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Nice notice for White Bear Lake mezzo

Posted by: Graydon Royce under Classical, Behind the scenes, Minnesota artists, Seen elsewhere: Neat stuff Updated: January 13, 2014 - 12:51 PM

Heather Johnson, being fitted last summer for Mill City Opera's "The Barber of Seville."/photo by Courtney Perry.

Heather Johnson, who grew up in White Bear Lake, just got some nice props for her performance as Lizzie Borden in Boston Lyric Opera's production. Johnson was back in the Twin Cities last summer for Mill City Opera's "The Barber of Seville" and mentioned that she would be taking on the title role in the world premiere chamber version of the 1965 opera.

Writing in the February Opera News, critic Kalen Ratzlaff didn't have much good to say about the concept and staging from director Christopher Alden. "Cheap laughs" and "depictions of sophmorically 'edgy' sexual behavior," Ratzlaff wrote. However, the critic waxed on about the singers. "If only one could have lifted them up lock, stock and barrel and dropped them into a production worthy of their gifts."

"In the title role, mezzo-soprano Heather Johnson was fearless, channeling a seething fury worthy of Electra and singing with dramatic focus, power and control."

Johnson sang at Roseville High School and then studied with Dan Dressen at St. Olaf. She has lived in New York for 14 years. Next up, according to her web site is a short engagement of "La Cenerentola" at Intermountain Opera, in May.

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