Elizabeth GraysonPhoto by Dan Demetriad

REVIEWS OF OPERA AND MUSICAL THEATRE

Greensboro Opera-Menotti’s “The Telephone” Classical Voice Of North Carolina review- May 2009

One can hear influences from several composers in Menotti’s score, especially Mozart. This was nowhere more apparent than in Lucy’s arias, where Grayson”s coloratura passages were delivered with clarity and brilliance. Her repeated “Hello, hello” answer to the ringing machine became more and more humorous. Her acting was first rate…a delight to watch!!

Long Leaf Opera Festival- Raleigh-  American Voices Concert- Classical Voice of North Carolina- June 2009

It would be hard to over-praise the dramatic effects that Elizabeth Grayson brought to certain of the selections. From Douglas Moore’s Ballad of Baby Doe, her “Dearest Mama” was heart-rending as she intoned “we must part forever…” She assumed the role of Rose Maurrant in Weill’s Street Scene. Here she touchingly asked “What Good Would the Moon Be?”-without true love. She played the fallen woman in “Glitter and be Gay” from Bernstein’s opera Candide. Her comic delivery was of highest order, and the demanding “Ha-ha-ha’s were sprinkled throughout without apparent effort. In Carlisle Floyd’s opera, Susannah, she gave “The Trees on the Mountains” a level of pathos that was impossible to resist as she called on the lover to return.

Durham Symphony Holiday Pops Concert-2008

Elizabeth Grayson, our nightingale of the evening, sang the Bach/Gounod setting of “Ave Maria” and Adolf Adam’s “O Holy Night,” thrilling the audience with her wondrous high notes…Grayson returned for two opera arias; “Quando m’en vo” from La Boheme and the “Laughing Song” from Die Fledermaus. Grayson was outstanding as was the orchestra on these pieces.

Herald Sun Review- Durham Holiday Pops Concert- Dec. 2008

Elizabeth Grayson was featured soloist at this year’s Holiday Pops, who opened with “Ave Maria” and “O Holy Night.” Grayson also sang several opera selections- “Quando m’en vo” from Puccini’s opera “La Boheme,” and “Laughing Song” from “Die Fledermaus.” Grayson’s performance of the latter piece brought a standing ovation from the audience.

“Jackie O” - Michael Daugherty
“Elizabeth Williams-Grayson used her light, pure-toned soprano to create a sympathetic portrait of Jackie, elegantly lining the character’s serenity and nobility. She confidently handled the exotic flourishes of “Egyptian Time,” the works best number.”
The Raleigh News and Observer

“The Tempest” - Lee Hoiby
“Elizabeth Williams-Grayson simply amazes in Ariel’s punishing flights of coloratura, her stamina and precision awe-inspiring.”
The Raleigh News and Observer

“La Boheme”
“Filling the 2,200 seats of Raleigh’s cavernous Memorial Auditorium is no easy task, yet this performance came close, and the audience was rewarded with a world-class production….Elizabeth-Williams Grayson, who has graced many local productions, played the part of Musetta-every guy’s combination dream and nightmare bipolar woman.” 
Classical Voice of North Carolina

“The Merry Widow”
“Elizabeth Williams-Grayson as Valencienne and Michael Sommeses as Camille vied with the leads for audience attention. Williams-Grayson’s clear, easily produced soprano soared through the lilting music….”
Raleigh News and Observer

“The Merry Widow”
“The individual performances were all very strong. Williams-Grayson was vivacious and charming and sang wonderfully, putting across her words like the seasoned musical-theatre person she is.” Classical Voice of North Carolina

“Kismet”
“His daughter Marsinah was sung with distinction by soprano Elizabeth Williams-Grayson, a former Miss NC who invariably dazzles audiences with her vocal talent and acting ability.”
Classical Voice of North Carolina

“Rigoletto”
“The fine supporting cast consisted of tenor David Ronis as Borsa, soprano Elizabeth Williams-Grayson as the lusty Countess Ceprano….”                                                           
Classical Voice of North Carolina

“A Little Christmas Spirit”
“Caressing the music each time she sings, Williams-Grayson shows off her glorious lyric soprano in several numbers…”                                                                                         Sanford Times

“Lakme”
“Elizabeth Grayson, a former Miss NC, followed with her cleanly executed runs in the dazzling “Bell Song” from Delibes’
Raleigh News and Observer

“Dona Nobis Pacem” - Vaughn- Williams
“Williams-Grayson’s liquid voice….the movement ends with the final plea “Dona Nobis Pacem,” movingly sung by Williams-Grayson.”                                                                
Classical Voice of North Carolina

Holiday Pops Concert - Asheville Symphony
“The first soloist was Grayson, a soprano who once used her talent to help her win Miss NC. She joined the ASO this evening to perform “Do You Hear What I Hear”….she nailed the high notes with cool aplomb….”
Classical Voice of North Carolina 

Carmina Burana – UNC Memorial Hall
“Before a nearly sold out crowd… soprano Elizabeth Williams-Grayson was technically superb, nailing the high D in the brief ‘Dulcissime’ (“Sweetest Boy”) solo.                       
Classical Voice of North Carolina

At the Statue of Venus – Jake Heggie
“Soprano Elizabeth Grayson… gave Rose great dimension with her clear, lovely voice and heartfelt emotions. Her quiet meditation on parental love was most moving, and the last moment of the piece, when in a wonderful coup de theâtre, Heggie speaks the word "Rose" in the guise of Rose's date who has finally arrived — it was unexpected by both audience and character and was a wonderfully emotional moment. Grayson's reaction brought many audience members visibly to tears. Grayson's light lyric voice made intimate moments vivid, and she could float wonderful high notes.”
Classical Voice of North Carolina

At the Statue of Venus – Jake Heggie
“Long Leaf Opera's summer festival concluded last Sunday in UNC-Chapel Hill's Memorial Hall with a standing ovation for Elizabeth Grayson's performance in the Southern premiere of At the Statue of Venus. On stage accompanying Grayson was pianist and composer Jake Heggie, who guided the piece from moments of hilarity to profound self-reflection as Grayson's character, Rose, waits for a blind date by the statue of the goddess of love.  Rose's monologue, delivered with clear, vibrant vocals, begins with an amusing lament for her choice in wearing black slacks and a momentary assertion that her friends' choice for her "Mr. Right" will be gay, setting the light-hearted tone that pervades the work.”
The Independent News         

Camelot – Broadway Tour (USA-Canada)
“Elizabeth Williams-Grayson is an attractive Guenevere. She has the strongest voice of the principals and is heard to solo advantage and in duet with both Richard Harris and Robert Cuccioli”
The Spectator - Hamilton, Canada

“Elizabeth Wlliams-Grayson is a Guenevere to love! What’s more, she can sing, with a clear, clean voice that carries Lerner’s melodies effortlessly.”                                             
The Providence Journal-Bulletin - RI

“Guenevere, or “Jenny,” has always, by sheer necessity, had a fine voice. But opera-trained Elizabeth Williams-Grayson has the clarity and range to thrill music lovers with “The Lusty Month of May,” “Take Me to the Fair,” Before I Gaze at You Again,” “I Loved You Once in Silence,” etc., as no other has.” 
Rochester News - NY

“Elizabeth Williams-Grayson is a beautiful Guenevere in face, figure and vocal ability. Her singing reminds one of the young Julie Andrews who originated the role but she also brings a romantic quality and humorous touches to the role.”
Schenectady News - NY

“So often touring companies with a star like Richard Harris shortchange audiences in just about every other department. Not so with the current production, which boasts a beautiful, lovely voiced Guenevere in Elizabeth Williams-Grayson……”  “Miss Williams-Grayson, a former Miss North Carolina, brought considerable physical beauty to the role of Guenevere. She is one of the few opera-trained voices one hears these days in musical theatre. The voice was velvety and rich-sounding in “Where Are the Simple Joys of Maidenhood” and “I Loved You Once in Silence.”
The Pittsburgh Press -PA