Pamela Dellal, mezzo soprano


uncommon intelligence, imagination and textual awareness...





in Oratorio...

Bach: Christmas Oratorio - Emmanuel Music

"...Pamela Dellal (alto) gave a gorgeously introspective reading of the aria “Schließe, mein Herze" – Cashman Kerr Prince, The Boston Musical Intelligencer

Beethoven: Missa Solemnis - Masterworks Chorale

"...the evening’s highlights occurred whenever mezzo-soprano Pamela Dellal sung, as if in prayer. Her voice projected the emotional and religious intensity of the music and contributed much towards this Missa Solemnis being as rich a performance as it was." – Susan Miron, The Boston Musical Intelligencer

Bach: B-minor Mass - Emmanuel Music

"The most compelling was mezzo-soprano Pamela Dellal, who gave the wrenching "Agnus Dei" a chilling sense of loneliness and abandonment." – David Weininger, The Boston Globe

Bach: St. Matthew Passion - Emmanuel Music

"Among the soloists from the chorus Pamela Dellal conveyed the necessary deep consolation with her heartfelt "Erbarme dich," dispatched with great vocal control and a beautiful depth of tone."
– Jeremy Eichler, The Boston Globe

Eccles: The Judgment of Paris - BEMF

"...and Juno (Pamela Dellal) vied for the title. The fine cast of singers had fun with their roles, with the women preening for Paris and exchanging icy stares among themselves."
–Jeremy Eichler, The Boston Globe

Schubert: Ständchen (Craig Smith Memorial) - Emmanuel Music

"Mezzo-soprano Pamela Dellal floated her voice over the men’s chorus in Schubert’s heavenly “Ständchen” (“Serenade”), which is about waking one’s beloved to friendship and love and then letting her rest again." – Lloyd Schwartz, The Boston Phoenix

Handel: Aria Gala - Boston Cecilia Society

"I arrived just as mezzo-soprano Pamela Dellal was launching into Handel’s great lament from Rinaldo, “Cara sposa”...Dellal’s voice was ripe with warmth, yet she could also handle the difficult runs."
– Lloyd Schwartz, The Boston Phoenix

Handel: Belshazzar - The Cantata Singer

"As the prophet Daniel, mezzo Pamela Dellal offered rich sound, dignity, and, in the interpretation of the handwriting, a high level of musical and verbal imagination."
– Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe

Brahms: Alto Rhapsody - Boston Cecilia and Coro Allegro

"she sang with uncommon intelligence and a vivid response to the words. Her tone was lovely across a wide range of pitches and dynamics and especially beautiful in pianissimo, and she offered something you rarely hear in this music: She sang it exactly in tune."
– Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe

"Full of wonderful color and nuance, her creamy mezzo dipped into its warm low register with absolute ease."
– Stephen Marc Beaudoin, Bay Windows

"I am very fond of the Alto Rhapsody...which I thought was beautifully done. The alto soloist was absolutely outstanding. Lovely tones and gentle yet rich and catching the profound longing yet nurturance that I feel in that piece."
– a member of the audience

Bach: St. Matthew Passion - Back Bay Chorale

"But it was mezzo-soprano Pamela Dellal who conveyed listeners to the sublime heights. Partnered by...violinist Danielle Maddon, the two performed "Erbarme dich" as if it were the last music anyone would hear on this earth. After that, one could happily shuffle off this mortal coil."
– Ellen Pfeifer, The Boston Globe


Handel: Messiah - Handel and Haydn Society

"[Dellal] sang with absolute musical assurance, a lovely quite glow on her tone, and dramatic intelligence that reminded us that Handel composed some of this music for one of the greatest actresses of his age. Dellal's "He was Despised" became the emotional center of the performance." – Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe


Bach: St. John Passion - Worcester Bach Society

"...Miss Dellal had to be ranked first among the soloists. Her exquisite vocal color was matched by musical sensitivity... Miss Dellal's aria in response was deeply felt, and the second half of it... contrasted brilliantly with the first. It all led up to a final "It is finished" that was utterly pathetic in its matter-of-factness."
– William MacPherson, The Worcester Telegram

Bach: B-minor Mass - Masterworks Chorus (Montgomery Cnty, Md)

"mezzo-soprano Pamela Dellal...was lushly fluid".
– Jeanne Speath, The Washington Post

Bach: G-minor Mass - Handel and Haydn Society

"alto Pamela Dellal handled her "Domini Fili unigenite" solo and its lung-taxing two- and three-word phrases with aplomb."
– Gordon Sparber, Winston-Salem Journal Arts

Vivaldi: Gloria - Handel and Haydn Society

"Energy levels shot up whenever mezzo soloist Pamela Dellal took stage...[she] showed us what baroque expressive gesture can be, and what richly impassioned singing is."
– Susan Larson, The Boston Globe

in Opera...

Mozart: La Clemenza di Tito - Emmanuel Music (Annio)

"Pamela Dellal’s mezzo conveyed masculine power and androgynous sensitivity as Annio, and her fluid upper register made a compelling argument for pardoning Sesto in “Tu Fosti Tradito”."
– Andrew J. Sammut, The Boston Musical Intelligencer

"Dellal’s mezzo soared thrillingly on top, and she had excellent command of the phrasing in the music."
– Angelo Mao, Boston Classical Review

Harbison: Winter's Tale - Boston Modern Orchestra Project

"Among the standouts were...Pamela Dellal's warmly focused Paulina..."
– David Weininger, The Boston Globe

Handel: Alcina - Emmanuel Music (Bradamante)

"Mezzo Pamela Dellal brought her customary intelligence and conviction to the part of Bradamante, sustaining the exhausting zeal of a character who can't get out three words without a Handelian explosion of running semiquavers."
– Matthew Guerrieri, The Boston Globe

Mozart: La Clemenza di Tito - Prism Opera (Sesto)

"As Sesto, Dellal combined her usual sympathetic presence and vocal warmth with masterful coloratura technique...(a marvelous role for mezzo-soprano Pamela Dellal, who stole the show)"
– Lloyd Schwartz, The Boston Phoenix

"Mezzo Pamela Dellal sang her heart out as the conflicted Sesto, offering virtuoso command of coloratura, tonal beauty, lovely dynamic shading, and passionate emotion."
– Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe

Gilbert and Sullivan: Pirates of Penzance (Ruth)

"Pam Dellal, the wonderful Boston mezzo who has an international reputation in early-music circles, appeared as Ruth, the pirates' slovenly gal Friday. Dellal can usually be found singing Handel in the likes of Jordan Hall, but there she was last weekend on the stage of RIC's new Sapinsley Theater, picking her teeth,  swigging whiskey and looking crazed and bug-eyed."
– Channing Gray, The Providence Journal

Hildegard von Bingen: Ordo Virtutum - Sequentia

Anima"The task for the to have [the music] well up out of their bodies, whole. Pamela Dellal as the Soul...excels at this...Go to hear [her]." – Paul Griffiths, The New York Times

"...the main character of the story...beautifully realized in voice and body by Pamela Dellal..."
– Ursula Andkjær, Berlingske Tidende (Copenhagen)

"...sung admirably by Pamela Dellal..." – Barry Millington, The Times (London)



Purcell: Dido and Aeneas - MIT Opera Society

"Pamela Dellal's Dido boasted some gleaming vocal colors and firm, steady tone, a sure sense of dramatic portrayal and faultless musicianship. Of the great aria 'When I am laid in earth,' which was provided with a light but telling ornamentation, she provided an account that was blessedly first-rate, its intelligence and control worthy of comparison with anybody's."
– Richard Buell, The Boston Globe

  Eichberg: Doctor of Alcantara - Friends of Dr. Burney

"Pamela Dellal, the saucy and voluptuous maid, had a marvelous comedic flair that captivated the audience as completely as the various men in the cast."
– Nancy Thayer, The Inquirer and Mirror, Nantucket

Mozart: Die Zauberflöte - Boston Baroque

"Among the well-blended Three Ladies, the mezzo simpatico Pamela Dellal found a remarkable balance between passionate conviction and comic self-remove."
– Lloyd Schwartz, The Boston Phoenix

in Recital...

Emmanuel Music Chamber Series - Mendelssohn op. 99 with the Arneis Quartet

"Dellal...sang all the songs with a rich though not overbearing tone and remarkable expressive subtlety. Her ability to suggest various characters with almost imperceptible changes in tone color proved particularly compelling in “Die Sterne schau’n in stiller Nacht,” adding a moving dimension to the sweetness of the narrative."
- Tom Schnauber, The Boston Musical Intelligencer

Longy School of Music of Bard College - SeptemberFest

"Among the highlights was mezzo-soprano Pamela Dellal and pianist Brian Moll offering a deeply felt rendition of Amy Beach’s song “My Star”..." - Jeremy Eichler, The Boston Globe

A French and Burgundian Christmas - Blue Heron

"Pamela Dellal displayed an impressive stylistic range utilizing a very different voice from what she would have employed as a Bach cantata soloist. Her timbre was indistinguishable [sic] a countertenor in her sensitive and impeccable rendition of Baude Cordier’s Ce jour de l’an." - Janine Wanée, The Boston Musical Intelligencer

Shifrin: Satires of Circumstance - Boston Musica Viva

"Dellal was at her best in this vocally extraordinarily difficult work. As Pittman noted in his introduction, it is pointillist, and Dellal, with her perfect diction, was up to the task of hitting various juxtaposed, disparate high and low pitches spot on. The last syllable of the last line of the last poem, “Lalla-la, lalla-la, lalla-la, lu!” was exquisite."
– Mary Wallace Davidson, The Boston Musical Intelligencer

Ives: Five Street Songs (arr. Pittman) - Boston Musica Viva

"Ms. Dellal, for the most part singing what poetically is a boy’s voice, was all Rocket J. Squirrel spunky, with excellent diction...and, in the later numbers, with affecting tenderness."
– Vance R. Koven, The Boston Musical Intelligencer

Harbison: The Seven Ages - San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Boston Musica Vivia

"The Seven Ages," a new song cycle by composer John Harbison to poetry by Louise Glück. Harbison's music, especially his vocal writing, always boasts a lyrical quality, and in these six songs, skillfully rendered by soprano Pamela Dellal, he uses extended, legato vocal lines to bind together Glück's broad-beamed and sometimes spiky verbal rhythms." – Joshua Kosman, The San Francisco Chronicle

"The intermittent outbursts of response to the text came through clearly, and Dellal’s tonal accuracy was hard to believe, especially in the more-disjointed melodies."
–Beeri Moalem, San Francisco Classical Voice

"Over a rich, saturated ensemble canvas, mezzo-soprano Pamela Dellal brought a stylish lyricism to Harbison’s angular, arioso lines."– Matthew Guerrieri, The Boston Globe

Hindemith: Die Junge Magd - Boston Musica Viva

"Mezzo-soprano Pamela Dellal, simultaneously intense and eerily gentle, pared her voice down to a vibratoless echo as the heartbroken young maid retreated into death, her tone disappearing into Alicia DiDonato's keening flute." – Matthew Guerrieri, The Boston Globe

French Airs de Cour - Boston Early Music Festival Concurrent Event

"Mezzo-soprano Pamela Dellal and lutenist Douglas Freundlich gave a fascinating concert of 17th-century French airs de cour for an enthusiastic audience at the [Boston Early Music Festival]. Dellal is a singer whose large voice and abundant wit and tonal color are perfect for this repertoire."
– Craig Zeichner, Early Music America

Haydn: Arianna a Naxos, Hindemith: Das Marienleben, et al. - SUNY New Paltz

"Dellal...enchants as if she comes from a Gypsy campfire...[she] create[s] a mass hypnosis among [her] listeners, drawing them beyond idea or explanation into the very experience of an event -- its animating passion." – Kitty Montgomery, The Kingston Freeman

  Favella Lyrica - FleetBoston Celebrity Series Emerging Artists

"Dellal has always sung with uncommon intelligence, imagination and textual awareness...her mezzo [is] even and responsive over at least 2 1/2 octaves, unblemished by any break. Yesterday in Jordan Hall, she sounded as if she had reached her absolute prime; more than once, voice and art reminded me of that matchless recitalist of my youth, Jennie Tourel...Purcell's The Blessed Virgin's Expostulation was at once dramatic, richly human and raptly spiritual." – Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe

   Domenico Scarlatti: Cantatas - Longy School of Music

" agreeable light mezzo-soprano voice, good technique, assured musicianship, and a lively personality... Dellal was convincing in pathos, irony, and humor, and the precision of her scale work and the gleam in her eye suggest Rossini's minxes may be next: she knows where they're coming from."
– Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe

Schubert: The Schubert Series - Emmanuel Music

"Dellal sang with warmth and intelligence, especially in an intent, imperturbable performance of "Wehmut [Franz Schubert]." – Anthony Tommasini, The Boston Globe

on Recording...

Boykan Psalm 121 - Bridge Records

"This striking disc closes with a haunting Hebrew-language setting of Psalm 121 for mezzo-soprano (here, a radiant Pamela Dellal)..." Jeremy Eichler, The Boston Globe

Bach Cantatas for the 1st and 2nd Sundays after Trinity - Emmanuel Music - KIC

"...sung here with all due gravity by Pamela Dellal (arguably the finest of the soloists)..."
– Andrew Farach-Colton, Gramophone Magazine

Ruth Lomon Songs of Remembrance - CRI Recordings

"[The mezzo songs] are all assisted enormously by Pamela Dellal's rich, firm singing."
– John Story, Fanfare Magazine

Bach St. John Passion - Emmanuel Music - KIC

"Pamela Dellal's movingly expressive "Es ist vollbracht"...[her] solo contribution stands head and shoulders above anything else in the performance."
– Brian Robins, Fanfare Magazine

Brahms Two Songs for Alto and Viola (Michael Zaretsky)- Artona Records

" Dellal sings sympathetically, with bright, well-rounded tone and a good sense of line...on its own terms...Dellal's performance is far from negligible."
– Bernard Jacobson, Fanfare Magazine

Bach Christmas Cantatas - Emmanuel Music - KOCH International Classics (KIC)

" Perhaps the most beautiful singing lies in...Pamela Dellal's limber, lustrous, intelligent delivery of the mezzo aria in "In Jesu Demut kann ich Trost."
– Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe

Blind Love, Cruel Beauty: Vocal Duets of G. F. Handel - Favella Lyrica - KIC

" Pamela Murray and Pamela Dellal are both accomplished singers, well able to tackle the divisions cleanly...Dellal, who sings as both soprano and alto, offers a pleasantly full and mellow lower and middle register but also tackles notes above the treble stave surely.”
– SS, Gramophone Magazine

"I'll never forget - whatever that was you did!" – a fan

"My favorite moment was that silence after you stopped singing." – an audience member

"You sit really well." – a student

"Dellal was also the regal page turner..." – The Boston Phoenix

"I am very fond of the Alto Rhapsody...which I thought was beautifully done. The alto soloist was absolutely outstanding. Lovely tones and gentle yet rich and catching the profound longing yet nurturance that I feel in that piece."
– a member of the audience

"I have listened to Emmanuel Music's Cantata 170 a few times and thought it exceptional !!! 

1. Visually there was PD with her white hair glowing like a halo, stark against the all-black mask, intense eyes, authoritative stance and the podium eagle floating in front of her. I felt like I was listening to an OT prophetess declaring the holy words of a righteous God beyond our understanding. I was "zittre recht" indeed.

2. What a challenging work for the singer: such range of emotion and notes that the singer had to leap between, all at such speed. It required a mature master to capture Bach's expression. I actually preferred PD's version over the countertenors because she brought such intimate understanding of the score and its emotional context to the work. She made the soul's rest seem so desirable and beautiful, but also made the repellant nature of sin clear and visceral. I thought #3 was unbelievable. Bach was so ahead of his time, so otherworldly, so alien and the singer had to carry the entire section. Whew!

In Shakespeare the role of King Lear is considered a pinnacle carrier role requiring an actor of great maturity and experience AND requiring incredible physical stamina. I would say the same of this cantata (different role but same demands). Who was Bach writing this for? Certainly not boy singers. Whatever vocal declines PD might have experienced she more than made up for in her ferocity and intelligence. What a pro."
– an online listener