“…diva Marisa Lenhardt…stepped out on a balcony to sing opera tracks remixed by DJ Gavin Hardkiss. Puccini and Donizetti were dancing in heaven, an art form different in every way from rolling in their graves.”
-Leah Garchik, San Francisco Chronicle, 6/19/03
Full article here.
“We were fortunate to find Miss Marisa Lenhardt of Alameda, late Saturday evening. Marisa stepped up and agreed to perform for us the following day. A super-talented opera singer, Marisa has performed on stage in such works as “Aida” and “The Magic Flute”. Our sincere appreciation goes to Marisa, who thrilled the record 62,428 fans in attendance with her lovely soprano voice. We hope to see more of Marisa in the future…”
-Mary Barnes, Raiderettes Director, November 8 2000
“…Ggreg Taylor’s Forgotten Opera…featured a captivating live performance by soprano Marisa Lenhardt, a 1997 graduate of the SF Conservatory of Music whose career has ranged from singing the works of Chris Brubeck with opera legend Frederica von Stade to annually singing arias in the Death Guild Thunderdome out on the playa at Burning Man. As the slender, darkly beautiful Lenhardt perched on the balcony overlooking the packed main dance floor – lords, ladies, queer nuns and everyone else transfixed by her delicate aura – DJ Gavin Hardkiss (aka Hawke) got his original “Forgotten Opera” mix going, over part of which Lenhardt layerd a soul-stirring version of Puccini’s ‘O Mio Babbino Caro’ from Gianni Schicchi. Then came a spectacular techno/opera mix using elements from Donizeti’s Lucia di Lammermoor and the sound track to The Fifth Element, composed by Eric Serra. The piece had a rarefied, otherwordly quality that Lenhardt drew out with soaring ease.”
Mark Mardon, Bay Area Reporter, June 2003
“That girl has angels in her throat.”
Kris Murray, Alameda Education Foundation
“It is only from a true artist that the voice and heart are connected. Marisa Lenhardt completes this bridge as she continually moves our audiences and opens their souls to Opera.”
Jeffrey Ferns, Velocity Circus
“Mesmerizing audiences with her grace, this Diva receives more marriage proposals than Madonna.”
Gregangelo Herrera, Velocity Circus
“At the end of each performance of ‘Ordo Virtutum,’ there was always someone who came up and commented on how striking and beautiful Marisa’s voice and presence was.”
Todd Jolly, Director, San Francisco Renaissance Voices
From Piss Clear, Burning Man’s alternative newspaper, as penned by Adrian Roberts:
Best of Black Rock City issue — 29 August 2003
Best opera fix without having to sit through one of Pepé’s pretentious opera productions
Diva Marisa at Death Guild Thunderdome
Yeah, yeah, we know that Pepé Ozan hasn’t done an opera production here in Black Rock City for the past couple of years … but hey, who needs it when we’ve got Diva Marisa at the Thunderdome? Get there before the battles start to get a real slice of true opera. This classically-trained vocalist performs a beautiful aria every night, and we think it’s the perfect intro to the violence and chaos that follows.
1 September 2004
So tonight’s the night. I’m getting married, to my partner-in-crime for five-and-a-half years, the Mysterious D. We got engaged here last year, right after the Fandango cocktail party. We were with a group of friends at the Thunderdome, and we got there just in time to hear Diva Marisa sing. The crowd was hushed, as this beautiful aria lilted over the playa. It was then that I realized I was in The Perfect Moment. I dug around in my backpack and found it – the ring I’d been carrying around for four days. Surrounded by our friends in a huge throng of people, I put the ring in D’s hand. As Marisa soared to her finale and the crowd erupted into cheers, our friends slowly figured out what had just happened. The rest of the evening is a blur, but I do remember us celebrating our engagement by dancing in the go-go cage atop of the Roaster Coaster! Woo-hoo!