“MANON LESCAUT” Puccini, MANON, Feb 14, Opera Leipzig

To: Weppernig, Steffi; Opernförderkreis Leipziger Oper (Mar 3, 2014)
Re: Manon

Dear Ms Weppernig,

Through our supporting initiative we have received your hint regarding the resumption of “Manon Lescaut”. We have already been to both performances and were quite enchanted, not only by the highly interesting production, to which we got an introduction by Mr del Monaco himself, but also by the vocal performances. We would like to stress that we particularly liked Nadja Michael.
Despite of her dazzling appearance as Cassandra in “The Trojans” not being mentioned in the programme, she was our main reason to attend both performances.

Kind regards
Beate and Dr med Harald Weige   

“BLAUBARTS BURG” Bartok, JUDITH, Dec 13, Teatr Wielki Warszawa

Suggestive visions of Mariusz Treliński and the astonishing Nadja Michael are Bluebeard’s merits at the National Opera.

“…Mariusz Treliński directs both protagonists very precisely, but a major part of the success is due to Nadja Michael. The German artist with a grand, noble voice creates the character of a compliant woman. Judith submits to her husband, sensing that she will be his next victim. The tension becomes almost intolerable as she grows progressively more and more afraid… “
Jacek Marcziński, rp.pl, 12.13

“…Most recently, we could witness Nadja Michael in “Macbeth” at the Bayerische Staatsoper and her incredible, clear, and expressive voice, together with her sensational performance, made a deep impression on us…
Nadja Michael’s fantastic interpretation of Judith has created a great, impressive character on stage. Her grand voice, full of expressiveness, moves the audience. With her tremendous intuition for performing on stage, taking one’s eyes off her is almost impossible. She has created the character or a strong, determined woman who knows what she wants. At the same time, however, she exudes a certain frailty, anxiety, and insecurity. It is apparent that Nadja Michael is used to singing in grand opera houses around the world. She is not afraid of the considerable size of the stage in the Warsaw Opera, and her voice can be heard throughout fully and clearly across the orchestra… “

Opera.info.pl, 12.13

“THE CONQUEST OF MEXICO” Rihm, MONTEZUMA, Oct 13, Teatro Real Madrid

“Congratulations! Friends have told me how great you were. I am very happy. My sincerest thanks. Your Wolfgang Rihm”

” …the singers have to face enormous vocal requirements concerning compass and brilliance, and the highest musical complexity. Nadja Michael’s voice in particular (as the Emperor of the Aztecs) exhibits all those challenging qualities. On top of that, the singer’s charisma and body language are captivating… “
elperiodico.com, 10.13

” …Michael, who is known at the Teatro Real for her excellent portrayals of Poppea and Marie has, in the past, created outstanding parts (like Salome), has an exceptionally beautiful and powerful voice. All of this in the body of a dancer. With her voice, which she is able to modulate from gripping to touchingly tender, she lends the necessary expression to all her heroines – an expression which is reflected entirely in a smooth performance. Her Montezuma makes the audience doubt whether Cortez really is the conqueror, or whether she/he can ever be one… “
concertonet.com, 10.13

” …in the end it is understood that the grand impression of this production (stage design by Alexander Polzin/dramatic advisor) thrives on Nadja Michael’s overwhelming performance, which lures the audience into an almost dubious union with her performance. She is more than a mere singer or actress or dancer. The protagonist of Montezuma is conquering Madrid once more as a brilliant stage character … With her in the main role, this production can go a long way… “
elmundo.es, 10.13

“MÉDÉE” / Cherubini – MÉDÉE Dec 12, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées Paris

Nadja Michael’s performance of Médée is making operatic history

” …The marvellous actress and singer Nadja Michael’s dramatic soprano masters the musically immensely difficult role, which is still attributed to the great Callas, in a contemporary way – as fascinatingly as the famous Greek diva. With her vocal means ranging from screams to smoky, whispered, lascivious chansonettes, from adorable allure to thunderous threat, Ms Michael succeeds in creating a portrait of a woman which unites all human contradictions, abysses, and dependences, resulting in a mythical vision, a male projection of anxiety like Lulu. Who would have thought that there still exists someone who can hold a candle to the likes of Magda Oliviero, Leyla Gencer, or Leonie Rysanek. Nadja Michael carries on their legacy… “
www.der-neue-merker.eu, 12.12

” …Nadja Michael is the singer-actress of our time… “
OPERA Magazin, 03.13

“POPPEA E NERONE” / Monteverdi – POPPEA June 2012, Teatro Real Madrid

Große Stimme der wandlungsfähigen Michael als Poppea

” …der Schlaf der Poppea, kaum bekleidet mit einem roten Kleid, wie tot in den Armen der Liebe schwebend. Bemerkenswert ist die Leistung der Schaupieler-Sängerin, der unwiderstehlichen Nadja Michael, hier Poppea, auf dem Höhepunkt ihres Sexappeals… “
Le Monde, 06.12

” …große Stimme der wandlungsfähigen Michael als Poppea … nach vier Stunden erwartungsgemäßer Applaus, vor allem für Michael, Castronovo und White… “
El Diario Vasco, 06.12

” …bei der Bewertung der Stimmen war nicht zu klagen. Nadja Michael bot eine Poppea mit aller Kraft und Arroganz der Femme Fatale. Fatal nicht nur für die Menschen in ihrer Umgebung, sondern auch für sich selbst. Die unruhige Akrobatik, die diese Rolle fordert, hatte keine Auswirkung auf ihre überwältigende Rolleninterpretation… “
Alicia Huerta, elimparcial.es, 06.12

“MEDEA IN CORINTO” / Mayr – MEDEA July 2012, Bayer. Staatsoper München

Woman Scorned

” …But witness Nadja Michael in the title roles, and you find a couple of key clues. She is a dramatic coloratura, who is comfortable in all registers. She can turn on a theatrical dime from piteous to unpardonable. Michael seems also to be inexhaustible, though she strays from pitch here and there, and she commands the stage whenever she appears. Who else can do all that these days? There are few sopranos of Michael’s calibre and even fewer who would put their voices at such risk to learn the role … With such a powerhouse to compete with, singers might think twice before learning the other roles… ”
Sam H. Shirakawa, Opera Blog, 07.12

“MACBETH” / Verdi – LADY MACBETH April 2012, MET New York

Michael’s MET Opera debut was the chief attraction of the company’s … “Macbeth”.

” …The slim, glamorous soprano Nadja Michael certainly didn’t look ugly, dressed first in a slinky white nightgown and then a striking red dress for the banquet scene … She had volume and power … and she was dramatically convincing. Her facial expressions and movements conveyed the essence of this creepy, manipulative and ultimately deranged character … She managed to sing her sleepwalking scene while walking precariously over a row of chairs placed in front of her by the witches… ”
Vivian Schweitzer, New York Times, 03.2012

” …The intensity of the opera is maintained through the strong performance … and a striking Met debut by German soprano Nadja Michael as Lady Macbeth. Michael certainly looked terrific, whether wearing a white nightgown or a skintight red dress. Her singing was also a standout; … her voice soared over the orchestra and fit the character’s steely resolve… “
Barry Bassis, The Epoch Times, 23.03.2012

” …Michael was a smoldering Lady Macbeth in a nightgown, slinky dresses and dark pantsuit. With facial contortions and jerky mannerisms as she slithered around, Michael conveyed her character’s vile lust for power and contempt of vulnerability. With long, thin arms and legs, an expressive face and graceful movement, Nadja Michael commands the stage in a manner few sopranos do … it was an exciting, vibrant performance, and she drew a large ovation during curtain calls… “
Ronald Blum, Associated Press, 16.03.2012

” …the propulsive clarity Michael exhibited throughout the production, culminating in her final aria where mania devolves into madness, was riveting. Slim and stylish in Mark Thompson’s gowns (and more than once clad only in a Cat on a Hot Tin Roof-like slip) and with long blonde hair often flowing, Michael was also sex incarnate. Her libidinous attack, which resulted in a deep swoon at the end of one smooch – and Hampson’s equally heated response – silently shouted “chemistry.” Even Michael’s curtain call, where she bent at the waist and held the doubled-in-half pose, was wow-worthy… “
David Finkle, Theatermania.com, 16.03.2012

“MEDEE” / Luigi Cherubini – MEDEE September 2011,
Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie Bruxelles

Nadja Michael centre noir de l´affaire

” …Es braucht das Talent, die Energie und die Physis einer Nadja Michael um die Rolle der Medee zu verkörpern. Sie stellte eine unwiederstehliches, ein absolutes Zentrum der Produktion dar… “
Martine D. Mergaey, La Libre, 08.09.2011

” …Die permanente Wandlung der Medee, in Stimmfach, Timbre als auch darstellerisch, gelang Nadja Michael herausragend. Die Michael zeigt eine Stimme ohne Grenzen. Ihre Kraft und Intensität sind außergewöhnlich und machen diese Medee unvergesslich… “
Attilo Moro, SIPARIO, 21.09.2011

” …Nadja Michael überzeugte als große „Tragedienne Lyriques“. Ihre Medee zeigte inner Kämpfe und Qualen. Die Sängerien beeindruckte mit großem Stimmreichtum in den höchsten Lagen und Kraft und Fülle in den tiefsten Noten. Die gesamte Vorstellung ruhte zum großen Teil auf ihren Schultern… ”
Jean Lucas, La Voix, 08.09.2011

” …But it´s Nadja Michael’s performance that convinces most … The vocal aspect of Medea’s role grows in importance as the opera proceeds, and it becomes a real star vehicle for a dramatic soprano. Michael’s voice was up to the task in every way, with plenty of power, diction clear as a bell and stage presence and expressiveness to burn… “
David Karlin, www.TRACK.com, 20.09.2011

“WOZZECK” / Alban Berg – MARIE Premiere am 16.04.2011,
Staatsoper unter den Linden, Berlin

” …und auch Marie ist hier eine Abseitige. Und genau das drückt Nadja Michael mit ergreifender Verzweiflung in der Stimme auch aus… ”
Jürgen Otten, Frankfurter Rundschau, 18.04.2011

” …und man glaubt der zügellos, prall und wild auffahrenden Marie von Nadja Michael das willige Objektsein gewalttätigen männlichen Begehrens … das die Sängerin mit ihrem Sopran die gebrochene Figur anfangs allzu beherzt mit Vitalität auflädt, erscheint problematisch, gibt aber dem Rollenbild dieser Frau, bei der sonst immer das Verhärmte dominiert, mehr Charakter und Volumen… “Wolfgang Schreiber, SZ, 18.04.2011

” …die Sopranistin Nadja Michael präsentierte sich stimmlich noch nie so souverän und überzeugend… ”
Kirsten Liese, Giessener Allgemeine Zeitung

” …Nadja Michael eindringlich und sinnlich betont Maries Größe in Begehren wie in der Selbstverachtung… ”
Gerald Felber, Märkische Allgemeine, 19.04.2011

” …Marie (darstellerisch wie stimmlich drahtig und energievoll verkörpert von Nadja Michael) lässt sich keineswegs vom Tambourmajor vergewaltigen. Eher treibt sie ein selbstzerstörerisches Spiel mit ihm, wie in dem verzweifelten Versuch, wenigstens über den Schmerz noch einmal so etwas wie Leben überhaupt zu spüren… ”
Julia Spinola, FAZ, 18.04.2011

“MACBETH” / Verdi – LADY MACBETH Premiere am 01.10.2010,
Lyric Opera, Chicago

” …the clear star of the evening was Nadja Michael, who made a spectacular Lyric Opera debut as Lady Macbeth. The slender German singer possesses a big gleaming soprano, evenly produced from top to bottom, and able to encompass the considerable vocal demands of this role. She served notice with an imposing rendering of her opening cavatina, flinging out powerful top notes in Vieni t’affretta, while displaying nimble agility in the ensuing cabaletta, Or tutti sorge. Michael’s performance increased in power and intensity with her lilting, desperate Brindisi and in the dramatic Act 3 duet. Her climactic sleepwalking scene was as beautiful sung as it was sensitively acted, Michael bringing cinematic detailing to the villainess’s disordered mind and encroaching insanity. Michael’s sexy villainess commanded the stage, stalking like a caged lioness, drinking it up in the banquet scene and impatiently grabbing the dagger from Macbeth to finish off King Duncan… ”
Lawrence A. Johnson, www.chicagoclassicalreview.com, 02.10.2010

” …The soprano’s lethal Lady was a fascinating, feral creature, encircling herself with candles during her incantatory first aria, blazing through the second half of “La luce langue” with enough strength to ride the orchestra, turning the sleepwalking scene into a tour de force of vocal and histrionic intensity, … Lyric’s lady had both the lower voice and coloratura for this vocally grueling role. The German soprano delivered a superbly detailed portrayal of evil at its most calculating – you couldn’t take your eyes off her…”
John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune, 03.10.2010

” …it was the powerful performance by Nadja Michael as Lady Macbeth that anchored the opera. Michael’s acting produced a wrenching character evolution fueled by guilt. Her fabulous wide-ranging soprano mesmorized us throughout. I was transfixed and thoroughly delighted by the spectacle and the quality of the staging that enhanced the scope of Hampson and Michael’s engaging performances… “
Tom Williams, www.chicagocritic.com, 07.10.2010

” …Lady Macbeth, who tries to shake him out of his terror, tugs on his cloak from below the table, not seeing what he feels and we (alone) see. Her attempt to distract the other guests, always a little strained, is made more difficult in Verdi’s opera. Shakespeare had her dismiss the guests, but Verdi wants to keep them around for the act-ending chorus of mixed emotions. This “Lady” (as Verdi referred to her) does this by getting nervously tipsy, giving variety to her repetition of the drinking song (drinking she exemplifies as well as encourages). The scene is brilliantly sung and acted by the German mezzo-turned-soprano Nadja Michael. Her nervous drunkenness continued a subtle characterization that Gaines induced to foreshadow the final crackup in her sleep-walking mad scene… ”
Garry Wills, www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog, 18.10.2010

” …Nadja Michael was THE Lady Macbeth you would want to see in this opera. She had the commanding presence of a stage diva, with the vocal prowess to support it … Michael’s Lady Macbeth was a triumph. The Wagnerian largess of her voice, even through dark and expansive chest tone, is completely satisfying in this role… ”
www.ialmonteviews.blogspot.com, 02.10.2010

” …Nadja Michael (Lady Macbeth) drove her husband to kill and nearly did the same to me. Her first act arias proved her ability to sing “like a banshee” while slinking around and writhing like Gozer, the destructor. She’s one you either love or hate, and for me, unfortunately, I loathed having her on stage, flaunting her hot bod and wailing hysterically. [For her curtain call, nearly half the audience stood.] … All that being said, her Act IV aria was bone-chillingly haunting; I finally felt sympathetic to her character, whom I had been killing off in my head since the beginning…”
Evan Kuchar, www. chicagonow.com/blogs/beyond-words, 06.10.2010

Millennium Park Concert, 09. September 2010, Chicago

” …Thomas Hampson as Macbeth and German soprano Nadja Michael as Lady Macbeth … were in superb voice and revealed terrific chemistry as the plotting pair. Michael, making her company debut at this concert, also rendered Lady Macbeth’s exultation to the powers of darkness, La luce langue with considerable drama and introspection, all the more so because of the contrast with her girlish features and pixie-like blonde hair, augmented by a pleated pumpkin gown that billowed as she sang in the autumn night air… “
Dennis Polkow, www.chicagoclassicalreview.com, 12.09.2010

ORLANDO MISTERIOSO, eigenes Projekt “Eine inszenierte Liedreise” Juni 2010, Theater an der Wien

Zwischen den Geschlechtern „Das Leben ist ein Traum, und das Aufwachen ist, was uns tötet“, heißt es in der musik- theatralischen Metamorphose „Orlando“, die die Sängerin Nadja Michael zusammengestellt und an der Wien selbst dargestellt hat. Nadja Michael ist bei uns (Wiener Staatsoper, Bregenzer Festspiele) vor allem als Fidelio-Leonore und als hinreißende Eboli aus Konwitschnys fünfaktigem „Don Carlos“ bekannt. Im Theater an der Wien einen Abend gestaltete sie zur Musik von Wagner, Schumann, Hugo Wolf, Mahler und Richard Strauss das Programm „Orlando misterioso“ und singt und verwandelt sich von Maria Stuart in Ophelia und Mignon zu Gustav Mahlers fahrendem Gesellen oder zum glücklichen an den Strand niedersteigendem Paar („Und morgen wird die Sonne wieder scheinen“). Die Verwandlung von der Königin Maria zur liebenden Ophelia oder zur kleinen Mignon und schließlich zum jungen Mann vollzieht Nadja Michael perfekt, auch in der Darstellung pendelnd zwischen den Geschlechtern – wie „Orlando“ von Virginia Woolf. Teils live, teils vom Tonband und mit reichem Bewegungs- spiel geht sie den Weg von Menschlichkeit zu Wahnsinn, von Verweigerung zur Transformation der Geschlechter. Eine aparte Metamorphose, der das Publikum zuerst erstaunt, dann zunehmend begeistert folgte. Eine hervorragende Mitgestalterin war die junge japanische Pianistin Miku Nishimoto.
Neubert. V.K., Kronenzeitung, 26.06.2010