"mezzo-soprano Dana Beth Miller, stepped into this challenging role with aplomb for a striking company debut. Hérodiade requires both force and expressive beauty, a spiteful villain with a tender heart. Miller had the searing vocal power, a dramatic laser beam of sound she deployed in her first appearance. The top of the range in the first scene, A-flat and then A-natural on the shouts of “Hérode,” was strong if a bit strident.
Miller gets marks for audacity for braving even higher outbursts later in the opera. At the end of the duet with Phanuel in Act III, Hérodiade is asked to hit a high B-flat that crescendos to a dissonant C-flat, at a fortissimo dynamic. Miller made a savage attack on these notes, giving the dramatic impression of coming off the rails. Similarly, at the climax of Act IV, as Hérodiade realizes that her own daughter is cursing her (“Elle maudit sa mère!”), Massenet wrote a high B-natural, offering a slightly less terrifying alternate version that goes only to A. Miller went for the B with gusto, and the effect was just as unhinged as Massenet wanted (“avec un accent déchirant”), underscoring the character’s psychological anguish."
-Washington Classical Review
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"Then again, a cast like this doesn’t come along very often. Those who lament that exciting singing is dead, take heart, because the young singers onstage at the Lisner Auditorium proved that thesis wrong with some thrillingly sung, blood-and-guts performances. . . And Dana Beth Miller, a late replacement, brought a powerhouse mezzo bristling with emotion to the title role, Hérodiade (Herodias, whom Salomé does not know is her mother until the final bars of the work). When the three of them, or any combination thereof, got together onstage, backed up by some impressive supporting singers, there were considerable fireworks" -Washington Post
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