Soprano

Miah Persson

“[As the Countess in Capriccio, Miah Persson] has added a burnish of gold to the silvery soprano that has served her so well in Mozart roles. She gives one of the most detailed and nuanced acting performances of any singer of the past decade or more. And she looks sensational … this is a near-immaculate assumption, pouring out Strauss’s soaring legato in long-breathed phrases and holding the stage with effortless charisma.” Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times

© Monika Rittershaus

Introduction

Internationally-renowned Swedish soprano Miah Persson has appeared at the Wiener Staatsoper; Metropolitan Opera; Royal Opera House; Aix-en-Provence Festival; Deutsche Staatsoper; Bayerische Staatsoper; Théâtre des Champs-Elysées; Theater an der Wien and at the Gran Teatro del Liceu Barcelona, among many others.

Forthcoming highlights include Mahler 4 with the Wiener Symphoniker and on tour to Spain with the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg; Michel van der Aa’s Blank Out for the Aix-en-Provence Festival; performances of Der Hirt auf dem Felsen with the New York Philharmonic; Brahms Requiem  with the Gävle Symfoniorkester; the Countess in concert performances of le Nozze di Figaro with Tokyo Symphony Orchestra; title role Zaide for Munchner Rundfunkorchester; Mahler 2 with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and Los Angeles Philharmonic; Mozart Concert Arias on tour with the Freiburger Barockorchester; Bruckner Te Deum and Brahms’ Requiem with Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra alongside a number of European recital engagements.


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Performance Schedule

Discography

  • More info  
    Mahler Symphony No. 4 / Nicht zu schnell

    Label: PENTATONE

    Release Date: 02 Feb 18

    Miah Persson joins Gustavo Gimeno for Mahler’s 4th Symphony with the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg.

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    Miah Persson - Sempre libera

    Label: BIS Records

    Release Date: 01 Jun 15

    Bel canto, opéra lyrique and verismo arias with the Sveriges Radios Symfoniorkester conducted by Daniel Harding.

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    Miah Persson, Roger Vignoles - songs by Schubert, Sibelius and Grieg

    Label: Wigmore Hall Live

    Release Date: 01 Feb 11

    Miah Persson and Roger Vignoles perform a recital live at London’s Wigmore Hall.

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    Portraits

    Label: BIS Records

    Release Date: 01 Jan 11

    Songs by Clara and Robert Schumann including Frauenliebe und Leben

    Soprano: Miah Persson
    Piano: Joseph Breinl

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    Un Moto Di Gioia

    Label: BIS Records

    Release Date: 01 Jan 09

    W. A. Mozart Opera & Concert Arias

    Miah Persson
    Swedish Chamber Orchestra
    Conductor: Sebastian Weigle

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    29 Aug 18 Strauss Songs BBC Proms, RLPO cond. Vasily Petrenko
    Royal Albert Hall

    [Miah Persson is] “one of the most intelligent Strauss sopranos of our time at the peak of her powers.”
    Kevin W Ng, Bachtrack, 30 August 2018

    “Miah Persson, on the other hand, is no stranger to London audiences and, stepping in for the originally programmed Strauss songs, cemented her place as one of the leading Strauss sopranos. Persson’s customary nuance and exacting attention to detail came across perfectly even in the cavernous Royal Albert Hall. Her pearly soprano has gained in amplitude over time, culminating in a radiant account of Zueignung.”
    Kevin W Ng, Bachtrack, 30 August 2018

    “A fine interpreter of this repertory, she brought refined sensuality to Ständchen and passionate eloquence to Zueignung. Morgen sounded particularly exquisite”
    Tim Ashley, Guardian, 30 August 2018

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    01 Jun 18 Strauss 'Capriccio' (Countess)
    Garsington Opera

    ” The great coup was the Countess herself, the much-loved Swedish soprano Miah Persson, singing the role for the first time, with beauty of tone, subtlety of vocal colour and that ideal, Straussian blend of wit, consternation and wisdom.”

    Fiona Maddocks, The Observer, 10 June 2018 

    “Miah Persson delivers a radiant, mellifluous account of the Countess, with a dignified charm and restraint that reveals the role to be a close relation of Der Rosenkavalier’s Marschallin. She presides over the increasingly fraught squabbles among composer, poet, theatre manage, and other participants without strain.”

    Curtis Rogers, Seen and Heard International, 3 June 2018

    “Miah Persson is the acme of sophistication as the Countess, singing with all the silvery grace that Strauss adored (she must play the Marshallin soon)”
    Rupert Christiansen, Telegraph, 2 June 2018

    “Stardust has fallen on Garsington in the shape of Swedish soprano Miah Persson”
    David Nice, The Arts Desk, 4 June 2018

    “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

     

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    18 Apr 18 CD Reviews Mahler Symphony No. 4 / Nicht zu schnell
    PENTATONE

    “…this is a highly capable performance, finding a great deal of the rumbustious charm of the piece, notably in the exquisite vocal final movement with Miah Persson.”

    Barry Forshaw, Classical CD Choice, 02 March 2018

    “There is no shortage of Mahler’s symphonies on CD these days, but this recording is rather special…Soprano Miah Persson is a Mahler veteran who has not only recorded this work before, but has also worked with Bernard Haitink and Benjamin Zander in Mahler’s ‘Resurrection’ symphony, and she is excellent here as well.”

    Dominy Clements, Seen and Heard International, May 18

    “Nel quarto tempo conclusivo la presenza della voce femminile, in cui il tono pastorale della canzone popolare “Das himmlische Leben” viene ben affrontato dalla soprano svedese Miah Persson.”

    Audiophile Recording, May 18

     

     

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    27 May 18 INTERVIEW Miah Persson interview: the Swedish soprano on Strauss’s Capriccio at Garsington
    The Times

    “Richard Strauss’s Capriccio, his last opera and a summation of his lifelong love affair with the soprano voice, is usually thought of in this country as a “connoisseur’s” opera, a rarefied conversation piece. In it, a group of theatricals meet at the country castle of a beautiful countess to discuss the aesthetics of the theatre and opera. It was first staged in the UK at Glyndebourne as a star vehicle for the wonderful Swedish soprano Elisabeth Soderstrom in the 1960s, and later for Felicity Lott. The intimacy of the setting and the esoteric subject matter should be perfect for Garsington Opera when Tim Albery’s staging, first seen at Santa Fe Opera two years ago, opens this week with another Swedish Countess Madeleine.

    Miah Persson, perhaps best known in this country for her delicious Susanna in David McVicar’s Figaro at Covent Garden, and her unforgettably touching Fiordiligi in Nicholas Hytner’s Così fan tutte at Glyndebourne, takes on this demanding role for the first time. She is an experienced Straussian, of course, in the concert hall, and one of the loveliest Sophies in Der Rosenkavalier of recent years, but this opera represents a sort of farewell to the ingénue roles that have been her speciality. Had she been working towards this goal, or did Garsington invite her on the off chance?

    “Well, I was asked a couple of years ago in Sweden to look at the role and see if I wanted to do it — so I had a little sniff at it, thinking it might be a route to Strauss’s Marschallin or Arabella. But then they had to cancel it, so I was thrilled when Garsington asked me to do it.”

    Persson has made several appearances at Glyndebourne since Fiordiligi in 2006 — Anne Trulove in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress in 2010; Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni and the Governess in The Turn of the Screw in 2011 — but tries to keep her summers free as much as possible. That’s even though she and her family — her husband, the British tenor Jeremy Ovenden, and their daughter and son — live just down the road in Lewes.

    “I tend not to work in the summer because I want to be with the kids. It’s only four years until my daughter will be away, so I’m thinking I have to make the most of our time now.”

    In Strauss’s libretto — which he wrote with the conductor Clemens Krauss — the Countess is the muse and beloved of both Olivier, the poet, and Flamand, the composer, whom she instructs to write an opera after long discussions about the aesthetics of the genre and the relative importance of words and music therein. Using an idea of Stefan Zweig’s — he was Strauss’s librettist for Die schweigsame Frau, which was banned in Germany after Hitler refused to attend the Dresden premiere in 1935 — the librettists wove a love story into their conversation piece, but left the denouement ambiguous.

    In one of the composer’s most beautiful monologues for the soprano voice, Madeleine — for Strauss, the personification of opera — finds herself unable to choose between the passionate, inspirational composer and the handsome, more earthbound poet, reflecting Strauss’s own dilemma about the primacy of words or music. Persson is fascinated both by the psychology and the music of the role.

    “She is a complex character — I don’t think she knows herself what she wants — and it’s a big sing before you even get to the final monologue. I wouldn’t sing her at the [New York] Met, but there are plenty of smaller opera houses, like this one, which are perfect for me. It’s a tremendously interesting part both from the musical and acting point of view.”

    Persson is 49 today. Having delighted us in her youth with her beautiful stage persona and shining lyrical timbre (often reminiscent of the great Slovak soprano Lucia Popp, whose career path she has followed), she can look back on the 20 years since her debut as Susanna in Sweden’s Confidencen, a tiny rococo opera house.

    I remark that Capriccio has become controversial, especially in Germany, because Strauss conceived and wrote it while his country was falling apart under the Nazis. He buried himself in the past — the opera’s original setting is early to mid-18th century; the characters discuss Rameau and Couperin as “new” music — and filled his score with rococo pastiche.

    “Wasn’t that the reason he chose this subject? He wanted to escape from reality. In his complexity, there is also simplicity. The music changes pace seamlessly. It’s his love affair with music. As complex as it is, it’s a hand-crafted, personal piece — all his love of music, the theatre, singers, actors, dancers, it’s all in there. Nothing happens in Capriccio by chance.”

    Her “supporting” cast includes Andrew Shore — with whom she has worked before — as the theatre director and impresario La Roche, William Dazeley as her brother, the Count, and Sam Furness and Gavan Ring as her youthful composer and poet admirers.

    “They [the lovers] are so different in personality, and actually that makes it more difficult to choose between them,” she laughs. “I think she really wants a combination of both of them. If you choose one, you lose the other, but who knows?”

    The ending is left deliberately open and enigmatic. It finishes with a question — how to find an ending for the opera that isn’t trivial — that is really never answered. Persson admits she has contemplated giving up opera completely, but then remarks that she still has a long wish list, including, surprisingly perhaps, Micaela in Carmen, Blanche in Poulenc’s Carmélites and, of course, the Rosenkavalier Marschallin.

    “Where I am now, I can relate to everything in my characters with my experience of life. I hope there are still many roles to look forward to.”

    Her many admirers will echo that sentiment.”
    Hugh Canning, The Times, 27 May 2018

    “The Swedish soprano is at the top of her game and supplies a sensational performance as the lovely aristocrat undecided between words and music as personified by her rival wooers”
    Oxford Times, 7 June 2018

     

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    09 Mar 18 Van der Aa 'Sunken Garden' (Iris)
    Dallas Opera

    “The vocal highlight was the comparatively small role of Miah Persson’s Dr. Iris Marinus. While Dr. Marinus does not appear until late in the opera, Persson steals the show with her steely, impressive soprano and her elegant blonde stage presence.”
    J. Robin Coffelt, North Texas Performing Arts News, 13 March 2018

     

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    19 Jun 17 MOZART 'Don Giovanni' (Donna Elvira)
    Liceu Barcelona

    “La Elvira de Miah Persson, soprano mozartiana de máxima confianza, discurrió sin altibajos, compacta de inicio a fin, aderezada con una gestualidad adecuada -profundamente afectada en su trastorno emocional, aunque no enloquecida del todo, como Anna-: fue la mejor de las mujeres”

    “Miah Persson’s Elvira, the most trustworthy Mozart soprano, sung smoothly, solid from start to finish, dressed up with an appropriate gesture – deeply affected by her emotional upheaval, though not completely crazed, like Anna- : was the best of the women”
    Javier Blánquez, El Mundo, 21 June 2017

    “Miah Persson sang Donna Elvira with customary elegance, singing with an evident musicality”
    John Marten Barnard, Bachtrack, 21 June 2017

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    22 Mar 17 Recital Schumann and Grieg
    Carnegie Hall

    “Ms. Persson, who gave an acclaimed performance in the title role of Monteverdi’s “Coronation of Poppea” during Carnegie Hall’s recent Venice festival, was at her best on Wednesday, singing with radiant sound and refreshingly direct expressivity. She brings bloom and sweetness to her voice when called for. But she turns her sound slightly earthy or pale when the emotional situation demands it.

    Ms. Persson opened her recital with Grieg’s six Op. 48 songs, to verses by German poets. Grieg’s gifts for wistful lyricism and poignant harmonic writing were vividly conveyed by Ms. Persson and Mr. Martineau in these varied works, especially the emotionally charged “Lauf der Welt” (“The Way of the World”).

    She paired those seldom-heard songs with Robert Schumann’s beloved “Frauenliebe und Leben” (“Woman’s Love and Life”). Ms. Persson brought such disarming immediacy to her singing that this familiar work, depicting a young woman’s emotional life cycle, seemed remarkably fresh. Mr. Martineau played sensitively, with special alertness to the dissonant elements that activate Schumann’s harmonic language.

    In the second half, it was especially rewarding to hear the four songs published together as Op. 37 by Robert and Clara Schumann: two by him, two by her. The program closed with two songs written in 1852, when Robert Schumann was often unstable and ill. The stark “Gebet” (“Prayer”), with its grim chords and stern melodic line, seemed here the composer’s premonition of his coming suicide attempt.

    Ms. Persson had the perfect encore: Grieg’s dreamy “Jeg elsker deg” (“I love you”), which brought the recital back to its beginnings, and which she sang meltingly.”
    Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, 23 March 2017

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    19 Mar 17 Recital Schumann and Grieg
    Cal Performances Berkeley

    “The Swedish soprano put in a communicative and often dazzling appearance in Berkeley’s Hertz Hall”

    “She boasts a combination of lustrous high notes and a husky, almost improbably expressive middle register, and her phrasing and diction are so pristine that everything she sings come through with uncommon clarity.”
    Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, 21 March 2017

    “Miah Persson’s Beautiful Voice Flourishes in Recital”

    “a standout afternoon. Without a doubt the most bright-toned recital in a seven-day period that will include four recitals by top-rank singers (Mark Padmore, Persson, Nicholas Phan, and Sarah Connolly), the afternoon showcased a glowing-voiced Persson singing German lieder by Edward Grieg and the Schumanns Robert and Clara.”

    “Indeed, she did sound wonderful. With Martineau at his most engaging, Persson was ideal in such dew-kissed Schumann songs as “Mondnacht” (Moonlit night), “Schneeglöckchen” (Snowdrop), and “Er ist’s” (Spring is here). With Elisabeth Schumann, Irmgard Seefried, and Elly Ameling no longer around to entrance us, Persson, Christiane Karg, and Carolyn Sampson (who presents a not-to-be-missed San Francisco Performances recital on May 17) are probably the three sopranos currently in mid-career most suited to convey the uncomplicated, pristine loveliness of these songs.”

    “Persson’s ability to shift with ease from a mere thread of sound to full-voiced emission, all while sounding at the peak of vocal health, was masterful.”
    Jason Victor Serinus, San Francisco Classical Voice, 21 March 2017

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    21 Feb 17 MONTEVERDI 'L'incoronazione di Poppea' (Poppea; Fortuna)
    Carnegie Hall

    “As soon as they started playing, and the first notes burst forth from the glorious soprano Miah Persson, who sang the dual roles of the goddess Fortuna and the seductress Poppea, I knew that all was right with the world–or, at least, for that moment, with these musicians, in this temple of music…
    “Concerto Italiano, led by Alessandrini from the harpsichord, gave an immaculate performance that put the singers–and Maestro Monteverdi–first, putting together an outstanding group of singers for the evening, starting with Persson, who was glamorous both musically and physically in her roles.”
    Richard Sasanow, Broadway World, 24 February 2017

    “Miah Persson was a seductive Poppea, with a luscious soprano.”
    Harry Rolnick, Concerto Net, 21 February 2017

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    14 Sep 16 Britten 'Turn of the Screw' (Governess)
    Teatro alla Scala, Milan

    “La Scala has fielded the finest casts for Britten since the tenure of former Superintendent Stéphane Lissner. Ian Bostridge, a regular recitalist here in recent years, makes his operatic debut with music he has made his own. Yet it is Swedish soprano Miah Persson’s eloquently fraught Governess that makes this production tick. She does so without once leaving the stage.”
    James Imam, Financial Times, 18 September 2016 

    “Miah Persson’s Governess was pivotal to the success of the performance, with her bright, gleaming soprano able to find the multi-faceted emotions asked of her in this production.”
    Michael Sinclair, Opera Critic, 17 October 2016 

    “Miah Persson presents a compelling Governess, whose ringing, precise interpretation and luminous expression contain the hint of zealotry that will lead her to inhabit the dark secret revealed by Mrs Grose.”
    Katherine Syer, Bachtrack, 19 September 2016

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    05 Jun 16 Mahler Symphony No. 2 cond. Daniel Harding London Symphony Orchestra
    Barbican Centre

    “soaring entrances demonstrated beyond doubt that she has progressed beautifully past her Susanna and Zerlina days”
    Kevin W Ng, Bachtrack, 6 June 2016

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    20 Mar 16 Van der Aa 'Blank Out', March 2016
    Netherlands Opera, Muziekgebouw Amsterdam

    “the live performance is an astonishing tour de force for Persson, meticulous in its detail, and perfectly controlled.”
    Andrew Clements, Guardian, 22 March 2016 

    “The Woman, who is almost constantly on stage, makes or breaks this opera, and Miah Persson gave a riveting, superbly sung performance. Blind panic, rationalisation, tenderness, disassociation – she cast and recast the molten metal of her voice into the ever-changing feelings of the mother.”
    Jenny Camilleri, Backtrack, 22 March 2016 

    “The Woman, who is almost constantly on stage, makes or breaks this opera, and Miah Persson gave a riveting, superbly sung performance. Blind panic, rationalisation, tenderness, disassociation – she cast and recast the molten metal of her voice into the ever-changing feelings of the mother.”
    Jenny Camilleri, Backtrack, 22 March 2016 

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    09 Nov 15 'Sempre Libera' CD Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra cond. Daniel Harding

    “Swedish soprano Miah Persson uses this recital to go a grade or two heavier than her accustomed Mozart, Handel and Monteverdi, trying out the florid showpieces of the Italian and French 19th century. Popular though they are, the choice of items and their sequence in this recital are refreshingly unhackneyed, more than just a hit list of vocal display items. And it’s a change to hear again French successes of an older era such as Meyerbeer’s ‘Ombre légère’ or Messager’s Butterfly-forerunner Madame Chrysanthème.

    Persson’s is, as always, a voice that makes you want to follow a musical and dramatic story, one that genuinely talks character and emotion to the listener. She is no brainless automatic canary: the top of the voice and the runs are negotiated distinctly, almost classically, rather than just thrown off with burning-fuse abandon. It was a clever idea to make Violetta’s ‘Sempre libera’ the climax of the programme and record it live with ensuing storm of applause. The scena is excitingly built by Harding and his Swedish Radio orchestra, and delivered deliberately pure (no interposed top notes) by the soprano. As an encore comes a specially slow ‘O mio babbino caro’, another telling plan to top off the programme.

    So here is an intelligent recital disc that can be listened to in one as a balanced concert rather than merely picking the plums off like downloads. The concentration of Harding and his orchestra is not to be underestimated; serious work has been done on all this repertoire, familiar or not. Atmospheric, well-balanced recording and a live feel (is there more concert material used here than just the Verdi?); recommended.”
    Mike Ashman, Gramophone

    “Swedish Soprano Miah Persson has heretofore been known as a Mozart specialist, with a few forays into Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier, Gretel and Anne Trulove. She has recently been hinting at a change to more mature and deeper characters, switching from Zerlina to Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni and adding to her repertory the Governess in Britten’s Turn of the Screw. And here, in her splendid new album of arias, Sempre Libera, there isn’t a Mozart piece to be found. She’s testing the waters of bel canto, opera lyrique, and Verdi and Puccini, and is quite successful at all.

    Persson’s bright soprano is a pleasure to hear: even in all registers, excellent coloratura, fine trills and high notes seemingly fly from her without any hint of effort. She seems quite comfortable throughout the mostly familiar arias here (Juliette’s waltz song, Marguerite’s jewel song, Musetta’s waltz, and the inevitable “O mio babbiono caro”) and brings much life and spirit to the less familiar (“Ombre legere” from Meyerbeer’s Dinorah, and “Le jour sous le soleil beni” from Messager’s version of the Butterfly story, Madame Chrysantheme).

    Three of the first four tracks on the CD deal with high-spirited, ebullient young characters, and they suit Persson’s voice and personality perfectly. Norina’s “Quel gardo il cavaliere…So anch’io la virtu magica” from Donizetti’s Don Pasquale is rendered with charm, wit and agility; she brings the same spirits and glistening soprano to the jewel song from Faust and Gounod’s Juliette’s “Ah! Je vous vivre.” Mixed in with these is Bellini’s languid, longing “Eccomi in lieta vesta…Oh! Quante volte,” where Giulietta’s intense yearning for Romeo spills out in sensual bel canto lines. Persson gives much passionate ardor especially in the phrase “Ardo…una vampa, un foco tutta mi strugge” (I burn, a flame, a fire consumes me) but still manages to keep the vocal line delicate and beautifully spun. If Ms. Persson had gone deeper into this character’s transition from girl to woman in the aria, it would have had a stronger sense of morbidezza, but this is a minor quibble.

    Smoky sensuality is not a quality I’ve previously associated with Persson’s voice, usually noted for its brightness. But two selections on this disc (both duets with mezzo-soprano Katarina Karneus) show Persson’s strong abilities in projecting these very qualities: “Viens, Mallika” from Delibes’ Lakme, and even more strongly, Offenbach’s “Belle nuit, o nuit d’amour” from Les Contes d’Hoffman. In this familiar barcarole, Persson and Karneus weave a sensual web of romance and desire with hints of a darker purpose underneath.

    Also here are the staggering coloratura pyrotechnics of “Ombre legere” from Meyerbeer’s Dinorah, which Persson tosses off with stunning agility and ease, and the Madame Chrysanthème aria, the closest thing to verismo on the disc where Persson does a fine job of darkening the voice, but one longs for a bit more vocal heft. She is more successful in her Puccini selections, such as a sexy yet witty “Quando me’n vo” and a charmingly girlish “O mio babbino caro”.

    The title track, the scena “È strano!…Ah, fors’è lui…Sempre libera” finds the soprano in excellent voice, and certainly makes a case that Persson is quite ready for at least the first act of La Traviata’sVioletta. The first section is infused with Violetta’s longing for and fear of committed love, and when she flies into “Sempre libera,” there is a great sense of ease and freedom. The only downside of this track is the bleating tenor of Andrew Staples as the offstage Alfredo. And, oddly, this is the only track on the CD that is followed by thunderous audience applause.

    Daniel Harding is a sensitive and supportive conductor, and leads the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in some thrilling work in this variety of musical styles. This excellent disc should only increase the demands for Persson in the world’s opera houses, perhaps in much wider repertory.

    Henson Keys, Opera News, November 2015

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    13 Aug 15 Mozart Le nozze de Figaro
    Budapest Festival Orchestra, Usher Hall

    “The strongest elements were Miah Persson, previously an enchanting Susanna, here a finely poised, silver-faced Countess, and Hanno Müller-Brachmann, whose Figaro radiated a nicely Tiggerish combination of the gormless and bumptious.”
    Rupert Christiansen, Telegraph, 14 August 2015

    “Performances throughout are superb. The Budapest Festival Orchestra perform a flawless rendition of Mozart’s full four-act score, and the cast are uniformly excellent. If standouts must be highlighted, then Miah Persson’s Countess Almaviva provides some spine-tingling moments of vocal splendour”
    Keith Dumble, Edinburgh Spotlight, 14 August 2015

    “Miah Persson’s Countess is glamorous”
    Kate Molleson, Guardian, 14 August 2015

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    19 Aug 14 Cosi fan tutte LA Philharmonic cond. Dudamel
    Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles

    “Of course, the fact that the costumes were draped on six excellent singers didn’t hurt either… This was the real success of Miah Persson’s Fiordiligi and Roxana Constantinescu’s Dorabella. Both radiated sexuality and sweetness, but their singing (even more than their acting) brought out the different shades of their characters.”
    James C. Taylor, Opera magazine, September 2014

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    14 Nov 13 Bach, Handel, Mozart New York Philharmonic Orchestra cond.Bernard Labadie
    Avery Fisher Hall

    “The concert opened with Bach’s Cantata No. 51, “Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen,” followed by Handel’s “Let the Bright Seraphim” from “Samson,” with the Philharmonic trumpeter Matthew Muckey taking the spotlight alongside Ms. Persson. In both works, his bright and vibrant sound proved a lovely foil for her clear and lithe soprano

    …Ms. Persson gave a joyful performance that showed great sensitivity to the text, allowing her voice to cave in a little on the word “schwäche” (“weak”) and keeping the melisma in the Bach aria “Höchster, mache deine Güte,” about worshipers as children, playful rather than showy.”

    Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, New York Times, November 2013

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    19 Feb 13 Le Nozze di Figaro (Countess)
    Budapest Festival Orchestra

    “The soprano Miah Persson, a lovely and vulnerable Countess Almaviva, brings sumptuous sound and elegant lyricism to her affecting performance.”
    New York Times, Anthony Tommasini, 12 August 2013

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    01 Jul 12 Schubert, Sibelius, Grieg Songs CD, Wigmore Hall Live
    Wigmore Hall, London

    “That elegant Swedish lyric soprano Miah Persson has given British audiences enormous pleasure over recent years, as this live recording at the Wigmore Hall recital demonstrates….it is in her native Scandinavian repertoire that she excels…Grieg songs bubble with character and fun, which Sibelius’s Flickan kom brings the programme to an intensely emotional climax.”
    The Daily Telegraph Review, 22 September 2012

    “Persson and Vignoles together deliver a lovely, beautifully balanced recital, recorded in February last year. In an opening Schubert set, Persson, for all the natural brightness of her voice, achieves the right aching heaviness in Lied der Mignon, and a beguiling sense of gentle repose in Du Bist die Ruh. She then turns to Grieg’s six Op. 48 songs, mixing charm, depth and romantic ardour. A final Sibelius group, written to texts in Persson’s native Swedish, consolidates all that has gone before.”
    The Sunday Times, July 2012

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    01 Jun 12 Donizetti L'elisir d'amore (Adina)
    Festspielhaus Baden-Baden

    “Charming and confident Miah Persson is confident and quick witted, with several men at once, as the flirtatious Adina. She also stars in the film, which is currently being filmed in a Western setting. Charmingly she keeps Sergeant Belcore busy. This production includes shootouts, fights and daring escape attempts. Full of Action. But for the duets and solos, Villazón keeps a clear stage so that none of the beautiful, flowing, bel canto singing is lost, and no-one is distracted from the sparkling coloratura of Miah Persson.”
    Pforzheimer Zeitung, June 2012

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    01 Aug 11 The Turn of the Screw, The Governess
    Glyndebourne Festival Opera

    “Miah Persson is compelling as the Governess, a powerful mix of insecurity and manic determination, reflected in her natural and passionate singing.”
    The Telegraph, August 2011

    “Miah Persson was one of the best acted and sung Governesses I’ve seen…she pointed the text fabulously and her diction was superb, and her singing was at turns febrile, determined and abandoned.”
    Whatsonstage.com, August 2011

    “As for the Governess of Miah Persson, the first thing to say is that this is a highly intelligent, carefully considered performance. Persson is a singer who projects well in solo passages, but who listens to her fellow singers and adjusts her dynamic to blend well in ensembles. She conveyed well the touching vulnerability of the Governess, the love and sympathy she felt for her charges and the mounting horror of the situation she finds herself in (without the voice hardening under stress in the higher tessitura passages, as it sometimes does)… Persson delivered a deeply moving account of the role, and rarely have I gone into the Act One interval feeling so absolutely shattered at the conception of the piece. This was music theatre at its most thrillingly intense.”
    Musicalcriticism.com, August 2011

    “At the centre of the drama is the young, pretty, vulnerable Governess of Miah Persson. The very picture of 1950s innocence, she inhabits the role absorbingly and…sings with impeccable English and such insight that the nerve-endings of the character are laid bare.”
    Financial Times, August 2011

    “Yet the real stars of this performance were Miah Persson as The Governess, whose beautiful voice is just perfect for the intimate surroundings of Glyndebourne opera house, and the 12-year-old boy soprano Thomas Parfitt.”
    Express.co.uk, August 2011

    “Persson’s Governess is flawlessly voiced, her words keenly articulated, the ambiguity of her character – determined saviour of the children in her care, or a fantasist steadily falling apart? – is maintained right to the close.”
    The Stage Reviews, August 2011

    “Miah Persson certainly plays her without neurotic hysteria, singing with a glorious purity and simplicity that seems indicative of her moral state.”
    The Telegraph, August 2011

    “Persson’s diction is flawless and her rich lyric soprano is ideally suited to the growing intensity of the character. It is the Governess who has shrill moments, not the singer.”
    The Classical Source, August 2011

    “Miah Persson, the rising soprano of the moment, is an ideal Governess, as pure in tone as in spirit.”
    The Independent, August 2011

    “To the role of the Governess, Swedish soprano Miah Persson brings the fresh, wholesome looks of a young Liv Ullmann, the vocal bloom and focus of a young Renee Fleming and unforced emotional transparency all her own.”
    Matthew Gurewitsch, Opera News, March 2013

Repertoire

OPERATIC REPERTOIRE includes:

BRITTEN
The Turn of the Screw (Governess)
Peter Grimes (Ellen Orford)

DEBUSSY
Pelleas et Melisande (Melisande)

GLUCK
Orfeo ed Euridice (Euridice)

HANDEL
Alcina (title role)
Giulio Cesare (Cleopatra)
Partenope (title role)
Rodelinda (title role)

MONTEVERDI
L’incoronazione di Poppea (Poppea)

MOZART
Cosi Fan Tutte (Fiordiligi)
Don Giovanni (Donna Elvira)
Idomeneo (Elettra)
Le nozze di Figaro (Countess)
Zaide (title role)

OFFENBACH
Les Contes d’Hoffmann (Antonia/Giulietta)

POULENC
Dialogues des Carmelites (Blanche)
La Voix Humaine

R. STRAUSS
Arabella (title role)
Capriccio (Governess)
Der Rosenkavalier (Marschallin)

STRAVINSKY
The Rake’s Progress (Anne Trulove)

VAN DER AA
Blank Out
Sunken Garden (Iris)

CONCERT REPERTOIRE includes:

BACH
Mass in B minor

BACH
Christmas Oratorio
St John Passion
St Matthew Passion

BEETHOVEN
Symphony no. 9

BERG
Frühe Lieder

BRAHMS
Requiem

BRUCKNER
Te Deum

GRIEG
Peer Gynt

HANDEL
Messiah

HAYDN
Creation
Nelson Mass
The Seasons

MAHLER
Des Knabens Wunderhorn
Symphony No.2
Symphony No.4

MOZART
Exsultate Jubilate
Requiem

SCHOENBERG
Gurre-Lieder

SCHUBERT
Der Hilt auf dem Felsen

SCHUMANN
Faust Szenen

STRAUSS
Vier letzte Lieder