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One had to admire the stylish and committed singing of an excellent cast: Ciara Hendrick as a bright and agile Isabella

Nicholas Kenyon, The Telegraph – Handel Fernando, Opera Settecento

The conflicting loyalties of Ciara Hendrick’s Isabella were palpable.  Hendrick made one feel every ounce of the Queen’s dilemmas and determination in a superb vocal portrait of maternal anguish.

‘Forte inciampo al suo furore’, in which Isabella rages against Alfonso’s filial disloyalty, was delivered with power and punch, while always controlled and finely phrased.

Claire Seymour, Opera Today – Handel Fernando, Opera Settecento

[…] out came her top register, warm and ample, letting us share every heartache felt by Isabella, the Portuguese queen.

Geoff Brown, The Times – Handel Fernando, Opera Settecento

At the heart of the drama were three outstanding female performers. Mezzo-soprano Ciara Hendrick gave voice to her hopeless love with such persuasive grace that you could sense the hall holding its breath.

Michael Church, The Independent – Handel Semele, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Ciara Hendrick outstanding. Beautiful.

Nicholas Kenyon, The Observer – Handel Susanna, recording from Göttingen

Ciara Hendrick dazzles as her son, the brattish Nerone.

Anna Picard, The Spectator – Handel Agrippina, Iford Arts

Ciara Hendrick is superb throughout as Nerone, her pure, clear mezzo-soprano showing silken consistency, and portraying the sulky adolescent boy with skilful physicality.

Charlotte Valori, Bachtrack – Handel Agrippina, Iford Arts

Ciara Hendrick, as La Musica and Messaggera, impressed with her beautifully placed, warm mezzo, and her sensitivity to the instrumental accompaniment of the vocalisation. Her narration of Euridice’s death in Act Two was the musical highlight of the evening.

Anthony Ogus – Monteverdi Orfeo, I Fagiolini

The surprising tour-de-force of the evening came
from the young mezzo-soprano Ciara Hendrick… With mesmerizing legato sequences, a breathtakingly smooth return to the da capo,
and exquisite pianissimo phrasing, [Chastity, thou cherub bright] became in Ms. Hendrick’s hands the cathartic highlight of the drama. The audience recognized this haunting moment with
rapturous applause.

Richard B Beams, Opera Con Brio – Handel Susanna, Göttingen

Ciara Hendrick’s Messaggera at the opera’s fulcrum wrung every last exquisite drop of anguish from Euridice’s death.  

Cara Chanteau, The Independent – Monteverdi Orfeo, I Fagiolini

Hendrick’s clear, plangent timbre was ideal for the Messenger who brings Orfeo news of Euridice’s death.

Richard Morrison, The Times – Monteverdi Orfeo, I Fagiolini

Special praise to Ciara Hendrick, bringing simple charisma to the double roles of Daniel and attendant.

Shirley Apthorp, The Financial Times – Handel Susanna, Göttingen

Venus’s entrance in a chariot is performed with radiant sweetness by Ciara Hendrick, and the goddess’s complaint that Adonis appears uninterested in her charms is an impeccable juxtaposition of imperious authority and pathos.

David Vickers, Gramophone magazine – Pepusch Venus and Adonis, CD

Ciara Hendrick’s sensitive acting and supple, clean mezzo make for a superbly affecting and effective Hermia.

Charlotte Valori, Bachtrack – Purcell Fairy Queen Iford Arts

Laudamus te was sweet and nimble.

Anna Picard, The Times – Bach B Minor Mass, Solomon’s Knot

Sung with such silky fluency, expressive flexibility and deep colour as the mezzo-soprano Ciara Hendrick displayed.

Claire Seymour, Seen and Heard International – Venus Unwrapped, Rachel Podger and Brecon Baroque, Kings Place

Ciara Hendrick scores a neat double as Fortune and Valletto.

Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph – Monteverdi Coronation of Poppea, Opera North

Fortuna (fine-voiced Ciara Hendrick) is pleased with herself, her high patent-leather shoes suggesting a devil-may-care approach to balance.

Kate Kellaway, The Observer – Monteverdi Coronation of Poppea, Opera North

Ciara Hendrick (mezzo) quite simply had the most perfect voice for early opera I’ve yet heard: her performance of “Dopo notte” was nothing short of exquisite, as was her later Monteverdi duet with Alex Tsilogiannis. The precision and power of her voice worked equally well in the seductive Carmen “Habanera”.

Charlotte Valori, Bachtrack – St James Theatre, Naked Opera

‘’Ciara Hendrick was fabulous as Juno, with a lovely clean sense of line, playful characterisation and an immediate stage presence as the Queen of the Gods. Hendrick sings with an infectious sense of joy and enthusiasm: a compelling watch.’’

Charlotte Valori, Bachtrack – Daniel Purcell The Judgment of Paris, Spiritato

Ciara Hendrick’s honeyed Juno

Anna Picard, The Times – Daniel Purcell The Judgment of Paris, Spiritato

Photo credit: Ben Pugh