“Margaine just has it – with a grounded sensuality that reminds me of Juliette Binoche. She uses her body in other ways to show how she cares not a fig what others think: how on certain high notes, she drops down into something between a wide balletic plié and a peasant woman on a birthing chair. Then there’s that skip step off the ball of her high heel as if she might just hop and fly away, demanding freedom in the skies.

The woman is fearless. In the second scene at her friend Lilas Pastia’s bar joint, when the flamenco dancers look as if they might rule the stage, Margaine steps out and dances not just for Officer Zuniga but takes a turn with flamenco star, Timo Nuñez. She holds her own and seems to fling down the gauntlet to singers and dancers alike, “I may not be the best dancer but I will be the best dancer you can get here tonight, so you better try me.”

Best of all, I love what this French mezzo brings vocally to the role. She displayed an effortlessness throughout opening night, and seems to live comfortably up and down the registers of this score. I found that she managed especially – in that tricky middle place where the role sits for so much of the beginning of the work and that so often gets a dark and hooded sound or veers into braying – to maintain a warm and accessible sound.”

Susan Galbraith, DC Theatre Scene