|Ms. Eckhart's beauty, dramatic
presence, and compelling voice make her a perfect match for
the demands of Carmen and Bizet's legendary gypsy has become a signature
"I cherish every opportunity to perform Carmen. The role is so complex and presents so many challenges that it evolves both vocally and dramatically with each portrayal."
"Janis Eckhart made a beautiful, commanding Carmen
her voice warm and especially rich in its lower register."
John Alexander proclaimed her voice a "royal sound" when he heard her sing her first Carmen as a young artist in Cincinnati. She has since portrayed Bizet's most famous character in Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Egypt (during an earthquake) as well as in major opera houses throughout the United States.
"One of the up-and-coming mezzos, with a beautiful, lightly vibrating timbre."
"She played a youthful Carmen, one confident of her dazzling beauty and dangerously wise in the seduction of men."
"Janis Eckhart has temperament, erotic flair and a beautiful voice."
"Miracles are part of the programmed environment in Egypt. As Carmen, Janis Eckhart was great. Californians Eckhart and Kness were onstage when the quake hit and were able to help calm the crowd. The show continued and thus became an addition to Cairo cultural legend.
Carmen's primal energy is the source of her sexual magnetism and power, the mezzo feels. "There's nothing new about the concept of women equating sex with power but Carmen's sexuality can't be merely suggestive or surface-level. It's not a question of vamping the chorus or posing and pouting. You have to be aggressively clear and bold about your intentions with hershe commands fearlessness from her portrayer. Finding your own primal energy, sustaining it and consistently projecting it is the key to the effectiveness of this unique role."
From the Cultural Attaché, U.S. Embassy, Cairo
"She used her dark, smoky sound to great effect as the sexy, in-your-face gypsy. She wasn't afraid to use her voice for dramatic emphasis and the results were startlingly effective. She drove the scene with an intensity that grabbed your attention and held it."
"This Carmen, even at the end of the journey of lust or dependence or whatever fatal inclination she had for José, showed the depths of her feeling. In Eckhart's performance there is a suggestion of a figure in love with death, and in her black dress she takes on the hieratical movements of a priestess
she is a fury at bay, inviting the knife thrust."
The Tribune (Palm Beach, Florida)
"Eckhart's lustrous mezzo voice and
uninhibited acting gained power as the scene progressed
She never loses her magnetic stage presence."
Ms. Eckhart sang Carmen with opera companies throughout the United States, including those of Miami, Seattle, Hartford and Cincinnati, as well as extensive engagements in the South. She also performed the role with the New York City Opera for several seasons.
"Sunday evening's Carmen was anchored by a solid performer in the title role. She was Janis Eckhart, a mezzo-soprano with plausible sexiness and an expressive vocal style. Ms. Eckhart has the kind of earnest charm one looks forward to encountering at the New York City Opera."
She has also toured in Carmen and her American engagements included the Los Angeles Music Center, the Orange County Center for the Performing Arts, Wolf Trap, Artpark, Tampa, and the Saratoga Arts Festival, among many other national venues. Of her international tours, a Spanish tour, which included the cities of Lisbon, Madrid, and Segovia, afforded her the rare opportunity to sing Carmen in Seville, the actual setting of the opera itself.