“There is no let-up in quality with the Four Dickinson Songs, where Hagen catches the sparkle in each poem, including an extraordinary ‘Wild Nights’, and delivers its punchline with a musical solution that turns out to be unexpected – and right. The Four Irish Folk Songs briefly suggest Britten’s folk-song settings but focus more on richness than purity. Hagen’s florid setting of ‘Danny Boy’ as sung by Kelly Ann Bixby and Suzanne DuPlantis is quite sublime.”
“[They] brought literacy, intelligence, and overall commitment to their performances. Wherever their careers take them, they have the satisfaction of knowing their concert on a freezing late-fall afternoon forever changed and enriched one’s perception of one of the 20th century’s greatest musical partnerships.”
– David Patrick Stearns, Philadelphia Inquirer, Lyric Fest : Britten, 2014
Soprano Kelly Ann Bixby was the superb soloist with the 37-piece Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra. From the earnest beginning, full of supplication, to the exuberant, assured conclusion, it filled the fine acoustic of Covenant Presbyterian…with warmth and beauty.
– Mary Ellen, Music in Cincinnati, Mendelssohn Psalm 42 – Vocal Arts Ensemble and Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, 2013
A very early song of mine, “On Zacheus,” from my Three Songs, No. 3, was sung with a passion that any composer craves. Soprano Kelly Ann Bixby sang this a couple of months ago, and went even further into it now. Is it the decades removed from the composing of it, or am I confessing something I shouldn’t by admitting that I was taken aback by the emotions in this Francis Quarles poem? It’s early (did I say that?) and, as I told a friend at the concert, “utterly naïve,” but I like it more now than ever. Quarles, the metaphysical poet from the time of John Donne and George Herbert, is always apt, succinct, and two steps ahead of you.
Kelly was one of the delicious singers on the program, along with mezzo Suzanne DuPlantis, soprano Randi Marrazzo (both co-founders of Lyric Fest, along with the redoubtable accompanist Laura Ward), tenor Thomas Lloyd (I had never heard the conductor sing before!), and baritone Jarrett Ott. Bless them all. They’ve blessed us: Lyric Fest has been kicking it for ten years now.
– BLOG: Kile Smith, composer, American art song recital, 2012
Soprano Kelly Ann Bixby possesses a beautifully round voice with some of the coloring of an alto. The singers proved that they can move between intensely dramatic operatic excerpts and the more restrained, nuanced style that art song requires.
– Tom Purdom, The Broad Street Review, Lyric Fest – Britten: Biography in Song, 2014
Bixby sang the “Dona nobis pacem” aria from Peabody Conservatory alumnus Kevin Puts’ “Silent Night,” the most recent production by Opera Philadelphia in the Academy of Music. She also sang the afternoon’s closing work, the “Pie Jesu” movement from Gabriel Faure’s “Requiem Mass.” Best of all was the Faure.
– Michael Caruso, Chestnut Hill Local, Woodmere Art Museum, 2013
“The honors and awards keep coming…”
– The Burlington County Times
– The Moorestown Sun, 2014