Most notable was Cuban-American soprano Elizabeth Caballero, who sang Liu in sensuously glowing tones, her charged legato shaping the music into cogent paragraphs. Liu’s death scene tore at the heart. For a long stretch in Act III, the performance achieved the kind of unselfconscious emotional directness that has lately been in short supply at the Met, where almost every production seems designed for people who think they don’t like opera, or worse, for the movie cameras.
Alex Ross, The New Yorker 10/31/11
The most poignant character in the piece is Liu, the loyal slave girl who has served Calaf’s father, the deposed Tartar king. in Act 1 Liu, who is secretly in love with Calaf, begs him not to risk his life on the riddles in the opera’s first great aria (“Signore, ascolta!”). Soprano Elizabeth Caballero’s performance of the piece on opening night was stunning. Indeed, Caballero threatens to walk away with the production, because her solo in Act 3, just before Liu takes her own life, is another highlight of this show.
Robert Trussell, Kansas City Star, 10/02/11