Renata Babak


As her best is, in my opininon, one of the supreme operatic artists in the world. Renata Babak is the type of personality one may encounter but once in a lifetime - a great voice combines with physical beauty and a courageous, indomitable spirit. The Babak's voice, whether in opera of the West or of her native land (Ukraine) goes straight to the heart of the listener, this listener included



 George London

One a good night Renata Babak, formerly of the Bolshoi Opera and now teaching at the Washington Conservatory has one of the world's great mezzo-soprano voices. One of the most exciting voices of our time, her voice is both big and sweet, tremendously poweful and superbly controlled in its upper rergister. She had it last night a recital in St.Matthew's Cathedral. She was totally opulent, dramatically potent and stylistically precise.



Joseph McLellan, Washington Post

Babak's basic voice is one of exceptiona; beauty, more than watching her handsome, platinum-blonde appearance.

New York Post

Ms.Babak possesses a depth, richness and power those draw you to her almost from the first note.The surprising unconstrained fullness of her voice, along with sureness and purity of its vibrato, filled the hall and caused an involuntary yielding of total attention.

One cannot escape the feeling that this is the joyous sound from the heart of a complete woman. The comfort she exhibited in her extensive vocal range was truly impressive. Her beautifully balanced repertoire varied over arias and songs in five languages.

Theodore W. Libbey, Jr., Washington Star

Babak's Ulrica (The masked Ball) gave the part electrifying dimensions. She continues to be an artist to seize your attention.

Sunday Journal, Providence

But none suited her as well as the group of Italian and French arias which showed of the phenomenal technique and dramatic potential of her voice. Miss. Babak's voice combines so many opposing factors-power and fantastic legato; beautiful mellow chest notes, formidable coloratura agility and a shining, ringing upper register. The last four arias, all dramatic ( from La Favorita, Cavalleria Rusticana, La Gioconda and Don Carlos) were an escalade in excitement. Her singing of Princess Eboli's rejection, anguish, despair and mounting terror nearly had me out of my seat.

The Montreal Star

Yet for all the dramatic vocal power at her command, Miss Babak always managed to cast a poetic temper over whaterever she sang, fron operatic aria to art song. She is fine and sensitive stylist, full lyric grace. Miss.Babak is a singer of great emotional intensity. She sang the heart and soul out of everything. As an interpreter of Falla she can combine the same elegance along with  a full-throated flamenco flourish.

Hartford Courant

Mezzo-sprano Renata Babak , formerly of the Bolshoi Opera gave a magnificent portrayal of Santuzza.

Her version of "Voi il sapete, omamma" was powerful, ecpecially when she articulated those husky low notes 'iopiango, io piango'. Babak enhanced her singing with excellently-timed stage movement all the way up to the chaotic, precipitious final curtain of Mascagni's one act masterpiece.

Washington Star

In the sheer power and coloristic potential she commands, and in the ease with which she can handle an audience, Babak has unmistakable star quality.

Boston Globe

Miss. Babak's "Adieu, Foretsfrom Tchaikovsky's "Maid of Orleans" and "Mon couer s'ouvre a ta voix" from "Samson and Dalila"effectively demonstrated the style that has made the singer one of the most important performers on either side of the Iron Curtain. Renata Babak's voice is a big operatic instrument, with fine, booming chest tones and a top of chandelier-shattering power.

Cleveland Plain Dealer

Renata Babak is not only a beautiful woman, she is a beautiful singer. Her voice is rich and vibrant and her interpretation of the music she sang was highly dramatic and inspired.

Ottawa Journal

Her upper register rises without a break into some of the most beatiful and powerful mezzo tones this side of the Met. Were it not for the booming lower register, one moght have thought the fire and brilliance of Sanzuzza's tempestuous aria from Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana to be pouring from the throut of dramatic soprano.

The Citizen, Ottawa

In "Il Trovatore" Performance

by Margo Kline

"...Renata Babak, the fiery mezzo-soprano, was an unforgettable Azuchena. Babak sang the role magnificently in voice and acting. Her " Sridela vampa" and "Condotta ell'era in ceppi" were richly shaded, with a lower register that fell like velvet on the ear.

Renata Babak in"Il Trovatore"

by Luke Bandle

 Effervescent Ukrainian mezzo-soprano Renata Babak's rich, vibrant voice and her ability to project undestanding of the role worked to create an admirable Azuchena. From the moment the lush voice of Renata Babak was heard in act two, she captured the stage and audience and drew the entire cast up to the stature of her demands.

"Rise up from the smoldering ruins of your home",exhorted a rousing chorus yesterday in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Forward to freedom! A powerful solo song had a harbed wire motif - a boy is singing: "Join hands, lest the world be shackied with barbed wire". The concert, featuring the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, three choruses and two vocal soloists of international stature, was part of a week-long observance commemorating a monstrous but almost forgotten act of genocide a half-century ago. In 1932-33, the goverment of Josef Stalin confiscated the weat harvest in the Ukraine in a calculatd effort to wipe out of resistance to Soviet rule. More than 7 million Ukrainians died in the artificially created famine, according to a resolution on the subject introduced earlier this year in the House of Representative. Yesterday, thousands of their more fortunate relatives and descendants came to Washington from all over the U.S. and Canada to hear speches at the Washington Monument, demonstrate at Russian Embassy and attend a memorial concert at the Kennedy Center. The concert featured music by seven Ukrainian composers - almost all of it Washington or American primier - and showed the richness of the culture Stalin tried to eradicate. Most striking among the many selections were excerpts - solo, choral and orchestral - from opera "Taras Bulba" by Mykola Lysenko, a saga of Cassack heroism and an earlier struggle for Ukrainian Independence. But the program included the ancient cadences of a hymn and timeless folk melodies reworked by modern composers. Mezzo-soprano Renata Babak's voice soared gloriosly in the Ukrainian music and in thematically appropriate selection by Verdi.

Washington Post

"Music of the Ukraine" by Joseph McLellan, 1983


Renata Babak. Reviews