“A dramatic intensity that honored the texts” – Allan Kozinn, The New York Times
"An extraordinary voice, very clear diction, rich and inimitable sound" – Monica Huggett
"Ms. Gould does not adhere to the rigid customs of Baroque period singing. Of course, we have no record of how these works sounded four centuries ago, but contemporary performances often seem sterile, whereas Ms. Gould's performance was luscious and involving."
– Meche Kroop, Voce di Meche
"Gould is not only a talented singer: she’s also one of New York’s great impresarios, and the driving force behind the innovative and popular Salon/Sanctuary concert series...The opening number, Gelosia by Luigi Rossi, features Gould delivering spiraling and shivering intensity around an elegantly propulsive baroque backdrop supplied by chitarrone player Diego Cantalupi and harpsichordist Davide Pozzi.
Gould’s voice is very distinctive, with a starkly cutting edge: she is clearly here to leave a mark rather than to trill off in any kind of generically balmy way. Violinists Diego Castelli and Dario Palmisano pulse in with an almost otherworldly swoop in a hauntingly waltzing passage from Pietro Francesco Cavalli’s Calisto, Gould echoing that magic with Restino Imbalsamate, her achingly incisive aria afterward.
Gould’s dexterous take of Sdegno, campion audace, a rapid-fire Virgilio Mazocchi miniature; the bravura final movement from Giacomo Carissimi’s Apritevi Inferni glistening with melismatic sparkle; and considerable material from Rossi’s 1647 opera Orfeo. Counter-Reformation conspiracies, hubris and tragedy sit side by side with a dynamically shifting sweep and Gould’s electrifying voice."
"wide-ranging dexterity and power, the beautifully idiomatic, very light vibrato and punchy directness" – Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review
"Ester was sung by Salon/Sanctuary’s Artistic Director, Jessica Gould, who ably portrayed the modest girl gathering her wits and courage for her mighty deed in a multi-movemented soliloquy. In her plea to the king, she managed to imply diffidence about her own Jewishness, with a sudden nervous agitation." – John Yohalem, Parterre.com
"a warm and appealing tone" The New York Times
"Soprano Jessica Gould, who is also the Artistic Director of Salon/Sanctuary Concerts and the engine behind this fine organization’s compelling programming, navigated the role skillfully. Showing a clear transition from Ester’s anxiety to certitude under the nudging of her cousin Mardocheo, sung with beautiful, unaffected tone and clear intention by countertenor José Lemos, Gould’s powerful voice embraces both coloratura filigree and weighty lyrical passages with ease, while a dramatic fire, fine Italian diction, and command of the text makes this role her own.
Gould’s is a dramatic instrument with an impressive facility and distinctive color, dark and rich in the depths and brilliant above. She may not match a certain “Early Music” sound that many have in their heads, but it is a voice you remember, reminding us that the depth of passion inherent in these texts must not fall victim to the fussy preoccupations with “authenticity” that doom many a period performance to forgettable homogeneity." – Chris Petitt, Voce di Meche
"Giacomo Carissimi’s "Apritevi Inferni" was the show stopper, literally and figuratively. This monologue for a penitent sinner opens with two-octave leaps and finishes off with hair-raising runs of coloratura passagework that go in every direction imaginable, including several repeated high C’s. Clearly a product of the Counter-Reformation propaganda machine, it expresses the church’s goal of restoring order to a world threatened by chaos-producing rebellion.
I’ve never heard this specific piece sung before by anyone, probably because so few can, but in my experience with something like this, a singer either executes this kind of passagework with consummate ease or undermines the whole thing with even the slightest hint of technical struggle. Gould is master of it.
The apocalyptic dramatic expression she and her colleagues brought to the performance was as shocking and delightful as the precision and command of possibly the most demanding melismas I have ever heard in a baroque vocal work ever.”
"We followed Ester's arc from fear to courage via Jessica Gould's masterful performance."
– Mark Savitt, HiDrama
"Jessica Gould's crisp soprano resonated beautifully"
– Mark Savitt, HiDrama
"Gould’s approach to the operatic repertoire on this program was anchored in the drama of the texts and a keen sense of style and ornamentation, which, sustained by the natural beauty of her voice, enabled this highly dramatic repertoire to blossom in an intimate space. Negotiating both Rossini’s melismas and Halévy’s dramatic flashes with ease, I found her performance, particularly of Desdemona’s aria ‘Assisa a pié d’un salice’, deeply moving." – Seen and Heard International
“Beautiful interpretation…soaring vocals…Sit back, remove all distractions, listen, and you will be richly rewarded” – Frank deGroot, The Lute Society of America Quarterly
“The delicacy of Cantalupi’s playing and Jessica’s melancholy singing create alternating waves of shimmer and shadow, to haunting effect. It’s a lovely album….Barbara Strozzi — a rare woman composer in the seventeenth century — afforded each singer a welcome showcase, with Jessica locating a startling combination of pleading and ecstasy in the final notes of “Salve Regina” – Bill Madison, Billévesées
We were absolutely thrilled by Sei Ariette, composed by Domenico Maria Puccini, grandfather of Giacomo…Ms. Gould brought the songs to vivid life, accompanied by the guitar of master lutenist Diego Cantalupi. They have never been performed in the USA and we felt privileged to hear them.
"Astonishing passaggi and ornaments executed to perfection...gentle and affecting...intense and dramatic...a joyous luminosity" – Lute News, UK
"The Salve Regina was particularly striking, not just because it is so rarely heard, but for all its bizarre chromatic twist and turns and extreme demands of a singer’s range. Gould used her voice expressively and ably, delivering an emotionally affecting performance that seemed to wring dramatic meaning from every note.”– Seen and Heard International
"There’s a distinct nap to the plush velvet of Gould’s soprano. Its texture is soft, caressing." – Bill Madison, Billevesées
"Soprano Jessica Gould was dazzling in two Sacchini arias, both perfectly suited to her expansive range, coloratura facility, and multi-hued, powerful sound." – Seen and Heard International
"Beautiful singing...crystalline sounds...Jessica's music captured the heart of an enraptured English audience and gave us all moments of great intensity, just as it would have done three hundred years ago" – Traditional Music Maker, UK
"Jessica Gould has a great deal of energy, enthusiasm and verve...very robust" – Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review
"Jessica Gould's strident, edgy delivery was very powerful." – Artsong Update
"her renditions of the music were most enjoyable and dramatic" – artleonardobservations