Shana Blake Hill was transcendent in the role of Sakagawea, imbuing the iconic persona with vibrant passion, independent spirit and depth of character. Her warmly lyrical, fluid voice shone with a polished brilliance that did not sacrifice tonal beauty for power.

— The Forum

Press Quotes

Requiem W.A.Mozart

Northwest Symphonietta ’10

In front the quartet of soloists made a brilliant match: Shana Blake Hill’s clear-edged soprano with Puccini-esque legato… perfectly balanced in solos and in four-part harmony, the four brought out both the poetry of the Latin and the emotion of the music.
The News Tribune, Rosemary Ponnekanti

Violetta La Traviata G. Verdi

Dayton Opera ’09

Shana Blake Hill, beautiful and vibrant, is well-remembered for her debut as Musetta in Dayton Opera’s La Bohème. If Verdi were alive, he would be in love with Shana; the audience certainly was. Verdi gives Violetta some of the greatest music in the literature… he lavished incredible musical riches on his heroine. Shana makes the very most of this timeless gift, singing with sheer beauty and passion. I can predict that we are hearing one of the great Violettas of the future. Her beauty is only the beginning. Molding a vibrant voice around each vocal line, her characters are given a life of their own.
Dayton Arts Beat, Burt Saidel

Soprano Shana Blake Hill shone in the role of Violetta, especially during her signature aria “Sempre libera,” a musical debate between devoted love and shallow pleasure. Her sparkling jewelry and shimmering dress perfectly matched her glittering voice.
Dayton Daily News, Adam Alonzo

Rosalba Florencia en el Amazonas Daniel Catan

Cincinnati Opera ‘08

A particular highlight of the performance was the moment when Rosalba (the delicate soprano Shana Blake Hill) recognized Florencia: both singers poured out floods of gorgeous sound.
Opera News, Charles H. Parsons

“…as a journalist who first eschews, then embraces romance, Shana Blake Hill was as astonishing as the opera itself — and, with tenor Arturo Chacon-Cruz soared through the score’s most exhilarating moment — she dreaming of the book she will write, he anticipating life as a pilot. It was musical magic.”
City Beat, Tom McElfresh

The Phoenix, Bright Sheng

Naxos recording ’09, Seattle Symphony

The scintillating performance by the Seattle Symphony Orchestra under Gerard Schwarz, a longtime champion of contemporary music… show clearly why this composer is a great favorite among present-day musicians… The emotionally charged vocal part is one of the most challenging in the soprano’s repertoire, with its great leaps and chromatic writing. Shana Blake Hill handles her part with composure and assurance, qualities that are especially important given the large sweep and luminous phrasing required by such key words as “bloomed,” “resplendent,” “arise,” “perfume,” and “soar.”
Sequenza 21 The Contemporary Classical Music Community, Phil Muse

Secrets of the Sky and Sea

Berkshire Opera ’08

Hill, with her terrifically even vocal instrument, from its stunning top to a secure lower register …performed Osvaldo Golijov’s “Lua Descolorida” in a lustrous rendition that easily reached the stratosphere. One longs to hear full roles.
The Berkshire Eagle, Richard Houdek

“Christmas in Colorado”

Colorado Symphony, Live Broadcast CBS ’08

Shana Blake Hill’s dramatic background is obvious, even when she sings John Rutter’s Magnificat in Latin. She draws from her own personal experiences to project a compelling vulnerability. Her version of “Oh Holy Night” takes a classic and makes it current. “Right now in the world we’re all holding our breath to see what happens next,” she explains. “So when you hear the lyrics “The thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices. For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn,” you realize that’s exactly the mood we all are in.” Shana Blake Hill brings audiences a gift with her voice … and in the end, these performances also give a Christmas gift back to her. “Getting to sing Christmas carols with people and really celebrate, that’s what makes Christmas for me.”
CBS Channel 4, Entertainment News, Vicki Hildner, Special Projects Producer

Rosalinda Die Fledermaus

Opera Southwest, ’08

Rosalinda is the sensuous Shana Blake Hill. Her
Hungarian homeland aria in the second act is one of the highlights.
But don’t miss the Night and Day trio…
Home Entertainment Reviews, D.S. Crafts

5th Annual Benefit for The Center For Child and Family Health,

Durham Symphony, NC ’08

“The orchestra was next joined by outstanding soprano Shana Blake Hill,. She sang the mesmerizing double aria segment of the final scene of Verdi’s Otello – “Willow Song” and “Ave Maria.” I never hear these two lavish arias without being moved, and Hill’s rich, steady voice, soaring over the orchestra’s magical accompaniment, did the trick.”
“Hill rejoined the orchestra for a stunning performance of the recitative and aria “Follie!…Sempre Libera” from Verdi’s La Traviata. Hill’s vocal mastery was like pyrotechnics flashing in the sky and floating gently toward earth.”
North Carolina, Classical Voice, Ken Hoover

Les Chants D’Auvergne, Canteloube/Mahler’s 4th Symphony

Pasadena Symphony (Naples Philharmonic), ’08

On its best nights, the Pasadena Symphony ranks among the nation’s finest ensembles, and last night was one of those evenings. Nonetheless, the orchestra was only part of the show. Soprano Shana Blake Hill was the voluptuous (both vocally and visually) soloist in Joseph Canteloube’s Chants d’Auvergne…From her very first note, Hill embraced these warm and witty songs, not just with her singing but also her magnetic stage presence. Wearing a wine-red top and magenta skirt and using a filmy black wrap to full effect, Hill danced, pranced… and sang her way wonderfully through the sextet and, for good measure, offered witty commentary before three of the songs.
The highlight, for this critic, was Baïlèro, where Hill’s sensuous singing was matched by elegant solo work from Oboeist David Weiss. The funniest moments came in Lou Bousse (The Hunchback), where Hill’s stunning good looks and wit were in full force in a story about a hunchback trying to woo a young woman named Jeanette, only to discover her true nature. After intermission, they returned for Mahler’s Symphony No. 4…
In the final movement, Hill (this time in a black gown) sang Das Himmlische Leben (The Heavenly Life)…One of the genuine pleasures of Hill’s performance was that she treated the lyrics for the story that it is; so many soloists just sing the words, but the tall, statuesque soprano both sang and acted them with meaning.
Pasadena Star News/San Gabriel Valley Tribune/Whittier Daily News, Robert D. Thomas

Bright Sheng The Phoenix

Saratoga Springs Festival, Philadelphia Orchestra, Charles Dutoit, ’06

Bright Sheng’s ‘The Phoenix’ gave a vivid musical depiction of a classic fable, featuring a soprano singing the prose libretto with the orchestra. Shana Blake Hill was amazing in this very difficult role… her richly colored tone lent dignity and a sense of awe to the tale. Adorned with a single jewel just above her forehead and dressed in a brilliantly colored gown, she was a mesmerizing presence…the vocal line carries words through strange intervals and rhythms, pleasant, complex, but a wonderfully powerful combination of voice and unique orchestration. This was the Philadelphia Orchestra’s premiere performance of ‘The Phoenix,’ but the musicians ably met Sheng’s challenges. The Saratogian

Countess The Marriage of Figaro

Opera Southwest, ’07

Shana Blake Hill as Rosina,…provides the grace and dignity which set her apart from the others. ABQ News

Durham Symphony Evening of Opera

4th Annual Benefit for the Center for Child and Family Health

It took the appearance and performance of guest artist, soprano Shana Blake Hill, to warm the audience up a bit. Her stage presence and her artistry were enough as she breezed, seemingly without effort, through the bel canto warhorse Casta Diva. Her rich tone, vocal control, and dramatic interpretation commanded attention and appreciation. Of special note were her pure high notes and perfect cadences. After intermission, the concert resumed with bravura aria Marten aller Arten from The Abduction from the Seraglio. It and each of her following solos were given relaxed and charming vocal introductions by the singer. Again, her technical vocal skill was impressive. Soft controlled trills, arpeggios up and down the scale, challenging ornamentation, and emotional depth were equally conveyed in this rendition. The program continued with Ombra mai fu … This gorgeous melody, Stately and magnificent, requires tonal and dynamic challenges for any voice… crescendos rising from nothing to just the right place and diminuendos fading back to nothing sent chills up the back of my neck. The best was saved for last. Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 … is otherworldly and ethereal and Hill seemed totally at one with it. This was truly a special treat, an awesome performance with the cellos playing inspired by the music and the singing. Hill returned to the stage for an encore dedicated to the children served by the Center for Child and Family Health. She sat casually on a stool and sang a cappella a lullaby we all treasure: Somewhere Over the Rainbow. What a charmed conclusion to a fine evening of music! Classical Voice of North Carolina

Sakagawea Corps of Discovery Michael Ching

Fargo Moorehead Opera, Tour ’07

Shana Blake Hill was transcendent in the role of Sakakawea, imbuing the iconic persona with vibrant passion, independent spirit and depth of character. Her warmly lyrical, fluid voice shone with a polished brilliance that did not sacrifice tonal beauty for power. The Forum

Opera Gala

The New West Symphony, ’06

Most consistently impressive of the group…soprano Shana Blake Hill, a dynamic presence as well as a vocalist with skills to meet a variety of challenges, was captivating in “Musetta’s Waltz” from Puccini’s “La Boheme” and provided exquisite vocalizing in her roles in “I Pagliacci,” “Rigoletto” and “The Marriage of Figaro.” The Ventura Star

Carmina Burana Carl Orff

The New West Symphony, ’06

Shana Blake Hill, a breathtaking soprano who created luminous moments. The Ventura Star

Fiordiligi Cosi fan Tutte

The Bar Harbor Music Festival, ’06

A night at the opera turned into a night to remember when the lights went out last Saturday night at the Criterion Theatre… Actually, the evening was already promising to produce some very pleasant memories as the attractive young singers in the Bar Harbor Music Festival production of “Cosi Fan Tutti” filled the theater with their wonderful voices, (Fiordiligi), beautifully sung and acted by soprano Shana Blake Hill… shortly after the second act started, the lights in the theater — and all over the island, I understand went out. The incredible thing is, neither the singers nor the pianist, Cary-Anne Matheson, missed a note during all of this. They just kept on singing in the dark… And when their characters exited the stage, they returned with flashlights, using them to light their own and each others faces so naturally it was almost as if these were standard props…I’ve never seen a more exuberant and well-deserved standing ovation than the one this talented crew got that night at the opera when the lights went out. Bar Harbor Times

Mimi La Boheme

The Bar Harbor Music Festival, “05

… in “Mi Chiamano Mimi,” Ms. Hill’s fabulous soprano filled the hall so completely the sound almost seemed to be coming from our own throats. Now, I figured that Mimi’s delicate little cough about five seconds after she first appears on stage was such a trope that even those who were not familiar with this opera…would be forewarned that this gal was not going to make it. So I was surprised when the companion to my left leaned over at some point in the second act and whispered, “Oh dear, is she going to die?” which suggested that Ms. Hill had been subtle enough at the start to give those who didn’t know the outcome hope that those two kids would live happily ever after. But even I, who thought she was thoroughly prepared for the tragic end, was not prepared for the sweetness of Mimi’s final song… Bar Harbor Times

The Sum of all Fears Soundtrack, Jerry Goldsmith

Sony Classics, (also featured on Sony Favorite Sountracks)

What sets it apart is the operatic performance of Shana Blake Hill, …a stirring opening. The opening does rather prove to be the high point of the score. Amazon.com

Florencia Grimaldi Florencia en el Amazonas Daniel Catan

The Ford Amphitheater

…at the Ford there was the further decided advantage of the excellent soprano Shana Blake Hill to sing Florencia’s sad songs. LA Weekly

Highlights of Los Angeles Opera Apprenticeship Performances:

As Clorinda Shana Blake Hill…complimented a fine cast…Everything clicked. Opera News (Los Angeles Opera, La Cenerentola)

Shana Blake Hill was a delightfully girlish Papagena.
Classical Voice

Shana Blake Hill was a pert, clear-voiced Papagena.
Opera Japonica, International News

Shana Blake Hill made Barbarina delicious to look at and to listen to. Concertonet.com (Figaro, Los Angeles opera)

Shana Blake Hill brought vocal richness and poise to the role of Barbarina… Los Angeles Times (Figaro, Los Angeles opera,)

Sara’s Diary: 9/11 Glenn Paxton/Leroy Aarons

No doubt that September 11, 2001 will be a day to live in infamy. By now there are dozens of ways that people have chosen to remember or honor the memory of the victims, but one of the most poignant was experienced Sunday September 28 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Classical radio KMZT broadcast live Sara’s Dairy- a frighteningly authentic account of a pregnant woman’s life the day before – the day of and the days after the September 11th attack. The prose poem finds a couple the evening prior to the tragedy, continues to detail the horrific day when the husband calls Sara from the 95th floor of Tower One moments before its collapse. A few days later the baby is born, and the rest of the dairy describes emotions – feelings and deep melancholy. This alone would make a good program, but the unique merit of the Dairy is in its presentation. Soprano Shana Blake Hill sings the words of Pulitzer Prize winner Leroy Aarons heroic tale to a haunting piano accompaniment composed by Glenn Paxton and beautifully performed by Victoria Kirsch. The combination is nothing short of phenomenal. The soaring voice, at times soft – at times angry – but always emotive and true to the tale, creates the effect of a religious service, with an angelic choir of one raising hosannas to the courage of those victimized by the tragedy. Hill has the kind of voice that can penetrate your soul: a crystalline bel canto, balanced with a rich middle voice that punctuates any phrase with warmth and strength. As beautiful as she is talented, Ms. Hill makes the Diary come alive with her distinct phrasing and style. You can feel the despair – the melancholy – the sadness,coupled with rich joy when she relates the birth of Sara’s child to complete the family which, she is convinced, will continue to exist. This Song Cycle will undoubtedly find other venues, and has to be on the “must attend” list of anyone who considers the performing arts a necessary green oasis in an uncertain world. ReviewPlays.Com (Sara’s Diary:9/11, LA County Museum of Art)