Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Miah Persson's Spring 2013 Interview

Markus Werba and Miah Persson as Don Giovanni and Donna Elvira
In my Miah Persson research last weekend, I came across this interview. I didn't find it in a magazine or newspaper; it’s actually on her management (Askonas Holt) website. 

I thought since I hadn't seen it before, maybe some of my readers hadn’t come across it yet, either. She gave this interview last Spring,  right after she appeared as Donna Elvira in the Théâtre des Champs Élysées production of Don Giovanni with Markus Werba, Robert Gleadow, and Daniel Behle (and some other sopranos, too, I guess.)

Although I am not surprised at how Ms. Persson feels about drama in opera and about "modern" staging, I was pleased to read her comments in black (well, grey) and white. She notes that the recent Don Giovanni was 
...really intellectually interesting. It was quite minimalist – there were no big gestures, and a lack of movement, but I absolutely love-love-loved it!"
I wish we could see more than just a few clips from it. A bed and a mirror, plus a few window cutouts seem to be the extent of the set design. She also makes it clear that drama is vital to an opera performance: 
Acting is so important. Opera is sung drama, and that is always something that is key to me: if you are just going to do beautiful singing, well let’s just do a concert, let’s not spend all the money on the staging and the costumes!" 
Later she adds: 
... if you can’t act it then you don’t bring anything to the singing, the singing has no colours.
And let the Opera Fans say, "Amen!!" I also found out (I have not been stalking my sopranos very thoroughly lately) that Miah Persson lives in England, has two children, and is married to a tenor. I had to search elsewhere to find out that said tenor is British singer Jeremy Ovenden. 

Actually, come to think of it, I learned about England and the children from the Ö1 announcer during the broadcast of her recent Schubertiade recital. (I may not understand a ton of German, but I do manage to pick up some tidbits along the way.)

Here is a link to the full interview. And here is Miah Persson as Donna Elvira (audio):

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