Acclaimed Swedish soprano Miah Persson has had an extraordinary success with her role debut of the Countess in Strauss’ Capriccio at Garsington Opera. Opening last Friday, Miah’s performance has been met with universal praise from critics.
Here are just some of the reviews after the opening night:
“How fortunate for one of Britain’s leading festivals that there’s such an accomplished Straussian soprano who lives in Lewes! No, I’m not talking about Glyndebourne, but Garsington Opera, which has coaxed Miah Persson a hundred miles northwest to star in Richard Strauss’s final opera, Capriccio.
Capriccio needs a charismatic star to anchor its tricky blend of wit, whimsy and, finally, poignant reflection as its heroine, the Countess Madeleine, dithers over whether to pledge her troth to the composer Flamand or the poet Olivier — and, by extension, decide whether music is superior to words, or vice versa.
Persson sings the part of the Countess with Mozartian grace and purity of line — surely exactly what the Mozart-obsessed Strauss imagined — and acts the part with serene charisma. And when the composer at last allows his soprano to let rip, that final scene is a proper showstopper.” Neil Fisher, The Times, 5 June 2018
“Miah Persson’s beautifully judged Countess is discreet without a hint of sphinx-like remoteness, and with the occasional revelation of her goddess status. She gets the conversational tone spot on, and her big instances, the ‘Moonlight’ serenade especially, sweeps you away” Peter Reed, Classical Source, 1 June 2018
“Capriccio is an ensemble piece, with the Countess being the one role that stands out from the pack. Miah Persson was always elegant and watchable, with good Straussian lilt and expression and excellent diction” David Karlin, Bachtrack, 2 June 2018
“action revolves around the Countess — an embodiment of opera, and the mellow flame around which the composer Flamand and the poet Olivier amorously flutter. It’s Strauss’s final great soprano role, and Miah Persson, tackling it for the first time, is superb. Simultaneously serene and sparky, the Swedish soprano sings with a voice of pearl and gold. Her performance of the great monologue, the culmination of Strauss’s operatic career, is supremely moving.” Hugo Shirley, Financial Times, 5 June 2018 (£)
It has been a busy and successful season for Miah, who recently completed a run of Michel van der Aa’s Sunken Garden at Dallas Opera. Next season, amongst other things, Miah will perform a series of concerts with the New York Philharmonic, and the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra in Japan, alongside Askonas Holt artists Lydia Teuscher (Susanna), Ashley Riches (Count) and Avery Amereau (Cherubino).
There are still six performances left at Garsington, through until 28 June – for further information, visit the Garsington website.