Joyce Castle, Mezzo Soprano
Website: www.joycecastle.com
Acclaim

"…Castle rules the show. Her voice is authoritative with a dark edge to it that makes Elizabeth the commanding presence on stage that she is."

Queen Elizabeth, Gloriana (Central City Opera)

Glen Griffin, Denver Post
"Joyce Castle has what it takes: the inflections, the voice color, the stage presence, and her talent as an actress." "The competition was tough...but none, to our knowledge, was superior to Joyce Castle's. Never criticized for her high tessitura as a mezzo, she has the merit of fully integrating herself among the rest of the cast that surrounds her, without playing the star."

Queen Elizabeth, Gloriana (Central City Opera)
Charles Pitt, International Opera
"This Visit is Exquisite...and the rock-solid cast, led by the marvelously sardonic Joyce Castle in the title role, makes the most of it."

Claire Zachanassian, The Visit of the Old Lady (New York City Opera)

Terry Teachout, Daily News (NY)

"It is when she combines her singing with her considerable skills as an actress that she becomes a formidable force. She delivers the full range of Elizabeth’s personality...perhaps most important, Castle manages to convey the sense of authority, charisma, and majestic presence that Elizabeth would have to have had to dominate both her era and remain such an influential historical figure."

Queen Elizabeth, Gloriana (Central City Opera)

Kyle MacMilan, Denver Post
"Leading the way is Joyce Castle, whose gloriously voiced Elizabeth is a commanding, complex presence. Her indelible portrayal..."

Queen Elizabeth, Gloriana (Central City Opera)
Brad Weissmann, Colorado Daily
"Joyce Castle gives every one of her gestures, every one of her words it's due - this old woman thirsting for revenge and for blood - who from time to time lets show the troubling echoes of her youth."

Claire Zachanassian, The Visit of the Old Lady (New York City Opera)

Charles Pitt, Opera International
"Naturally, the opera revolves around Elizabeth-and on Saturday it swirled around the once in a lifetime performance of Joyce Castle. Never did she stray over the top or she lose sight of the humanness of Gloriana ...Castle grew stronger with each scene."

Queen Elizabeth, Gloriana (Central City Opera)
Marc Shulgold, Rocky Mountain News
"Joyce Castle sang the title character with a saw-toothed bite to her voice, capturing Claire's lonely, loony dignity and her fearsomeness mixed with humor."

Claire Zachanassian, The Visit of the Old Lady (New York City Opera)

Justin Davidson, Newsday
"Joyce Castle scored a great personal success as Gloriana,.....But Castle also showed the person behind the mask: uncertain and afraid, scheming and planning, relying on God in her hard task, longing always for love." "Castle sang Britten's demanding music with forceful confidence."

Queen Elizabeth, Gloriana (Central City Opera)
Craig Smith, The New Mexican
"As the visiting billionairess, Joyce Castle turned in a vocal and theatrical performance so well judged one wishes one were seeing her in a better opera."

Claire Zachanassian, The Visit of the Old Lady (New York City Opera)

Thomas M. Disch, The New Leader
"In a beautifully wrought performance, Joyce Castle found both the imperiousness and the vulnerability of this towering, complex figure. She revealed the queen's humanity in a perf of warmth and exuberance. Castle was also vocally ideally cast, with her regal mezzo and perfect diction."

Queen Elizabeth, Gloriana (Central City Opera)
Variety
"...the opera revolves around the old lady, who's sung and played with delicious understatement by mezzo-soprano Joyce Castle, one of the finest singing actors working in opera today. Her Claire is quite mad but she works out the consequences of her lunatic premises with the sort of cheer and level-headedness you might expect from a real estate agent."

Claire Zachanassian, The Visit of the Old Lady (New York City Opera)
Peter Wynne, The Record
"The mezzo-soprano Joyce Castle...has a luxuriant lower range that savors the deep contralto reaches of Mother Sorel. Her act II lullaby, 'I shall find for you shells and stars,' is radiant. Her discovery later in the act that her beloved grandchild has died in its sleep is a compelling study in brilliant understated anguish."

Mother Sorel, The Consul (Berkshire Opera and Newport Classics)

Richard Houdek, The Berkshire Eagle
"With her large mezzo and clean delivery, Joyce Castle made a strong, poignant Mother as she cared for Magda's dying baby."

Mother Sorel, The Consul (Berkshire Opera and Newport Classics)
Leslie Kandell, Opera News
Mezzo Joyce Castle delivers so convincing a dramatic and vocal performance of the old woman that the audience joined the onstage crowd in cheering for her.

Mother Sorel, The Consul (Berkshire Opera and Newport Classics)
Herman Trotter, The Buffalo News
"...Still, Strawberry Fields seduced me, along with the rest of the audience - not least because of a delicately heartbreaking star turn by Joyce Castle."
Alex Ross, The New Yorker
"Other outstanding performances were those of...Joyce Castle as Fricka and Waltraute"

Fricka and Waltraute, The Ring (Seattle Opera)
Barry Millington, The Times (London
The Klytemnestra of Mezzo, Joyce Castle was a gloriously sung, spellbinding portrait of this guilty queen."

Klytemnestra, Elektra (Florentine Opera)
Opera News
"Castle's Augusta deepens as the evening goes on, evolving from a tremulous caricature of indignation to the portrait of an elderly lady tormented by lifelong habits of affection and pride."

Augusta, The Ballad of Baby Doe (New York City Opera)
Justin Davidson, Newsday
"The Mere Marie of Joyce Castle I'm sure roused disquieting memories in every parochial-school-trained soul present even before she began to sing, and her intensely coloured, beautifully produced mezzo was as dramatically effective as her demeanor."

Mother Marie, Dialogues des Carmelites (Seattle Opera)
Roger Downey, Opera
"Joyce Castle brought wit and wile to an alcoholic Herodias, coming close with her auburn Mezzo to stealing the show from her daughter Salome."

Herodias, Salome (Seattle Opera)
Wes Blomster, Musical America
"The opera revolves around the old lady, who's sung and played with delicious understatement by mezzo-soprano Joyce Castle Joyce Castle, one of the finest singing actors working in opera today. Her Claire is quite mad, but she works out the consequences of her lunatic premises with the sort of good cheer and level-headedness you might expect from a real estate agent."

Claire Zachanassian, The Visit of the Old Lady (New York City Opera)
Peter Wynne, Opera News
"The admirable Joyce Castle was the lady."

Claire Zachanassian, The Visit of the Old Lady (New York City Opera)
Martin Mayer, Opera
"Joyce Castle sings and acts to the murderous hilt the eponymous billionairess." (Leighton Kerner)

Claire Zachanassian, The Visit of the Old Lady (New York City Opera)
The Village Voice
"As for the old lady herself, Joyce Castle brings this monstrous woman to life."

Claire Zachanassian, The Visit of the Old Lady (New York City Opera)
Bill Zakariasen, Westside Resident
"Joyce Castle gives everyone of her gestures, every one of her words it's due - this old woman thirsting for revenge and blood - who from time to time lets show the troubling echoes of her youth."

Claire Zachanassian, The Visit of the Old Lady (New York City Opera)
Charles Pitt,, Opera International
"Castle's portrayal of the physically and emotionally crippled Claire Zachanassian was especially probing and affecting."

Claire Zachanassian, The Visit of the Old Lady (New York City Opera)
R.V.S. Lee, Opera News
"Joyce Castle as John's mother was all a great singing actress should be. You could see her being sapped of energy and life, feel her pain and her yearning for oblivion. What Castle did brilliantly was to maintain reality and sympathy, never going over the top, but singing, as well, all the notes and only speaking when singing failed."

Mother Sorel, The Consul (Berkshire Opera and Newport Classics)
Ron Emery, Times Union
"'Strawberry Fields'... this work is Ms. Castle's star turn. Greta...has been dragged to the ritual by her meddlesome mother, characterized brilliantly by Joyce Castle."

Greta's Mother/The Old Lady, Central Park (Glimmerglass Opera)
Allan Kozinn, The New York Times
"Joyce Castle's rich, pointed singing made Jezibaba a most formidable presence."

Jezibaba, Rusalka (Seattle Opera)
Theodore Deacon, Opera
"Joyce Castle's Waltraute on Friday truly stirred...Solid presences were...Ms. Castle's (Fricka.)"

Fricka, The Ring (Seattle Opera)
Bernard Holland, The New York Times
"Bar none, it was the finest Waltraute I have ever seen with any company."

Waltraute, The Ring (Seattle Opera)
Phil Toman, Newark Post
"Joyce Castle, perhaps our best character mezzo in any opera house, as Tabor's rigid wife..."

Augusta Tabor, The Ballad of Baby Doe (Long Beach Opera)
Opera
"Joyce Castle is particularly powerful as Horace's first wife,"

Augusta, The Ballad of Baby Doe (New York City Opera)
Howard Kissel, Daily News (NY)
"But the dramatic and vocal performance par excellence was the mezzo soprano Joyce Castle in the role of Madame de Croissy: it was simply perfect and the scene of her death -the final scene of Act 1-absolutely moving; the best thing I could wish for in opera."

Old Prioress, Dialogues of the Carmelites (Glimmerglass Opera)
Opera Magazine (Italy)
"Ideal is hardly adequate to describe Joyce Castle...Castle sings the queen as if the role had been written for her, she is every inch the queen. And she is as majestic when overtaken in the final scene without wig and make-up as when cloaked in the regalia of her office."

Queen Elizabeth, Gloriana (Central City Opera)

Wes Blomster, The Daily Camera
"Joyce Castle was commanding in the title role.

Claire Zachanassian, The Visit of the Old Lady (New York City Opera)
Shirley Fleming, New York Post
"especially the imposing mezzo-soprano Joyce Castle in the title role of Claire Zachanassian whose voice cuts brilliantly."

Claire Zachanassian, The Visit of the Old Lady (New York City Opera)
Leonard Lehrman, Aufbau
"Heading the generally fine City Opera cast were Joyce Castle as the venomous Claire..."

Claire Zachanassian, The Visit of the Old Lady (New York City Opera)
Bill Zakariasen, The Westsider
"The role of Claire was initially created by the legendary Christa Ludwig. At City Opera, Joyce Castle takes charge. 'She's one of the greatest actresses I have ever worked with' says (Stage Director JoAnne) Akalaitis."

Claire Zachanassian, The Visit of the Old Lady (New York City Opera)
Robert Hilferty, Time Out New York
"(Joyce Castle is) one of the greatest actresses I have ever worked with."

Claire Zachanassian, The Visit of the Old Lady (New York City Opera)
JoAnne Akalaitis as quoted by Robert Hilferty, Time Out New York
"(Joyce Castle) added great vocal and character strength to the role of the mother. Her lullaby to her grandchild and her anguish when she discovers the child's death is at once heart-wrenching and magnificent."

Mother Sorel, The Consul (Berkshire Opera and Newport Classics)
The Internet Magazine of Theater Review
"...it is because of Newport's Joyce Castle, whose firmly drawn and well-sung characterization is perhaps the most firmly limned portrayal on that set, capturing perfectly the sense of world-weariness so central to the character."

Mother Sorel, The Consul (Berkshire Opera and Newport Classics)
Henry Fogel, Fanfare
Mezzo Joyce Castle delivers so convincing a dramatic and vocal performance of the old woman that the audience joined the onstage crowd in cheering for her.

Greta's Mother/The Old Lady, Central Park (Glimmerglass Opera)
Herman Trotter, The Buffalo News
"..the supporting roles are very strong. At the top of this list is mezzo-soprano Joyce Castle as Jezibaba." "Castle's dramatic (and comic) moments earn her appreciative laughter during the action, and also gave her an enthusiastic crescendo in the applause at the opening night curtain. Her performance transcends that of merely a well-sung role."

Jezibaba, Rusalka (Seattle Opera)
John Sutherland, Seattle Times
"In Joyce Castle, Seattle has a first-class Fricka"

The Ring (Seattle Opera)

Gary Smith, Opera Now
"Joyce Castle gave a fresh, powerful, sympathetic depiction of Augusta, Horace's martinet first wife."

Augusta Tabor, The Ballad of Baby Doe (Indianapolis Opera)
Jeffrey C. Smith, Opera News
"Joyce Castle has her finest hour and very nearly steals the show"

Augusta, The Ballad of Baby Doe (New York City Opera)

Peter G. Davis, Classical Music
"Joyce Castle marvelously commands the stage in her early scenes as a venerable abbess....played to perfection by Castle, the reverend mother's unshakable faith burns with an intensity - and at one point, sheer Aristotelian terror - that lingers long after the three-hour work reaches its powerful conclusion."

Old Prioress, Dialogues of the Carmelites (Central City Opera)
Jim Lillie, Westword
"...Castle rules the show. Her voice is authoritative with a dark edge to it that makes Elizabeth the commanding presence on stage that she is."

Queen Elizabeth, Gloriana (Central City Opera)
Glenn Giffin, Denver Post
"A beautifully mercurial performer who can navigate wide emotional swings with a slight glance or gesture...Throughout, Castle maintains an iron grip on her character, glides through most of the tricky vocal score with finesse and harnesses Act Three's high drama with admirable artistry: when Elizabeth assumes the mantle of power for the final time, Castle appears to experience a soulful sea change that's betrayed only by the flicker of an eye..."

Queen Elizabeth, Gloriana (Central City Opera)
Westword

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