Maria (Masha) Markina as Maddalena in Rigoletto
Houston Grand Opera, 2009
Maria Markina (Magddalena) with Eric Cutler (Duke of Mantua)
Maria Markina (Magddalena) with Andrea Silvestrelli (Sparafucile)
Paul Wooley, Opera Today:
Silvestrelli’s on-stage sister, Russian mezzo Maria Markina, gave a sexually charged depiction of Maddalena. Markina, a member of HGO’s young artist program, had incredible chemistry with Cutler—the act three quartet was one of the highlights of the night, with Cutler and Markina’s interaction bordering on soft porn while Shagimuratova’s Gilda looked on. Markina’s warm voice showed ample size for the Brown Theater; look for her to grow into larger roles with the company over the next few years.”
Aaron Smith, Seen and Heard International:
The villainous brother-sister duo of Andrea Silvestrelli (Sparafucile) and Maria Markina (Maddalena) also proved particularly well sung and acted. Silvestrelli’s booming basso profundo commanded every one of his scenes with perfect diction, a strong top, and plenty of power (especially in the Storm Trio). The Italian’s imposing presence created a comical dichotomy to Markina’s diminutive stature. The Russian mezzo, who is a current member of HGO’s young artist studio, sang with a dark, warm voice and held her own in the quartet (in which she did quite a bit more than just fool around with Eric Cutler’s Duke). Her seductive voice and stage presence should prove well for her budding career.