La Monnaie – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Among the lovers, Madeline Bender was a standout, with Helena's set piece, "I'm Your Spaniel", very neatly sung.
- Opera News
Vancouver Opera – La Traviata
As Violetta, Madeline Bender was as good as any interpreter of the role seen in the opera’s considerable history with the company. She had the right physical attractiveness, was a responsive actress and encompassed all of the disperate vocal demands with aplomb in a clear, strong lyric voice.
- Opera Canada
But this is Violetta's opera. Verdi has made a complete character full of charm and intelligence torn by contradictory emotion. Madeline Bender has a voluptuous enchanting voice, fully able to express Violetta's passion, affection, joy, despair. She was always responsive to the other characters on stage. Indeed, it was perhaps this sensitive engagement displayed by all the principals (including Annina) that lifted the production into the realms of excellence.
Bender, clearly in her element, makes a convincing consumptive. Don’t look for bloodied handkerchiefs, though. She implies Violetta’s tubercular coughs with a febrile clutching of her garments, a quieting of the voice, or a heaving of the shoulders. Obviously not fragile herself, she faints well. She easily handles Violetta’s quixotic shifts from good-time girl to good girl.
Her voice is just as agile. Bender wasted no time in scaling the heights in the first of several beautiful duets with Honeywell, ‘Un di felice.’ No shrinking Violetta, she stood up with dignity to the stern elder Germont in the garden scene. In the third act, when Violetta finally wilts more slowly than her trademark camellia, Bender et her voice trail of flittle by little, starting with ‘Addio la passatta’ and lasting through her ethereal last line, ‘O rapture.’ Yet as a performer, she maintained he energy.
- The Vancouver Courier
Madeline Bender makes as credible a champagne-swilling flirt as she does a dying martyr. This is thanks to not just her physical appearance but her acting chops: when her former over humiliates her in public by throwing money at her for her services, she reacts like she’s just been sprayed with sulfuric acid. She also sings like a bird, pulling off the outrageously difficult coloratura sections with the ease of a robin greeting the sunrise. It’s rare to see Vancouver Opera’s reserved audiences jump to their feet during a curtain call, but many did on opening night when the lithe young American with the raven hair and snow-white complexion came out for her bow.
- The Vancouver Free Press
Opera Birmingham - Lucia Di Lammermoor
In her first attempt at one of opera’s most demanding dramatic coloratura characters Bender looked, and sounded, like a seasoned diva. Displaying an assertive upper register, she negotiated the trills, arpeggios and high E flats with ease. After establishing Lucia as a tormented, yet humble, victim of her brother’s wiles, her occasional outbursts of anger were all the more convincing.
Bender grew nicely in to the part as the opera progressed. She stood out vividly in the Act 2 sextet. In the bloody mad Scene, she taught us all to steer clear of knife-wielding coloraturas”
- The Birmingham News
Toulouse - La Flûte Enchantée
The charming young soprano, Madeline Bender, gives us a completely fresh and natural Pamina.
- L’Opinion independante
As Tamino and Pamina, the tenor Jorma Silvasti and the soprano Madeline Bender have the vocal timbre and musicality suited to this repertoire. They sing their respective roles charmingly and act beautifully together on stage.
- La Dépêche de midi
And from the Pamina of the American Madeline Bender, to the Tamino of the Finnish Jorma Silvasti, through the Sarastro of the German Hans Sotin, each singer is an perfect ingredient in this delicious musical cake.
RTL “Laissez-vous tenter”
The members of the dynamic young cast, assembled by Nicolas Joël, give depth to their respective characters and sing their roles subtly. Notable are the two couples, Jorma Silvasti (Tamino) and Madeline Bender (Pamina) and Markus Werba (Papageno) and Anne-Catherine Gillet (Papagena).
- La Tribune
Aix En Provence - Die Entführung Aus Dem Serail
Madeline Bender masters not only the coloratura that Mozart composed for the character of Konstanze; in its total expressivity, the martyrdom aria becomes the actual high-point of the evening; that the four solo instrumentalists come out of the orchestra pit and place themselves at the left side of the stage for this moment, makes special effect.
- Neue Zürcher Zeitung
Lyric Opera Of Kansas City - The Abduction Of The Seraglio
It would be worth the price of admission alone just to hear soprano Madeline Bender in the lead role of Konstanze. Bender is one of the best singers to grace the Lyric stage. Her voice is absolutely beautiful in all its aspects – color; weight, flexibility and expressiveness.
- Sun Arts
But the evening belonged to Madeline Bender as Konstanze, who despite an early tendency to break up phrases emerged in the second act for a thrillingly tragic ‘Traurigkeit’ aria – sung with magnificent depth of affect – and a heroically convincing ‘Marten aller Arten’.
- The Kansas City Star
Montpellier, Fr - Ippolito Ed Aricia (1759)
Madeline Bender sang with handsome clarity as Ippolito and was especially effective in his articulate plea of innocence to the hero’s father.
Opera Birmingham - La traviata
Soprano Madeline Bender is an excitable Violetta, preoccupied more with social matters and her new-found love interest than with her fatal illness. Her vocal strengths lean closer to dramatic than lyric, so her performance understandably gained momentum as the opera progressed…Sick and bedraggled in Act 3, she gave a convincing and compelling account of Violettta’s final moments, both vocally and dramatically.
- The Birmingham New