LUCREZIA (LUCREZIA BORGIA)
"Coloratura sopranos this superlative don’t come to Melbourne every year. Her singing was flawless, from the series of ravishing high pianissimos with which her role opens, later rising with perfect accuracy and huge power to soar above the cast and full orchestra.Her performance of the notoriously near-impossible final cabaletta, sung with unbelievable agility and accuracy over the corpse of the son she has poisoned, was utterly thrilling."
(The Age - Barney Zwartz)
"Helena Dix tackles the central role at a much younger age than most Lucrezias. In this form she will be singing it for years to come. This was perhaps her finest performance – certainly her most daring in terms of the coloratura.
The beauty and rare evenness of her tone were apparent in ‘Com’è bello’, and she sailed above the other singers during the septet that follows. Nor is Dix reluctant to let the harshness, the sarcasm, the sheer baleful lowness of the woman come through at times."
(Australian Book Review - Peter Rose)
"Heard in arguably her best form to date, Dix displays heavenly control across the full range of her vocal performance, particularly her exquisite pianissimo phrases.
A generous performer, Dix enjoys chemistry with each of her co-stars, clearly conveying the inner storm of conflict the heretofore heartless woman battles.
Dix brings the house down with Lucrezia’s closing cabaletta, deftly making the extraordinary vocal fireworks of this most demanding of arias seem like second nature."
(Man in a Chair - Simon Parris)
"Helena Dix shines even brighter as Lucrezia, turning extreme vocal challenges into opportunities to dazzle.
Dix steals the show. Both technically brilliant and deeply expressive, her seemingly effortless vocal performance is marked by agile, finely controlled dynamics, from big, bright top notes to almost breathless murmurs. She also revels in the theatrical possibilities of Lucrezia, by turns imperious, seductive and maternally anxious."
(Limelight Magazine - Patricia Maunder)
"In a blaze of vertiginous high notes and bel canto craft deployed with seeming effortlessness, Australian soprano Helena Dix gave every bit of her best - not only taking ownership of the title role but eye-openingly reinventing it.
Lucrezia is a natural fit for Dix’s unshrinking presence and superb technique."
(Australian Arts Review - Paul Selar)
"Dix has a stunning pianissimo with a spinning tone that appears totally effortless and capable of being sustained indefinitely. It was a magical moment, as the audience seemed almost to hold its collective breath."
(Classic Melbourne - Heather Levistone)
CONTESSA (LE NOZZE DI FIGARO)
Seattle Opera, USA
"Dix found moments of mirthful complicity in her role. Both of her arias were more poised than doleful, and this may have been by design, for THIS Countess refused to be victimised."
(Opera Magazine - James Whitson)
MISS JESSEL (THE TURN OF THE SCREW)
Garsington Opera, UK
"As Miss Jessel Helena Dix perhaps stole the purely vocal honours, her lustrous voice well able to convey the painful reminiscence of the schoolroom."
(Bachtrack, July 2022- Roy Westbrook)
"Dix prowled around the stage as a terrifying Miss Jessel, singing with a rich, Wagnerian timbre that brings assurance and disquiet in equal measure no more tellingly in her “Ceremony of innocence” episode with the malevolent Quint – delivered with chilling clarity."
(Opera Today – David Truslove)
"Dix's final, spine tingling 'Alas' as Ms Jessel was unforgettable. Dix went a long way to give the role more depth and presence than is often the case."
(Opera Magazine - Peter Reed)
ELISABETTA (ROBERTO DEVEREUX)
Chelsea Opera Group, London, UK
"Helena Dix, sweeping all before her as Queen Elizabeth in a performance to rank with her unforgotten Norma- in a word: gobsmacking. You just don’t expect to hear a Bel Canto divadom of this quality on the London operatic fringe. The voice is big, beautiful and Tonally sumptuous, equal to all the technical hurdles Donizetti threw at his prima donna. Dix is on the way to cult diva status in this repertoire. She sings with an amplitude that clearly equips her for the more Florid Prima Donna baddies of Verdi, as well as the larger than life Donizetti and Bellini heroines."
(Opera Magazine, January 2022- Hugh Canning)
"Helena Dix was an unforgettable Elizabeth, stalking imperiously on to the stage in a theatrical red and silver dress. Yes, this was a concert performance, but that didn’t rule out acting. Every flicker of feeling showed on the soprano’s face, every passing mood was communicated: revenge, remorse, rage. And that’s before I even mention the sheer control, acrobatic agility and apparent fearlessness of her singing, whether she was spinning beautiful lines, terrifying her court (and audience), or hitting stratospheric notes with laser accuracy. This was a phenomenonal performance. Yet as the Queen reached her inevitable downfall in the opera’s final throes, it’s clear that this was Dix’s night."
(Rebecca Franks – The Times, 5 stars)
"When Dix sang the role of Elizabeth at Melbourne Opera, one critic awarded her ‘8 stars out of 5’ – to which, after hearing her performance at Cadogan Hall, one might reply, why only 8? This was a stunning display of dramatic bel canto singing.
It is the Queen who dominates and Dix was imperious, using her versatile, beautiful soprano to chart the monarch’s psychological twists and turns, doubts and self-delusions, rage and sorrow.Dix easily encompassed the wide tessitura, equally expressive at the top and when a chest voice was required.
Every vocal nuance was observed and vividly articulated. Silken pianissimos expressed Elizabeth’s love and, at times, vulnerability; light and shade conveyed her restlessness; unleashing the full richness of her soprano, she captured the Queen’s self-consuming jealousy, bitter vengefulness, and fear of rejection. Elizabeth was wilful, dangerous even, sneering with irony, but also a figure of pathos. It requires considerable poise to communicate a spirit so shattered, on the cusp of breakdown. Dix demonstrated tremendous stamina, sustaining the intensity of her characterisation and her vocal command from the first bars of her entrance aria to Elizabeth’s final cantabile and cabaletta. Singing quietly and with delicacy, shaping the melody with sensitivity, she conveyed the Queen’s sadness in ‘Vivi ingrato’, again showing her appreciation of the way Donizetti’s subtle declamatory nuances engage the audience’s sympathy, then unleashed Elizabeth’s near-hysterical torment in ‘Quel sangue versato’, negotiating the wide leaps with pinpoint accuracy and emotive impact – reminding us perhaps, of another operatic queen, Verdi’s Lady Macbeth."
(Claire Seymour – Opera Today)
LADY MACBETH (MACBETH)
"Macbeth has a constant intensity and a magnificent performance from Helena Dix as Lady Macbeth. Dix has a musical range, from high soprano to deep, deep contralto but she can also startle with a capacity to render the unknowable. She can conjure thought, manifest obsession and a fear that can only be conquered by being surrendered to."
(Peter craven – The Spectator)
"Dix simply glittered, inviting speculation as to why such a seemingly strong and controlling woman should later suffer from remorse and commit suicide. Vocally, Dix gave an intense, vividly coloured performance, investing every phrase with meaning. Her command of technique allowed her to also encompass the demanding range with considerable power on the lower notes and soaring top notes. Her mastery of coloratura and some beautifully pure, well-shaped soft singing were reminders of how splendidly she had sung the role of Bellini’s Norma."
(Heather Leviston - Classic Melbourne)
"Helena Dix is jaw-dropping as Lady Macbeth, spitting her lines with palpable venom as she pushes her hapless husband on a path towards glory – and death. She’s a force of nature, her powerful soprano freezing the blood and catching fire all at once."
(Cassidy Knowlton - Time out Magazine)
"Dix wealds her astounding coloratura like a weapon of attack, reaching blazing and agile highs and fearlessly plummeting to the rich and dark chest tones which mark Lady Macbeth at her most malevolent. Every solo she gave won riotous applause and her dexterity, purity of vocal line and sheer power made her contributions to the ensemble passages memorable indeed."
(Gregory Pritchard - Concerto.net)
VITELLIA (LA CLEMENZA DI TITO)
National Opera, Australia
"Helena Dix gave a sensational performance as Vitellia, singing with enormous power throughout her range and with a subtlety appropriate to the role."
Janet Wilson - Opera Magazine
"Among the evening’s soloists, it was Helena Dix (Vitellia) who unequivocally stole the night. She was strong across the extreme two-and-a-half octave range that Mozart demands. Demanding at the top, powerful and menacing in her depths, Dix enhanced her depiction of Vitellia’s vengeful character with marvellously supple movements of body and hand to fulfil one of Coleman-Wright’s precepts of ‘the performer, not singing, but being'."
Malcolm Gillies - Australian Book Review
"Dix’s voice is thrilling, right through the range, and she tossed off the vocal complexities of her arias with disarming ease. But the real surprise was her acting. An imposing figure, costumed in dramatic red, she brought an unexpected humour and playfulness to the role which makes it impossible to take your eyes off her whenever she’s on stage."
Bill Stephens - Australian Arts Review
HOWELLS MISSA SABRINENSIS (HYPERION)
National Opera, Australia
"Bigger voices ride and soar over the chorus and BBC Concert Orchestra, led by Helena Dix’s ecstatic, rapturous soprano. Singing the music’s lines rather than its genre, she steers us firmly into the opera house."
Alexandra Coghlan - Gramophone Magazine
"The fiendish requirements of the title role give the character a power and an agency that the dramatic situation doesn’t necessarily bestow, which is helpful for a singer with limited stage presence. For a charisma-bomb like Helena Dix, it’s gunpowder in her pockets. Of course, no Norma succeeds without a memorable Norma, and Dix lays claim to the role as if Callas and Sutherland never existed. Her voice has a richness of tone, a kind of silken generosity to it, that makes every phrase a joy to hear. Her coloratura is remarkably effortless and dramatically relevant – there is none of that coldness that can creep into displays of technical virtuosity – and her lower register is as warm and steady as her upper register is crystal clear."
(Time out, Tim Byrne – September 2019)
"In another highly accomplished performance, Dix does more than sing the role of Norma superbly, crafting an intriguing character who is, by turns, sympathetic, monstrous, tender and vengeful. Once again demonstrating her excellent preparation and carefully considered phrasing, Dix has particular opportunity to demonstrate her key vocal strength, which is the unwavering purity of her pianissimo singing."
(Limelight Magazine - Patricia Maunder- September 2019)
"In the legendarily difficult title role, Helena Dix sweeps all before her with a voice not unlike raw honey. Rich, syrupy, and textured during the monumental bel canto legato sections, yet with bright and crystalline qualities brought forth as needed, and always deftly controlled and modulated. From her first, chiding words to the druids, to her final, determined declaration of her own death sentence, Dix held the audience in thrall on opening night."
(Classical Melbourne - Heather Leviston - September 2019)
Metropolitan Opera, New York
"Dix was as perfect a fit with comic mannerism in the scheme to thwart Falstaff as she was in singing Alice with lushness and freedom. Those cheeky wandering fingers, that warm custardy centre and buttressed soaring top she made an especially devastating highlight of in a thrashing final scene in Windsor Park – they spun their magic. Dix was rapturously applauded."
(Opera Chaser - Paul Selar March 2019)
Chelsea Opera Group, UK
"Sopranos who are equipped to follow in the path of Guiditta Pasta, Lilli Lehmann, Rosa Ponselle, Callas and Joan Sutherland, to name but a few illustrious exponents of the role, may be rare, but Helena Dix is undoubtedly one of those with the vocal and expressive qualities to climb to the summit of this operatic Everest.Her lyric soprano is silky and soars effortlessly. Dix alternates her chest and head voice with ease and has a lovely clean-edged tone. She softened it beautifully for ‘Casta diva’, demonstrating stunning power, control and expansiveness of breath, to offer the requisite nuance. In the florid cabaletta, though, the Australian soprano released her voice in rapturous flights, gleaming lightly."
(Opera Today - Claire Seymour)
"Norma is a peach of a part, the singer has to display such a wide range of emotions contrasted with maternal instincts and failing religious pledge She has to do so singing music that requires stamina, superb breath control, a strong sense of line, fiery coloratura and also some forceful dramatic moments. Helena Dix provided these facets with considerable aplomb. Her voice at its creamiest has allure, grace and poise and these were evident in ‘Casta diva’. She also caught the swings of mood that open the second Act extraordinarily well. That she can also turn on a steely edge and considerable power meant we weren’t short-changed when it came to Norma’s public pronouncements."
(Classical Source - Alexander Campbell)
ARIADNE (ARIADNE AUF NAXOS)
Longborough Festival Opera, UK
"The singers are out of the ordinary: Helena Dix as an imposing Ariadne, notable for the delicacy of her singing. In the hands of Negus, Strauss’s ecstatic final duet soars."
(Hugh Canning – The Times)
"Helena Dix as Ariadne reveals a rich and sumptuous soprano that carries a spiritual air, entirely befitting her deep sorrow and desire to be taken to the realm of death. Her facial expressions are also priceless as when The Players try to cheer her up she looks genuinely bewildered."
(Music OMH, Sam Smith)
ELISABETTA (ROBERTO DEVEREUX)
"It is seldom that Melbourne Opera, which so consistently overachieves – can host a performance that would grace the stage at Covent Garden or the Met. It did so at the Athenaeum on Saturday where Helena Dix was utterly superb as Queen Elizabeth I in Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux.
The Australian-born soprano sang one of opera’s most demanding roles flawlessly, from florid coloratura to (literally) high drama via ravishingly delicate pianissimos. But what was most extraordinarily impressive was her acting, vocally and physically, by turns a termagant, fragile, nervous, regal, vulnerable – a woman in love with a man 30 years younger, rightly doubting that it is requited. Dix gets eight stars out of five !!!!!"
(The Age - Barney Zwartz)
"Dix is a tour de force. She has a voice that ranges from the delicate to the overwhelming, soft declamation alternating with coloratura fireworks, and excellent comic timing. If that’s not enough, Dix can really act. Her portrayal of the ageing queen’s hopes, uncertainties, rage, and jealousy was riveting.
Put simply, it was one of the most thrilling nights at the opera I have ever experienced – an opinion shared by many in the enthusiastic audience. If you haven’t heard of Melbourne-born soprano Helena Dix yet – you will. This is the most exciting voice I have heard since Joan Sutherland."
(Australian Book Review - Rob Holdsworth- November 2017)
"Dix proves a star attraction indeed. Delivering meticulously polished phrasing and carefully considered dynamics, Dix’s delivery ranges from fiery bravado to exquisite tenderness.
Dix’s breath control and vocal support are so strong that at the evening’s end there is the impression that she could go back to the beginning and sing the role all over again."
(Simon Parris, Man in a chair - November 2017)
"Helena Dix’s passive, lyrically opulent Elsa blindly ushers in an age of purity built on incontestable reverence."
(The Australian – August 2017)
"Making a formidable long-awaited return home to Melbourne, soprano Helena Dix confirmed her expertise in a captivating and tenderly calibrated vocal rendition of the innocent Elsa, her deep reserves of power gem-cut and pure."
(Herald Sun – August 2017)
"Helena Dix was outstanding as Elsa. She made her absurdly innocent, passive character a sympathetic one through stillness, shy looks and, in particular, a pure voice rich with emotion. Dix has a powerful dramatic soprano, which easily cut through the orchestra and chorus, but there is also a delightful sweetness to her voice, evident in softer passages."
(Classic Melbourne – August 2017)
"Dix is comically irresistible with grand facial expressions. She sings her male colleagues into the ground."
Der Süddeutschen Zeitung
"In a vocal hellish part Helena Dix sings Odabella on a grand level both vocally and comically . She is an example that is from the textbook of cultivated and glowing Verdi singing."
ISABELLA (DAS LIEBESVERBOT)
Chelsea Opera Group, UK
"As heroic Isabella (Das Liebesverbot) Helena Dix took everything the music threw at her and provided valiantly shining tone throughout."
"Wagner places enormous demands on his Isabella, and not just in the challenging tessitura, since she sings for most of the two-and-a-half hours and, with pre-echoes of both Senta and Isolde, needs to convey a wide range of emotions including yielding softness and dramatic fortitude. The performance benefited enormously from Helena Dix’s fearless attack and flexibility in this role."
The Arts Desk
CRISTINA (CRISTINA REGINA DI SVEZIA)
Wexford International Opera Festival
"It provides a stylish focus for performances led in the title role by Helena Dix, whose laser-like soprano rides the ensembles with exciting ease."
"In the title role, Australian soprano Helena Dix demonstrated enormous stamina and impressive vocal power and accuracy. Dix has a silky lyric tone and she soared effortlessly in the large choral scenes. Her singing won her a greatly deserved ovation."
"The title role more than meets its match in Australian-born Helena Dix. She has the notes, the confidence and the stage presence to project a strong personality through the music."
"The cast was most impressive. In that opening – something on the scale of the 2nd act of Aida- the demands of the singer in the title role are formidable and Helena Dix met them fearlessly, with blazing, laser-like top notes easily riding the ensembles. As the evening progressed she fielded the necessary warmth and pliability, with much sensitive soft singing. She is a star."