San Francisco Chronicle:
But the real triumph of the evening was the company debut of mezzo-soprano Angela Brower as the Muse and Nicklausse, in a phenomenal display of dramatic power and lush vocal prowess. Brower was a late replacement for the great Alice Coote, but this was no second-best contribution. Here's hoping for her swift return to San Francisco.
As Hoffmann's Muse (disguised as his friend Nicklausse to accompany the poet through his ordeals), mezzo-soprano Angela Brower, also making her debut, was exceptional; her voice was silky, rounded, refined.
New York Times:
The peppy American mezzo-soprano Angela Brower sings with handsome, steady tone in the dual role of Hoffmann’s youthful companion Nicklausse and his Muse.
... A brilliant Angela Brower ...
Costume designer Buki Shiff has dressed up the Muse as Hoffmann's friend Nicklausse, who jumps around as the youth image of the poet, rejoices, can be tender and affectionate, never loses the good humor. Someone who puts the madness of the overboarding art world in its place. Never strained and spinning the longest cantilenas completely naturally: Angela Brower, a discovery. Nobody can compete with Brower’s enchanting nonchalance.
The most enthusiasm however raised the young American Angela Brower as Nicklausse/Muse. Her optimally fitted Mozart mezzo is perfectly rounded from top to bottom and should call for the attention of every internationally renowned theater and festival.
...The real vocal event of this "Hoffmann" premiere came from the female colleagues. Ensemble member Angela Brower was celebrated for her stylistically refined as natural Nikolaus. Almost as strongly as Diana Damrau.
... The audience was at her (Damrau’s) feet. But also at those of the young muse (as a doppelganger of Hoffmann), with which the ensemble member Angela Brower had a deserved success for her mezzo with a very secure height and her vivid acting. ...
...Dramatically and vocally stunning however is the young ensemble member Angela Brower as Muse/Nicklausse, blessed with warm tones and pre-destined for a future Octavian...
... Angela Brower received the most cordial ovations of the evening as the Niklas/Muse, dressed like an alter-ego of Hoffmann: her youthful enthusiasm for the rescue of the crashing artist Hoffmann glowed in all of her acting and singing - the most successful debut of the evening. ...
Angela Brower as Nicklausse enthused with her light-footed, in all shades shining mezzo.
"Rousing interpreted the American Angela Brower, the great letter scene of Charlotte from Massenet's 'Werther'..."
"Angela Brower also infatuated with a soft radiance, intensity of design and excellent pronunciation." Die italienischen Quellen
"Angela Brower (Dorabella), thanks to her exemplary concentration, the most mature technician there- and her natural look would ravish any director."
"Angela Brower, replaced at short notice in the small role of the priestess stood out on the lot for her unmannered loveliness."