DogDays-FolksVanishedCaptain in Dog Days

“Cherry Duke, a plummy mezzo, took the smaller role of the Captain, the officer who invades the family’s home and issues stern warnings.”

—Willard Spiegelman, Opera News

“Cherry Duke is aptly sinister as an army captain.”

—Scott Cantrell, The Dallas Morning News

“Cherry Duke sang the menacing role of Captain, who attempts to recruit the boys. Duke portrayed her character with a steely rigidity perfect for the obnoxious army captain persona.”

— Laurie Lynn Lindemeier, The Column

“Cherry Duke appears briefly, well-armed and menacingly officious, as a passing Army captain, returning the sons from a ramble through the neighboring homes of the dead. The entire cast has been with the production since its 2012 New Jersey premiere.”

George M. Wallace blog

2014-11-06 12.10.44Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro

“Cherubino (a “breeches role”) is sung by Cherry Duke and she is pure gold. Vocally light and powerful, physically agile, and with great comic sense, Ms. Duke is worth the price of admission.”

—Steve Callahan,

“Cherry Duke played [Cherubino] to the hilt, tossing off her musical lines with a frisky naughtiness and impeccable technique.”

—John Huxhold, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Cherry Duke is a joy as the amorous if intellectually lightweight Cherubino, especially when ‘hiding’ behind a chair or in a closet to keep out of sight of the Count.”

—Mark Bretz, Ladue News

10388078_10152153083685918_2252451206876107917_nIsabella in L’italiana in Algeri

“Sexy, Sassy ‘Italian Girl’ Sings!”

“Mezzo-soprano Cherry Duke nearly stole the show both vocally and theatrically as the canny Isabella. Duke’s sultry voice matched her seductive performance, and she delivered the florid bel canto filigree with comfort.”

“In one of the best entrances an Italian girl could ask for, Cherry Duke as Isabella arrives in Algiers and takes over the stage. Miss Duke has a magnificent voice and she inhabits her role with humor and smarts. She deftly mastered all the vocal fireworks of the role as well as that derriere wiggle we all know from 1950s movies.”

Cavalli’s Giasone

“The mezzo-soprano Cherry Duke offered a vivid portrayal of the lustful Jason.”

“Cherry Duke revealed a warm, dark mezzo in the trouser role of Giasone.”

“Mezzos Hai-Ting Chinn and Cherry Duke were sweet and sultry as Medea and Giasone; Duke having mastered the art of masculine swagger.”

“Cherry Duke, often heard in travesti roles, was a comic, befuddled hero who generated convincing chemistry with both female leads.”

“Jason was sung by Cherry Duke, whose mezzo has the right amount of dark inflections to lend credibility to her impersonation of the self-absorbed, womanizing Jason. In duets her voice was a perfect foil for the much brighter and ultra-precise soprano of Hai-Ting Chinn as the minx-like Medea.”

“Cherry Duke’s warm, seductive mezzo worked like a charm for Jason’s predicament.”

“Mezzo Cherry Duke gave Jason, which was of course a castrato role originally, the tremendous swagger and bravado of a young general, but at times we saw just how young Jason was.”

“Cherry Duke in the trouser role of Giasone was spot on.”

“‘Carmen’ star casts a sexy spell”

Carmen needs a fine Carmen, of course, and St. Petersburg Opera has one in Cherry Duke….Duke brings an exciting combination of sexiness and intelligence to French opera’s greatest femme fatale. In a way, Duke’s performance on Friday felt not only fully lived but also like an astute commentary on her iconic character.

“Carmen’s seduction of Don José, the hapless corporal who falls under her spell, was sensationally rendered by Duke in the gypsy temptress’ famous Habanera (“If I love you, watch out!”) and then with slinky provocation in the seguidilla in which she did suggestive things with a rope.

“With her sharp-featured profile, Duke looked the part of the sultry spitfire, and her French had a throaty expressiveness in the card scene that foretells Carmen’s death.”

Salerni’s The Life and Love of Joe Coogan — world premiere

“Cherry Duke, as Sally Rogers…was another standout. Duke was supremely versatile, equally at home being hilarious as Joe’s blind date as she was sadly touching in her aria ‘Being Lonely is not so Funny.'”

Rossini’s Stabat Mater

“The limpid and meditative tone of Cherry Duke, the mezzo-soprano, created beautiful arching melodic lines in the cavatina—riding Latin’s open vowels over the waves of sound from the orchestra.

“As she floated upward on the word ‘recolere’ (‘remember’), one could not help but be drawn into the space of the Old Whalers Church and its history—imagining its maritime parishioners, perhaps Rossini’s contemporaries, and their daily lives and work in a less accelerated and jittery world. This lyrical and delicate section was drawn to a close by Ms. Duke’s mesmerizing and ghostly pianissimo.”

Carmen in concert

“For the ‘Habanera’ from Georges Bizet’s Carmen, mezzo-soprano Cherry Duke stepped forward as soloist. Her red dress, which had looked perfectly demure so far, suddenly sparkled provocatively—as did her performance of this sultry homage to l’amour.”

Nero in The Coronation of Poppea

“Vocally, the company’s firepower was in the two main mezzo-soprano roles…. Cherry Duke’s Nero was this Poppea’s perfect match. Ms. Duke sang the music of this top-drawer historical creep with a regal bearing, even as he reveled in the destruction of his foes.”

“Cherry Duke was an effective Nero, her voice blending exquisitely with Chinn’s especially in the great closing duet. Duke played Nero’s (troubled) masculinity with conviction and, like Chinn, did not overact Nero’s unpleasant traits; she let the actions, words and music speak for themselves. In their musical assurance and beautifully understated acting they were the finest Nero and Poppea I have encountered in the theatre.”

“Cherry Duke as Nerone and Hai-Ting Chinn as That Girl had a fascinating chemistry rooted in Ms. Duke’s physical take on the role, honestly about the most forget-what-you’re-actually-seeing travesti turn I can think of just now.”

“Cherry Duke made a fine, unusually masculine Nerone… [Poppea’s] final duet with Ms. Duke’s Nerone was the perfect conclusion to waft us into the night in a cloud of erotic reverie: Ah yes, back in 1641, this is why opera caught on.”

“Cherry Duke, as Nero…was very appealing. Ms. Duke[‘s Nero] was also a complex character: weak, vindictive, heroic and a pawn for Poppea.”

“Mezzo Cherry Duke as Nero had a darker, more vibrant sound that created a masculine, hormonally-driven character who only bows to his own desires and sees people as a disposable means to his own ends.”

“Cherry Duke’s Nero was as hot and cold and impetuous and disgustingly regal as we’d expect a young Nero to be.”

“I’ve known Cherry Duke’s work from her lustrous work as Jo in Virginia, in Tokyo, and at the Cabrillo Festival, but still her Nero was surprising: forceful, elegant, startlingly masculine.”

Hansel in Hansel & Gretel

“Hansel and Gretel, played respectively by Cherry Duke and Danielle Talamantes, infuse their characters with such playfulness that it’s easy to believe they are children. Their voices also blend gloriously, placing their duets among the show’s highlights.”

“Both [Cherry Duke as Hansel and Danielle Talamantes as Gretel] are excellent with clear, crystalline voices that play to the poignancy of Humperdinck’s writing without forced theatricality or blurred vocal purity.”

“Phoebe [Fennell]’s Gretel and Cherry Duke’s Hansel were well portrayed, vocally and theatrically. Their animated expressions and child-like physicality engaged [the audience].”

“[Cherry Duke’s] reactions are honest and childlike… [she] tackles probably the most difficult role…with ease and energy, promptly quelling any suspension of disbelief problems that can arise as woman plays man.”

Jo March in Little Women

“Mezzo-soprano Cherry Duke was a standout as Jo. In a vital, shapely vocal performance, she caught both the character’s headstrong determination and the reservoir of tenderness underlying it.”

“Duke is a singer who communicates both the music and the text impeccably… it takes ‘heroic diction’ to do that and Duke surely has the helden-delivery.”

“Duke was superb! She created a vibrant, strong-willed woman who knows her own mind and her own place in the world. Her singing proved crystal clear, beautifully consistent and always true to the meaning of the text. Her striking voice-acting and stage movement set a high standard for the entire work.”

Lucretia in The Rape of Lucretia

“The rich, beautiful voice and regal bearing of Cherry Duke made her Lucretia a memorable performance. Her poise and the intensity of her acting caused the entire audience to become increasingly involved in her plight. Here is a singing actress about whom we should hear more and more over the next few years.”

Meg in Falstaff

“[Emily Pulley] and the two mezzo-soprano ‘Merry Wives,’ Cherry Duke and Susan Nicely, were the epitome of three women with a mission to destroy Falstaff. Their voices complemented their roles and each other.”

Suzuki in Madama Butterfly

“Cherry Duke como Susuki [sic] y Alessandro Magno como Sharpless, revelaron ser cantantes profesionales completos, poseedores de notables condiciones, que contribuyeron al alto nivel logrado.”

Smeraldina in The Love For Three Oranges (New York City Opera)

“Among the large and quite competent cast, standouts were Matthew Chellis…Linda Roark-Strummer…Kathryn Day and Eduardo Chama…and Cherry Duke as a cute and wily Smeraldina.”

Opera in Blue Jeans [Concert] with Nevada Opera

“[Cherry] Duke and [John] Pickle were magnetic duetting together projecting a radiant ‘Almost Like Being in Love’ to a large crowd of listeners so entranced they hoped it just might be true.”

McCammon Vocal Competition

“Mezzo Cherry Duke recalled Anne Sofie von Otter with her reserved but passionate aria from Handel’s Giulio Cesare…”

Bach’s B-Minor Mass (Hartford Symphony Orchestra)

“The most remarkable of the five [soloists] was mezzo Cherry Duke, who stepped in at the last minute…Duke learned the piece in a day or two, but her radiant, confident performance gave no hint of any of that.”

Kern & Friends Concert (Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra)

“Mezzo-soprano Cherry Duke took command of [Climb Every Mountain] delivering its inspirational message with power.”

Pitti-Sing in The Mikado

“A wonderful bright spot throughout the show is Cherry Duke…She has a gorgeous alto voice, round and clear even in the lowest range.   She has charm and strength without dominating, presence without a hint of strain.”

Nellie Forbush in South Pacific

“Nellie Forbush, played by Cherry Duke, is spunky and exuberant and sang and danced her way into our hearts.”