R e v i e w s
Brünnhilde, Die Walküre, Siegfried & Götterdämmerung, 17 - 21 December 2023
"The big news in home-team debuts (third cycle only) came from Anna-Louise Cole's Brünnhilde and Olivia Cranwell as Sieglinde. Cole took over from Lise Lindstrom; Cranwell succeeded Cole as Sieglinde. Cole has a big, warm, flexible voice that sounds as if it will grow ever more luxuriant. She has been on the radar since her attention-grabbing Third Norn in OA's 2016 Ring. [...] The QSO could be let off the leash for Cole. She was tremendously appealing, full of youthful juice and an unshakeable sense of justice and destiny. The mighty clash of wills between Wotan and Brünnhilde in Die Walküre had plenty of fire, underscored by a palpable sense of love and loss. Cole's connection with Sumegi was absorbing. Even more touching was the one with La Spina's Siegmund. The moment when Brünnhilde has to tell Siegmund he must die was full of compassion."
Deborah Jones, Opera Magazine with Opera News, March 2024: www.opera.co.uk
To witness Anna-Louise Cole's debut as Brünnhilde was something special. […]
Reviewing Opera Australia’s 2016 Melbourne Ring Cycle for Limelight, Clive Paget remarked that Anna-Louise Cole revealed “a Wagnerian soprano to be reckoned with as Third Norn”. In the first two cycles of OA’s Brisbane ‘Digital Ring‘, directed by Chen Shi-Zheng, Cole played Sieglinde. In his five-star review of the first cycle for Limelight, Jansson J. Antmann praised her “wonderfully haunted” performance and said, “You’re in for a treat if you’ve booked to see the third cycle in which Cole makes her Brünnhilde debut.” And so we were. From her opening “Hojotohos!”, which she sang with a ringing, dashing vibrancy, Cole proved herself to be a born Brünnhilde, making a triumphant debut that was greeted with cheers, rapturous applause and a prolonged standing ovation at the Götterdämmerung curtain call, the likes of which I haven’t seen in aeons.
Cole has a clear, sumptuous soprano, laced with emotive hues and textures. Her voluptuous lower register is full of warmth and depth, while her glorious top notes are thrilling. Dramatically, she allows the character’s inner feelings to be read, even if she is just standing still, listening. All of this, she used to great effect.
Dressed in shining silver and black with blazing red hair that differentiated her from the other Valkyries, her Brünnhilde was initially a spirited, feisty character, at one with Daniel Sumegi’s magisterial Wotan in strength, confidence and humour. Such was their rapport, you could imagine them sharing secret jokes at family gatherings. At the end of Die Walküre when Wotan punishes Brünnhilde, imprisoning her on a rock surrounded by fire, their farewell duet was deeply touching.
The conclusion of Siegfried was even more exhilarating. When Siegfried – played by the magnificent German heldentenor Stefan Vinke – awakens Brünnhilde, he and Cole raised the roof and the hairs on the back of the neck with the intensity of their spine-tingling performance.
As for Götterdämmerung, the opera requires a massive sing from Brünnhilde, requiring enormous stamina, but Cole rose to the challenge. Traversing a panoply of emotions from defiance at Waltraute’s request that she relinquish the Ring, to confusion and fury at Siegfried’s betrayal, to her final act of self-sacrifice in which she redeems the world through love, she was convincing theatrically and dazzling vocally. […]
As for the audience’s wildly enthusiastic response to Anna-Louise Cole’s debut as Brünnhilde, it was richly deserved.”
Jo Litson, Limelight, 22 December 2023: https://limelight-arts.com.au/reviews/the-brisbane-ring-third-cycle-opera-australia/
Brünnhilde / Götterdämmerung, Opera Australia, 21 December 2023
“Cole tackled these dramatic demands as competently and thoroughly as the musical fireworks, her physical prowess giving her an electrifying stage presence. […] The finale, following Siegfried’s death, is a marathon sprint for the soprano and Cole sang the immolation speech with great passion and strength, her ability to cut through the powerful orchestration with some astonishing non-stop top notes added a fierce nobility to her delivery. […] The audience response to this electrifying and powerful musical ending was a 10-minute standing ovation.”
Suzannah Conway, ArtsHub, 23 December 2023: https://www.artshub.com.au/news/reviews/opera-review-gotterdammerung-the-ring-cycle-qpac-2691597/
Brünnhilde / Siegfried, Opera Australia, 19 December 2023
"Anna-Louise Cole, who so impressed with her debut as Brünnhilde in Die Walküre, rose wonderfully to the demands of the dramatic and vocal fireworks that this most difficult of scenes requires. She and Vinke played off each other perfectly, with tremendous skill and wonderful complementary vocal qualities. They appeared to have a terrific rapport, even after just one encounter together in their respective roles. Hesitant to cast off the last vestiges of her immortality in order to give herself to Siegfried, Brünnhilde agonises over the future, while his growing love and infatuation wins her over.
Their respective top Cs gave a rousing end to the opera in the last lines of the duet in praise of ‘radiant love, laughing death!’ "
Suzannah Conway, ArtsHub, 21 December 2023: https://www.artshub.com.au/news/reviews/opera-review-siegfried-the-ring-cycle-qpac-2690834/
Brünnhilde / Die Walküre, Opera Australia, 17 December 2023
“This third and final cycle of Opera Australia’s current season in Brisbane has seen two major cast changes, but the collective achievement of the singers both vocally and dramatically remains overwhelmingly first-rate. Anna-Louise Cole, who sang Sieglinde in the first two cycles, has replaced US superstar, Lise Lindstrom, as Brünnhilde, while Olivia Cranwell, also singing the Third Norn in Götterdämerung, has taken on the role of Sieglinde. Both were absolutely splendid in their new roles and delivered finely crafted and deeply intuitive performances alongside exceptional vocal prowess. These are clearly roles that will go into their respective repertoires in coming years. […]
In Act II Wotan, ruler of the gods, meets with his daughter, Brünnhilde, a Valkyrie warrior. Here she was dressed in shimmering silver and black with flaming red hair, spear and shield. Anna-Louise Cole was in fine form, making her Brünnhilde dramatically feisty, yet a loving and thoughtful daughter. Her powerful dramatic soprano made light of her opening famous Valkyrie calls and she was an excellent vocal match for Daniel Sumegi’s Wotan. […]
Wotan’s banishing of the disgraced Brunnhilde was well-managed. As Wotan’s anger subsides and he offers an olive branch to his beloved daughter, the inclusion of a tearful farewell and hugs was tenderly managed by both singers and highly effective emotionally. Anna-Louise Cole’s Brünnhilde was exquisitely played in these last scenes, where her character was by turns puzzled, loving, fearful and anguished. Both dramatically and vocally, she gave a totally truthful reading of the work, no mean achievement for her first Brünnhilde.”
Suzannah Conway, ArtsHub, 19 December 2023: https://www.artshub.com.au/news/reviews/opera-review-die-walkure-the-ring-cycle-qpac-2690067/
Sieglinde / Die Walküre, Opera Australia, 3 & 10 December 2023
"Cole is a wonderfully haunted Sieglinde, with thrilling top notes and superb command of her lower register. You’re in for a treat if you’ve booked to see the third cycle in which Cole makes her Brünnhilde debut."
Jansson J. Antmann, Limelight Magazine, 4 December 2023: https://limelight-arts.com.au/reviews/die-walkure-opera-australia/
"Anna-Louise Cole’s portrayal of Sieglinde was exemplary. Her clear soprano voice is capable of many shades of emotional intensity, and many colours of light and shade. Convincing both as the abused wife and as the chosen mother of the future hero, her voice is clear and true in pianissimo as in the one fortissimo she is allowed, when Brunnhilde tells her her destiny. Her acting too showed a precise sense of timing and detail which truly supported the action. The dramatic stillness of the moment when her eyes meet those of Siegmund for the first time; the growing horror when she realises that Hunding wants to kill Siegmund; the realisation that she is Siegmund’s long-lost sister – all these moments were held with an understated strength that is a mark of the highest acting skill."
Nicholas Routley, Australian Stage, 4 December 2023: https://www.australianstage.com.au/2023/12/04/reviews/brisbane/die-walkure-%7C-opera-australia.html
"Sieglinde ist die Australierin Anna-Louise Cole mit großer Stimme, einfühlsamer Modulation und hohem schauspielerischen Können; anzumerken ist eine besonders gute Diktion, was vielleicht daran liegt, daß sie neben Gesang auch Deutsch studiert hat. Sie wird im dritten Durchlauf des Zyklus (15. bis 21. Dezember) die Brünnhilde singen. "
Petra und Helmut Huber, Online Merker, 3 December 2023: https://onlinemerker.com/brisbane-lyric-theatre-queensland-performing-arts-centre-premiere-der-opera-australia-die-walkuere-erster-abend-der-ring-des-nibelungen/
"Cole has an attractive, sumptuous voice, with much metal, suggesting that she will be an excellent Brünnhilde in the final cycle. This is a true Wagnerian sound."
Michael Halliwell, Australian Book Review Arts, 4 December 2023: https://www.australianbookreview.com.au/arts-update/101-arts-update/11697-das-rheingold-die-walkuere-opera-australia-s-new-ring-is-underway-by-michael-halliwell
"Die junge Anna-Louise Cole gab die zu ihm perfekt passende Sieglinde, die sich nach etwas verhaltenem Beginn enorm steigerte mit einem klaren frischen Sopran sowie perfekter Wortdeutlichkeit. Auch darstellerisch konnte sie stark für sich einnehmen. Sicher eine Sängerin mit großer Zukunft."
Dr Klaus Billand, Das Opern Magazin, 6 December 2023: https://opernmagazin.de/brisbane-australien-die-walkuere-premiere-am-3-dezember-2023/
"As sibling lovers, Anna-Louise Cole and Rosario La Spina deserve plaudits. Cole (who will sing Brünnhilde in the third cycle) has a rich, creamy delivery that easily cut through even the busier orchestral textures."
David Larkin, Bachtrack, 4 December 2023: https://bachtrack.com/review-walkure-shi-zheng-auguin-opera-australia-brisbane-december-2023
"In Die Walküre, when Sieglinde accepts her future as the mother of Siegfried, the phrases hauntingly and exquisitely delivered by Anna-Louise Cole begged for a broadening of tempo to mark this critical juncture."
Gillian Wills, Opera Now, Spring 2024: https://www.gramophone.co.uk/opera-now/
"[Sieglinde and Siegmund] are rendered convincingly by Anna-Louise Cole and Rosario La Spina respectively. Cole gives lashings of vocal contrast and emotivity and builds a finely tuned performance to highlight Sieglinde’s remarkable courage channeled through love. Ticket holders to the third cycle will have the chance to see Cole debut as Brünnhilde and if the stamina is maintained, her performance should prove to be marvellous."
Paul Selar, Opera Today, 4 December 2023: https://operatoday.com/2023/12/die-walkure-at-opera-australia/
"Anna-Louise Cole is singing Sieglinde in the first two cycles, revealing her powerful range and rich lower register. Eyes and ears will be watching her in the final cycle of the Ring, later this month, when she makes her role debut as Brunnhilde."
Matthew Westwood, The Australian, 8 December 2023: https://www.theaustralian.com.au/arts/first-digital-ring-cycle-opens-at-qpac-in-brisbane/news-story/2d023503ffb751753d8e2e2174997311
"The elite singers make awe-inspiring use of their voices; international artists Lise Lindstrom and Stefan Vinke are rightfully celebrated for their signature roles as Brunnhilde and Siegfried, but they don’t outshine the Australian talent. Many are curious to see rising star Anna-Louise Cole transition from Sieglinde to Brunnhilde in the final cycle, which premieres on Friday 13 December. [...] Cole and Rosario La Spina make sympathetic characters of the incestuous twins, Sieglinde and Siegmund."
Olivia Stewart, The Guardian, 7 December 2023: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2023/dec/07/opera-australia-richard-wagner-ring-cycle-brisbane-der-ring-des-nibelungen
"Even more exciting, for Australia, is the rise and rise of Anna-Louise Cole. Still a baby in operatic years, her voice is lushly powerful and commanding – as Sieglinde – while lucky/astute patrons of the 3rd Cycle will have her share Brünnhilde with Lindstrom. It’s difficult not to see Cole as a soon-to-be international star of this most demanding role."
Diana Simmonds, Stage Noise, 11 December 2023: http://www.stagenoise.com/review/2023/der-ring-des-nibelungen
"In the first act of Die Walkure, [...] Rosario La Spina, singing Siegmund with well-finished expressiveness, Anna-Louise Cole (Sieglinde) and Silvestrelli (Hunding) [created] a taught love/hate triangle, eventually overflowing with lyricism.
Cole, who is to sing Brunhilde in the final cycle of this season, cowed at Hunding’s violence but had wonderfully open warmth and power. In the final act of Die Walkure she delivered a brief but spellbinding moment of intensity at the point where Brunhilde tells her she is going to have a baby boy – a musical hapax legomenon in that the theme only occurs once before the very final scene of the cycle two operas later."
Peter McCallum, The Sydney Morning Herald, 12 Deceber 2023: https://www.theage.com.au/culture/opera/sixteen-hours-in-this-operatic-multiverse-is-a-five-star-experience-20231212-p5eqt4.html
“Rosario La Spina and Anna-Louise Cole sang Siegmund and Sieglinde with ardent intensity and passion in Die Walküre bringing Act I to a rousing close with both voices soaring effortlessly above the orchestra. Cole steps up to the role of Brünnhilde in the third cycle, no doubt an indication of where her career is heading.”
Michael Sinclair, The Opera Critic, 18 December 2023: https://theoperacritic.com/tocreviews2.php?review=ms%2F2023%2Fausring1223.html&fbclid=IwAR2_Q75F2z9_IsrmUMHMYZH3c0psI7rC_ETWtblM8liZrsWXnNv-q3hN1dY_aem_AbsVG4_9Ea3z7tcEH4jAFsm1DgVKqY3jCo0bSkVDKngDwuyZ4QEdc6SiUmj5PBOQ1rM
“Anna-Louise Cole (previously a Valkyrie) returns as a powerful and emotive Sieglinde and is well paired with an expressive, albeit decidedly Italianate, Siegmund in Rosario La Spina.”
Eamonn Kelly, The Australian, 17 December 2023: https://www.theaustralian.com.au/arts/music/review-opera-australias-digital-ring-cycle-at-qpac-brisbane/news-story/11538429c04b9e4cab0d15f26d1d426d
Venus / Tannhäuser (Pariser Fassung), Opera Australia, 17 & 20 May 2023
"Top-notch international singers [...] are joined by very talented locals who are, in at least one case, undeniably world-class...The long, loving look in close proximity between Anna-Louise Cole’s Venus and Vinke’s Tannhäuser got the concert off to an exciting start. Cole [...] once again shows she is an Australian singer who will surely go far. Her sumptuous soprano, always so strong and clear even in the stratospheric upper register, steals the show in Act I. It’s a pity Venus hardly appears thereafter."
Patricia Maunder, Limelight Magazine, 18 May 2023: https://limelightmagazine.com.au/reviews/tannhauser-opera-australia/
"I was immediately struck by the angelic voice of soprano Anna-Louise Cole, who seemed to elevate so effortlessly."
Alex First, The Blurb, 18 May 2023: https://theblurb.com.au/wp/tannhauser-in-concert-hamer-hall-music-theatre-review/
"Shimmering in dark midnight blue, Cole gives Vinke’s Heinrich every reason to be tempted to continue to indulge, her delightful vocal performance making excellent use of her supple, creamy soprano. The final scene brings a welcome , albeit all too brief, return from Cole, completing a captivating performance."
Simon Parris, Man in Chair, 20 May 2023: https://simonparrismaninchair.com/2023/05/18/opera-australia-tannhauser-in-concert-review/
"The Venus of Anna-Louise Cole and Elisabeth of Amber Wagner (pron. Waggner, and no relation) were stand-out performances. Cole brought the same full-blooded and fearless attack to Venus as she did to her magnificent Chrysothemis in Victorian Opera’s concert performance of Elektra last year. This augurs well for Cole’s first Brünnhilde in one of the Opera Australia Rings in Brisbane later this year (she will also sing Sieglinde in the first two cycles)."
Michael Shmith, Australian Book Review, 18 May 2023: https://www.australianbookreview.com.au/arts-update/101-arts-update/10286-tannaeuser-wagner-s-medieval-mash-up-by-michael-shmith
"Appearing in glittering midnight blue, outstanding Australian soprano Anna-Louise Cole gave a performance overflowing with colour, depth and expressive perfection as Venus. Vocally free-flowing and dynamic, Cole was ever-pleasing to hear and watch. And it seemed a long wait for her short but punchy Act 3 return after such a highlight she bestowed on Act 1."
Paul Selar, Australian Arts Review, 18 May 2023: https://artsreview.com.au/tannhauser-in-concert-2/
"We kicked off with a radiant performance from Anna-Louise Cole who played Venus. Her glittery dress was the perfect complement to her sultry and tempting characterisation, begging audiences to question why Tannhauser would ever dare to leave her."
Jessica Flynn, Theatre Travels, 19 May 2023: https://www.theatretravels.org/post/review-tannh%C3%A4user-in-concert-at-hamer-hall
"The soloists, I hesitate to call them “the cast”, were also outstanding...Venus was sung by rising local star Anna-Louise Cole and it was another excellent performance. She is to sing Brünnhilde in the Ring in Brisbane later this year, and I am very much looking forward to hearing her again there."
Jim Breen, Classic Melbourne, 18 May 2023: https://classicmelbourne.com.au/opera-australia-tannhauser-in-concert/
”But the world of live entertainment has been full of every kind of music. There was Opera Australia’s concert performance of Wagner’s Tannhäuser that caught the drama of Wagner’s dialectic between a sanctified and pure love and its besotted sensual opposite without any encumbering scenery and also highlighted two magnificent vocal performances – one from Amber Wagner as Elizabeth and the other from Anna-Louise Cole as Venus.
Peter Craven, The Spectator, 3 June 2023: https://www.spectator.com.au/2023/06/a-campy-and-colourful-role/
Lady Macbeth / Macbeth, Opera Queensland & Queensland Symphony Orchestra, 9 and 11 March 2023
"Cole made a marvellous role debut as Lady Macbeth, her powerful, luscious dramatic soprano tackling the highs and lows of this steely character with aplomb.
She managed the Act 1 duet extremely well, eliciting real terror in the muted half tone required, as well as singing full out with some thrilling top notes that hit the back wall of the Concert Hall with ease.
Her Act II aria, “La luce langue”, showed an equally determined persona, but with creamy, expressive phrasing. The Brindisi that follows during the banquet scene showed a strong but welcome contrast in style.
Her pièce de resistance, however, was in her final aria during the sleep walking scene, one of the most challenging Verdi arias for the female voice, encompassing a huge vocal range from high soprano to dark contralto. Cole gave us some beautiful ethereal coloratura, alongside deep, throaty contralto notes that were astonishingly well managed and ravishingly sung."
Suzannah Conway, Limelight, 10 March 2023: https://limelightmagazine.com.au/reviews/macbeth-opera-queensland/
"Soprano Anna-Louise Cole is Lady Macbeth and she kinds of steals the show at times because let’s face it, Lady Macbeth is one of the most dramatic and memorable characters in literature and theatre..."
Phil Brown, Courier Mail, 13 March 2023: https://www.couriermail.com.au/lifestyle/qweekend/three-hours-of-opera-and-no-sex-but-plenty-of-death/news-story/3b9a2c4e8121db9205592411aaf8bfa4
"Anna-Louise Cole commands the fullness of my attention as Lady Macbeth. Her vocal ability, acting prowess, and the sheer magnitude of her stage presence meant she swallowed up all the air in QPAC’s concert hall and made it hers. The rest of the company all give wonderful vocal performances, and their acting possesses a level of electricity, but Cole is the true stand out here when looking at the performances holistically ... [including] the intensity and texture of Cole’s acting."
Tristan Niemi, Nothing Ever Happens In Brisbane, 15 March 2023:
Chrysothemis / Elektra, Victorian Opera, 14 September 2022
"Just as compelling was the exemplary Chrysothemis of Anna-Louise Cole, in a fearless, white-heat performance that made so much more of this often underrated character. Cole, who sings Brünnhilde in Opera Australia’s Ring next year in Brisbane, is well on the way to tackling Chrysothemis’ elder sister."
Michael Shmith, Australian Book Review, 19 September 2022:
“Next to this shining star, the rest of the cast could easily have paled, but they showed how good Australia’s operatic talent is. […] Leading the locals was Anna-Louise Cole, whose Chrysothemis is a refreshing counterpoint to the brooding Elektra. Her bright, agile soprano consistently impressed, but that high note in the final duet with Foster was jaw-dropping.”
Patricia Maunder, Limelight Magazine, 15 September 2022:
“Very much holding their own in the company of this English vocal powerhouse, were Australians Deborah Humble as Klytemnestra, Anna-Louise Cole as Elektra’s much gentler sister Chrysothemis, and Derek Welton as Orest. […]
Anna-Louise Cole’s angelic appearance suited the role of the sister who longed for a normal life of husband and children. Her passionate singing featured the vocal amplitude of her colleagues, her final ringing top note simply astonishing in its power.”
Heather Leviston, Classic Melbourne, 16 September 2022:
“Not alone in performance stature, Foster was surrounded by luxury Australian casting. Soprano Anna-Louise Cole’s star trajectory gathered further strength with a penetrating, radiant and affectingly characterised performance as Elektra’s conflicted sister, Chrysothemis, her final duet with Foster as they praise their brother’s actions in Hörst du denn nicht? (Don’t you hear?), a thrilling and cementing display of her world-class qualities.”
Paul Selar, Australian Arts Review, 15 September 2022:
Turandot, Opera Australia, 9 February 2022
"On 9 February, Australian soprano Anna-Louise Cole stepped into the role of Turandot. It was her role debut as Puccini’s icy princess who would prefer to see her suitors killed than let a man marry her – and what a night it was!"
"From the moment Cole appeared and sang her first aria, In questa reggia, through to her Act 3 duet with Calàf, Del primo pianto, and her final declaration of love, it was clear this was an exciting debut by a hugely talented young dramatic soprano.
Cole has a glorious, lush voice with rich depth and warmth. Her top notes are thrilling, but she is impressive across her entire register. In Turandot’s opening aria she captures the princess’s chilly imperiousness but allows hints of emotion to colour her singing as she describes the rape of her ancestress, which has hardened her heart. This foreshadows Turandot’s infamous about-turn at the end of the opera when a kiss from Calàf melts her.
Cole has vocal power and clean, clear intonation but she also has an innate sense of drama so she brings emotional nuance and variation to her singing, and is convincing in her acting, exuding a strong stage presence.
Despite the character being haughty and cold for most of the opera, Cole still generates warmth and manages to make Turandot’s sudden love for Calàf feel as believable as it can be."
"The Opera Australia Chorus is exceptional, raising hairs on the neck with their stunning choral work, while Renato Palumbo does a fine job conducting the Opera Australia Orchestra.
But this particular night belonged to Anna-Louise Cole. Given that her performance will only grow, it was an exciting to witness a rising young singer staking her claim on Puccini’s frosty princess."
Jo Litson, Limelight magazine, 14 February 2021:
"Something momentous happened on the opera stage this week.
It was the debut in a major role, in Sydney, on the stage of the Opera House, of soprano Anna-Louise Cole, who sang the role of Turandot in Opera Australia’s eponymous production.
It was a tremendously poised performance from this young artist, who impressed with her deep musical sensitivity, dramatic talent and mastery of her precociously powerful voice. Her voice has laser-like focus but loses none of its beauty either in solo or when it rises like a shaft of light above the ensemble, chorus and orchestra..."
"Cole was to have made her debut in Wagner’s Ring Cycle in Brisbane for Opera Australia, now twice deferred. Brisbane’s loss was Sydney’s gain. Apart from a few small recitals, it is Sydney’s audiences who have now had first dibs at experiencing Cole. Like many opera tragics, I have a few productions of Turandot to add to my trophy cabinet along with their leading ladies who include Leona Mitchell and Jennifer Wilson, Nina Stemme in Munich, Lise Lindstrom at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden and again in Sydney and Amber Wagner. Anna-Louise Cole is right up there with them and I have little doubt that her horizons right now stretch very far indeed."
"Technically superb and maintaining her stamina to the end, Cole’s portrayal of the disdainful and misandrous princess began with vengeful shards of ice, flying through the air in angles of chromatic tension in the opening bars of In questa reggia. We glimpse the soft side as she turns to the tale of her ancestor Princess Lou-Ling before the implacable façade quickly returns, lest she be seen as weakening. This glimpse prepares us for a credible change of heart when Turandot is finally able to acknowledge her feelings for Prince Calaf, albeit at a high cost."
"Anna-Louise Cole is a charismatic presence on stage with a thrilling voice. Her star is one to watch. Catch it before it slips into another galaxy."
Shamistha de Soysa, Sounds Like Sydney, 16 February 2021:
Aïda, Opera Australia, September 2017
“Signalling what should be more big roles to come, soprano Anna-Louise Cole is exquisite in the title role as Aida…, depicting her with an affecting multi-dimensional spirit that captures everything from the gently feminine to the defiant and coercive.”
“Cole sings with highly attractive vocal richness, expression and poise while exhibiting an easy comfort across a broad range to elevate the demands on every account.”
“If there was just one moment to keep close in Cole’s performance, it would be the burning tenderness brought to Act 3’s Qui Radamès verra ... O patria mia / “Oh, my dear country!”, in which Aida waits for Radamès outside the Temple of Isis on the eve of his wedding to Amneris, daughter of the King of Egypt. The crowd acknowledged it enthusiastically.”
“In fact, Act 3’s entirety is a riveting and emotion-charged highlight both in direction and delivery, centring around Aida’s cornered heart that faces loyalty to her father Amonasro and love for Radamès.”
Paul Selar, The Opera Chaser, 1 October 2017:
Thaïs, Opera Australia, July 2017
“Anna-Louise Cole and Anna Yun’s liquid mocking laughter at Athanael in the first act was delightful and richly deserved…”
Peter McCallum, Sydney Morning Herald, 24 July 2017
“Anna-Louise Cole and Anna Yun were wonderful in the thankless roles of Thaïs’ fellow courtesans…”
Deen Hamaker, Sounds Like Sydney, July 2017
The Melbourne Ring, Opera Australia, November – December 2016
“The local cast provided, among others, splendid Rhinemaidens, Valkyries and Norns (note the name Anna-Louise Cole, an exceptional young soprano)…”
Deborah Jones, Opera magazine UK, February 2017
“As the three Norns, Tania Ferris, Jacqueline Dark and Anna-Louise Cole sewed up an ominous start with nurturing vocal care with Cole’s gleaming soprano projecting superbly in particular…
Paul Selar, Herald Sun, 29 November 2016 (http://www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/arts/review-gotterdammerung-is-a-fitting-finale-to-richard-wagners-epic-16hour-ring-cycle/news-story/7883cd3f4aeae4dcf0795f3d65a2b0a1)
“Tania Ferris, Jacqueline Dark and Anna-Louise Cole begin the evening’s musical splendour with gentle, sweet singing as the Norns gossip away their workday…Emerging soprano Cole portends a promising future, delivering luscious golden tones.”
Simon Parris, Man in Chair, 29 November 2016 (https://simonparrismaninchair.com/2016/11/29/opera-australia-gotterdammerung-review-melbourne-ring-cycle-2016/)
“The Norns are nearly as successful… Anna-Louise Cole reveals a Wagnerian soprano to be reckoned with as Third Norn”
Clive Paget, Limelight, 29 November 2016 (http://www.limelightmagazine.com.au/live-reviews/review-gotterdammerung-opera-australia#sthash.COfeOvgd.dpuf)
“Amidst a war-weary looking press of humanity trudging on the revolving stage Neil Armfield had fallen heroes laid low then Valkyries descend from trapezes to collect them. Of the eight Valkyries it is difficult to single out any for special mention since they all sang well and acted with fiery conviction. It was, however, particularly exciting to hear the next generation of Australian singers make such a favourable impression; Anna-Louise Cole for one is definitely a new talent to watch further.”
Heather Leviston, Classic Melbourne, 3 December 2016 (http://www.classicmelbourne.com.au/reviews/ring-die-walkure/)
Tosca – Sydney Independent Opera / Opera Van Diemensland, September 2015
“Anna-Louise Cole’s beautiful soprano voice brings vibrant anguish to this cunningly staged production of Puccini’s story about love, jealousy, gloating lust and violent retribution. The theatre resonates with the carefully controlled notes that ring of her obvious passion for her art and her wide training and experience. From her very first aria, where jealousy fights against love and devotion, to the desolate grief of the finale, Cole gives a thrilling performance.”
Carol Wimmer, Stage Whispers, 9 October 2015 (http://www.stagewhispers.com.au/reviews/tosca-5)
“Cole sang Vissi’ d’arte with poise and elegance, and she is no doubt a talented singer with a large voice which was possibly too large for the Independent Theatre with its extremely resonant acoustic … overall this was a very good performance.”
Eliza Eggler, Australian Stage, 15 October 2015 (http://www.australianstage.com.au/201510157484/reviews/sydney/tosca-%7C-opera-van-diemensland-sydney-independent-opera.html)