“In more than 25 years of covering this event, I’ve never seen a Merola finale as swamped by outsize talents as Saturday night’s was by soprano Julie Adams and tenor Casey Candebat. When these two took the stage just before the end of the program to blaze their way through the Act 2 duet from Mascagni’s “L’Amico Fritz,” the entire undertaking leapt to a new level.”

-Joshua Kosman

San Francisco Gate