Performance Reviews

“Sadej beautifully rendered “L’Invitation au voyage”, with its effortless leaps from low to high register. For a weak singer such alternations of pitch are a disaster, bridged with heavy portamento, and marked by drastic change of timbre. But a fantastic singer like Sadej or [Jesse] Norman can make these alternations and melodic shifts sound natural and inspired – evoking deep, dramatic emotions in a large arc of melody supported by incessant arpeggios of the pianist. Bravo!

“The second part of the program started from the most famous set of Trois Chansons de Bilitis by Claude Debussy… Sadej and Kocyan rose to the occasion in their interpretation of this often heard classic, creating an unforgettable musical gem. The resonance of Sadej voice permeated the recital hall, in an electrifying moment of musical magic. One has to revert to “purple prose” to describe moments such as this one. “

(Review of Recital with pianist Wojciech Kocyan)

–         Maja Trochimczyk, Chopin With Cherries Editor and President of the Los Angeles Modjeska Club


“We heard the incomparable mezzosoprano Katarzyna Sadej (you have to hear her to believe it! What a voice, one in a century!)….This was also the first time that this particular audience could hear her magnificent voice;  rich, saturated, resonance, with perfect intonation, it resonated through the hall, through everyone, so much so that the listeners became totally immobile. Some had tears in their eyes. “

“The 1943 song written by a Home Army soldier remained popular through the post-war period. Sadej filled it with longing, gentle melancholy, and quiet resignation; revealing an expressive side to her musical talent. The tears that appeared in the eyes of her listeners were a testimony to her skill; through her superb musicality and expressiveness she touched her audience deeply. “

“As an opera singer, Sadej knows how to please her public with a performance that’s stage worthy, as she proved in the last two items on her program. Jerzy Petersburski tango, That Last Sunday / To ostatnia niedziela is a dramatic farewell of a suicidal jilted lover: in the original a man, here – a woman singing to one man she selected from the audience, with great comic force. A pure delight, musical confection made of a melancholy confession of futile love. The Sevillana (Près des remparts de Séville) from Berlioz’s Carmen needed a prop of one red rose that Sadej played with while walking through the rows of her listeners who obediently allowed themselves to be seduced by her mesmerizing voice and charm.  Of course, the strong support of Basia Bochenek made all this playacting and performing possible and we are deeply grateful for her fruitful collaboration with Sadej, the opera star.  “

(Review of Los Angeles Modjeska Club Recital)

–         Maja Trochimczyk, Chopin With Cherries Editor and President of the Los Angeles Modjeska Club


Where is it that our soul doth go? (Heine) rose to considerable declamatory power in Ms. Sadej’s interpretation…with Ms. Fernandez relishing this song’s even more ardently romantic viola introduction to Ms. Sadej’s rich tones.”

(Review of First Fridays at First concert series recital, February 2019, Torrance CA)

–         David Brown, LA Opus


“Katarzyna Sadej was fun to watch as Cherubino, all raging teenage hormones and gangly awkwardness. Sadej has an attractive, deep mezzo.”

(Review of Le Nozze di Figaro at the National Arts Centre, 2019, Ottawa)

–         Natasha GauthierArt’s File 


“She has a strong, lovely voice and delivers…Ms Sadej’s dream state was perhaps better than any real state.”

(Review of Bard Summerscape Festival’s recital of Chopin songs)

–         Stephen Kaye, The Millbrook Independent


“Casting priorities had obviously been based on beauty of voice and expression and it was a pleasure to hear singers of the highest quality even in the smallest roles….Katarzyna Sadej brought a boyish and dusky mezzo steeped in poignancy to her role as the frustrated Page who is powerless to prevent her best friend’s self-destruction…Another standout.”

(Review of LA Opera’s 2017 production of Strauss’ Salome)

–         Patrick Mack, Parterre


“Attente (‘Expectation’) and Reflets (‘Reflections’) were written when Lili Boulanger was still in her teens; in both, elaborate arpeggiated accompaniments from Ms Bochenek underpinned the steady unspooling of long, unpredictable and deeply expressive vocal lines that revealed Ms Sadej’s depth and range. Reflets in particular unleashed rich chest notes that were thrilling to hear.”

(Review of First Fridays at First concert series recital, March 2017, Torrance CA)

–          David Brown, LA Opus


Excerpts from review in The Boston Music Intelligencer of Katarzyna’s solos in Haydn’s Paukenmesse and C.P.E. Bach’s Magnificat, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Sanders Theater at Harvard:

“Katarzyna Sadej was radiant of visage and voice.” 

“…In the duet Deposuit potentes tenor Gregory Zavracky… must have been inspired by his mezzo-soprano partner Katarzyna Sadej. The contrasts of the two voices often crossing in registers was quite charming.

The alto aria Sucepit Israel was perhaps the most artistic moment in the performance, especially as sung by the ravishing Katarzyna Sadej. The rapture on her visage was certainly projected in her voice. It was too bad that the orchestra didn’t listen to her shapely phrases, follow her example, and give her a bit more breathing space in her pianissimos.”

(Review of Haydn’s Paukenmesse and C.P.E. Bach’s Magnificat, Sanders Theater at Harvard)

–          F. Lee Eiseman, publisher of The Boston Music Intelligencer


Excerpts from review in Fanfare Magazine of composer Carson Cooman’s CD release “Rising at Dawn”, on which Katarzyna is a featured soloist performing the song cycle “Chasing the Moon Down”:

“Cooman is most fortunate to have a marvelous vocal exponent in mezzo-soprano Katarzyna Sadej, who is nothing short of enthralling. Hers is a stunningly rich, beautiful voice, with a deep, perfectly centered vibrato and pitch allied to profound expressiveness. Judging by the booklet photo she is still quite young; I dearly hope she goes on to the major career her performance here suggests she deserves.

… All the participating artists give fine performances that reveal their commitment to Cooman’s music, though again Sadej is in a class all by herself.

…[the song cycle “Chasing the Moon Down”] is a genuine masterpiece – no other word will do – and ought to take its place immediately in the pantheon of great American art songs.”

(Review of CD release “Rising at Dawn: Chamber Music with brass by Carson Cooman”)

–          James A. Altena (Fanfare Magazine, Issue 37:3)


Excerpts from write-up in Journal of Novi Sad, after Katarzyna Sadej’s (mezzo) and Nada Kolundjija’s (pianist) recital of French songs in Novi Sad, Serbia:

“…her interpretation was excellent, every vocal expression encouraged and in each phrase mindful of her colleague at the piano, to deliver a program of rarities selected from the works of French composers.

… The pleasant and evenly timbered voice of Katarzyna Sadej – a voice that is perfectly suited to chamber music – the excellent articulation of French texts, [her voice’s] lightness, her charm and natural interpretation, her affinity for the art song repertoire, and the absence of the need to reduce the intensity of the repertoire – her interpretations were embellished with these qualities.

…we were treated to “Séguedille” from the opera “Carmen”: [Katarzyna portrayed] an endearing Spanish gypsy, charming, seductive, graceful and not at all vulgar.

…the level of understanding and compatibility between the [two] artists in their tone, dynamics, accentuation and in their detailed collaborative formation of emotional musical phrases, remain in our memories as the principle characteristics of this lovely evening of chamber music, organized by the Centre fine arts Guarnerius Belgrade and Musical Youth of Novi Sad.”

(Performance of all-French recital program as part of the Festivale de la Francophonie, Synagogue of Novi Sad, Serbia)

–         Marija Adamov, Journal (Novi Sad, Serbia)


“Among those artists who won the affection of the Colombian public is the beautiful mezzo-soprano Katarzyna Sadej, of Polish origin, who in the Plaza de San Pedro (Cartagena) demonstrated why she is one of the most promising young artists in opera.”

(Performance of Polish art songs with pianist Stephen Prutsman, Cartagena International Music Festival)

–         Agencia de Noticias, Colombia


“ [Katarzyna Sadej] astonished us with the beautiful timbre of her voice…in Chopin’s songs, and also in Mozart’s Requiem…”

(Performances of Polish art song and alto soloist in Mozart Requiem, Cartagena International Music Festival)

–         Cambio, Colombia


“Katarzyna is an incredible artist with a beautiful voice, but is also very sensible and open minded to everything. It was a lovely experience, both for her and for me, to create a unique gown designed exclusively for her.”

–         Colombian Fashion Designer Ana Urrea quoted in “Extroversia”, Colombia, regarding the designer’s commission by the Cartagena International Music Festival to design a gown for the mezzo-soprano.


“The Polish-Canadian mezzo-soprano Katarzyna Sadej became the best model for (the fashion designer) Ana Urrea’s dresses.”

–          El Espectador, Colombia


“The role of Giannetta is a small sing, but mezzo Katarzyna Sadej made it count with an attractive, lilting voice that deserves bigger exposure.”

(Performance of Giannetta in Donizetti’s L’Elisir D’Amore, University of Toronto)

–         Paula Citron, Opera Canada


“Add brass, trumpets and trombones to the stage, and the highlight of the concert appears: the world premiere of Michael Pepa’s  “ISOMORPHE” for mezzo-soprano, violin, accordion, and ensemble. The soloists are outstanding.…The brooding tension and explosions of violence that are developed in this innovative and exciting piece of music are lulled towards the end by the crying from the heart quality of mezzo-soprano Katarzyna Sadej’s warm prayerful tones.”

(World Premiere Peformance of Michale Pepa’s Isomorphe, Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto)

–         Scelsi: Sound in Three Dimensions reviewed by Stanley Fefferman SHOWTIME PREVIEWS


“Kasia Sadej, already Cherubino, passed without problem into a virtuoso Donna Elvira. Don Giovanni would have done better to look at her twice before fleeing from her at every turn!”

(Performance of Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, University of Ottawa)

–         Jean-Jacques Van Vlasselaer, Ottawa Review


“Doreen Taylor-Claxton and Katarzyna Sadej added charm and beauty as Donna Anna and Donna Elvira … the audience was swept along by the youthful vigor and enthusiasm of the performers.”

(Performance of Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, University of Ottawa)

–         David Williams, NCOS, Ottawa