+Praise as María in María de Buenos Aires

“Peabody Southwell made an arresting Maria, passionate, sexy, vulnerable and tragic.”

Los Angeles Times/Chris Pasles/February 2012

“María [was] sung seductively by the sultry mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell… Southwell candidly admitted that she was initially thrown for a loop by what Mitisek had in mind. But her performance on Sunday showed how completely she has managed to embrace the concept. Her grand entrance aria, “Yo soy María de Buenos Aires,” is the opera’s hit number… Few singers can convincingly deliver an aria filled with passion and flair all the while dancing a tango (complete with extreme back bends) and blindfolded! Southwell can — talk about a star turn. As the tone of the opera changed, Southwell proved equally convincing as María-the-victim, who finds herself beaten by and ravished at the hands of brutal men, then cast into a dungeon cell worthy of Fidelio. Brava, for a memorable performance.”

San Francisco Classical Voice/Jim Farber/February 2012

“Peabody Southwell sang María with clarity and real energy in a very physically demanding staging where she is often dancing or in physical conflicts with others.”

Out West Arts/Brian Holt/February 2012

“Peabody Southwell’s María is fierce and fearless in both her singing and her physicality. Though much of the role lies perilously low, she never gives into the temptation to simply growl the notes. She sings with a passionate precision that elevates María to iconic heights. Southwell is equally undaunted by the physical demands of the production, from her flirtatious dancing to the shocking violence of her brutal rape and imprisonment.”

StageHappenings/Michael van Duzer/February 2012


+Praise as Lorca in Ainadamar

“Mezzo Southwell, looking like Lorca’s doppelganger, was full of swagger and despair, displaying a rock-solid lower range, clean and controlled tone and a wide expressive range.”

Opera News/Peter Lefevre/May 2012

“Peabody Southwell as Lorca [gave] a really striking performance, gorgeously vocalized.”

Opera West/David Gregson/May 2012

 “Southwell, in the pants role of Lorca, was particularly moving and visually memorable, stunning as the dead poet.”

Press-Telegram/John Farrell/May 2012

 “Peabody Southwell as the poet is riveting, a combination of Cocteau’s Orpheus with the young and unstoppable Chaplin, ambiguous, desired, unattainable and, in death, a transfigured intermediary with the sacred.” M. Wallace/May 2012

“As Lorca, Peabody Southwell found a role which comfortably combined her passionately intense singing with her compelling stage presence.” van Duzer/May 2012

+Praise in The Paper Nautilus

“Mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell and soprano Ashley Knight, dressed in flowing drapery, made like mermaids and warmly, effusively handled everything else[…] Like sirens from the marine depths, the seductively effective singers intoned the languid sea’s lips and its entangling hair.”

LA Times/Mark Swed/September 2012

“[…]A mesmerizing performance that brought together two exceptionally beautiful voices and wonderful stage performers — soprano Ashley Knight and mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell”

Opera West/David Gregson/September 2012

“Mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell’s voice was rich, clear and solid.  Her tone fully embodied the deep sounds of the ocean.” D. Goldenhersh/September 2012

“[…M]ezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell floated beautifully through Bryars’ impressionistic vocal writing[…]” Corral/September 2012


+Praise as Zita in Gianni Schicchi and Anna 1 in Die sieben Todsünden

“Peabody Southwell, a born comedienne, played a sexy Zita (returning to seduce Schicchi at the opera’s end). Southwell (aged all of 27) pulled off a triumph of stylistic mastery and ripe, sensual sound as Anna 1.”

Opera Magazine (UK)/David Shengold/August 2011

If one had to choose one standout performer from the lineup, the obvious choice would be Peabody Southwell, a virtual unknown who delivers two career-making turns. Although she earned her graduate degree from the University of California-Los Angeles just three years ago, Southwell has the self-assurance and polished technique of a well-established veteran as well as such winning extras as a terrific sense of movement and a kind of theatrical pizazz. She could hardly have been more at home in the Weill work, commanding the stage in the central role of Anna 1. She adroitly fuses operatic technique with the work’s looser cabaret feel, an often elusive balance, and compellingly conveys the dark world-weariness of this music. At the same time, Southwell lights up the smaller role of Zita in “Gianni Schicchi,” exhibiting a natural comic sensibility while showing herself to be adept in Puccini’s altogether different romantic style.”

Denver Post/Kyle MacMillan/August 2011

“Noticeably younger and sexier than most Zita’s, Peabody Southwell attacked the role with an antic verve which proved infectious[…] Peabody Southwell sang a richly nuanced and compelling Anna I. Not only does her pliant mezzo easily navigate the opera’s vocal demands, but she nimbly changes style to accommodate Weill’s eclectic score.” van Duzer/August 2011

+Praise as Baroness von Botzenheim in The Good Soldier Schweik

“Mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell offers a fine turn as the Baroness von Botzenheim who uses her social status to flummox the police and get Schweik out of a jam.”

Opera West/David Gregson/January 2010

“Peabody Southwell in […] a Madeline Kahn-esque turn as Baroness von Botzenheim, who shows that she Supports Our Troops by bringing her front to the front to hug them goodbye.” M. Wallace/January 2010

+Praise as The Drummer in The Emperor in Atlantis

“Peabody Southwell sang The Drummer in a bright, ringing tone, costumed in lingerie and a bandolier…a cross between Marlene Dietrich and Che Guevara.”

Opera News/Peter Lefevre/August 2009

“I was also smitten by gifted mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell[…]possessed of a fine voice among a range of talents.”

Opera West/David Gregson/May 2009

“Several artists were vocally exceptional […] Peabody Southwell as the seductive Drummer.”

     The Beverly Hills Outlook/Wendy Kikkert/June 2009

+Praise as Ramiro in Motezuma

“The cast is full of dynamic, daring actors […]  Another young singer, Peabody Southwell, was a rubber-faced Ramiro, a droopy and clueless lover faced with an erratic woman and an erratic war.  A flexible mezzo-soprano, she too is going places.

La Times/Mark Swed/March 2009

“Ramiro is lesbian-ized by fabulous young mezzo-soprano, Peabody Southwell.”

Opera West/David Gregson/March 2009

“There were some enjoyable performances in the cast – particularly [that] of Peabody Southwell as the young lover Ramiro[…]”

Out West Arts/Brian Holt/March 2009

“The conflicted Ramiro, torn between duty to brother and country and his love for Teutile, was sung by Peabody Southwell, who was also the raffish male Fox in LBO’s Cunning Little Vixen in January.  She delivered the full range of necessary serious emotion in Ramiro’s arias while bringing a fine comic physicality in the recitatives and in her Ronsonesque ‘real world’ segments.  I hope we will see and hear more of her soon.” M. Wallace/April 2009

“Peabody Southwell as Ramiro did very well, her first aria displayed a warm, beautiful voice and one could get the gist of the fineness of Vivaldi’s music. She also acted well, and was not unconvincing as a male.”

The Opera Tattler/Charlise Tiee/April 2009

+Praise as The Fox in The Cunning Little Vixen

“Though this was her first professional production, Peabody Southwell was an old pro as the randy, very male Fox.”

LA Times/Mark Swed/January 2009

“Peabody Southwell was engaging as that cunning little fox.”

The Beverly Hills Outlook/Wendy Kikkert/January 2009

“Peabody Southwell shone in the trouser role (more of a brown overall role in this case) of the Fox who wins Sharp Ears’ affections; I am pleased to see that Ms. Southwell will be returning in both of LBO’s remaining productions this season.” M. Wallace/January 2009