The New York Times
“Ms. Abghari was an ideal advocate with her expressive eyes, elastic face, intense poise and, yes, remarkable voice. She shifted among declamation, babble, shrieks and coloratura passages with a striking ease, her tone florid and ostentatious here, pinched and nasal there.“
The New York Times
Of course, there is a place for humor in contemporary music: that case was made decisively by Haleh Abghari's virtuoso and winning performance of some of Georges Aperghis's ''Recitations'' for solo voice.
The excellent players included Ponthus, the Quatuor Diotima and Haleh Abghari, whose high, dry, sweet and piercingly pure soprano voice proved a fine complement to Dick's piccolo in a piece titled "Shin'gyo." She was equally winning in the solo piece "IL-LI-KO", which seemed part chanson , part dramatic declamation, part nursery rhyme, part muttering rant, and always interesting and original
The New York Times
Mr. Davies wrote the King for male voice, but Haleh Abghari, a soprano, negotiated its shrieks, roars and whispers ably, while darting around the stage with the requisite athleticism. The players — Jayn Rosenfeld, flutist; Jean Kopperud, clarinetist, Linda Quan, violinist; Christopher Finckel, cellist; Tom Kolor, percussionist; and Mr. Gosling, harpsichordist and pianist — played virtuosically and matched Ms. Abghari’s agility, with Jeffrey Milarsky conducting.
Music Web International
After intermission, I doubt anyone was prepared for the ferocious display of vocal pyrotechnics by soprano Haleh Abghari in Eight Songs for a Mad King by Peter Maxwell Davies.
Ms. Abghari, a strong presence on the New York contemporary music scene, combines confident technique with unfettered inhibitions. In addition to the violin massacre, one could only watch in amazement at her vocal colors: low, guttural growls leading to the occasional shriek, before colliding with genuine singing, occasionally plummeting to the timbre of a small girl. Sexual desire collided with fear, anxiety with sarcasm, and allure with indifference. It was one of those riveting evenings that fans will recall for years to come, and the immediate standing ovation told the rest of the story.
This performance of Eight Songs for a Mad King was voted one of the top performances of 2007 by MusicWeb International:
Two Reviews of the Album:
Celestial Green Monster—Fred Ho and The Green Monster Big Band
Point of Departure
Likewise, Ho's take on "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" uses period flourishes; … But, these elements, which successfully navigate the minefield of the piece's history, are overshadowed by a few truly unexpected gems, like Haleh Abghari's Persian vocalese and similarly tinged writing for the horns.
Bill Shoemaker, Point of Departure
François Couture, Monsieur Délire
Journal d'écoute / Listening Diary
… and a 16-minute “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” featuring guest guitarist Mary Halverson and the addition of a Persian vocal solo (by Haleh Abghari) that propels this old gem into the creative music stratosphere. Darn well done.
Great Falls Tribune
Voice & Violin Duo Recital in Great Falls, Montana, May 2007
The duo performed the song with great gusto, including Abghari on tambourine. Kreith joined in the final chorus and I imagine the audience would have as well, if we’d heard the Persian lyrics a few times more.
Abghari wrapped it up with one long note, growing in power as she sustained it like a soprano jet engine. Then she added a few more syllables apparently before taking in any more oxygen. As I recall, the song ended with a great crash of tambourine.
The New Music Connoisseur
May 2005—review of Animus/Anima by Matthew Burtner at the ACA Festival in NYC
She used her ability to constantly reshape her voice convincingly and evocatively.
R.W. Emerson Bicentennial Festival with Cygnus Ensemble
The common thread through all of these was the glistening contribution of Ms. Abghari, radiating confidence all night and brimming with intelligent musical ideas.
© Haleh Abghari