Jayne West has all the qualities of an ideal Mélisande.
Her exquisite musicianship, her excellent French, her feeling
for Debussy's idiom and, most of all, the natural soft focus
of her tone are a wonderful match for this elusive character,
who lives entirely in the present and exists only as primary
emotion. The moment when Mélisande
lets her long golden hair fall from the tower was utterly
rapturous, and the way West can sing "I am not happy"
tore at the heart.
Jayne West quite possibly gave the performance of her career.
She filled the role with her silvery, breathtakingly lovely
Knoxville: Summer of 1915
...That West was draped in a just-off-white gown added to
the angelic effect of her singing, which grew in wonder and
radiance as the song - a child's imagining of life in heaven
- progresed...And it continued with Barber's "Knoxville:
Summer of 1915"...Thanks to the sincerity of West, Zander
and the Boston Philharmonic, you could feel the heat of the
sun and the warmth of the family as you listened.
in Carnegie Hall
Mr. Briskin used a chorus of 119, giving it full voice....The
Masterwork Orchestra was generally fine, too, as were the
vocal soloists, especially Jayne West, a soprano, and Kevin
Deas, a bass-baritone...
William Hite and Jayne West were the young lovers, well-matched
in charm of tone, clarity of diction, accomplishment of technique,
and ability to impart conviction to the blandest sentiments,
rising to the opportunity to deliver more when Handel offers
shined, as in the slow-tempoed Daughter of the gods in Act
The radiant soprano Jayne West and the stentorian baritone
James Maddalena were superb soloists.
New York Times
West has a high, pure, strong and affecting soprano voice;
I should call it "angelic" if it were not so filled
with worldly emotion.
...soprano Jayne West sang with uncommon beauty and involvement:
Every note was suffused with intent.