English National Opera
May – July 2016
“With its cherry blossoms and origami birds, this 11-year-old production is strikingly beautiful, and Rena Harms and David Butt Philip give strong performances... The bright, focused tone of her soprano makes her more convincingly girlish than most.”
“Rena Harms as Butterfly acted effectively and displayed a lovely voice.”
“Whenever Harms opens her gorgeous gob, the rest of the cast become pallid in comparison.”
"Rena Harms was the perfect balance of child-like, optimistic, and strong as Cio-Cio San. Her bright sound echoed her characterization, and she had a knack for trading soaring phrases with matter-of-fact, immediate deliveries of the more banal, even funny moments in the score. Butterfly can be infuriating enough, and our sympathy can depend entirely on whether or not we like Cio-Cio San; we loved Harms, and her dramatic trip throughout the show earned more than enough sympathy from the audience."
"Soprano Rena Harms maintains consistent expressive power as well as beauty of tone throughout the exhaustingly lengthy challenge of the title role."
"As Butterfly herself, Rena Harms was touchingly expressive in Act 1, her hope and conviction sung with real feeling in Act 2, and with high voltage emotional power backed by hidden depths in the orchestra during Act 3. Her early duet was beautifully sung with David Butt Philip’s Pinkerton, whose lovely line in lyrically romantic persuasiveness served to underline the callowness of this naval officer’s narcissism."
Ronan Theatre Reviews
"Rena Harms is an alluring delight and portrays the purity an undefiled fragrance that is so essential for Butterfly."
"Rena Harms was incredibly moving; a vivid actress, she painted the depths of Cio-Cio-San’s despair with an almost unwatchable immediacy. There is real power to her steely soprano, and she was capable of cutting over the orchestra during her long love duet with Pinkerton at the end of Act I...she sang a potent ‘Un bel dì’ that couldn’t help but move, and her final scene was almost unbearably heartbreaking."