The New York Times, November 12, 2009:

"Tharanga Goonetilleke, a Sri Lankan soprano who portrayed Ginevra, a princess framed for infidelity, sang to Shenyang, the Chinese bass-baritone playing the father who has sentenced her to death....In “Io ti bacio” Ginevra asks to kiss her father’s hand despite the injustice he has shown her. Ms. Goonetilleke crossed the stage at a deliberate pace, her sweet, sad plaint accompanied by a pale, fragile strand from the violins. The effect was devastating: just one high point among many. " - Steve Smith

The New York Times, January 28th, 2010

"Schuman’s warm-hued melodically rich score for soprano, flute, viola and harp, swims in alluring textural touches, and it has a few magical touches: the gentle vocalise, which Tharanga Goonetilleke sang gracefully here..." - Allan Kozinn

Washington Post- July 3rd, 2010

"When three female relatives surround Schicchi, helping him to prepare to masquerade as the dead uncle so he can forge a new will, the trio was meltingly gorgeous. Tharanga Goonetilleke, who sang in all three pieces, was a particular standout.- Anne Midgette

Greenwich Time - March 2012

 Feasting on the power of music
(An example of music's power to persuade)
strength is the overwhelming power and clarity of her voice." - Jeffrey Johnson

“A heartfelt aria. Tharanga Goonetilleke, a soprano opera singer from Sri Lanka and a 2015 TED Fellow, stepped into the single spotlight. Accompanied by a light piano melody, she began with a steady aria, whose heartfelt sincerity was felt with every note. The immensity of her voice filled with room in a soothing, peaceful way. Tharanga’s performance was moving in its powerful simplicity and grace.”- TEDBlog, March 19, 2015

Greenwich Time Review of March 15, 2009 concert:

"Soprano Tharanga Goonetilleke was enchanting. I still have chills from her high D in “dulcissime” where each pitch of the coloratura triplets leading to this culminating high pitch was perfectly in tune. It was the most extraordinary performance of this passage I have heard live." - Jeffrey Johnson


The New York Times, April 22nd, 2010

"Tharanga Goonetilleke, a soprano from Sri Lanka, brought an appealingly rich tone — and, more important, a sense of innocence, conflict and, in her final scene, radiance — to her characterization of Blanche."
- Allan Kozinn

Opera News
April 21st,  2010

"Tharanga Goonetilleke emphasized Blanche's naïveté and fears, her passionate searching and her final acceptance with glowing tones and phrasing, both clear and winning performances filled with emotional truth." JUDITH MALAFRONTE

 Darien News - Online           March 28th, 2012

Greenwich Choral Society's
"Alexander's Feast" - Handel

"Goonetilleke made her demanding role sound easy, displaying a
warm, beautiful sound from the top of her range all the way down. She dramatized the
text vocally with style and excellent taste."  -Arden Anderson-Broecking

“Sri Lankan opera singer Tharanga Goonetilleke received one of the loudest rounds of applause of the night early on with two beautifully haunting songs.”

Travis Lupick on March 19th, 2015

The Aspen Times, July 21, 2009

 "Soprano Tharanga Goonetilleke as Mimi...her assured presence, creamy voice, and delicious vulnerability marks her as someone on the threshold of stardom" - Harvey Steiman

 The Island – Sri Lanka- February 26, 2011

"Four short arias from works of Gounod, Handel, Mozart and Puccini provided space and dynamics for her voice to reveal its range, variability of colour, power and control. She sang with outstanding clarity and freshness and handled fast runs and big leaps with freedom. The flawlessly held highs had more power than the Ladies College auditorium could comfortably handle.

As for me Tharanga Goonetilleke stands out as the most accomplished and convincing Sri Lanka-born performing soprano. I believe those who gave her a standing ovation would readily concur". - Tennyson Rodrigo

 Washington Times - July 2, 2011

"As his (Don José) jilted fiancée, Micaëla, Ms. Goonetilleke also has a tough role. Micaëla, of course, is the good girl who also loses her guy, Don José, to the far more challenging Carmen—yet she’d still probably take him back. She breaks through her fear of the smugglers to deliver a message to José, bravely resolving to do it anyway, vowing “I’m telling myself that nothing can frighten me,” in her lovely signature aria, “Je dis que rien ne m'épouvante.” While some critics find this music a bit conventional compared to the rest of the opera, Ms. Goonetilleke made it almost magical, singing it with a sweetly romantic, almost wide-eyed innocence."

“As Webley stepped back for the time being, his replacement was Sri Lankan opera singer (and TED talk alumni) Tharanga Goonetilleke.  Goonetilleke gave us a brief overview of where she came from and how she got where she was before singing and her story was nearly as amazing as her voice.  Though I may’ve been able to figure it out through my notes, I’m glad Goonetilleke mentioned that this song was from the opera Susannah, which made it simple to find the name of the song: ‘The Trees On The Mountain’.  I’ve no interest in opera myself and under normal circumstances would put an opera performance fairly low on my list of priorities but I could still sit there enraptured by her voice, which overcame my usual indifference for the art form.

March 23, 2015 by Matthew Bateman

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