WELSH NATIONAL OPERA Sister Helen Prejean, Dead Man Walking
Cervoni’s portrayal was superbly crafted; her journey from a naïve nun, teaching young children, to dealing with a cold-blooded killer was detailed, nuanced and emotionally complex. Positive, optimistic, but without experience in such matters, she comes under intense pressure from every quarter, including De Rocher who keeps lying to her and pushing her away, but eventually emerges stronger, with her faith in God intact. It was an excellent performance that captured the emotional roller-coaster of the role.
Vocally, Cervoni was perfectly suited to the role. Her singing was securely grounded, agile and characterized by clear articulation, so that every word could be easily understood, and despite her, at times, emotionally fraught state her singing was also attractively rendered. Moreover, her phrasing was subtle and detailed so that her inner turmoil, her shifting emotions, her hopes and fears, disappointments and belief in God were made evident, and made her relationship with De Rocher believable.