Reviews - Opera
Kaiserin in the MET's Frau ohne Schatten
"One of the biggest challenges of producing Die Frau ohne Schatten is to find singers with enough guts, musicality and stamina to take on the five enormously demanding lead roles. In that regard, the current revival is a resounding success.
As the Empress, or the Woman without a Shadow, American soprano Meagan Miller looked and sang icy blonde style when she first appeared, but her natural compassion gradually took over as she was coming to realize that her happiness should not depend on another woman's misery. When she went into her big aria in Act III, her clear, beautiful voice powerfully rose and expanded with impressive volume and flexibility. This was a hell of a Met debut, and we can only hope to hear her again soon. "
"Saturday evening November 16th, 2013 - Meagan Miller won the Met Auditions in 1999 and tonight she conquered both the audience and one of opera's most difficult roles in her long-awaited Met debut (and role-debut) as the Empress in Richard Strauss's DIE FRAU OHNE SCHATTEN....
In 2011, I interviewed Meagan Miller as she prepared for a recital a Manhattan's Merkin Hall, something of a New York City come-back for the gorgeous soprano. It was a genuine success, and now we have her at The Met where - hopefully - her voice will continue to be heard in the coming seasons. From photographs and film we know that Maria Jeritza, who created the role of the Empress at the premiere of FRAU, was a ravishingly beautiful woman. Meagan Miller matched Jeritza in this regard: her face and form are ideal for the role and watching her was quite mesmerizing. But in the end it's the voice that must count, and Ms. Miller had the power and vast range to give the music its due.
With an interesting quality of vibrant focus, Ms. Miller's voice pings out into the large space with ease. Strauss makes unusual demands on the singer of the enigmatic Empress, including a high-D within moments of her first entry: Meagan Miller sustained this note for an extra milli-second. From there, she sailed forward, leaping over one vocal hurdle after another like an Olympic champion. Deploying a glassy power which suits the cool character well, the entire first act went admirably; this was followed by a passionate rendering of the Nightmare Scene in Act II.
Faced with a choice between attaining her personal desire - the ability to bear children - and destroying the happiness of the kindly Barak, the character's dilemma reaches its apex and its vocal pinnacle in the third act. Following the searing scene of dismissing her Nurse, Ms. Miller delivered a powerful performance of the Fountain Scene in which her inner conflict is voiced in mounting anxiety. The forces of her omni-present but unseen father Keikobad urge her to fulfill her feminine destiny while the despairing cries of Barak and his wife tug at her heart. In a stunning "Ich will nicht!" the Empress makes her choice, embracing her humanity. Throughout this long scene, Ms. Miller used her voice with exacting gradations of dynamic and with an expressive gleam of tone that easily filled the large hall, held in rapt silence by the power of the drama and by the singer's radiant presence. The opera ends happily: the Empress and her husband are re-united and the Dyer and his wife will live happily ever after. Ms. Miller's Met debut ended happily as well, with a sustained high-C to cap the opera's final quartet and a very warm ovation at her solo bow."
"Beautiful American soprano Meagan Miller made her Metropolitan Opera debut with this performance of the Empress, and it was a success. Her singing was huge, beautiful and very free. Clearly she had a great understanding of the role. Her impressive list of accomplishments to date include leading roles (many of them Strauss) at the Deutsche Opera Berlin, Wiener Staatsoper, Bayerische Staatsoper, Hamburg, Monte Carlo, Washington National Opera, etc. I look forward to hearing many other great performances from this woman."
"The third performance in the current run of R. Strauss's "Die Frau ohne
Schatten" brought forth the Met debut of soprano Meagan Miller as the
Her voice was ample for a big house like the Met... while her persona projects
a bit of much needed glamor so necessary for this part. She also conveyed a
more sympathetic character, one who was really torn by her dilemma. At the
conclusion, Ms. Miller received a well deserved rousing hand from the audience."
"Meagan Miller as the Empress. I purposely chose this one performance because it was Miller's debut and her only outing in this role. Stupendous. She is a gorgeous woman, sang piano and forte, high and low, and could even been heard back on Amsterdam Ave! Her final scene, which contains a lot of spoken dialogue, was overwhelming. But her singing never flagged and she lit up the stage when she was on it.
I hope that Goerke and Miller take on, respectively, the Nilsson (Goerke) and young-Rysanek/Voigt (Miller) rep. They are born to sing this music."
"El equipo vocal no se quedó atrás. Encabezaron el elenco las debutantes Anne Schwanewilms y Meagan Miller quienes alternaron en la parte de la Emperatriz y justificaron con creces, en el caso de la primera un tardío debut en la casa, y de la segunda un merecido debut dada la interesante carrera que esta joven cantante americana viene desarrollando en la escena lirica internacional en estos últimos años.
. . . No se quedo atrás Meagan Miller, cuyo caracterización dejó entrever una cantante de gran sensibilidad dotada de una voz robusta, brillante y flexible siempre perfectamente emitida que se adaptó a la perfección a los requerimientos de la parte. Un nombre a seguir bien de cerca."
Leading the cast were debutantes Anne Schwanewilms and Meagan Miller who alternated in the part of the Empress and amply justified in the first case a late debut in the house, and the in second a well deserved debut for this young American singer who has been developing in the international lyric scene in recent years.
. . .Not left behind was Meagan Miller, whose characterization hinted at a singer of high sensibility always perfectly equipped with a robustly issued, shimmering, flexible voice that is perfectly adapted to the requirements of the part. A name to watch very closely.