"A rare vocal phenomenon of this century" Damien Colas, La Discotheque de L'Avant-Scene Opera
"This extraordinary diva can sing anything and sing it well" Rodney Milnes, Opera Magazine
"The standing ovations had already begun in the first act for the brilliant Adriana sung by the superb Romanian soprano Nelly Miricioiu who touched our hearts in a powerful finale." Aridea Fezzi Price, Il Giornale
Hailed as a singing-actress, Nelly is one of the most versatile artists of our day. Her repertoire extends from Mozart and bel canto to Verdi, Puccini and the verismo to modern italian opera Respighi and Zandonai, taking in French and Russian composers too. As Rodney Milnes wrote in Opera Magazine "this extroadinary diva can sing anything and sing it well ".
Since her Covent Garden debut in 1982 as Nedda in I Pagliacci opposite John Vickers, Piero Cappuccili and Thomas Allen and the 1983 triumphant La Scala debut as Lucia di Lammermoor, Nelly has been heard in all major opera houses of the world. She has worked with some of the most prestigious conductors and directors (in leading roles that include Tosca with Jose Carreras, Jose Cura, Neil Schicoff), Mimi (with Placido Domingo), Violetta in La Traviata (with Franco Bonisolli, Roberto Alagna, Renato Bruson, Alfredo Kraus) and opposite many other leading artists of the day. It was the bel canto repertoire and her dedication to rediscovering forgotten operas where Nelly found her niche. Universally acclaimed for her luscious sound, beautifully constructed technique and exceptional theatrical stage presence, Michael Davdison wrote about her in an article in Opera Magazine: "The highly individual timbre of Miricioiu’s voice, her imagination and intensity, her exceptional range and sense of timing make for a unique talent. "
(For Notable Performances and Debuts* - see below)
Born in Adjud, Romania, Nelly started singing at 5 and was hailed as a child prodigy. At 9 she started studying piano and at 14 she won her first singing contest, Young Talents, Great hopes. At 18 she sung in Pergolesi's La serva padrona and joined the Conservatory in Iasi where she continued her studies with Tibi Popovici. In 1972 she was the youngest contestant in the Francisco Vinas Musical Competition in Barcelona and in 1975 she won the first prize at the very first Maria Callas Grand Prix in Athens. More 1st prizes followed at competitions in Geneva, Paris, Sofia, Oostende etc.
Nelly made her operatic debut in Mozart's Magic Flute, as the Queen of the Night at Iasi Opera House, and continued to sing at Brasov Opera House between 1975-1978in roles such as Mimi in La Boheme, Micaela in Carmen and Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus.
Scotland and Royal Opera House
In 1981 she fled the communist regime and months later she debuted in Glasgow at the Scottish Opera as Violetta in La Traviata. Manon Lescaut and Tosca followed.
A year later she had her big breakthrough and starred at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden as Nedda in I Pagliacci opposite John Vickers, Piero Cappuccilli and Thomas Allen. After her successful debut she became a household name at the Royal Opera House where she has sung for over two decades in roles such as Marguerite in Faust, Antonia in Tales of Hoffmann, Valentine in Les Huguenots, Norma, Elisabetta in Roberto Devereux to name just a few. In 1996 she was trusted with the revival of the infamous Tosca production for Maria Callas. The revival was a huge success and established her as one of the best Tosca's seen on stage. Clive Hirshon wrote in the Daily Express: "Nelly Miricioiu had the requisite passion for the title role plus a melting pianissimo that ravished the house with its purity of tone." while The Financial Times' Richard Fairman wrote: "her Tosca is an artist down to her fingertips, the kind who turns every wave in a theatrical event". She reprised her appearance as Tosca on the Royal Opera House stage in 2001 and in 2003 she enjoyed an immense success as Elisabetta in Roberto Devereux by Donizetti of which a recording was later released by Opera Rara: "it was Miricioiu's opera, and ultimately her evening. Hers was the longest role and the most demanding, not merely in its manifold technical difficulties but in its range of mood - suspicion, hope, love, hate, joy, pride and finally a bitter, crazed fury. All of these require expression, both in the enunciation of Cammarano's text and in the vocalizing of Donizetti's taxing music. Even the greatest bel canto exponents might experience mishaps over such a long ordeal, but Miricioiu's diligent connection to words, music and meaning held out to the end in singing of outstanding consistency and command." (George Hall - Opera News)
Teatro alla Scala and Europe
In 1983, Nelly Miricioiu made her first appearance at Teatro alla Scala as Lucia di Lamermoor. Her debut on the demanding stage was an absolute triumph. There was unanimous praise from the critics and newspapers for her extraordinary performance. Corriere della Serra said: "La Lucia who resembles Callas Triumphs, Nelly Miricioiu, substituting Luciana Serra, has reaped nine curtain calls.(...) Thunderous applause in the finale of the opera, has opened the doors of success for this singer." After this success, Nelly went on to sing on the stages of the most important opera houses in Europe such as Amsterdam, Bruxelles, Rome, Hamburg, Berlin, Geneva, Munich, Vienna, Salzburg, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona etc. where she has been highly praised and acclaimed for her characterization of roles as diverse as Violetta in La Traviata (a role which she has reprised more than 350 times), Mimi and Musetta in La Boheme, Cio Cio San in Madame Butterfly, Silvana in La Fiamma, Adriana in Adriana Lecouvreur (a role which she debuted at La Scala in 2000), Francesca in Francesca da Rimini, Isabella in Robert le Diable, Elisabetta in Don Carlo, Gilda in Rigoletto, the four soprano roles in Tales of Hoffman, Magda in La Rondine, the title role in Iris by Mascagni and Norma by Bellini, Lucrezia Borgia and the three Donizetti queens, Thais, Semiramide, and many more.
Nelly has enjoyed an extremely successful relationship with the Washington Opera, where she sang roles such as Imogene in Il Pirata, Elena and Margherita in Mefistofele, the title roles in Ana Bolena, Lucrezia Borgia, Manon by Massnet and Violetta in La Traviata. In 1989 she made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York as Mimi in La Boheme. She continued to sing most notably in Philadelphia, Dallas and San Francisco and in 2007 she made her house debut at New York City Opera as Agrippina. Nelly has also appeared in South America, where she has had success in Santiago and the famous Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires.
The VARA Matinee Concert series and Opera Rara recordings
In 1985 she began a famous series of Vara Matinee Concerts at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and over the two decades years continued to extend her repertoire to include the great bel canto heroines. In these roles she could advance her own unique artistry in the way for which she has today become so highly acclaimed. Her Armenaide (Tancredi) at the 1992 Salzburg festival was greatly admired and she continues to sing other Rossinian roles such as Armida, Semiramide and Ermione to similar acclaim.
Her recordings include Puccini's Tosca, Mercadante's Orazi e Curiazi, Donizetti's Rosamunda d' Inghilterra (with Renee Fleming & Bruce Ford) and Maria De Rudenz (Maria), Rossini's Ricciardo e Zoraide, Pacini's Maria d' Inghilterra (Maria)- nominated for best bel canto recording of 1998, Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana (Santuzza) and a live recording in Rome of Respighi's La Fiamma (Silvana) and Nelly Miricioiu Live at the Concertgebouw. Latest releases including Nelly Miricioiu -A Rossini Gala and Nelly Miricioiu - Bel Canto Portrait were both nominated as records of the year in 2000 and 2001. Roberto Devereux (Elisabetta) recorded at the ROH Covent Garden in July 2002 (by Opera Rara) was released in July 2003 followed by a new recording of Mercadante's Emma D'Antiochia released in May 2005.
Notable Performances and Debuts *
Nelly made her western European debut as Violetta for Scottish Opera production of La Traviata in 1981 and Covent Garden debut in 1982 as Nedda in I Pagliacci opposite John Vickers, Piero Cappuccili and Thomas Allen followed by a triumphant La Scala debut as Lucia di Lammermoor in 1983*. She has since been heard in all major opera houses of the world and in recitals and concerts (e.g. Salzburg Festival, Concertgebouw, Royal Festival Hall/ Barbican London) working with some of the most prestigious conductors and directors in leading roles opposite many other leading artists past and present. Debut roles and notable performances include Puccini’s Tosca with Jose Carreras and Giuseppe Taddei (Frankfurt 1984), Neil Schicoff and Robert Hale (Berlin 1995), Jose Cura (ROHCG 1996) and Roggero Raimondi (Zurich 1998), Mimi in La Bohème with Placido Domingo (Madrid 1986), Violetta in La Traviata with Alfredo Kraus (Frankfurt 1982), Jose Carreras and Juan Pons (Oviedo 1984), Franco Bonisolli and Zancanaro (Verona Festival Opening 1987), Roberto Alagna and Piero Cappuccilli (Monte Carlo 1989), Vicenzo La Scola and Renato Bruson/Leo Nucci (Ravenna 1989); repertoire also includes performances of Mimi in Puccini's La Bohème (Rome 1986/San Francisco 1986/Munich 1987/NY Met 1989), Tosca (Opera Bastille Paris 2002/Barcelona 2003/ROHCG 1996-2009), Manon Lescaut (Scottish Opera Edin. Festival 1982*/Monte Carlo 1985/Florence 1986/Munich 1987), La Rondine with costumes by Karl Lagerfeld (Monte Carlo 1991*/Torino 1994), Title in Verdi’s Luisa Miller (Netherlands Opera 1997*), debut as Elisabeth with Vinson Cole, Jose Van Dam in Verdi’s Don Carlos (Brussels Monnaie 1996*), Helena in I Vespri Siciliani (Montpellier 1998*/Vienna 2001/Paris Bastille 2003/NY Met 2004), Amelia with Renata Bruson in Simon Bocconegra (Copenhagen Tivoli 1992*), Desdemona with Cornel Murgu in Otello (Copenhagen Tivoli 1993*), Gilda with Georgo Zancannaroin Rigoletto (Philadelphia 1991*/Zurich 1997), Marguerite and Elena in Mefistofele with Samuel Ramey (Washington Opera 1996*/ROH Barbican 1998), Marguerite with Francesco Araiza in Faust(ROHCG 1986*/Berlin 1988/Paris Opera Bastille 1993), Violetta in La Traviata (US Debut San Francisco 1983*/Reggio Emilia 1986/Vienna 1987/Washington 1988/Parma 1990), title roles in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor with Carlo Bergonzi (Moderna 1985); Anna Bolena (Brussels Monnaie 1993*/Washington Opera 1993), Lucrezia Borgia (Washington 1990*/Marseille 2002), Maria Stuarda (Vienna Opera 1993/Lyon 1996) and Elizabeth 1 in Roberto Devereux (Concertgebouw 1994*/ROHCG 2002), the title roles in Rossini’s Semiramide (Concertgebouw 1988*/Chelsea Opera London 1998/Geneve Opera 1999/Barcelona Liceu 2005), Armida (Concertgebouw 1988*), Ermione with Chris Merrit and Bruce Ford (Brussels/Concertgebouw 1995*), and Amenaide in Rossini’s Tancredi (Salzburg Festival/1992), Bellini’s Norma (Rome Opera 1999*/Amsterdam 1999/ ROHCG 2000), Imogen in Il Pirata (Brussels/Concertgebouw 2003*/ Chelsea Opera Group London 2003) and Julietta in I Capuleti e I Montecchi (Catania 1986*), Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur (La Scala 2000*/Bolshoi 2002/Rome 2002), Mercadante’s Emma d’Antiochia (Royal Festival Hall, London 2003* Prem.), Puccini’s Tosca (Berlin Deutsche Staatsoper 1995/ Paris Bastille 002/Barcelona Liceu 2003/ROHCG 1996-2009 ), Manon Lescaut (Scottish Opera Edin Festival 1982*/Monte Carlo 1985/Florence 1986/Munich 1987), La Rondine (Monte Carlo 1991*/Torino 1994), In 1985 she began a 25-year series of Vara Matinee Concerts at Amsterdam Concertgebouw with Massenet’s Thais(1985*) the first of many debut roles there, including Donizetti’s Three Queens (Anna Bolena 1989*/Maria Stuarda 1992*/Elizabeth 1 in Roberto Devereux 1994* Prem.) and Netherlands premier of Catarina Cannaro in 2010*Prem., also debut in title roles in Gounod’s Mireille (Tolouse 1988*), Puccini’s Cio Cio San in Madam Butterfly (Hamburg 1992*), Zandonai’s Francesca Da Rimini (2000*), Mascagni’s Iris with Nicolai Ghiaurov (2003*), Giordano’s Fedora with Sherrill Milnes (Teatro Colon Buenos Aires/1998*), Respighi’s World Premier of Marie Victoire (Rome 2004* Prem.) and Silvana in La Fiamma(1998*), the three roles of Olympia, Giulietta, Antonia, in Ponnelle’s production of Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann at the Paris Opera (1983*) and Antonia at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden (1986), debut as Valentine with Gregory Kunde in Meyerbeer’s Le Huguenots (Montpellier 1990*/ROHCG 1991), and as Isabella in Meyerbeer's Robert Le Diable for the Deutsche Staatsoper (2001*), and Poulenc’s one act opera La Voix Humaine in Rotterdam/Maastricht (2009*). (Debuts*)
NORMA - Character: Norma
ROH Covent Garden - May 24th 2000 "THE DIVA MAKES THE EVENING........Nelly Miricioiu has never received the attention that is her due.........If this Norma was intended to make ammends, it did so handsomely, atleast insofar as Miricioiu had a showcase for her talents.......she was as successful in the role as any of the singers of the last quarter century.....It was Nelly Miricioiu's evening" FINANCIAL TIMES - RICHARD FAIRMAN - MAY 26TH 2000
Amsterdam Concertgebouw - Jan 16th, 1999 "...Nelly Miricioiu creates furore in exceptional Norma" NRC - Kasper Jansen - 18th Jan 99 (Translation)
IL PIRATA - Character: Imogene
CHELSEA OPERA GROUP - May 5th 2001 A devastating tribute to Bellini:"Nelly Miricioiu gives a performance of a lifetime as Imogene, her dark, veiled tone hinting at terrible anguish, her coloratura ricocheting with pain and derangement" Tim Ashley THE GUARDIAN - MAY 22, 2001
I CAPULETI E I MONTECCHI - Character: Juliette Teatro Massimo Bellini - March 14, 1986"..For her fresh colour of the voice and prestigous singing, not separated from the acting and always ready to give up virtuosity to express the truthful sense of the words, and that essential feeling of being alone and apart..." Nel Mondo Dello Spettacolo - Domenico Danzuso (Translation)
MEFISTOFELE - Character: Elena/Margherita Washington Opera - February 29, 1996 Washington Opera - Kennedy Centre-"Nelly Miricioiu, in the dual role of Margherita and Elana (Helen of Troy) is also extraordinary, delving deeply for the impossible low notes while soaring like a bird in the higher registers." T.L. Ponick - Washington Times
Washington Opera 1996"....Nelly Miricioiu's throbbing, intense, furiously emotive Margherita..."T. Page - Washington Post
Royal Opera Concert –Barbicon London 1998 "Nelly Miricioiu sounding like a young, limpid Maria Callas, as Margherita and Helen of Troy" Hugh Canning - Sunday Times - March, 1998
ADRIANA LECOUVREUR - Character: Adriana (COG/Queen Elizabeth Hall – 16th Feb 2009)From the moment she made her entry to(and through) those rustling strings, Nelly Miricioiu held the stage not with contrived grandezza, but with poise and a certain sweetness and simplicity: That quintessential prima donna test piece was subtly shaded and doubly crowned in its final bars with a crescendo on ‘di’ and a diminuendo on ‘morra, the death scene genuinely touching, brought further finely gauged sfumature,while the Phedre speech in Act 3 proved aptly excoriating.Yehuda Shapiro (Opera Magazine – 2009)
ANNA BOLENA - Character: Anna Bolena Amsterdam Concertgebouw 1990 Nelly Miricioiu is the adored soloist in Vara Broadcasting Network's concert performancesin the Concertgebouw, and she scored another triumph in the title role of Anna Bolena on Dec 9th.Michael Davidson (Opera - May 1990)
ANNA BOLENA –Washington Opera 1993 "...Miricioiu really accomplished vocal miracles of interpretation .... "The Vocal World - WETA-FM (NPR)
ANNA BOLENA -Brussels Monnaie 1993"She made the closing scene a happening. It is one of those rare moments when you felt what it meant for a Belcanto opera to suddenly become music of expression.."Opernwelt - June 1993
ANNA BOLENA -Brussels Monnaie 1993"As for Miricioiu,it is hard to imagine the heroines role being done more excitingly or effectingly.........and it was impossible to detect any lack of beauty in the perfectly produced seamlessly threaded legato of her final scene-she has a technique second to none for a part such as Anna's whilst the voice itself, is Callas-like in timbre, encompasses a range of expression from gleaming half-light to bright beautifully controlled full throttle."John McCann - (OPERA -1993)
ANNA BOLENA -Queen Elizabeth Hall, May 18, 2002 "Expressive timbres, sureness through the registers, delicately moulded, word-sensitive phrasing, easy reserves of power (called upon only wwhen apt) and equisite, telling soft notes conspired in a performance technically accomplished and unaffectedly, emotionally potent. Miricioiu delivered phrases that touched the heart. Her account of the three arias that form the finale- "Al dolce guidami", the lovely paraphrase of "Home, sweet home", and "Coppia iniqua"- was memorable" Andrew Porter - OPERA/July 2002
LUCREZIA BORGIA -Washington Concert Opera 1990"Lucrezia ...was sung with a magnificent voice and intense dramatic projection by soprano Nelly Miricioiu. Nelly Miricioiu was not simply given a standing ovation at the end but a stamping, shouting one..."Joseph Mclellan - Washington Post
LUCREZIA BORGIA -Marseille Opera Oct 8 2002 "Nelly Miricioiu and Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia are a potent mix, as was demonstrated at the OPERA DE MARSEILLE (Oct 8) ...That it was Miricioiu who was singing, one of the few sopranos today able to impart dramatic potency to the bel canto idiom, seems not to have been a consideration, despite the fact that the composer himself sanctioned a conflation of the new and old finales...........to give a multi-dimensional portrayal." Joel Kasow - OPERA/LA OPERA April 2003
LUCREZIA BORGIA – Opera De Marseille (December 2002 issue-Translation) In a city which is not at its first Lucrecia Borgia, a fact to be underlined (in 1968 with Montserrat Caballe and in 1992 with Christine Weidinger), the cast commands attention for its coherence. Who better than Nelly Miricioiu can today bring back the energy and elegance of language to Donizetti's heroine? Knowing perfectly the secrets of the Italian romantic reportory, the Romanian singer knows how to avoid its traps. With her it is the accuracy of tonality combined with the faultless dramatic temperament which seduces immediately.OPERA INTERNATIONAL (DEC 2002): - Pierre Cadars
LUCREZIA BORGIA – Opera De Marseille –(December 2002 issue -Translation) It could not be possible to produce such a piece without a principle performer being able to command the stage. Nelly Miricioiu has a long experience in the romantic bel canto reportoire. She owns the undeniable and infallible style of expressive singing. Le Monde De La Musique (Dec 2002): - Georges Gad
MARIA STUARDA -Amsterdam - Concertgebouw - Sept 26, 1992 "Nelly Miricioiu sweeps the audience off their feet" Kasper Jansen - RC Handelsbad - Sept, 1992 (Translation)
MARIA STUARDA -Amsterdam - Concertgebouw - Sept 26, 1992 "In a different context, that very special soprano Nelly Miricioiu is the darling of Amsterdam's operatic public. Ovations, bouquets, and general ecstacy greets her annual appearances in the CONCERTGEBOUW......Unusually, enough in these days of super-hype, none of the excitement is commercially manipulated, and even more unusually, it is warranted." Michael Davidson - (OPERA - Dec 1992)
MARIA STUARDA – Amsterdam Concertgebouw – Sept 26, 1992"With Maria Stuarda Nelly Miricioiu made her second step towards the Donizetti cycle of Tudor Queens.........The final scenes of the opera are all Miricioiu's; it was one half hour of supreme vocal beauty and emotion through music" Peter van der Lint (TROUW - Dec 1992)(Translation)
MARIA STUARDA - Lyon 1996"Nelly Miricioiu was in excellent form once again making one wonder at the lack of imagination manifested by the recording companies in their consistent neglect of an incomparable performer" Joel Kasow - Opera - March, 1996 ROBERTO DEVEREUX –Amsterdam Concertgebouw 1994 "to the extreme you need a diva like Nelly Miricioiu to breath new life into the part .... she found the right balance between technical accuracy and emotional surrender. Formidable. Eddie Vetter - Telegraaf(Translation)
ROBERTO DEVEREUX -Royal Opera, Covent Garden, July 8 "There was much to praise, in particular an imperious vocal presence and great attention to words and vocal shading. ......in this role, dramatic instinct and commitment counts for a great deal, and here Miricioiu was second to none." Roger Parker - OPERA/Sept 2002
ROBERTO DEVEREUX – Covent Garden - Elizabeth 1 (Nelly Miricioiu)...an excellent vehicle for Nelly Miricioiu, the Romanian cult diva, at this stage of her carear the belcanto line still beautifully sustained. THE SUNDAY TIMES (MAY 25 2003): - Hugh Canning ROBERTO DEVEREUX -Royal Opera, Covent Garden, July 8th 2003 But it was Miricioiu's opera, and ultimately her evening. Hers was the longest role and the most demanding, not merely in its manifold technical difficulties but in its range of mood - suspician, hope, love, hate, joy, pride and finally a bitter, crazed fury. All of these require expression, both in the enunciation of Cammarano's text and in the vocalizing of Donizetti's taxing music. Even the greatest bel canto exponents might experience mishaps over such a long ordeal, but Miricioiu's diligent connection to words, music and meaning held out to the end in singing of outstanding consistency and command. Goerge Hall - Opera News (online)
ROBERTO DEVEREUX -Royal Opera, Covent Garden"Central to the success of this new set is the singing of the fine, characterful soprano Nelly Miricioiu as Elizabeth. With a voice far warmer than Sills's, yet just as flexible in coloratura, she gives a most moving account of the queen. Edward Greenfield (The Guardian May 9, 2003)
ROSMONDA D’INGHILTERRA – Leonora di Guienna THE INDEPENDANT CLASSICAL RETAILER ORGANISATION TOP TEN FOR AUGUST 19 TO SEPT 18:: 6TH PLACE (SUNDAY TIMES 24/09/00)".....a rare gem from the fab label that specialises in these things...” See Opera Rara "...The similarity with Callas is striking but the difference is that she finds the right launch. The dynamic she imposes is magnificent"Jean Cabourg - Diapason Jan 1997 (Translation)
MARIA DE RUDENZ – Maria "....Miricioiu, frequently sounding like a steadier version of Maria Callas, with that lady's rich palette of colours and intensity of utterance, also finds powerful accents and gives yet anther impressive performance. John T.Hughes - (1999)
LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR - La Scala–1983...thunderous applause and nine curtain calls in the finale of the opera, has opened the doors of success for this singer" Franco Damerina (CORRIERE DELLA SERRA - March, 1983) Translation
FAUST - Bastille, Paris 1993"... Nelly Miricioiu trancended the stage events and projected vocally and emotionally into the auditorium." Joel Kasow – Opera Magazine
FAUST - Covent Garden 1986"Miricioiu makes the heroine a real charmer, fresh bright and girlish , with the voice, both strong and brilliant, beautifully matching the sharp changes of mood."
Edward Greenfield - The Gaurdian - February 1986
FAUST – Covent Garden "Nelly Miricioiu's modest bourgeois Marguerite caught all the quiet tragedy in the role"James Helme Sutcliffe - Opera - October 1986
MIREILLE –Opera Tolouse 1988 "A remarkable Mireille in Tolouse ....she is often compared to Maria Callas for her diversity, dramatic instinct and her commitment..."Bio of Nelly taken from Guide De L'Opera - Harald Rosenthal and John Warrack (French edition by Roland Macini & J.J. Rouverauk) words were translated from French edition (1996)
MANON-Washington Opera 1991
"The texture is warm, clear. The technique smooth and supple. She lacks nothing vocally for Manon.She is also a wonderful actress, who never gives the impression of acting. Her large eyes and lucid expression give every idea and poetic image it's perfectly mesured due. She is immensely popular in Washington (her previous Traviata and Lucrezia Borgia performances are clearly and happily recalled by all who heard them. Her broadcasters of Thias and Mefistofele are also among many tape collectors treasures. WETA-Radio Opera Fred Calland
"Powerful spine tingling in quality, and uncannily elastic, it spins illusions of grandeur and great romance in its coloratura realms, as her character, Manon Lescaut, expands upon the glories of love." Emily Cary - The Journal Newspapers
THAIS – Amsterdam Concertgebouw 1985 "She is being compared with Callas and this is no exaggeration. What a voice! Agility, pure intonation, wonderful pianissimo - she has got it all...this was a magnificent performance of a full-blooded diva" Frits Van Der Waal - (VOLKSKRANT - JAN 85) (Translation)
IRIS -Amsterdam - Concertgebouw - Jan 1, 2003 - She received her yearly homage at the Matinee and her appearance at the top of the stairs sent her audience into a state of rave. More was to come that afternoon. Although she's not a child like the main character in the opera, Miricioiu's voice sounds young and fresh and gave a thoroughly moving portrayal.
Hans Visser (HET NOORDHOLLANDS DAGBLAD) (Translation)
IRIS -Amsterdam - Concertgebouw - Jan 1, 2003 - She wholly consolidated her reputation as the 'Queen of the Matinee' and the heart and soul of this concert version of Iris was without any doubt Nelly Miricioiu who sang the main role with exhilarating force and innocence at the same time, whilst the moments of terror were imbedded in the same voice, as in her aria 'Un di ero piccini'; also the closing scene was an absolute highlight.. Mischa Spel- (NRC HANDELSBLAD) (Translation)
ORAZI E CURIAZI - Opera Rara recording "...in her interpretation the technique is perfect, attractive, assimilated with the length of breath and impressive agility in the passages with ornamentation, which she never uses as just a demonstration of her virtuosity but always serving to express the internal torment of the character"(from French) La Discotheque de L'Avant-Scene - Damien Colas - Opera June 1996
EMMA D'ANTIOCHIA- Royal Festival Hall (London -22 October 2003)"Mercadante saved himself for his leading lady, and Emma has some wonderful music from quite another world, a kind of butchy scored Bellini, which Nelly Miricioiu sang with a tremendous palette of colours, a delicate touch with the coloratura, and plenty of old-fashioned intensity as Emma bombed out"The TIMES (OCT 28th 2003): - Robert Thicknesse
ROBERTO LE DIABLE –Berlin Stats Opera As Isabelle,Nelly Miricioiu revealed impeccable technical control of her soprano. Wisely, the singer occasionally used a harsh quality for even more expression and insight into the character; she turned her great aria "Grace pour toi" into one of the evenings high points. Histrionically, she was beyond fault as well." JOCHEN BREIHOLZ "OPERA NEWS" - July 2000
LES CONTES d’HOFFMANN -Covent Garden 1986"Nelly Miricioiu gives a highly sensitive and beautifully sung portrait of Antonia. The voice is pure and capable of great strength without losing its purity; she also eschews all trace of vanity" Paul Griffiths - (The Times - 24th April 1986)
MARIA REGINA d’INGHILTERRA – Opera Rara/ ORC 15"Nelly Miricioiu is at her very best, singing with abandon and style.........This is a deeply committed performance, the kind that Leyla Gencer used to give.." HENRY FOGEL, www.geocities, the internet
MARIA REGINA d’INGHILTERRA – Opera Rara/ORC15 "This Maria is one of those hellish Prima Donna roles, written for a singer who possesses the low notes of a mezzo, the high notes of a soprano, coloratura abilty, great breath control and dramatic reserves. Nelly Miricioiu has all that, and is not afraid to show it. Vocally she is reminiscent of Callas (in her good days), in her portrayal the ostentatious dramaticism of Magda Olivero; she gives a first class diva performance."JORG KONIGSDORF, Opernwelt, Sept/Oct 1998
LA RONDINE – Opera Monte Carlo 1991"...to Magda, the Romanian Nelly Miricioiu brought a warm voice, melting phrasing and charm of manner. The way she lightened her tone in the second act, disguised as a grisette, was admirable." Ronald Chrichton - Financial Times
LA BOHEME -The Metropolitain Opera 1989 "The Rumanian Soprano has a presence and personality that does not rely on volume or beauty of tone but on a moment-by-moment awareness of precisely what Mimi says and does". Bernard Holland - New York Times - Oct, 1989
MANON LESCAUT -Scottish Opera - Edin Festival Aug, 1982 "Nelly Miricioiu, is supurlative in every suffering or frivolous phrase" Paul Griffiths - The Times - Aug, 1982
TOSCA -Covent Garden 1996 "Nelly Miricioiu had the requisite passion for the title role plus a melting pianissimo that ravished the house with its purity of tone." Clive Hirshorn - Daily Express
TOSCA (NAXOS RECORD) "Nelly Miricioiu is the finest Tosca I have seen on stage. She sings with tremendous ease...the lower register rich and strong, and the top clear and bright.." CD Review
TOSCA -Choregies d'Orange 2000 "The sumptious Tosca of the beautiful and sensible Nelly Miricioiu created a character of rare psychological intelligence" Phillipe Gut - L'Humanite
TOSCA -Covent Garden 2001 "Nelly Miricioiu and Vladimir Galouzine provide a Tosca and Cavaradossi to rank with the best in history" Hilary Finch - The Times - 11th Feb 2001
GRAN TEATRE DEL LICEU - TOSCA (Barcelona -12th November 2003) "The homogenity of the vocal team is generally owed to the great soprano Nelly Miricioiu, who won the Vinas prize thirty years ago, she is in excellent shape, with a powerful voice enough to dominate the orchestra, a vibrant and harmonious "Vissi d'arte" with a fullness to express the private world of Tosca and the growing intensity of her desperation as an artist in a bad world. She was excellent in the duets with great emotion and solidly well intergrated "LA VANGUARDIA (NOV 2003-Trans): - Roger Alier
LA FIAMMA -Rome 1997 "...One of the chances of La Fiamma to retain the attention is to have a great prima donna ... and Nelly Miricoiiu offers a striking portrait of Silvana ... sensuous pianissimi and perfect (morbidi) her acting gifts ... everything recalls Callas...." Opera International - Sergio Segalini (translation)
LA FIAMMA -Rome 1997 "The opera demands a soprano with a great vocal presence as Silvana…and Nelly Miricioiu supplies that in abundance" John Allison - The Times - Dec, 1997
LA FIAMMA -Rome 1997 "Nelly Miricioiu proved an unforgettable Silvana, her vocal line exquisitely shaped and colored; the soprano's hauntingly emotional voice and presence are reminiscent of Claudia Muzio" Steven Hastings - Opera News - Feb, 1998
LA FIAMMA -Rome 1997"The power surfaces whenever 'the flame' flickers behind the figure of Silvana, and it can only burn brightly when her role is taken by a soprano of real dramatic gifts and vocal allure. Miricioiu is in both respects ideal: she has the vocal strength for the Act 2 recognition of her powers but in the duet can fine her voice down to a hushed and beautiful sotto voce; throughout she is quite riveting" Michael Oliver - Gramaphone - Dec, 1999
TANCREDI -Salzburg Festival - August 22, 1992 "The evening was a triumph for Nelly Miricioiu, who as Amenaide produced some of the most accomplished Rossini singing I have heard from a soprano for years." Rodney Milnes – Opera Magazine 1992
NELLY MIRICIOIU -ROSSINI GALA (Opera Rara Recording)NELLY, QUEEN OF ROSSINI "...Nelly Miricioiu is at her daunting best throughout." Charles Osborne - Opera Review- BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE - August 2000 THE INDEPENDANT CLASSICAL RETAILER ORGANISATION TOP TEN FOR AUGUST 19 TO SEPT 18:: 8TH PLACE (SUNDAY TIMES 24/09/00) ".....the delicious Romanian soprano soars to the heights..."
ARMIDA–Amsterdam Concertgebouw 1988 "Nelly Miricioiu in the title role gave Amsterdam the most thrilling singing heard here since her Tancredi two years ago"Michael Davidson - Opera Feb 1989
SEMIRAMIDE –Amsterdam Concertgebouw - Jan 28, 1995 "QUEEN OF BEL CANTO TRIUMPHS IN ROSSINI " "Miricioiu's interpretation of Queen Semiramide was phenomenal. There is at this moment in time no other singer that can match the Rumanian soprano in this reportoire." Roeland Hazendonk –TELEGRAPH (Translation)
SEMIRAMIDE -Geneve Opera - Nov 10, 1998"Nelly Miricioiu's first performance of the title role in a staged production was riveting, her voice well controlled......The manner in which she takes possession of the stage offers a lesson to all aspiring performers" Joel Kasow -(OPERA -Feb 1999)
SEMIRAMIDE -Queen Elizebeth Hall - Nov 28, 1998"Miricioiu looked stunningly stylish and acted totally within role.We got marvellously controlled, flawless, extended rapid runs and leaps. Top-note climaxes were warmly trumpeted while trills were crisp and perfectly placed." Tom Sutcliffe (EVENING STANDARD -Nov 98)
ERMIONE –Brussels -April 1, 1995 "...a never so intense sounding Miricioiu ...as far as I remember, I have never heard a voice making such an intense, pure, and exciting impression on my eardrums.Bravissima." Peter van der Lint - Trouw - April, 1995 (Translation)
ERMIONE -Brussels - April 1, 1995 "a phenomenal singer" H.Walter - OPERNGLAS - July/August, 1995 (Translation)
ERMIONE –QUEEN ELIZABETH HALL-COG – March 3rd 2004 The COG performance was indisputably thrilling, conducted with an almost nightmarish intensity by Dominic Wheeler and dominated by Nelly Miricioiu's astonishing Ermione, keeping us just the right side empathy as she descended into derangement, raking the air with talon-like hands and spitting out coloratura like bile………..An evening that ranks among the Chelsea Opera Group's finest achievements.Tim Ashley THE GUARDIAN - March, 2004
ERMIONE –QUEEN ELIZABETH HALL-COG – March 3rd 2004 And then, perfectly timed, the entry of Ermione, consumed with jealousy and vengeance. Miricioiu’s soprano was weighty with hauteur, yet fragile with that tremulous, vulnerable core that brings the eternal note of sadness in…………………and Miricioiu sounded fresh enough to start all over again. The night felt young indeed. Hilary Finch THE TIMES - March, 2004
RICCIARDO E ZORAIDE – Zoraide (Opera Rara Recording)"...Her Voice is like Callas's, is instinct with emotion, and her complete mastery of the vocal arts reaffirms her standing as one of the most accomplished sopranos of the present day" George Hall - Audio Feature - Opera Now - May/June 1997
LA TRAVIATA -San Francisco 1983 "Miricioiu was breathtaking. She must be believable. People around me were sobbing in her death scene. She must have the voice and "presence". In 1955, Callas had both, but first the presence. With Miricioiu, first the voice. Even Callas could not outdistance the even and brilliant tone of this star."David Hunter - Opera Review
LA TRAVIATA -San Francisco - October 5, 1983 "Nelly Miricioiu, in her American opera debut, both sang and acted in world-class style, and won rising cheers for her performance as Violetta.....she is superb." Scott Beach - S.F. Examiner
LA TRAVIATA -ENO/London Coliseum - JAN, 1984 ”Gave a performance the like of which has not been heard in London for a very long time"Harold Rosenthal (OPERA -1984)
LA TRAVIATA -Washington Opera 1988 "Nelly Miricioiu's voice thrills in Verdi's 'La Traviata' .... Nelly Miricioiu conquered Washington ......she had the audience at her feet after what must be counted as the most thrilling local debut in years.......the party in Act 3 came alive when this woman sang...........this was Verdian artistry of the highest order."Octavio Roca - Washington Times
LA TRAVIATA -Bath & Wessex Opera - 1993"....it was, rather, the aquisition of one of the worlds tiny handful of "real" Violetta's currently before the public. This soprano, a Rumanian now resident in this country for a decade, has for some strange reason never arrived at an established position of eminence that her special gifts should assure her. All of our opera intendants ought to drop in on the Theatre Royal this week, to remind themselves how Verdi singing of Mediterranean intensity, colour and musical grace, can sound...............her control of portmento phrasing, tapering of dynamics (with soft high shadings of exquisite delicacy) and generously vibrant emotional attack are all characteristic of a noble tradition in the role - a tradition exemplified by fewer and fewer singers, which is why this particular exempler deserves to be cherished" Max Loppert (FINANCIAL TIMES - 1993)
I VESPRI SICILIANA -L'Opera de Montpellier Aug 1988 "Musicality, dramatic intelligence, concentration, vocal control..." Opera International - May, 1988 (translation)
I VESPRI SICILIANA -Opera Bastille June 27 2003 "Herc most beautifully shaped account of 'Ami, le coeur d'Helene' in the fourth act stopped the show and, visibly moved, she was given a huge, well-desrved ovation at the curtaiun calls. This extraodinary diva can sing anything and sing it well" Opera - Sept, 2003
I VESPRI SICILIANI -OPERA BASTILLE:- (27th Sept 2003) Opera Bastille (Sept 27th 2003) "There was one sensational and unexpected change of cast. It was anounced that Sondra Radvanovsky was unwell and would act Helene while the role was sung from the side by........and the announcer gabbled the name so she could scuttle off before the groans started. But after a confident, fearless account of her first-act aria it did'nt take long to realize that the soprano was none other than our very own Nelly Miricioiu; it is surely permissable to be possesive about an artist who lives, moves and has her being in the UK. She must know the role, and presumably only needed a score because she did'nt know it in French. Her most beautifully shaped account of 'Ami, le coeur d 'Helene' in the fourth act stopped the show and, visably moved, she was given a huge, well desrved ovation at the curtain calls. This extraodinary diva can sing anything , and sing it well." OPERA (SEPT 2003 EDITION): - Rodney Milnes
RIGOLETTO -Philadelphia - November 15, 1991 "In her first Gilda, Nelly Miricioiu offered a fascinating performance. Her voice, piping and pure in the first act, aquired a darker colour and greater intensity as the drama quickened. An effecting actress, deepened her portrayal as Gilda turned from girlish innocence to anguished desperation." Robert Baxter (Opera Magazine)
OTHELLO -Copenhagen 1993 "...at times it seemed like magic. When Nelly Miricioiu sang with vocal art like a sacrificial lamb and an angel of innocence" Tivoli Festival Info - Sept, 1993 (Translation)
IL COSARO -Ludwigshafen Festival 1993 "Nelly Miricioiu (Gulnara) finally sings, a primadonna absoluta, whose marvelous voice and beguiling timbre conquers with her expressive phrasing and variety" Waultraud Brunst Manheimer Morgen (Translation)
IL DUE FOSCARI -Nice - 28th October, 1994 "Nelly Miricioiu, beautiful voice, well produced, adding beauty and very sensitive expression to the role of Lucrezia." Alex Mattalia - Lyrique le Peridional (Translation)
DON CARLOS -Brussels Monnaie 1996 "Nelly Miricioiu is a sublime Elizebeth. A great inhabitant of Verdian parts - she approaches it with an unbeatable technique. This British soprano sings the part with grace and emotion that illuminates the whole opera" Martin Dumont-Mergeay - La Libre Belgique (Translation)
LUISA MILLER -De Netherlands Opera 1997 "...she sounded glorious. In the first act she radiated youthful joy and apprehension and later her agonizing had tremendous style"Michael Davidson – Opera Magazine
JERUSALEM -Frankfurt April 2003 "The highlight was Nelly Miricioiu as Helene with her soprano which is rich in dynamic of all shades and always focussed even into the pianissimo" Von Michael Dellith - Frankfurt Neue Presse (Translation)
MACBETH- Lady Macbeth (COG/Queen Elizabeth Hall –2008) Nelly Miricioiu sang the first Lady Macbeth of her career, but she drew the character with such precision that it spoke volumes for the completeness of her artistic integrity. Too much, perhaps, has been made of Verdi’s requirement for a singing actress with an ‘ugly, coarse and hollow’ voice. Therefore it was very much contrary to Verdi’s wishes that Nelly Miricioiu did sing the role with superb vocal awareness and great subtlety for nuances of tone and colour. Miricioiu’s first entry - through the orchestra reading Macbeth’s letter recounting the witches’ prophecies - made clear her situation and her destiny. Here was the wife of a valiant soldier, whose worldly ambitions had so far failed to satisfy her. Having reached an age when any further ambition could almost be beyond her, the prospect of the greatest glory of all is resolutely grasped. There was venom in the voice and Miricioiu’s face as she resolved Duncan would not live, still more when Banquo’s fate was sealed. Yet for all this vaulting ambition, private domesticity found a place too with slight gestures, looks and vocal touches. Be it the Lady’s irritation at Macbeth’s initial slowness to act and, later, her embarrassment at his shameful conduct during the banquet scene, rescued only by her quick thinking, enough suggestion was sowed of her increasing mental fragility that the full power of the sleepwalking scene not only highly credible but inevitable and devastating in its impact. Seen and Heard International Evan Dickerson
STIFELLIO-Lina(COG/Queen Elizabeth Hall-2014)"at moment I did wonder whether perhaps we'd been overpraising the piece. Not so! The committed, well-cast, impassioned performance that followed set any doubts at rest. The musical immediacy that platform presentation affords brought the score to life more vividly than any of the theatre production I've seen" and later: " Nelly Miricioiu, the Lina, was a diva in full, glamorous flight , so intense in phrasing and utterance that one coud not but respond"Opera Magazine- August 2014(Andrew Porter)
FRANCESCA DA RIMINI –Amsterdam Concertgebouw 25th Nov 2000 "...It was a historical 'Matinee' last saturday.....There were two diva's. Nelly Miricioiu gave everything in the title role..........................Olivero, the queen-mother of the Matinee, listened full of admiration to the current queen of the 'Matinee', Miricioiu. Those are event opera lovers dream of....................................Olivero whispered "brava, brava,brava" in Miricioiu's ear. Other words cannot be found for Miricioiu's magnificent performance"Peter van der Lint - Trouw
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