Vocalist - Mezzo-Soprano
Eugene Symphony’s rendition of Verdi’s Requiem a night to remember

"...Pancella’s grace and strength through the demanding solos commanded the audience’s respect and attention. Her opening solos in the Liber scriptus rang through the hall with purpose and clarity, contrasting with the sweetness of her Lux aeterna."

Alison Kaufman, The Register-Guard
An All-Female Creative Team's Fingerprints Are All Over the Beautiful Opera 'Thumbprint'

"Phyllis Pancella is outstanding as Mai’s mother, most notably in a post-assault scene in her daughter’s bedroom in which her voice descends to its lowest reaches as her heart sinks, aching for her daughter."

Catherine Womack, LA Weekly
La Fille du Régiment – Santa Fe Opera

“Phyllis Pancella made the Marquise de Berkenfield into an attractive (rather than repellent) figure who had designs on Sulpice. It was her recognition that the prime imperative in human life is romantic and sexual happiness that caused her to free Marie to marry Tonio. So it all ended in love and riches. What could be better?”

Simon Williams, Opera News
Santa Fe Opera’s ‘Daughter of the Regiment’: A high C comic hit

“And we mustn’t forget Phyllis Pancella’s intriguing portrayal of the stuffy Marquise of Berkenfeld, the woman with a special secret. Her vocal excursions are both amusing and well sung. But better still, she portrays her character as a somewhat younger, feistier woman, quite different from the usual portrayals of the Marquise, which generally picture her as a cranky, outdated and unimaginative spinster. This actually gives the opera a truer look and feel, and gives the current production a considerable lift and lightness of tone.”

Terry Ponick, Communities Digital News
Appealing 'Daughter of the Regiment' makes a good start to Santa Fe Opera visit

“St. Louis native Phyllis Pancella gave a more-than-usually nuanced portrayal of the Marquise of Berkenfeld, going from snooty aristo to loving mother with fine singing and loads of laughs along the way.”

Sarah Bryan Miller, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Napoleonic Tomfoolery: Getting Regimented at the Opera

“Phyllis Pancella embodies the delectably snobbish Marquise of Berkenfeld.”

John Stege, Santa Fe Reporter
Season opens with Donizetti's ‘Daughter of the Regiment’

“Portrayed by mezzo-soprano Phyllis Pancella, she [Marquise of Berkenfeld] does seem a figure who possesses more than two dimensions — a welcome attribute in this production — and especially in the second act one appreciates the complicated challenge her life has become.”

James M. Keller, New Mexican
SWEENEY TODD - Virginia Opera

“Phyllis Pancella owned the role of the wicked baker Mrs. Lovett, lock, stock and marrow. The mezzo’s natural acting and juicy Cockney accent were reward enough; her vocalism, fueled by a flexible, full-bodied tone and prismatic phrasing, put the crust on the pie. Pancella had a field day in ‘By the Sea,’ enjoying equally colorful partnering from [Stephen] Powell; and shaped ‘Not While I'm Around’ with a gentle touch.”

Tim Smith, Opera News
Virginia Opera's gloomy, surprisingly moving 'Sweeney Todd'

“As Mrs. Lovett, Sweeney’s live-in love of convenience and eventual co-conspirator, mezzo-soprano Phyllis Pancella looked and acted the part of this worn but still feisty survivor whose romantic subterfuge leads her on an inevitable path to an earthly hell. Ms. Pancella’s robust, earthy mezzo worked well with Mr. Powell’s baritone when they sang together while it proved equally affecting during her solo opportunities.”

Terry Ponick, Communities Digital News
'Sweeney Todd' at Virginia Opera Company

“[Sweeney’s] … twisted leading lady and partner in crime, Mrs. Lovett, is given an equally tremendous treatment by Phyllis Pancella, the highly industrious pie-maker (of ‘The Worst Pies in London’) who nurses a stubborn affection for her murderous tenant. Both Mr. Powell [Sweeney] and Ms. Pancella avoid the trap of caricature, instead singing their parts with a grounded humanity that belies their unthinkable acts, as in the Act One ending ‘A Little Priest.’”

Michael Poandl, DC Metro
Va. Opera's 'Sweeney Todd' rides on operatic voices, despite miking

“He [Stephen Powell as Sweeney] was joined by the Mrs. Lovett of Phyllis Pancella, another singer better known for Bach than Broadway but who seemed here to the manner born.”

Anne Midgette, Washington Post
“Other standouts include Phyllis Pancella, who nailed the sometimes challenging vocalizations written into the role of Mrs. Gibbs.”
Kyle MacMillan, Opera News
Central City Opera's 'Our Town' emotional, understated
“Mezzo-soprano Phyllis Pancella is warm and ingratiating as Mrs. Gibbs, and is given a soaring role in the Act III afterlife/funeral scene.”
Kelly Dean Hansen, Boulder Daily Camera
Boston Lyric Opera's "Così fan tutte"
“Phyllis Pancella’s put-upon Despina is funny when she pours sand out of her shoe and funnier still when essaying a variety of outrageous accents in disguise as a doctor and a notary.”
Jeffrey Gantz, Boston Globe
Cosi Fan Tutte
“As his [Don Alfonso’s] accomplice, the acerbic maid Despina, Phyllis Pancella was equally wonderful.”
Ed Tapper, Edge Boston
Fine Cast explores the dark shadows in Boston Lyric's "Così fan tutte"
“Boston Lyric has again assembled an excellent ensemble cast. Phyllis Pancella’s Despina and Sir Thomas Allen’s Don Alfonso round out the ensemble in the parts of older cynics who collaborate to wreak havoc on the four lovers. There is something eerie in the sheer mastery of Pancella and Allen’s performances. Perhaps the roles are less taxing, but the ease of their performances seem to be another victory over the idealism of the four lovers. Pancella was particularly good in the comic elements, coloring her fine soprano to suit each of Despina’s guises, which included a German doctor and a vaguely Bostonian lawyer.”
Angelo Mao, Boston Classical Review
Glover Makes "Messiah" Special
“Pancella owned the most beautiful voice of the four, dark and smoldering, but without heaviness, as she demonstrated in her aria ‘But who may abide.’ She and [Arianna] Zukerman conjured peace itself in their duo aria ‘He shall feed his flock.’”
Mary Ellyn Hutton, Music in Cincinnati
Glover's 'Messiah' fresh, inspiring
“Mezzo-soprano Phyllis Pancella's arias were dignified and deeply felt.”
Janelle Gelfand, Cincinnati Enquirer
The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Brings Us Bach
"Phyllis Pancella, stepping into the alto roles at the last minute, was a revelation. Her voice is strikingly rich and eloquent up and down the range, and particularly revealing in the lower registers. The yearning, questioning, lines of Bach were delivered with a full-bodied beauty."
Susan Hall, Berkshire Fine Arts
Brahms' Alto Rhapsody - Berkshire Choral Festival
"Mezzo-soprano Phyllis Pancella ... did stellar work throughout the evening."
Michael J. Moran, In the Spotlight
With Glover sidelined, Music of the Baroque still delivers worthy Purcell
"The opera's main singers-Szabo as Dido ... and Pancella as the Sorceress-were superb, paying as much attention to the opera's dramatic requirements as to shaping beautiful sounds. Szabo's mezzo was strong and ringing, with a dusky edge in the low register and golden highlights near the top. Dobb's bright, flexible soprano was a girlish foil to Szabo's more womanly sound. Muller brought both gravity and real torment to Aeneas' music while Pancella fairly brimmed with gleeful malice as she plotted to separate the lovers."
Wynne Delacoma, Chicago Classical Review
"Mezzo Pancella demonstrated her stage savvy right away, employing sinuous gestures and seductive glances in Carmen's 'Habanera,' later confirming her vocal range in the exuberant young male composer's aria from Richard Strauss' 'Ariadne auf Naxos.'" Read More...
Roy C. Dicks, News & Observor (NC)
Mozart's Requiem - Music of the Baroque
"This movement showcased the quartet well all around, beautifully heralded by Phyllis Pancella's earthy, pungent mezzo in the opening measures and graced by a perfectly calibrated trill from tenor Scott Ramsay that rivaled the soprano's."
Mark Thomas Ketterson, Opera News
Handel Crosses the Channel (Music of the Baroque)
"The Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne opened with remarkable long-note descending strings under mezzo-soprano recitative and trumpet solo, elemental tone-painting that dramatically depicted the rising of the sun. Handel's flair for theatrics was on full display, and the ensemble relished in the evocative music. The rest of the nine-movement piece was a mostly joyous celebration of Queen Anne's birth, featuring the spot-on continuously fluttering melismas of soprano Christine Brandes and mezzo Phyllis Pancella."
Jesse McQuarters, Chicago Classical Music
Music of the Baroque offers a Handel choral program fit for a king
"The opening is an evocative antiphonal canon between alto and trumpet meant to aurally portray a sunrise that sets the title verse rapturously with lingering lines punctuated with ornate trills. Mezzo-soprano Phyllis Pancella painted the text wonderfully and trumpeter Barbara Butler responded with matching mood and timbre."
Dennis Polkow, Chicago Classical Review
Music of the Baroque's 'Requiem' both fierce and tender
"Zukerman's and Pancella's voices blended so well that they could have been sisters, and set in contrast to the robust Ramsay and the powerful Morscheck tenor, they created a musical chiarascuro, light and dark in lovely combination.

"Again in the 'Benedictus' the four voices braided together, one after the other, to create a dynamic whole with hosannas echoed by the majestic chorus. It was a stirring and deeply satisfying performance."

Dorothy Andries, Pioneer Press (IL)
Glover leads MOB in a fervent, stylish Mozart Requiem
"The fine singing of the vocal quartet - soprano Arianna Zukerman, mezzo-soprano Phyllis Pancella, tenor Scott Ramsay and bass-baritone Stephen Morscheck - lent a sense of heartsease to Glover's conception."
John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune
Life and Exhaltation in Mozart's Requiem
"Soloists Arianna Zukerman (soprano), Phyllis Pancella (mezzo-soprano), Scott Ramsay (tenor), and Stephen Morscheck (bass-baritone) brought an equally masterful command of the delicate texture. Ramsay's ringing tenor and Zukerman's silky soprano blended evenly with their lower counterparts."
Elliot Mandel, Chicago Classical Music
Music of the Baroque delivers an impassioned Mozart Requiem
“Phyllis Pancella’s rich, even mezzo conveyed the consolatory nature of the Recordare and the clear plaintive tenor of Scott Ramsay made an impact as well."
Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review
Rinaldo, Central City Opera
"Pancella [Rinaldo] commands a personal, expressive sound, and shirked none of the fierce musical challenges: she is an artist of inspiring onstage honesty."
David Shengold, Opera News
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