Britten's Les Illuminations. Academy of St Martin–in–the–Fields, Wigmore Hall (début).
“YVETTE BONNER! She may only be the size of a sparrow but this young English songbird had the whole Wigmore Hall audience mesmerised by the sound bursting out of her ribcage. Not only the audience, but the Academy of St Martin–in–the–Fields as well, who seemed so excited by her imminent arrival on stage that they raced through the first piece on the programme, Prokofiev’s Visions Fugitives, like adolescents on a first date. By the time Bonner took to the stage, glowing in a pure white dress, the air was thick with the musk of our inflamed senses. Now the atmosphere turned positively erotic and the singer launched into Britten’s song cycle Les Illuminations. Bonner glared at the audience with youthful arrogance and then simply sang her heart out, letting that exquisite soprano voice fly at us and seduce us. It circled, swooped, dived, soared higher and higher and then landed triumphantly on waves of the most beautifully natural vibrato, carried all the way by string–playing of astonishing physicality. The Academy seemed literally to lift their young bride on their shoulders, such was the strength of their playing … Classical music could not sound much more alive than this…”
The Times *****
The Pink Fairy in Magical Night. Royal Opera.
“Soprano Yvette Bonner is a downright Pink Fairy, singing crisply, with movement skills to keep up with a whole cast of dancers. As the children stir in their sleep, she orders the other toys into stillness with an imperious, imploring look.”
Phillipa in Babettes Feast. Linbury studio, Royal Opera House.
“Yvette Bonner, in particular, shines gorgeously as the daughter with the hidden voice.”
St David's Hall, Cardiff
Bonner’s Dido, creating an aura of nobility merely through the way she held herself on stage. A trace of a smile and a quick flick of the hair understatedly conveyed the onset of her fatal love – the impassioned richness of Bonner’s voice did the rest, and Dido’s great final lament, sung in a wonderful stillness, brought the whole performance into tragic focus.
Vixen in The Cunning Little Vixen. Aix–en–Provence Festival.
“Yvette Bonner first sang Yniold in Pelleas and Flora in Le Tour d’Ecrou. Even though these roles were small, she went on to be Zerlina of a Don Giovanni directed by Colin Davis. And here she is in the Aix–en–Provence Festival, the cunning Vixen in Janacek’s Opera. In a production by Julie Brochen, she was the revelation of that year. Impish and sensual at the same time, unbearably sad and unbearably sweet, Yvette Bonner drowned us in happiness. Her voice of great levity, sometimes soared and then swooped down, overwhelming the males, all the males, animal and human who pestered her in an excess of love and spite. But in her duo with Petra Simkova, who sang her Fox, she was transformed suddenly into one of the most beautiful lovers of our dreams…”
Pierre–Jean Remy de l’Acacdemie Francaise. Dictionnaire amoureux de l'Opera