“Puccini’s one-act tragedy “Suor Angelica” ascends (or doesn’t, as the case might be) on the power of its leading lady. For the final third of the opera, its title character is almost entirely alone on stage with her reality fractured by grief. She is swept by a brutal tempest of emotion from despair to ecstasy, and she must sweep the audience along with her. Thursday evening with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and music director Andris Nelsons, soprano Kristine Opolais was resplendent in this way, channeling divine passion into the climactic scene.

In the long crescendo of the opera’s last 20 minutes, she transported to a higher plane. Her voice has taken on a steely quality in recent years, and its raw edges imparted keen desperation to everything she sang, from the tender first phrases of “Senza mamma” to Angelica’s frenetic final prayers for salvation after she poisons herself.”

Boston Globe