australia - Sydney Opera House

Bill Stephens | Canberra Critics Circle | Jan 15, 2013

Nicole Car is exquisite as Mimi. Beautiful, fragile and serene, she immediately engages the audience, which holds its collective breath to hang on her every phrase as she imparts her story in a gorgeously sung “They Call Me Mimi”. Throughout the opera her singing and acting never falters so that her finale death scene is almost unbearably moving.

La Boheme | Big budget approach certainly paid dividends

Harriet Cunningham | Limelight Magazine | Jan 7, 2013

Meanwhile, in Australian soprano Nicole Car Opera Australia surely has a star-in-the-making. Her Mi chiamano Mimi had the spontaneous, open tone of an innocent at large, but her voice was surprisingly large, powering over the orchestra when it needed to. Moreover, she died with touching frailty, allowing a faint shadow to colour her tone as she sang from her deathbed.

La Boheme | Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney

Lloyd Bradford Syke | Crikey | Jan 07, 2013

In many ways, I’m saving the best till last. Nicole Car’s Mimi gives no quarter to any other performer. Her soaring soprano nails every note to the arched ceiling of the opera theatre. At first, I wondered about Mimi’s persistent smiling through thick and thin (but mainly thin). I mean, a brave face is one thing, but equanimity in the face of destitution is martyrdom. I suspect, however, there may be a subtle method in Edwards’ madness here: if we substitute Mimi, in the director’s pre-war vision, for the martyrdom of decency and culture, then her beaming, pretty face is deliberately personified as angelic; Car’s voice archangelic.

La Boheme | A sumptuous treat for the eyes and the ears

Benjamin Neutze | AussieTheatre | Jan 05, 2013

Gianluca Terranova and Nicole Car are the perfect Rodolfo and Mimi. Terranova, last seen in La Traviata on Sydney Harbour, sings with a gorgeous, rich tone, every bit the classic Italian tenor. Car absolutely shines, particularly in the third and fourth acts revealing spectacularly assured singing and some serious acting chops. She is without a doubt Australia’s fastest rising opera star.

The Pearlfishers | Opera Theatre, Sydney

Lloyd Bradford Syke | Crikey | Jul 17, 2012

I don’t know that I’ve experienced better vocal casting as, in at least one memorable sequence, Nicole Car’s soprano sits wonderfully aloft, buoyed by Choo and Jones. Heaven. I was in heaven.

Opera Australia's Pearl Fishers at Sydney Opera House

Oliver Brett | Bachtrack | Jul 13, 2012

Also very effective was Nicole Car, who played the part of Léïla. Like Choo as Nadir, she portrayed her character with great emotional intensity. She sang with clarity and a beautiful pure tone, which almost served to highlight her naïve helplessness as she falls in love with Nadir.

The Pearlfishers

Carol Wimmer | Stage Whispers | Jul 4, 2012

As Leila, soprano Nicole Car, winner of the Herald –Sun Aria in 2007, is equally passionate and her emotions soar on beautifully controlled notes. Her prayer, O Dieu Brahma, at the end of Act I shimmers in the mind through the interval and comes to life again as she and Nadir reveal their love for each other in their heart-breaking duets in Act II and again, as they face death in Act III. 

The Pearlfishers | With Leila, Car has arrived.

Murray Black | The Australian | Jul 2012

AS priestess Leila in Opera Australia's production of The Pearlfishers soprano Nicole Car cemented her reputation as a rising star.  Firm, flexible and controlled across her range, she displayed agility and clarity in the coloratura passages of Georges Bizet's famous opera.  Car was fresh and engaging, making a powerful dramatic impact.  

The Pearlfishers | Revival's young voices do justice to the charm of melodies.

Peter McCallum | smh.com.au | July 6, 2012

In this revival, the charm of the melodies is matched by the charm of young voices.... Nicole Car, as Leila, sang with attractive clarity and a brightly hued tone, maintaining admirable pitch precision. Her voice is still young in operatic years, and this performance showed auspicious promise.

The Pearlfishers

Lynne Lancaster | Sydney Arts Guide | Jul 4, 2012

As the exquisite Leila, Nicole Car is ravishing. She sings divinely and is stunning in her white costume and filmy veils.  Her aria, the incantation to Brahma (‘O Dieu Brahma’), is magnificent. She is proud and passionate – the ice maiden aloof priestess- is only a thin veneer. In Act 3 she implores Zurga to save Nadir’s life which puts him in a very difficult position. 

The Merry Widow |  Illuminating performances from Opera Australia

Karla Dondio | Freelance - Aussie Theatre | May 28, 2012

David Hobson as Danilo, Nicole Car as Valencienne, Henry Choo as Camille and John Bolton Wood as Baron Zeta are dazzling in their roles, for which they look like they’re having the time of their life.

The Magic Flute | Gains and losses as dazzling Flute fails to access all arias

Murray Black | The Australian | Jan 12, 2012

Baritone Andrew Jones (Papageno) and soprano Nicole Car (Pamina) offered the two outstanding performances....Car's richly coloured timbre and clarity of articulation created a fresh, youthful-sounding Pamina.

The Magic Flute | Opera Australia

Jason Catlett | Timeout Sydney | Jan 08, 2012

The young Nicole Car is magnificently cast here; her lovely demeanour stands somewhere between Venus de Milo and Carrie Fisher; her voice and face beautifully convey the character's purity.

The Magic Flute | Opera Theatre, Sydney

Lloyd Bradford Syke | Crikey | Jan 08, 2012

Nicole Car is, by any benchmark, a flawlessly lyrical soprano, and proves it, as Pamina, Tamino’s hard-won love interest.

Capriccio | Opera Australia

Opera Insider | Jul 10, 2011

... followed by the Italian singers, whose performance was superbly acted and sung by John Longmuir and Nicole Car. Nicole Car is a phenomenon, a very gifted actor and a natural on the stage. This is the least of her talents as she possesses the most beautiful soprano voice I have heard since Isobel Buchanan back in the 1970′s and 80′s. The careful nurturing she is currently receiving should see her develop into a major talent possibly in the spinto roles in years to come.

Capriccio | Suspended 'tween expectation and consummation

Peter McCallum | smh.com.au | Jul 4, 2011

The two Italian singers, John Longmuir and Nicole Car, enacted the long delaying melismas that Strauss evokes with such deft mastery with delectable afflatus.

Carmen | Sydney Opera House

Opera Insider | Feb 20, 2011

This brings me to the find of the night. Nicole Car – what a voice! I don’t think I can recall such an auspicious debut of a new singer since Ioabel Buchanan arrived in the 1970′s. Having only sung a handful of roles so far for The Victorian Opera (including SUOR ANGELICA – wish I had have heard that), she was truly sensational with one of the most beautiful lyric, full bodied and honeyed voices I have ever heard. Matched with fine looks, a good stage presence, convincing dramatic sensibility and movement she was terrific !! Her easy top notes and limpid singing was really beautiful, and she easily and convincingly got involved in the rumble and tumble of some of her Act III scenes. Her  rich voice reveals a more powerful voice that will develop in futures years.

Carmen | Sydney Opera House

Peter McCallum | smh.com.au | Jan 17, 2011

Also stepping in at short notice was Nicole Car to take the role of the good girl, Micaela. Singing with purity and strength, she had brightness and warmth of sound that was the ideal balancing vocal persona to Shaham's darker grain.