She has a beautiful voice that can handle all the ornamentation that Rossini throws her way, plus the no-nonsense, full-throttle, no-holds-barred, magnificent, full out voice that he expects. She is truly a feast for the eyes.

— Eleanor Tudor, The Daily Progress, Charlottesville

Reviews

Grand Rapids Symphony – Bach Mass in B Minor 2015

Grand Rapids Bach Festival’s B minor Mass enriches community with polished performance… Deborah Domanski, a more earthy voiced mezzo-soprano, sparkled on the Laudamus Te – “We praise thee, we bless thee.” Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk, MLIVE.COM, March 23, 2015

New Mexico Philharmonic – Orfeo ed Euridice 2015

Concert an Apex of the Season… I have for several years now been extolling the world-class voice of mezzo soprano Deborah Domanski, and this performance confirmed that if anything her sound becomes ever richer. Here in the title role, given the opportunity to exhibit the lower range of her voice, Domanski captured us willingly as she spun long legato lines into exquisite webs of sound. “Che puro ciel!” (How pure the skies) plumbed the emotional depths of Gluck’s music, while the famous aria “Che faro senza Euridice?” was bitter-sweetly heartbreaking… D. S. Crafts, The Albuquerque Journal, February 22, 2015

Opera Naples – Il barbiere di Siviglia 2014

Rosina (Deborah Domanski) is agile both vocally and physically, leaving vapor trails with her lyric gymnastics. HARRIET HOWARD HEITHAUS, Naples Daily News, March 31, 2014

Santa Fe Pro Musica – Songs of a Wayfarer 2014

Deborah Domanski brought an arresting, viscerally-penetrating tone to the darker moods of the music, but when the sad mood is broken for a few brief moments, the musical sun began to shine as in Ging heut’ morgens (I went out this morning). The full force of despair was unleashed in Ich hab’ein gluhend Messer (I have a gleaming knife in my breast) with Domanski’s heart-rending outbursts of O weh! (O woe!), sometimes loudly gripping, sometimes softly pathetic. With an obviously heart-felt sensitivity to the text, Domanski gave an organic performance where words and singer become one. D. S. Crafts, The Albuquerque Journal, March 10, 2014

New Mexico Philharmonic – Favorite Arias

LOCAL SINGER IS WORLD-CLASS TALENT… When is local not local? Mezzo-soprano Deborah Domanski lives in Santa Fe. So one could accurately describe her as a local singer. But make no mistake–here is a world-class talent that should be and I daresay will be singing on the biggest opera stages. So any opportunity to hear her locally should be seized upon. Domanski is the kind of exceptional talent that comes along only rarely in a generation. A gorgeously bright mezzo tone, rock-solid in intonation with the ability to traverse the most treacherous coloratura with serene grace. What more could one want?
Matthew Greer led the Philharmonic, opening with the Overture to “La clemenza di Tito,” at one time second only in popularity to “Don Giovanni” among Mozart’s operas. Rarely performed today, it contains two dazzling arias for the mezzo-range voice. Domanski sang one aria each of the two lovers Vittelia and Sesto. Originally sung by a castrato, Sesto claims his love and utter devotion to Vittelia in the meltingly beautiful Parto ma tu ben mio (I go, but make peace with me), and in Vittelia’s aria she decries that she must submit herself to the emperor despite her love for Sesto, Ecco il punto (This is the time). Domanski’s radiant voice reflected love’s passionate ardor in all its lustrous colors and moods, balancing flaming emotion with impeccable artistry. Both arias featured florid obbligato clarinet parts masterfully executed by Lori Lovato in consumate duo with Domanski.
Also included were Voi che sapete, Cherubino’s aria from “The Marriage of Figaro,” full of adolescent ardor and yearning, and Laudamus te, the most intimate section of the “Great Mass.” The only deviation from this group of Mozart arias was Gluck’s tender Oh del mo dolce ardor (My gentle love), a classic aria of the period from his opera “Paris and Helen.”
There could not have been a more perfect program celebrating the many aspects of romantic love, not only to give us the full range of Domanski’s artistry singing both male and female characters, but also to celebrate Valentine’s Day weekend. D. S. Crafts, Albuquerque Journal, Feb 23, 2014

Santa Fe Pro Musica – A Baroque Christmas 2013

World-class voice: Catch Deborah Domanski at a February performance… To hear Domanski sing Handel is a thing of pure joy. She made her debut with the Santa Fe Opera some years ago as the sexy prima donna in Handel’s Radamisto. Here she sang two arias from his Italian operas. In “Mi lusinga il dolce affetto”  (I am imbued by sweet affection) from the magical opera Alcina, long, gorgeous legato lines highlight this touching, pathos-laden outpouring. Then in the raging “Furibondo spira il vento” (Furiously blows the wind) from Partenope, Domanski’s pristine highs mix with rich, reverberant lows–exquisite tones scaling in a whirlwind from one extreme to the other. Majestic, world-class performances both, backed masterfully by the instrumental ensemble… As always, a set of traditional carols finished the program. However, this year it began with something quite special. Domanski’s rendition of “O Holy Night,” the English version of Adam’s Cantique de noel, was truly transcendental. The rather dark accompaniment, baroque instruments playing a decidedly late-Romantic work, only served to set off her glorious voice as a beacon in the night while it sailed to the most divine climaxes. Few will forget this moment… The set concluded with J.S. Bach’s immortal “Sheep May Safely Graze” from his Cantata No. 208… Deborah Domanski appears with the New Mexico Philharmonic on Feb. 15. D.S. Crafts, The Albuquerque Journal,Fri, Dec 27, 2013

New Orleans Opera – Il barbiere di Siviglia

Can you say ‘Figaro’? New Orleans Opera Association opens its subscription season with ‘The Barber of Seville’… As a mezzo, Domanski made her Rosina vocally flexible and lustrous in a way that confirmed how this role can suit singers of differing tonal perspectives. “Una voce poca fa,” Rosina’s early act-one cavatina, did not devolve into mannerism; it was a confession of deep and mysterious longing. Elsewhere, Domanski -– because she never gave too much too soon – could fool a listener into believing her voice was fundamentally modest in scale. Then, in a rush of thrilling crescendo, she would reveal a ringing and securely supported top. That’s what we call skill, and just as important, taste. Andrew Adler, The Times-Picayune, November 17, 2012

Santa Fe Pro Musica – A Baroque Christmas 2012

Thrilling displays of ornamentation, charged with emotion For the Baroque Christmas… Vivaldi’s motet, Nulla in mundo pax sincera (There is no peace without sorrow) is a dramatic work designed for vocal display, and though not a Christmas piece per se, it does have that feel about it. I have a recording of the work by the great British soprano Emma Kirkby, but Santa Fe’s Deborah Domanski sang it with more color and more engaging expression. Two arias are separated by a recitative that blooms with sensitive embellishment. One can revel in the serpent’s hiss in the second aria “Spirat anguis inter.” The Alleluia was a thrilling display of fioratura ornamentation not only immaculate in execution but charged with brilliant emotion. Overall, a performance that will remain in the memory of those present. It is no wonder Deborah leaves for an engagement at the Metropolitan Opera next month. We wish her the best… The final set brings Domanski back to the stage for popular carols from a variety of countries. Sentiment ranges from the humorous Tyrolian carol about two bumpkin shepherds, to the reverently beautiful Russian “In a Manger.” But finally Domanski takes on yet another piece of bravura singing in Handel’s “O had I Jubal’s lyre,” resulting Thursday night in deservedly boisterous applause. D. S. Crafts, The Albuquerque Journal, Sun, Dec 23, 2012

Amarillo Opera – La Perichole

The Amarillo Opera has a ball with La Périchole, a rarely produced Jacques Offenbach operetta… Deborah Domanski, a mezzo-soprano who is at the beginning of a major career… played La Périchole as a level-headed woman who tolerated the nonsense caused by the men around her with an understanding smile, but none of the coquette that you might expect from a street singer forced to live by her wits. Vocally, she has a rich mezzo that is even from top to bottom. The top notes are sheer magic and the chest voice sounds as natural as the rest of her range. Gregory Sullivan Isaacs, theaterjones.com, Sunday, April 1, 2012

Santa Fe Pro Musica – Shakespeare’s The Tempest 1674 “operatic” staging

Jacobi, musicians stir ‘Tempest’… Gracing the ensemble was Santa Fe’s Deborah Domanski, a voice I have long considered Metropolitan Opera quality. Looking as voluptuous as her singing, she lent her gorgeous mezzo to a variety of songs and ultimately two exquisite Handel arias–the sensuously legato lines of an aria from Radamisto, followed by the coloratura fireworks of “Furibondo spira” from Partenope, which brought enthusiastic applause even from the actors. Domanski came within a hair’s breath of stealing the show. Her stage presence easily equaled that of Jacobi’s. (Why isn’t this woman singing on world-class opera stages?) D. S. Crafts, Albuquerque Journal, Friday, June 24, 2011

“Arias & Songs” – CD release 2011

Many young operatic talents come along each year, but once in a rare while one can genuinely cause you to hear old music anew. Such is mezzo-soprano Deborah Domanski. Her first CD, ranging from Handel to contemporary times, thrillingly demonstrates her ability to cross the centuries in style and technique, bringing the same glorious voice to all she sings. Impeccable intonation is only the beginning as Ms. Domanski’s effort spans three centuries and six languages, including Russian. Her tightly-focused tone goes straight to the heart, displaying a range of emotion from piercing tragedy to sparkling comedy. With seeming ease of execution she traverses the challenging vocal gymnastics of Handel and Rossini, contrasted with the opulent sentiment of Tchaikovsky, by way of some vivacious Spanish canciones. Ms. Domanski is accompanied brilliantly by pianist Robert Tweten who brings a conductor’s sensibilities to this vast range of repertoire. A most impressive recorded document that should quickly convince anyone this young singer deserves the biggest stages. D. S. Crafts, Albuquerque Journal, Wednesday, March 2, 2011.

Santa Fe Opera – Zenobia, Radamisto

Handel, Faithlessness and Devotion… The lovely mezzo-soprano Deborah Domanski (replacing Christine Rice, who withdrew from the production because of illness) sings the courageous Zenobia with luscious sound and lyrical refinement. Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, Monday, August 4, 2008

Radamisto, Santa Fe Opera… Zenobia’s fidelity to Radamisto has a fiery side, especially when she struggles to rebuff Tiridate, and Deborah Domanski’s fine lyric soprano conveys it excitingly. Her silky, bare-midriff costume bespeaks a sexiness that explains her appeal to Tiridate. George Loomis, Financial Times, Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Santa Fe Opera: Radamisto… A late change to the cast, Deborah Domanski as Radamisto’s wife Zenobia exudes sensuality both in voice and stage presence. Her clear, focused and radiant mezzo-soprano illuminates both her enthusiastic acceptance of death “Son contenta di morire” and her tender plea “Quando mai” (When cruel destiny). She and David Daniels are later reunited in a sparkling duet. D.S. Crafts, The Albuquerque Journal, Monday, July 21 2008

Radamisto, Santa Fe Opera… Deborah Domanski, who took over the role of Zenobia from Christine Rice, sang with artful coloratura phrasing and looked enchanting in an open midriff costume that few other singers would dare. Maria Nockin, Music & Vision Magazine, Sunday, August 17, 2008

Bizarro Handel plot mended by stylish staging, glorious singing… As well as displaying great abs, Deborah Domanski showed a burnished flexible mezzo as Zenobia, handling the brilliant passages as well as the legato with equal panache.” Lawrence A. Johnson, South Florida Classical Review, Saturday, August 09, 2008

Handel’s Radamisto at Santa Fe Opera… Mezzo soprano Deborah Domanski, an alluring and wonderfully talented SFO apprentice singer, has been doing the role of Zenobia, Radamisto’s wife (replacing mezzo Christine Rice), and she is an amazing creature. Singing in the sweetest of tones and with meticulous style, she simultaneously exemplifies the ideal Oriental maiden with colorful spangles and a bare midriff. David Gregson, Opera West, Monday August 11, 2008

Austin Lyric Opera – Lazuli, L’Etoile

Madcap fun and musical charm in Chabrier’s “The Star”… Mezzo-soprano Deborah Domanski brings a luscious voice, vivacious presence and miraculously flexible body (Gumby has nothing on her) to the pants role of Lazuli. Mike Greenburg, Incident Light, Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Arts Review: The Star (L’Etoile)… Mezzo Deborah Domanski evokes Lazuli’s raffishness and boyishness with enthusiasm. Robert Faires, The Austin Chronicle, Thursday, February 4, 2010

Review: Austin Lyric Opera’s ‘The Star’… Domanski did well in the classic trouser role, all gangly moves capped by a sweet tone. Jeanne Claire van Ryzin, Austin American Statesman, Monday, February 1, 2010

Opera Southwest – Angelina, La Cenerentola

High Note for La Cenerentola… Here she gives her most impressive performance to date, bringing a rich texture to the full range that this part demands. She leaps through the vocal hurdles of the final aria Nacqui all’affanno (“I was born to sorrow”) with an ease born of the most accomplished technique. D.S. Crafts, Albuquerque Journal, Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Opera Southwest – Prince Orlofsky, Die Fledermaus

Review: Die Fledermaus… Deborah Domanski, who made such an impression this summer in Santa Fe’s Radamisto, appears in the ultimate comic trouser role, the Russian Prince Orlofsky. She/he conveys in gorgeous tones the spirit of the entire operetta in the famous aria Chacun á son gout (Whatever you like), a toast to champagne among the many pleasures of life. D.S. Crafts, Albuquerque Journal, Monday, October 06, 2008

Opera Southwest – Cherubino, Le Nozze di Figaro

Review: Opera Southwest… Deborah Domanski as Cherubino, is outstanding in this “trouser role”. Playing a teenage boy full of overly-amorous spirit, she captures the character perfectly with a sweet, yet vibrantly captivating soprano. In the confessional Non so piu (I no longer know) she/he tells of exploding adolescent hormones, cast of course in 18th century language. She graces Voi che sapete (You who know what love is) with delightfully surprising ornaments in the repeat. D.S. Crafts, Albuquerque Journal, Monday, 15 October 2007

Tulsa Opera – Cherubino, Le Nozze di Figaro

The things we do for love, ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ sings with comic brilliance… Domanski may be the best Cherubino we’ve seen. She perfectly captures the spirit of a hormone-crazed young fellow so in love with love he can’t do anything right. The dressing-up scene is a hoot as Cherubino plays at being a woman. But Domanski also delivers vocally, with fine performances of “Voi, che sapete” and “Non so piu cosa son.” James D. Watts Jr., Tulsa World, Monday April 24, 2006

Ashlawn-Highland Festival – Rosina, The Barber of Seville

‘Barber’: Shear romance…She [Deborah Domanski] has a beautiful voice that can handle all the ornamentation that Rossini throws her way, plus the no-nonsense, full-throttle, no-holds-barred, magnificent, full out voice that he expects. She is truly a feast for the eyes. Eleanor Tudor, The Daily Progress, Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Pittsburgh Opera Center – Minerva, Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria

Opera Center delivers superb production of ‘Return of Ulysses’… Deborah Domanski was spectacular as Minerva, bounding over the composer’s arpeggios to brilliant, open high notes. Steven Singer, Pittsburgh City Paper, Wednesday, May 5, 2004

Pittsburgh Opera Center – Erika, Vanessa (Scenes)

Opera Singers provide intriguing mix in ‘Sampler’… Mezzo-soprano Deborah Domanski sang a flawless rendition of “Must the Winter Come So Soon?” from Barber’s Vanessa. Her voice was rich, smooth and balanced, her technique rock-solid and every syllable clearly projected. Eric Haines, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Saturday, January 31, 2004

Music Academy of the West – Cherubino, Le Nozze di Figaro

The Marriage of Figaro, a musical bliss from beginning to end…Mezzo-soprano Deborah Domanski sang and acted the boyish role of Cherubino with joyous abandon, perfectly embodying the sexual ambiguities and love’s angst of the role. Her singing was unfailingly musical in the two newly-embellished numbers for Cherubino, “Non so piu” and “Voi che sapete.” Truman C. Wang, Classical Voice.Org, Sunday Aug 10, 2003

Figaro’s wedding…Deborah Domanski fully inhabited the spirit and song of Cherubino, which is saying something. Not only was she convincing as a boy, but utterly believable as the adolescent who has discovered that all women are magic. Her foolishness was character-driven, her comic bits the natural extension of ardent and effervescent youth. We cared about her plight and her happiness. Peter Frisch, Santa Barbara News-Press, Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Juilliard Opera Center – Zerlina, Don Giovanni

Deborah Domanski’s Zerlina was a total delight, visually & vocally Glenn Lonely, New York Theater Wire, May 10, 2003

Los Angeles Philharmonic – Alto Soloist, Mozart’s Requiem

Cathedral: 3,000 Attend Philharmonic Concert… Four promising young singers — …Deborah Domanski — were the vocal soloists. Daniel Cariaga, Los Angeles Times, Monday, September 30, 2002

Music Academy of the West – Nancy, Albert Herring

‘Albert Herring’ Finds a Youthful Voice…The richest, most promising voices of the cast belong to… Deborah Domanski (Nancy)…, all of whom deliver their words with admirable clarity and sung with ardor. Daniel Cariaga, Los Angeles Times, Monday, August 12, 2002

Santa Barbara, California… Nancy was the lovely mezzo-soprano Deborah Domanski, who shone vocally and looked adorable in the part of a village sweetheart. Carl Byron, Opera News, November 2002. Vol. 67, No. 5.

Manhattan School of Music – Aphrodite, Paris and Oenone

New York…Of special note was Deborah Domanski, a knock-out Aphrodite. Donald Westwood, Opera News, May 1999

Music Review; 2 Operas Have Some Fun… Deborah Domanski (Aphrodite) – sang alluringly as a trio and individually. Allan Kozinn, New York Times, January 13, 1999

ARTICLES

The Hindu, India Friday January 19, 2007

She destroys the stereotypes of opera singers… Nandini Nair Read Full Press Piece

The Albuquerque Journal

Major Solo Role Goes To Opera Apprentice
Sunday, July 6, 2008
by Kathaleen Roberts, Journal Santa Fe

Original lead in ‘Radamisto’ withdrew for health reasons

Deborah Domanski’s dreams came true next to some cantina trash cans in the shadows of the Sangre de Cristos.

Last week, Santa Fe Opera conductor Harry Bicket and general director Richard Gaddes chose the 33-yearold Santa Fe resident to ascend to the principal role of Zenobia in Handel’s “Radamisto.”

Domanski will replace Christine Rice, who withdrew because of health issues. The opera opens July 19.

Domanski worked as an apprentice during the opera’s 2005-06 season. She had been tapped as Rice’s “cover” — opera-speak for understudy — but was untried as a major role soloist. She knew something was up when Bicket began marking up his score according to her breaths and musical ornaments during what she assumed was a coaching session.

“I thought this was really weird,” she said. “It was actually an audition, which was a good thing. If I’d known, I’d have been a nervous wreck.”

She grew especially suspicious when both Gaddes and Bicket asked her to meet them at the cantina.

“They said, ‘We’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is we want you to do the role. The bad news is we want you to do the role.’

“I started squealing,” Domanski said. “Then I regained my composure and I said, ‘Thank you very much.’ I called my husband. I called my dad. I called my sister. I called my aunt. I sent out an e-mail.”

The Cinderella scene was radically different from her first summer at Santa Fe. Overwhelmed by the pressures and brutal hours of mastering five operas, she says she had a breakdown.

“My first year was insane,” she said. “It was a huge learning experience, and it was also extremely tortuous. I had the one and only nervous breakdown of my entire life.”

Apprentices attend daily rehearsals that often linger until 1 a.m. or longer. Domanski began her days by warming up her voice at 7 a.m. The season included “Ainadamar,” directed by Peter Sellars, renowned for his modern stagings of classical operas. The title means “fountain of tears” in Arabic; the production is a boiling cauldron of emotion and dark passions set during the Spanish revolution. Like any good director, Sellars pushed his singers to fully express the resulting anguish, rage and grief. Domanski finally collapsed.
“I literally sat on that curb and couldn’t move a muscle,” she said. “I looked at my arm, and I literally couldn’t move it. I literally cried for the next three hours.”

She slept for an hour, then returned to perform in “Lucio Silla.”

“When you’re an apprentice here, you’re proving yourself every single day,” she explained. “You cannot let on weakness. You’re hoping to be the next star of the show.”

Domanski was an easy choice for the rarely performed “Radamisto” because she had been working on the score since last November.

“If it was ‘(The Marriage of ) Figaro,’ one could find a million Susannas because it’s done all over the world,” Bicket said. “Deborah was wonderful to have because she was already studying it. (She has) a strong, beautiful, warm voice, and it’s got a lot of color in it. In a big role like this, you need someone with a lot of character to bring these long arias to life.”

Domanski sings five arias, a duet, a quartet, the final chorus and “about six million recitatives.”

“These are real Everests of the singing repertoire,” Bicket said. “Handel exposes the voice like no one else. There’s no cushioning, very often (you’re) just alone with a violin. You can fall off a cliff. But she’s been wonderful. She’s not as experienced as the others, but you wouldn’t know it from the way she performs.”

Domanski is one of 13 former apprentices to land principle roles this year under Gaddes’ direction , SFO spokeswoman Cindy Layman said.

After her tumultuous apprentice season, Domanski made her debut with the Tulsa Opera as Cherubino in “The Marriage of Figaro,” which earned rave reviews. She returned to Santa Fe as Mercedes in last year’s “Carmen.” Later, she sang with the American Symphony Orchestra at New York’s Avery Fisher Hall and in Southwest Opera’s production of “Figaro” in Albuquerque.

First performed in 1720, “Radamisto” is the story of Zenobia and her husband, Radamisto, heir to the Thracian throne. The Armenian King Tiridate goes to war hoping to possess Zenobia. But she remains faithful to her husband.

“She is a very, very strong woman,” Domanski said. “She has more fire in her than anybody in the whole opera. She gets captured by the tyrant (king). For the rest of the opera, I’m being seduced by the tyrant king and nearly raped in two different scenes. But she has so much strength and fire in her, she resists.”

Domanski grew up near San Diego, where she sang in school choruses and choirs. She later studied at both the Manhattan School of Music and at Juliard. She never considered doing anything else.

“It’s like a snowball,” she said. “People ask me how I got into singing opera. I don’t know; it just got into me. My voice has a mind of its own.”

This time, she envisions no breakdowns. Her voice changed when she turned 30, growing fuller and richer, she said. She’s developed a solid technique.

“I’m only doing one opera,” she said. “When you’re an apprentice, you learn five. Just being given an opportunity like this — living up to and exceeding everyone’s expectations. I’m getting really great feedback, so that gives you a great amount of confidence.”

An admitted perfectionist, she mulls over the Italian score during breaks in the cantina, digesting everyone else’s parts as well as her own.

“There’s always something more you can learn from the score,” she said. “I’m seeing what my colleagues are singing so I know exactly what they’re singing about.

“The hard part is being in the right place at the right time,” she added. “I’ve been hoping for this all my life.”
If you go

WHAT: “Radamisto”
WHEN: 9 p.m. July 19, 23; 8:30 p.m. Aug. 1, 7, 15, 20
WHERE: Santa Fe Opera, seven miles north of Santa Fe off U.S. 84/285.
CONTACT: (800) 280-4654, (505) 986-5900 or www.santafeopera.org

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The Albuquerque Journal

grown-up fairy tale
Sunday, September 27, 2009
By David Steinberg

Cinderella is a classic fairy tale that has crossed cultures. One of the earliest versions supposedly goes back to ancient Greece.

Not surprisingly, the subject has been transformed to the opera stage in the form of Gioachino Rossini’s popular “La Cenerentola,” which premiered in 1817.

Opera Southwest will give it three performances at the KiMo Theatre Saturday, Oct. 3, and Oct. 9 and 11.

But the Rossini opera is aimed at all ages. It’s not a children’s opera. “It’s the same story, but a little more mature,” said David Bartholomew, stage director of the production and artistic director of the company.

Except for the title character, whose name is Angelina, the prince, who is Don Ramiro, and the virtuoso singers, the characters in the small cast are comical, Bartholomew said. He thinks of the opera as being closer to a romantic comedy than to a fairy tale.

Mezzo-soprano Deborah Domanski, who sings the title role, is the reason why Opera Southwest chose to do this opera, Bartholomew said. “(Music director) Tony Barrese and I talked about her doing a ‘Cenerentola’ for us, with her skills … primarily vocal skills. It calls for a mezzo-soprano voice with a lot of agility, fast singing and high singing all over the range,” the stage director said.

“That’s Deborah’s strong point — having that kind of coloratura voice.”

Bartholomew said there were other factors in choosing Domanski: She’s a New Mexico singer, she’s performed in two previous Opera Southwest productions and she had stepped in at the last minute in the role of Zenobia in the 2008 Santa Fe Opera production of “Radamisto.”

“She had wonderful reviews, and the response to her performance was very good. On the scale that the Santa Fe Opera is, it was quite a coup for a younger singer,” he said.

Domanski said she’s been waiting to sing “La Cenerentola” until her voice has matured to fit the role.

“The final aria (“Nacqui all’affanno … Non piu mesta”) is one of the great mezzo-soprano feats that is in all opera, and probably one of the most difficult arias in the mezzo-soprano repertoire,” she said in a phone interview from her Santa Fe home.

In the aria, Domanski said, her character sings of being “born to woe and weeping. Through some sweet, enchantinglike flash of lightning, my luck has changed.”

She wants to portray her character not as a person who deserves sympathy, but something different. Dramatically, she said, sympathy goes only so far and then it gets boring.

“She’s so charming, so cool, so funny, and she has all this fast coloratura,” Domanski said. “Someone depressed, downtrodden wouldn’t sing anything like that. She’s a very loving person. That’s why the prince is drawn to her.”

The opera’s subtitle happens to be “Goodness Triumphant.”

Among the other singers in the production are Andrew Drost as Don Ramiro, Stephen Eisenhard as the stepfather Don Magnifico and Moira Kelley as Clorinda and Andrea Kiesling as Tisbe, the two stepsisters.

Bartholomew said the Opera Southwest is re-imagining its production theatrically and visually by turning the KiMo stage into a Victorian toy theater. An English family parlor entertainment, the toy theater represented a grand theater, he said.

“It’s a wonderful theatrical, operatic devise that adds another dimension,” he said. “It’s the perfectly scaled piece for all the forces of Opera Southwest, the principal of which is the intimacy of the KiMo.”

If you go

WHAT: Gioachino Rossini’s opera “La Cenerentola.” Sung in Italian with English supertitles

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3. Repeats 7:30 p.m. Oct. 9 and 2 p.m. Oct. 11

WHERE: KiMo Theatre, Fifth and Central NW

HOW MUCH: Tickets for the general public are $20, $25, $45, $55 and $65 and are available in advance at the KiMo box office, at Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 243-0591 or 800-745-3000. Discounts for seniors, students, children 12 and under and groups