“I saw the role of Cyrano as a baritone that had a complete range with multiple dimensions to his character," DiChiera explains. "Cyrano is very outgoing and a great swordsman. This needed music with tremendous thrust and power. Yet at the same time, there's an inner agony of a man who is living with a physical deformity and feeling that he can never find love."
"So I wanted a voice that was both powerful, but also was at home in the upper regions of the voice, since the music lives a lot in the upper part of the baritone range. Marian had that, as well as a tremendous amount of personality. I mean, Cyrano is, if nothing else, a tremendous personality. I needed someone that could inhabit that, both physically and musically.”
David DiChiera, about casting Marian Pop as Cyrano
“Pop's portrayal of the two dueling sides of Cyrano -- one self-assured as a gifted poet and soldier, the other self-loathing thanks to his humongoloid nose -- is captivating.
Physically, the actor appears like a caricature of a man, not just in his huge, glued-on sniffer, but also in his Jerry Curl-style, long wavy hair and bottom-heavy, loping gait (I hope that's part of the role...). Thanks to Pop's capable facial expressions and gestures, Cyrano came through as strong and charismatic among men, but hopelessly awkward and painfully timid in love. (Spoiler alert!).
In the final scene, when Pop stabs drunkenly through his fatal concussion at his shadowy lifelong enemies, all the while singing in his rich, commanding baritone voice, I seriously got goosebumps. I was overwhelmed by the thought of an entire life lived in debilitating fear, and concurrently bewitched by the performer's incredible voice and the gorgeous sounds of the orchestra.”
“ When Romanian baritone Marian Pop suddenly appeared amid the crowd scene, things became instantly more cohesive. The story rises and falls on Cyrano’s bravado and tenderness, and Pop proved up to the task. He handily dispatched rivals with both his tongue and his foil (credit the aggressive fencing choreographer Christopher Barbeau).
Pop’s vocal template goes from Brando-esque mumbling to beautifully articulated French, and he coolly floods the hall with vocal subtlety and muscle alike. His confession of loneliness and how his physical being defines him by a nose is unforgettably real. Pop is completely engaged in delivering Cyrano’s soul as an iconic, red-blooded French hero. He mocks his own prominent proboscis and he breaks your heart when he realizes he can never possess Roxane, but will be the romantic voice of his insipidly handsome compatriot Christian.”
“Marian Pop, with his brilliant baritone and charismatic stage presence, was hand-picked by DiChiera to create the role of Cyrano ten years ago, and his return to the role is most gratifying. He owns the role. Indeed, the physicality of the acting performance, with its swashbuckling gallantry and sword play, parallels the dynamic vocal qualities required for the part. Pop delivers with both power and nuance, giving vent to rage and yearning, evoking the comedic wit and tragic poetry encompassed in this heroic role.”
“As Cyrano de Bergerac, Romanian baritone Marian Pop was convincing and eloquent in performance, his rich voice and clear articulation more than equal to the task of one of the wordiest parts ever penned. If anything could be improved, it would be Pop's acting, which seemed understated for a character as charismatic as Cyrano.”
“As Cyrano, Romanian baritone Marian Pop is heroic, valiant, poetic, excellent in movement and thrilling vocally, bringing eclat to his high notes. As an actor, he is adroit. The two aspects often come together, as in the extended “Nose” aria.”
“Pop’s commanding presence and gallant deportment made a truly heroic Cyrano and his finely nuanced performance expressed his character’s emotional gamut.”
“Romanian lyric baritone Marian Pop sang the role of Cyrano. Onstage almost throughout, he revelled in the high tessitura and many high-note opportunities, and was a dashing, convincing actor.”