The Importance of Being Earnest by Gerald Barry

The Importance of Being Earnest by Gerald Barry

Northern Ireland Opera/Wide Open Opera, Oct/Nov 2013

“Visually and dramatically, (Antony) McDonald has realised (Gerald) Barry’s surreal operatic world with wonderful precision…musically it is all delivered with as much deftness and inexhaustible energy as the manic stage business” - The Guardian

“It’s hard to imagine a more colourful, witty and deliriously enjoyable staging than this” - The Sunday Times

“Vibrant colour, fun, freeze-frame lighting flashes and no dull moments…Antony McDonald makes it more than a visual treat: every choreographed movement adds to the integration of plot and music or enhances some of the absurdities…everyone rises to the occasion with hysterical results…a must-see production” - Irish Times

“Hugely, riotously engaging and an absolute must-see” - Belfast Telegraph

“Work of such uncompromising brilliance from a provincial UK company is, quite simply, astounding” - Opera Now

“There is undeniably some serious singing involved, with leaping, disjointed vocal lines that would put any virtuoso to the pin of their collar. The absurdness of Wilde’s characters is wonderfully complemented by the music. Soprano Aoife Miskelly’s astronomical high notes are impeccably delivered, but the hysterical character who voices them makes the audience laugh, especially when all she is saying is “I like his hair so much.” Eimear Hurley, http://uccmotley.ie/index.php/importance-earnest/

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Linen Hall Library 225th anniversary concert, 13th May 2013

Ulster Orchestra, conducted by David Brophy. Ulster Hall, Belfast. Composer arranger: Neil Martin.

“The piece is graced by the solo contribution of soprano, Aiofe Miskelly, whose warmly pliable phrasing does full justice to Martin’s writing, and his experience of the Linen Hall as an ‘oasis for mind, soul and body… needed as much now as ever’.

Miskelly’s singing is, in fact, the musical highlight of the evening. In addition to The Great and First Object, she has a number of solos, including Britten’s arrangement of ‘The Sally Gardens’ and Martin’s of ‘Silent Oh Moyle’, dispatched with an alluring combination of poise and emotional maturity.

Miskelly, who graduated from the Royal Academy of Music, London in 2012, has operatic engagements at Cologne and Aix-en-Provence in her diary, and will sing the part of Cecily for Northern Ireland Opera in the Northern Irish premiere of Gerald Barry’s The Importance of Being Earnest in the autumn. She is undoubtedly a singer to keep a close eye on in the future”. Reviewed by Terry Blain

To read the full review, please click on the following link: http://www.culturenorthernireland.org/article/5739/classical-review-linen-hall-library-225

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Mansfield Park by Joanthan Dove for Royal Academy Opera May 2012

“One in particular stood out: Aoife Miskelly as Mary Crawford matched power, smoothness and agility in coloratura, giving us several “wow” moments on pure quality of voice”. Bachtrack

Aoife Miskelly as brilliant, brittle, amoral Mary Crawford“. www.austenonly.com

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Die Zauberflöte at the Royal Academy Opera March 2012

As Pamina; “Her potential is huge, and what we did hear was gorgeous. The timbre is absolutely ideal for the role, shining, effortlessly sweet, with a coruscating vibrato that gets more beautiful as it ascends above the stave. Felicity Lott and Barbara Bonney were put in mind”. Bachtrack.com

Pamina was Aoife Miskelly (a terrific Despina in RAM’s staging of Così fan tutte last year), a fine Mozart singer, whose presence hinted at areas of Flute denied by Barlow, and who sang a painfully luminous ‘Ach, ich fühl’s’. Classicalsource.com

“She sounded just gorgeous, really special”. Capricciomusic.blogspot.de

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World Première of Kommilitonen! reviews: March 2011

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ new opera Kommilitonen!, which is a joint commission between the Royal Academy of Music and The Juilliard School, premiered at the Royal Academy on March 18th 2011.

The Guardian gave the production a rare 5 stars and calls it “immaculate”: “The students under Jane Glover are remarkable, too. The chorus works tirelessly; the main roles are double cast, but on the first night Marcus Farnsworth as Meredith, Aoife Miskelly as the student Sophie Scholl and John-Owen Miley-Read as the Gestapo’s Grand Inquisitor all demand special mention.” http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2011/mar/21/kommilitonen-review?INTCMP=SRCH

The Evening Standard also gave it 5 stars and called it “a bold and beautiful assertion of the transformative power of truth”. It added: “The stories unfold simultaneously in short, punchy vignettes. Director and composer revel in this smorgasbord approach. Pountney – aided by the brilliant puppeteers Blind Summit – conjures up wondrous, diverse theatrics: an eight-metre status of Mao is erected before our eyes, a literal puppet tribunal dances its verdict to Thirties swing.”  http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/theatre/review-23933848-kommilitonen-is-a-glorious-heart-warming-pageant-of-humanity.do

The Financial Times (4 stars) said it was “imaginative” and “inspired” and added: “The music works with exemplary theatrical skill; Maxwell Davies has coloured his score with snatches of American roots music, German art song and brassy Chinese marches without ever losing sight of the opera’s unifying goal.” “The singing was consistently good – Marcus Farnsworth, Aoife Miskelly and Katie Bray stood out as the lead characters in each story – and the Royal Academy of Music Sinfonia under conductor Jane Glover gave its best in Maxwell Davies’s imaginative orchestral writing.”

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/b698ef6c-531f-11e0-86e6-00144feab49a.html

The Times also gave the opera 4 stars and commented: “Pountney’s staging and Robert Innes Hopkins’s designs match the libretto in ingenuity. The settings briskly metamorphose. Props, too: a pool hall’s green baize in Mississippi ends up as a grass for the Munich students’ picnic. Graduate students, forcefully conducted by Jane Glover, pitch in with vocal lustre; the stand-outs were Marcus Farnsworth’s Meredith and Aoife Miskelly, brightly ringing as the Munich student Sophie Scholl.”

The Daily Telegraph said it was a “triumph”, adding: “The narrative was clear, the structure strong, with several budget-conscious but impressively dramatic coups. And the result outclassed anything I’ve seen on a college stage in years, inspiring wonderful performances all round.

“Kommilitonen! is an ensemble piece that prioritises collective singing – which from start to finish was magnificent. But there were also memorable and vivid solo roles from Aoife Miskelly, Jonathan McGovern, Katie Bray, Andrew Dickinson and Johnny Herford among a teeming cast, who all deserve mention, led by a conspicuously shining star in Marcus Farnsworth who sang the role of the black student Meredith with classic dignity and elegance.”

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/culture/michaelwhite/100052251/peter-maxwell-daviess-new-opera-dont-be-put-off-by-the-title-or-the-subject-matter-its-a-triumph/

The Telegraph: “Pountney has put together an admirably effective and inventive production and Jane Glover conducts a enthusiastic orchestra with aplomb. The overall standard of singing is high – the White Roses Aoife Miskelly, Johnny Herford and Andrew Dickinson stood out – and it speaks well of the RAM’s opera school that so many healthy young voices are on display”.

Framescourer.blogspot.com: “If there are comparable principal protagonists in the other plots, one is the soprano Aoife Miskelly (Nazi-resistant Sophie Scholl), who has a similarly confident, lieder-clear style to Farnsworth. Sophie is the prima inter pares of a quintet of students playing a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse with a Munich populus sleepwalking into National Socialism. All five act with a convincing, endearing heightened sense of life – the agitation of adrenalin and self-claimed Freiheit”.

http://framescourer.blogspot.com/2011/03/kommilitonen-at-royal-academy-of-music.html

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Arts Council of Northern Ireland Young Musicians Platform Award

Aoife has been awarded an Arts Council of Northern Ireland Young Musicians Platform Award  in association with BBC Northern Ireland. This award will see her undertake two BBC radio broadcast engagements with the Ulster Orchestra as well as study in Germany and Austria over the next two years.

February 2011

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Così fan tutte, November 2010

“Aoife Miskelly was a pretty, delightful soubrette Despina, her singing fizzing energetically and accurately”.

Peter Reed: www.classicalsource.com

Royal Academy Opera, 22nd November 2010

“Of the six solo singers, only one – Aoife Miskelly (Despina) – was able to sustain her excellence all the way through the performance which I attended.  She could have been recorded without having to do any re-takes”.

Agnes Kory: http://www.musicalcriticism.com/opera/ram-cosi-1110.shtml

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NCC, The Irish Times

NCC, National Gallery of Ireland, cond. Odaline de la Martinez.

“’Weir ‘A true blue dream of Skye’… this solo was sung with musicianly poise”

Andrew Johnston, The Irish Times, July 07

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The Irish Times

O’Connell: Failte don ean, NCC, National Gallery of Ireland, cond. Celso Antunes.

“…its soprano solo was sung with a sense of wonder by Aoife Miskelly”

Michael Dungan, The Irish Times, Mar 06

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L’elisir d’amore (Adina)

  • Donizetti: L’elisir d’amore (Adina), Youth Opera Northern Ireland, Grand Opera House Belfast, cond. Timothy Rhys-Evans

“Aoife Miskelly is a fresh, clear soprano, technically assured and obviously a singer of promise”

Dermot Gault, The Irish Times, Sept 04

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