References and reviews

I have worked with vocalist and teacher Julia Bentley for over fifteen years.  She has consistently been passionate, prepared, preternaturally professional, collegial and superbly musical.  Her questions have always indicated a high degree of preparation and musical thoughtfulness, and her willingness to be flexible has been remarkable.  As a role model for younger singers, I have found her to be impeccable and know that many student musicians have used her standards and mien as a model and inspiration for their own.

I unequivocally recommend her to you.

Sincerely,

Cliff Colnot
Principal conductor of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago,
the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's MusicNOW ensemble
and the University of Chicago's CONTEMPO ensemble

Julia Bentley is one of the best musicians I have ever had the pleasure to work with.  There are, truly, very few singers who possess the dedication, the musicianship, the work ethic, and the skill set to perform such a wide range of music -- standard repertoire and contemporary alike -- at such a high level.  Her devotion to her musical art as both a teacher and a performer is unparalleled, and I feel fortunate to work with her so frequently.

In our collaborations at the DePaul School of Music, Julia offered tremendously helpful insight to both vocal and instrumental students, and was immediately able to tailor this coaching to meet my needs, whether making a single comment in the context of a rehearsal, or by leading full ensemble rehearsals for Pierrot Lunaire.

Michael Lewanski
Assistant Professor of Instrumental Ensembles, DePaul University School of Music
Chamber Orchestra Conductor, DePaul University School of Music
Ensemble 20+ Conductor, DePaul University School of Music
Conductor, Ensemble Dal Niente

Unleashing her rich, dark-tinged mezzo to its fullest, Bentley turned Antigona’s unpredictable leaps and turns into a seamless river of sound.

Wynne Delacoma, Chicago Classical Review

Julia Bentley is quite irresistible [in Cendrillon]. Her creamy mezzo-soprano takes on a plethora of color in her first act solo scene, and she imparts a humanity to this ingenue that makes us forget she's just a fairy tale character.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Professor Bentley is the single person who has taught me the most through my undergraduate degree and these years after. From her I learn vocal technique, performance techniques, audition techniques, musicianship, professional behavior and etiquette for working in any setting (ie. Orchestra, Opera Stage, Chamber…etc) amongst a long list. Her passion for her students is encouraging and beautiful. She is a role model to me, and I strive to be as well-rounded and respected a vocalist.

Giovanna Jacques, Mezzo-soprano

Soprano Julia Bentley, as good a singing actress as you’ll see on any stage, is a perfect Susanna. Her voice is bright and pretty and she played the role wonderfully at every turn…

Albany Gazette

The most impressive performances belonged to Bentley, her mezzo soprano voice - in volume, range, and control- defies her young age.

The Durango Herald

Mezzo-soprano Julia Bentley gave a vivid performance... wonderful stage presence...

Chicago Tribune

The strongest acting within the decidedly strong cast came from Bentley, whose every movement—down to each detail of her facial expressions—placed herself squarely in character as the capricious Despina. Musically, her two charming arias were quite lovely.

Syracuse Daily

Mezzo-soprano Julia Bentley’s considerable charm made for a memorable evening… Bentley’s delivery is a marvel. Her voice, of course, is lovely, but her comic sense is something to behold. Rosina is by turns romantic and petulant, and she handles both facets of the character well— sometimes hilariously.

The Forum [Fargo]

Matching Figaro in vocal and dramatic ingenuity is Julia Bentley, whose Carmen (last year) was as alluring as her Rosina is enchanting. Bentley’s mezzo-soprano has just the right touch of velvet to wrap itself around Rosina’s music, and she is full of temperament… no wonder Count Almaviva is smitten.

Cleveland Plain Dealer

Vivacious and voluptuous, both musically and dramatically

Milwaukee Sentinel

Tender, voluptuously sung... opera at its best.

Windy City Times

Ms. Bentley has a lush soaring tone and can pour out extended high notes which are meltingly beautiful, yet she has fine dramatic gifts and guides a song with an unerring feel for the musical structure as well as the drama and meaning of the words.

Redmagazine.com

The best singer was Julia Bentley, who doubled brilliantly as Ino and Juno, delivering “Iris, hence away” with controlled abandon.

Chicago Tribune

Bentley offered an emotional gamut that said as much about the human experience as the acoustics of sound.

Chicago Sun-Times

The finely focused projection and wide range of dynamic and expressive nuance that soprano Julia Bentley brought to the vocal part was remarkable. Bentley’s tour de force performance recalled Cathy Berberian in her full-metal rendering …

Chicago Tribune

The mezzo-soprano Julia Bentley brought rich sound, deep expressivity and an uncanny sense of pitch to the work's [Le Marteau sans Maître] restless vocal lines, alive with sudden skips and spiky rhythms one moment, hushed and Impressionistic the next.

The New York Times

Your engaging performance was a meaningful expression of the importance the humanities play in all our lives. We have received so many positive responses from those who attended the concert in Orchestra Hall.

Eileen R. Mackevich,
Executive Producer
Chicago Humanities Festival

Thank you for your splendid contribution... I thought the performance was really powerful, and your participation in it was pivotal.

Shulamit Ran
Composer-in-Residence
Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Julia Bentley is a consummate professional, and in my estimation, the embodiment of a thinking musician. She has an innate ability to move listeners through music and text in the most efficient and impactful way by combining a methodical approach to the physiology of singing with her truly remarkable musicianship. Working with her and experiencing her teaching has been a highlight of my time at DePaul to date.

Jason Moy
Baroque Ensemble, Harpsichord and Keyboard Coordinator, DePaul University School of Music