La Resurrezione with the American Bach Soloists
"The real star of La Resurrezione is Mary Magdalene, sung exquisitely here by soprano Nola Richardson. Her clear, bright tone was ravishing and her Italian diction was impeccable. Richardson’s technical fluidity in handling Handel’s coloratura passages was awesome. But that is not all; Nola Richardson also invests great emotional intensity in each role I have heard her sing.... Nola Richardson is a vocal superstar in the making, and we in the Bay Area are fortunate in having heard Ms. Richardson quite a few times during her 2012-13 tenure with the American Bach Soloists Academy and since then as a guest artist with ABS."
- James Roy MacBean, The Berkeley Daily Planet, May 23, 2017 (Read full review)
"Soprano Nola Richardson was a sweet-toned, forthright Mary Magdalene"
-Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, May 8, 2017 (Read full review)
"All the singers reveled in the sounds of the language. On her first entrance, Nola Richardson (Mary Magdalene) drew on the n sounds in “notte,” “funesta,” “pianga” to poignant effect, underscoring Handel’s prolonged dissonances. She went on to delineate the character with unaffected expressivity, her voice taking on its natural, buoyant quality only toward the end of the first part, after the announcement of the impending resurrection."
- Michael Zwiebach, San Francisco Classical Voice, May 9, 2017 (Read full review)
Die Zauberflöte with the Clarion Music Society
"In a supporting cast with no weak links, the vocal standouts were the three “firsts”: Nola Richardson (First Lady), Ty Green (First Boy) and James Kennerley (First Armed Man)."
- David Shengold, Opera News, June 2017
"A Weekend in Paris" with the American Bach Soloists
"That Marais chaconne, along with some lusciously polished singing by soprano Nola Richardson, suave solo work by flutist and piccolo player Janet See and violin leader Elizabeth Blumenstock, and the incisive contributions of the American Bach Choir, among other things, were the musical equivalents of full-color photographs to revisit and cherish later."
"Richardson upped the ante with her precisely drawn but liquid coloratura conversations with the woodwinds"
"The Vivaldi quotations remained perhaps inevitably odd to listeners who know the music only too well. But when Richardson returned for another articulate and supple exchange, this time with violinist Blumenstock, the old felt remade in a new image"
"The Mondonville “Grand Motet” came alive with musical scene painting, from an early march to the first grave and noble chorus to the swaying and natural figuration of Richardson’s exemplary, impassioned singing."
-Steven Winn, San Francisco Classical Voice, February 14. 2017 (Read full review)
"Elegantly sung in Latin here by soprano Nola Richardson, these coloratura passages were impressive, to say the least. Though I’ve heard Nola Richardson before, especially with ABS, with whom she was a charming Galatea in 2015 in Handel’s Acis and Galatea, this time around Nola Richardson was absolutely astounding. Her voice is angelic in tone, yet full of emotional intensity. Richardson’s technical handling of the coloratura passages in this work by Corrette was impeccable. The result was stunningly beautiful."
"Once again, however, the show was stolen by soprano Nola Richardson, who took the musical momentum created by her colleagues and redoubled it in dramatic fashion. How I would love to hear Nola Richardson in a leading role in an opera by either Jean-Baptiste Lully or Jean-Philippe Rameau! It’s regrettable that she is not in the cast for the forthcoming Philharmonia Baroque performance in April of Rameau’s Le Temple de la Gloire."
-James Roy MacBean, The Berkeley Daily Planet, February 17, 2017 (Read full review)
B Minor Mass with Master Chorale of South Florida
"The soloists, most of them familiar to local audiences from appearances with Seraphic Fire, provided the most satisfying musical moments of the afternoon. Greenleaf and Richardson offered a beautiful “Christe eleison,” with their voices blending ideally. Greenleaf’s high notes have an unusual purity, and Richardson has a lovely instrument and a fine command of Baroque ornament."
-Greg Stepanich, Palm Beach Arts Paper, November 29, 2016 (Read full review)
Missa Solemnis with Chorus Pro Musica
"The soloists were consistently excellent. Nola Richardson sang with a bright soprano that complemented Kate Maroney’s burnished mezzo-soprano....Together, the singers delivered a velvety blend. The “Crucifixus” sounded with dark vitality while the “passus et sepultus est,” which tells of Christ’s death and burial, was poignant."
-Aaron Keebaugh, Boston Classical Review, November 5th, 2016 (Read full review)
Bach's Lutheran Masses with Masaaki Suzuki, Yale Schola Cantorum and Juilliard415:
"Nola Richardson was especially impressive in the soprano parts, singing with beautiful tone..."
-James R. Oestreich, The New York Times, October 20th, 2015 (Read full review)
"Carroll in Numberland" for the Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music :
"Michael Gandolfi’s enchanting new piece, Carroll in Numberland, was another huge success... With soprano Dawn Upshaw, in marvelous form as the lead singer, and three vocal fellows (sopranos Nola Richardson and Alison Wahl, and mezzo Zoe Band) as the groovy backup Vandellas to her Martha (although more like the Chordettes in timbre), their obvious enjoyment of what and how they were singing was utterly infectious."
-Lloyd Schwartz, The Berkshire Review, August 17th, 2015 (Read full review)
"Simply Sondheim" with the Boston Pops:
"Starring the Broadway singers Kate Baldwin and Jason Danieley, with strong contributions from a half-dozen Vocal Fellows of the Tanglewood Music Center — Dimitri Katotakis, Nola Richardson, Davone Tines, Paulina Villarreal, Alison Wahl, and Jason Weisinger — “Simply Sondheim’’ added up to a satisfying and occasionally sublime evening that proved yet again what a roomy showcase this composer provides for all kinds of singers."
-Don Aucoin, The Boston Globe, June 11th, 2015 (Read full review)
"...and a ravishing medley combining “Pretty Lady,” from “Pacific Overtures,” and “Pretty Women” (sung here by the winsome Paulina Villareal and Nola Richardson), the evening’s only excerpt from “Sweeney Todd.”
-Lloyd Schwartz, The Artery, June 18th, 2015 (Read full review)
"Perhaps the most welcome surprise of this scintillating evening was the artistic prowess of the supporting cast.
Six young Vocal Fellows from the Tanglewood Music Center summer institute all demonstrated they're ready for prime time... Richardson and Villarreal were ideal partners in an unlikely combination of "Pretty Lady" from "Pacific Overtures" and "Pretty Women" from "Sweeney Todd.""
-Clarence Fanto, The Berkshire Eagle, June 23rd, 2015 (Read full review)
Cantique Spirituel: Music for Lent with Les Délices:
"Both featured a single voice, in this case the young Australian soprano Nola Richardson, who sang the French-inflected Latin with brilliant diction, tonal clarity, and impeccable phrasing... Richardson’s command of these delicious twists and turns — evidently designed as an instrument of penitential disorientation for the listener — made them seem fascinatingly uncertain and at the same time, completely secure."
-Nicholas Jones, Cleveland Classical, March 7th, 2015 (Read full review)
"Richardson possesses an unusually beautiful voice -- sparkling and clear, full-bodied throughout its range, with a hint of darkness that adds an extra note of complexity. Her control is beyond reproach, and her operatic experience allowed her to bring a certain sense of drama to Thomas Aquinas' hymn "Pange lingua" upon which Charpentier's suite is based. That same dramatic quality enhanced the performances of Couperin's and Charpentier's "Lamentations of Jeremiah.... Richardson navigated the elaborate phrases beautifully, with clear and precise diction throughout (she sang the Latin texts with a French pronunciation that would have been heard at the time)."
-Mark Satola, Cleveland Plain Dealer, March 10th, 2015 (Read full review)
Acis and Galatea with American Bach Soloists:
"Soprano Nola Richardson made a wonderful ABS debut as a nimble-voiced and charming Galatea. With just the right amounts of innocence, longing, and desire in her voice and presentation, she paired very well with the feather-light phrasing of tenor Kyle Stegall."
-Niels Swinkels, San Francisco Classical Voice, January 29th, 2015 (Read full review)
"As Galatea, soprano Nola Richardson sang with gorgeous tone and fine clarity of diction, as she sighs over her love for the absent shepherd Acis."
-James Roy MacBean, The Berkeley Daily Planet, January 26th, 2015 (Read full review)
"Nola Richardson was perfection as Galatea, her precise, crystalline vocals sailing effortlessly over even the most difficult of runs."
-Madeline Zimring, The Daily Californian, January 29th, 2015 (Read full review)
The Classical Masters with Baltimore Choral Arts:
"Bach's "Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen" was brightly sung by soprano Nola Richardson, with sterling contributions from trumpeter Andrew Balio."
-Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun, October 30th, 2014 (Read full review)
Zelenka's Missa Dei Patris with the Yale Schola Cantorum and Juilliard 415:
"Nola Richardson’s serenely crystalline soprano beautifully complemented the full-bodied richness of Sarah Yanovitch’s, while alto Mindy Ella Chu’s roiling lower register seemed to quiet the orchestra by sheer force of will, especially in the brooding Domine Fili. The marriage of such New Haven vocal fireworks to New York’s instrumental wizardry is certainly a happy one."
-Jacob Street, The Boston Musical Intelligencer, October 22nd, 2014 (Read full review)
All-Baroque with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra:
"Richardson hit her stride with the Scarlatti — the lament of an anguished soul. Her voice opened up with confidence and dramatic conviction, full of redolent passion. The story was taken from Roman mythology, depicting the suffering of Aminta, writhing in wretched pain after a scornful betrayal by his beloved. Richardson’s voice matched all the passion of his disillusionment with widely diverging doses of emotional color, perfectly matched by Balio’s trumpet, which reinforced the passion of the moment with electrifying trills and clearly articulated rhythm."
-Cecelia H. Porter, Washington Post, July 11th, 2014 (Read full review)
A Baroque Holiday Festival with the Bach Sinfonia:
"What made this evening special was the performance of soprano Nola Richardson, who blew through the runs of the aria “Rejoice Greatly” from Handel’s “Messiah” at Abraham’s fast pace with astonishing balance and accuracy, lavishing crystalline diction on everything she touched and managing, throughout, to shape phrases with natural-sounding ease. Equally astonishing was the performance of Stanley Curtis, who performed miracles on his valveless Baroque trumpet, rolling out long high trills, wide octave leaps and the sort of chromatic lines that shouldn’t be possible on that instrument. With its almost human sound the product of its small bore, his trumpet is an ideal vocal partner and, together, Curtis and Richardson gave terrific readings of Handel’s “Let the Bright Seraphim” and Bach’s cantata “Jauchzet Gott.”
-Joan Reinthaler, Washington Post, Dec. 15th, 2013 (Read full review)
"Most of the highlights came when Nola Richardson was singing. She has an agile, pretty soprano voice that worked extremely well in Bach’s challenging cantata “Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen.” Richardson confidently traversed its many, many, many runs while pronouncing all those unruly German diphthongs and remembering/managing to ornament the repeats. In the slower aria, with a chance to catch her breath, her voice really shone, with just a little vibrato and expressive tone that captured the anticipation of Advent effectively. Richardson also sang a wonderful “Let the bright seraphim” from Handel’s “Samson,” with trumpeter Stanley Curtis proving a more effective foil here than he did in the cantata. The “Domine Deus” from Vivaldi’s “Gloria” was an unexpected repertoire choice, but I’d listen to Richardson sing it in almost any context, and the music tied into Abraham’s theme of Christmas as expressed through the pastorale. The “Pifa” pastorale from Handel’s “Messiah” accomplished the triple win of fitting in with the rest of the program, actually being from the Christmas part of that seldom-heard oratorio, and allowing us to hear Richardson sing a really brisk “Rejoice greatly,” which was a good idea."
-Andrew Lindemann Malone, DMV Classical, Dec. 15th, 2013 (Read full review)
While the Sinfonia played very well under the tight control of music director Daniel Abraham, the real stand out of the program was guest soprano Nola Richardson. She did a nice job with the “Rejoice Greatly” aria from the Messiah and the pastoral “Domine Deus” from Vivaldi’s Gloria. The real surprise was the more virtuoso “Let the Bright Seraphim” from Samson, another Handel oratorio. This is a real show piece and included Stanley Curtis on Baroque (valve-less) trumpet. They did a great job with this fast paced number and both performers even had mini-cadenzas near the end of the piece.... The final work was the famous (one is tempted to say infamous) Bach Cantata #51 “Jauchzet Gott in Allen Landen” (“Praise God in Every Nation”). I say infamous because this is a solo cantata – no chorus and no other vocalist other than Ms. Nola. The opening aria and final “Allelujah” are very demanding pieces for the soloists – almost a mini-concerto for soprano and trumpeter. Those pealing trumpet lines are treacherous for a valve instrument, so I can only imagine what it must be like for a Baroque trumpet. And the soprano is front and center throughout. Again Ms. Nola and Mr. Curtis did a great job with these technically difficult pieces."
-David Cannon, Mocovox.com, Dec. 16th, 2013 (Read full review)
Esther with the American Bach Soloists:
"Nola Richardson, the soprano playing the Second Israelite, delivered a charming aria, “Tune your harps to songs of praise!,” and her coloratura part was echoed by flute and harp in an intricate obbligato melody. Although powerful, Ms. Richardson’s voice was also flexible enough to negotiate the fluid passages."
-Joanna Bramel Young, Classical Sonoma, Jul. 19, 2013 (Read full review)
In concert at the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore:
"Richardson did her most effective singing in Scarlatti's cantata "Su le sponde del Tebro," negotiating the florid lines with clarity (as clear as the acoustics would allow) and vibrancy."
-Tim Smith, Baltimore Sun, Mar. 13, 2013 (Read full review)
As Belinda in Dido and Aeneas with the American Bach Soloists:
"Ms. Richardson was a girlish Belinda, & I like that she freely decorated her lines. She amusingly hiccupped like an over-excited teenager when she exclaimed "How godlike is the form he bears!"
-Axel Feldman, Not for Fun Only, Jul. 24, 2012
As L'Amour in Pigmalion with the American Bach Soloists:
"Soprano Nola Richardson sounded youthful & lively as the god of love."
-Axel Feldman, Not for Fun Only, Jul. 22, 2012
Soprano Soloist in Bach's B Minor Mass with the American Bach Soloists:
"I enjoyed hearing soprano Nola Richardson, who has a wonderfully pure, youthful voice which is strong yet floating."
-Axel Feldman, Not for Fun Only, Jul. 24, 2012
As the Child in Lux et Tenebrae with the Figaro Project:
“The casts of all three operas were quite good; standouts included… Nola Richardson in Lux et Tenebra.”
-Rob Deemer, Sequenza 21, Apr. 2, 2011