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The part of Madame de Croissy was entrusted to Rosalind Plowright , a singer with an illustrious career, now moved to the mezzo-soprano register and still possessing effective qualities from the point of view of phrasing, which allowed her to best emphasize the death scene at the finale of the first act.
Gianguido Mussomeli - Mozart 2006 - 13 Apr 2011
In addition to the final scene with the execution of the Carmelite nuns, the death scene of the old prioress is another dramatic highlight of the opera. Rosalind Plowright gives this scene a deep and gripping expressiveness through performance and vocal power.
Christoph Root - Online Musik Magazin - April 2011
It is common to cast Madame de Croissy (the Old Prioress) with a singer at the end of her vocal life, so it was a great pleasure to encounter Rosalind Plowright in the role. Her voice gloriously encompassed all that the drama required of it. The role isn't huge, she dies at the end of act one, but Poulenc gives the death scene so much drama that is is a gift to a singing actress like Plowright (also afforded the complement of being the only major non Francophone singer in the cast).
She was fearsomely intense and clearly ill during her earlier scenes. Then in the final scene of act one, Py gave us a coup de theatre, both brilliant and unexpected. The Old Prioress's bed was suspended vertically so that we were looking down on Rosalind Plowright lying prone in the bed though in reality Plowright was standing upright. I was fortunate to be able to talk to Plowright about her performance afterwards and gather that this staging not only helped the drama but must have helped projection and support of the voice. Usually the death scene is staged by having the singer lying down, but repeatedly heaving herself forward or perhaps propped up dramatically. Instead, Plowright was able to seem realistically lying prone, but able to communicate vividly with the audience. It could have been simply a stunt, but instead Plowright used it to deliver a stunningly detailed and very fearsome death scene.
Robert Hugill - Planet Hugill - 17 Dec 2013
At the end of the first act in the scene of the death of Madame de Croissy, Py and Weitz had Rosalind Plowright in the bed suspended vertically, so that the audience felt to feel They were looking for her. The result was brilliant and allowed Plowright to perform an impressive performance of Croissy's death scene.
Éric Hazan - WorldTourismGroup - Dec 2013
Furthermore we enjoyed Rosalind Plowright as a demanding Madame de Croissy.
Henning Høholt - Kulturkompasset - 5 Jan 2014
Rosalind Plowright, as terminally ill Madame de Croissy, her performance has a dramatic veracity that is disturbing in the extreme.
Tim Ashley - Guardian - 11 Dec 2014
Rosalind Plowright is one of two non-French performers, in the part of the ailing Prioress de Croissy. Plowright’s singing retains the ability to move and I found her acting in the death scene most persuasive.
Michael Cookson - Musicweb International - Sep 2014
British ex-soprano Rosalind Plowright, who as Croissy is committed and secure ; her bedridden scenes memorably find her suspended ten feet up a wall.
David Shngold - Opera News - Apr 2015