“It is not often that a debuting singer has the kind of near-flawless vocalism that Joy Blackett exhibited in her recital Monday night in Town Hall.  It is a beautiful instrument produced with apparent effortlessness.  Miss Blackett is a first rate singer at this early point in her career.  Her recital was the opening event to the season’s Young Concert Artists Series. It set a high standard for the concerts to come.”  |  Raymond Ericson,  NEW YORK TIMES

“Her hair was black, her eyes black and flashing, her dress black velvet: a beautiful picture. And then she sang in a voice like steel in velvet, sharp, strong, beautiful. Maybe not steel at all, but bronze, a softer metal. Her name is Joy Blackett. Her performance Saturday night was a stunning one and well-received. She sang two encores; the audience would happily have listened to more.” 

“Joy Blackett proved to be a a real stand-out in Schumann’s rarely heard Paradise and the Peri, a rich effortless messo soprano of sizable power and striking beauty.

“In Henri Pousseur’s 25-minute screed, ‘CROSSES OF CROSSED COLORS,’ in which the soprano Joy Blackett declaimed and sang as the composer’s notes put it, ‘various texts connected to the complex American reality (a declaration by an Indian Chief, Negro spirituals, various political and social statements) etc. …Miss Blackett’s performance vocally powerful and dramatically shrewd, gave the score its main interest.”  |  Donal Henahan, NEW YORK TIMES

“Emotion, Energy and Excellence Merge in a Marvelous Mezzo: Ms. Blackett has such an expressive visage, that I was initially drawn to the quality and content of a particular song through the emotion evidenced on her face, which doesn’t compromise her musical prowess in any way, but affirms her as an actress. In executing this bluesy, syncopated show tune, Blackett showed her latitude as an artist-craftswoman.”  |  THE DARTMOUTH

“The voice most likely to succeed in this cast, however, was Joy Blackett’s.  Her pillowy, lush mezzo-soprano as the Messenger and Hope (ORFEO) was simply stunning.”  |  STANFORD DAILY

“Joy Blackett is a very attractive young mezzo with a lot to give.  Her big, rich, dark voice might do justice to Amneris, Eboli, Azucena and Dalila.  And she phrased so stylishly, sculpted and colored tone so sensitively, and pronounced five languages so meticulously that one wished she had taken on more on this occasion.”  |  LOS ANGELES TIMES

“To begin with the vocal cast is excellent in Ward’s THE CRUCIBLE, expecially the piteous Tituba of Joy Blackett, whose richly tinted mezzo is the most interesting voice of the company.” |  WASHINGTON POST

“A dynamic and expressive singer with a richly hued voice, Blackett’s is a smoky voice with a marvelous range—the chest register turns absolute baritonal—and it seemed to have no limits in this Sunday afternoon recital in Charleston at the Spoleto Festival USA. The style with which the voice was used, and the imaginative qualities of the singer were significant elements in a particularly communicative performance.”   |  DAYTON DAILY NEWS

“As Queen Willatale, (Kirchner’s Lily), Joy Blackett was especially impressive. This was strong, clear, confident work.”  |  Harold Schonberg, NEW YORK TIMES

“Miss Blackett’s voice is large, resonant, rangy, tireless and capable of a wealth of colorations and dynamic shadings. Essentially a lyric mezzo, her voice became a dramatic mezzo soprano as the occasion demands. A tastedul artist, she dispatched Frank Martin’s QUATRE SONNETS A CASSANDRE with almost heroic amplitude of tone and a measure of dramatic vehemence that gave little warning of the artistic intimacies that were included or were to follow.”

“Three seasons ago, a small audience witnessed a rare event: a performance of compelling majesty. … The opera was a quaint curio called SAVITRI, from the pen of Gustav Holst; the singer Joy Blackett, was neither quaint nor curious—she was overwhelming.”  |  Alan Rich, NEW YORK MAGAZINE

“Joy Blackett has brought her rich mezzo soprano back from Bermuda to give a superb Suzuki.” |  NEW YORK AMSTERDAM NEWS

“Mezzo-soprano Joy Blackett dramatically emerged from the wings like a silvery, haunting spirit to sing ‘Field of the Dead’ movement from ALEXANDER NEVSKY. The low end of her voice was ominously dark while the rest of her range displayed its own unique emotionally penetrating dramatic colors.”

“Joy Blackett, as Serena perhaps typifies the religious fervor of the Southern Negro.  Her grief at the loss of her husband was spell-binding in a vocal line demanding in its range of color and dirge-like quality.”  |   THE POST-STAR, GLEN FALLS, New York

“For her final group of five spirituals, Ms. Blackett chose to sit on a folding chair, a simple device which contributed greatly to the intimacy and rapport which enhanced the beauty of these folk-gems.  The projection of the varied moods of profound reverence and ecstatic joy in ‘Let Us Break Bread Together’ and ‘O, What a Beautiful City,’ made the staging and hearing of these songs a worship experience not often experienced in a concert hall. Samuel Sanders provided sensitive and thoroughly competent accompaniments.”  |  EVENING POST, Charleston, South Carolina

“ Miss Blackett was especially affecting in the Agnus Dei (Bach: B Minor Mass) singing with a finely shaded nuance and a real sense of linear direction.”   |  Peter G. Davis, NEW YORK TIMES

“This was a performance of chilling control, and excellently judged tempos.  Highlights were the tension, bite and snarling brass in the ‘Battle on the Ice’ sequence, and mezzo Joy Blackett’s smokey sackcloth and ashes solo in the threnodic ‘Field of the Dead’ (ALEXANDER NEVSKY).”  | THE ARIZONA DAILY STAR

“From the first note to the last, Miss Blackett sang with the creamy smoothness of the young Victoria De Los Angeles.  She possesses a voice of incredible beauty.  Her tonal palette is capable of producing a wide variety of vocal colors.  Often, she sounded like a soprano.  She also possesses great skill as a singing-actress. The Spanish songs suggested a dark Moorish seductress … Monteverdi arias from L’incoronazione de Poppea had a dramatic intensity, and her handling of the embellishments showed stylistic eruditio.”   |  NEW YORK AMSTERDAM NEWS

“Vocally, (Professor) Blackett was in superb form throughout.  She belted out the cry of alarm in the second movement of Maurice Ravel’s ‘Chanson Madécasses’ with a combination of dramatic intensity and column-shaking volume that doubtless carried several blocks.  Her set of spirituals proved ideal vehicles for her dramatic power, flawless intonation, and articulation, instinctive phrasing and her extensive palette of vocal-color.  On the final chorus of ‘City Called Heaven,’ for example, she came out storming, then let the vocal line deliciously curl like smoke. The solid, dark and rich quality of her low registration prove the ideal vehicle for ‘Change My Name’ while the purity of her mid to upper range and the playful, buoyant quality of her rhythmic phrasing in ‘On My Journey Now,’ sent jubilant smiles around the hall.”  |  TUCSON CITIZEN

“Joy Blackett is a new constellation unto herself.  A beautiful, velvet mezzo-soprano wedded to an irresistible expressive sense.

“Miss Blackett demonstrated her remarkable gift fir dramatic interpretation, and, her powerful lower range with its organ-like breadth of tone. Her voice filled the church with that extraordinary power, sensitivity and control that brgins audiences to their feet in international opera houses. The first act finished with a magnificent rendition of ‘All that Gold’ from Amahl and the Night Visitors. The performance was so moving that many in the audience wept silent tears.”  |  BERMUDA MID-OCEAN NEWS

“Then Joy Blackett came out looking like a Gauguin subject – only better – and sang even better. Unforgettable.”  |  CHARLESTON EVENING POST