Kristine Opolais joined her husband, Maestro Andris Nelsons, and tenor Jonas Kaufmann, to perform with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in a Gala concert to open the season. This concert was in celebration of Mr. Nelsons and his new post as Music Director of the BSO, the youngest to be appointed in that role in more than a century. It was also recorded for national broadcast for PBS’Great Performances series, to air at a later date.

The evening featured a mix of both orchestral favorites as well as operatic excerpts, including performances of the “Liebestod” from Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde and “Un bel dì” from Puccini’s Madama Butterfly from Ms. Opolais. She also joined Mr. Kaufmann in much-loved duets from La bohème and Manon Lescaut.

“ . . . a deeply felt account of “Un bel dì” from “Madama Butterfly,” delivering a glimpse of one of her signature roles that made you wish to hear more. She also teamed up with Kaufmann for “Tu, tu Amore? Tu?” from Puccini’s “Manon Lescaut,” and the pair showed real chemistry, even in a concert performance. The two capped their section of the program with a tenderly sung encore, “O Soave Fanciulla” from “La Bohème.”

Jeremy Eichler – The Boston Globe “ . . . Wagner’s Prelude and “Liebestod” from “Tristan und Isolde,” with Ms. Opolais bravely moving beyond her vocal comfort zone to sing music associated with powerful dramatic soprano voices. Still, she brought tenderness, longing and shimmering warmth to her somewhat cautious but affecting performance of the challenging “Liebestod” . . . Ms. Opolais was in her element performing “Un bel dì” from Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” . . . the evening’s two singers finally joined for a duet: an intense, impassioned account of “Tu, Tu, amore? Tu?” from Act II of Puccini’s “Manon Lescaut” . . . Before Mr. Nelsons finished the concert with the Respighi work, he led the singers in an extra treat: the “O Soave Fanciulla” duet from the end of Act I of Puccini’s “La Bohème,” another winning performance that had the audience again on its feet.”

Anthony Tommasini – The New York Times

“Opolais has a tender, lyric and expressive soprano instrument . . . and Opolais gorgeously sang “Un bel dì” from Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly,” perfectly suited to her voice and demeanor.”

Wicked Local Billerica

Image: Tatyana Vlasova