Hearing Rebekkah Hilgraves is like being taken back to an earlier era of singing, where the versatile dramatic soprano was a plentiful commodity. Hilgraves’ voice is all of piece, with no area developed at the expense of another. The core of the voice in the center is firm, well-supported, and she can dip into the lower reaches with effortless ease and nary a hint of fuzzy breathiness. The upper middle to the very top is splendid; full-bodied, shining and exciting, with a real “fill-the-house” bloom and clarity.

Verdi’s “Pace, pace mio Dio,” one of the supreme tests of vocal control, is here given a resplendently satisfying reading. Authentic, too; the hallmark grand manner of the long-lined phrase, the morbidezza of the tone, the genuine color of the vowels, the conscientious observations (carried out) of the copious dynamic markings, all signify an astute recognizance of classic vocal traditions. The two b flats – the one written pp on“Invan la pace,” and the crowning one, done ff on “maledizione!” are as ideally realized as one could wish.

– Niel Rishoi