Dana Beth Miller

DRAMATIC MEZZO-SOPRANO

As Dalila in Samson et Dalila

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James D. Watts, Jr. - Tulsa World

"The real revelation here is Miller as Dalila. This is her first time to sing this role, but her performance Wednesday had a depth, complexity and richness that made one think she’s been playing this role for years. Miller embodies the many moods of Delilah with an impressive range of tonal colors and adroit phrasing — the plummy sweetness she uses to capture Samson’s attention initially in “Printemps qui commence,” the harsh, bitter tone and whipcrack phrasing as she contemplates wreaking vengeance in “Amour! viens aider ma faiblesse”; the deft shift from coquettish seduction to tearful rage in “Mon cœur s’ouvre à ta voix,” as she toys and manipulates and cajoles Samson to reveal the secret of his strength."

As the title role in Massenet's Hérodiade with Washington Concert Opera

Anne Midgette, Washington Post

"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. . . Dana Beth Miller 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."

Charles T. Downey, Washington Classical Review

"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.  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."

Alex Baker, Parterre Box

"Dana Beth Miller, stepping into the production just a week before as Hérodiade , turned out to be the evening’s biggest coup. Her commanding mezzo is distinguished by a prominent but tightly controlled vibrato that lends substantial excitement and character to her sound, as well as blazing, and at times terrifying, top notes, which she used to great effect throughout the score. Her passionate Act I plea to Hérode to execute Jean, “Ne me refuse pas,” and fiery contributions to the following trio with Jean and Herod as well as other ensembles all exhibited a fierce dramatic commitment."

As Adalgisa in Norma

Jeff Haller - Concertonet.com

“Dana Beth Miller was the perfect Adalgisa; a very feminine woman with a powerful voice that clearly defines this character’s many changes in mood from young girl in a complicated love affair with a man who represents her nation’s enemy, to heartbroken and furious at his betrayal. She then becomes comrade with her lover’s spouse as she agrees to work for his downfall. Miller’s voice has a luscious power that begins in the true mezzo range but unfailingly leaps to the high demands of rage.”

Lawrence Budmen - South Florida Classical Review

“Miller proved a real scene stealer herself, bringing depth of emotion and striking theatricality to Adalgisa’s every appearance. Her rich, smoky sound, ease in the voice’s highest and lowest extremes and firm control were matched by glamour and dramatic intensity. The conclusion of Act I was a high point, Miller’s vocalism fiery and full throated in trio with the Norma of Mlada Khudoley and the Pollione of Giancarlo Monsalve.”

Jack Gardner - Miami Edge Media Network

"In the role of Adalgisa, mezzo-soprano Dana Beth Miller sings the first three performances of the opera.  Miller is a knockout in the role of the young priestess-in-training. She nearly steals the show the moment she comes on stage. Her voice is a clarion call with a beautiful evenness from the top of her register to the very lowest tones of her voice. She sings Bellini's coloratura with clarity, conviction and a true sense of the bel canto phrase. Vocally, Miller possesses one of the largest voices on the stage between the two casts but she manages to balance perfectly with whomever she is singing. 

The character of Adalgisa shares three major duets in Bellini's opera.  All of these pieces require a sense of delicacy and coordination with the duet partners and Miller was in sync with whomever she shared the stage.

As an actress, Miller was spot-on in her characterization. The naivety and guile of the young woman seduced by the older man and then the heartbroken betrayal when she finds out the truth followed by sincere regret and a desire to make things right. Miller gave the audience every single one of these emotions during her performance."

Greg Stepanich - Palm Beach Arts Paper

“Dana Beth Miller, an American mezzo singing three performances as Adalgisa — her last one is tonight; she’s headed to Berlin’s Deutsche Oper for Mrs. Sedley in Britten’s Peter Grimes — was every bit as powerful as Khudoley, and with a dark, richly hued mezzo that contrasted beautifully with her romantic rival’s, and that blended juicily with Khudoley’s in their duet singing.

Miller managed to make a strong acting impact even in a somewhat static tableau; Muni has her quietly commit suicide at the very end, cutting her throat with a golden scythe, while the end game of Pollione, Norma and the Druids’s temple is played out behind her. I liked this idea, and I think it worked well, though it did lead you to hope she would sing something else, since she was in full view of the audience at the front of the stage.

Her voice was especially radiant when singing in the end of Act I’s first scene, in her love duet with Pollione.”

Abel Folgar - Tuff Gnarl.com

“She (Norma) mounted a calculated rise in ire and passion that culminated in the simply delicious duet with Dana Beth Miller, playing her lover’s new interest, the virgin priestess Adalgisa. The duet was a show-stealer for Miller, who gave it all in a balanced and symbiotic manner to her scene partner. Truly one of those moments in which words escape you but you know you’ve witnessed something of pure beauty. If Bellini’s platform for lyrical poesy was beautiful to begin with, these ladies elevated it to the sublime. Remarkable.”

As the contralto soloist in Mahler's Lied von der Erde with The National Taiwan Symphony

from Fugue for Thought

"Dana Beth Miller singing Der Abschied is nothing short of spellbinding.  It was as if there was a whole new persona on stage.  It was suddenly as if she sucked the light out of the room and replaced it with her voice,  like she was letting out her entire being and casting a solemn, grave, resolved farewell to the entire world.  Everything from her diction and the way the words seemed to writhe out of her mouth,  her piercing eyes, the delicacy with which the orchestra played the most sensitive passages, the visceral growls from the low woodwinds and Asian-inclined flowery passages of the flute...it all worked under the spell her voice was casting. Der Abschied is what makes this piece soul-suckingly and heart-crushingly powerful, and Miller and the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra under Okko Kamu's baton got it right."

As Azucena in Il Trovatore 

Alan Sherrod - Knoxville Mercury

"Also making a Knoxville Opera debut was mezzo-soprano Dana Beth Miller in the role of Azucena, the gypsy woman haunted by vengeance, given and received. Miller, who has recently been appearing regularly with German opera companies, was a stunning win for Salesky and Knoxville Opera. Her gorgeously versatile voice was capable of plumbing the depths of darkness and despair as well as caressing the heights of lyrical tenderness, all with expressiveness and power. That ability to contrast darkness with tenderness also contributes to Miller’s sensational dramatic range. Her Act II aria “Stride la vampa,” in which she reveals the death of her mother at the stake and the origins of her vengeance, was a masterpiece of narrative singing."

Harold Duckett - Knoxville News Sentinel

"While being consumed by the flames, the woman commands her daughter, Azucena, in a show-stopping performance by Dana Beth Miller, to avenge her death."

As Dame Quickly in Falstaff at Deutsche Oper Berlin

Ingird Wanja - Der Opernfreund

"For the female quartet, the Deutsche Oper delivered their best singers. Dana Beth Miller sang her organ-like "Reverenza" and "Povera donna" so magnificently, that you thought you could see the walls shake or that you were hearing Fedora Barbieri."

Opera News

"The singing of Dana Beth Miller, as Quickly, was full-throated and richly textured, vocal qualities that were matched by impeccable comic timing and delivery which resulted in a scintillating and often uproarious performance."

Das Opernglas

"However, most of the other soloists were excellent, especially Dana Beth Miller, who brought a beautiful contralto and engaged acting to the "sex bomb" Mistress Quickly."

Bernd Hoppe - Oper Lounge

"Dana Beth Miller as Quickly, with a true contralto of rich abundance, delivered a fitting, organ-like "Reverenza." Visually she was transformed from a lush blonde, a la Marilyn Monroe with her atomic breasts, to the Witch from Hansel and Gretel, complete with hump and crooked nose - a great feat!"

Lutz Nalepa - GB Opera Magazine

"Dana Beth Miller, as Mrs Quickly, stands out from the female quartet with wonderful deep notes for “Reverenza” and a homogeneously round voice."

Julia Spinola - Deutschlandfunk

"Christof Loy relied on universally gorgeous singing and tremendous stage presence from the ensemble. Dana Beth Miller unleashed a flashy, comic, and sexual Mrs. Quickly with ominously earthy mezzo-soprano depths."

WordPress.com

"Dana Beth Miller relished the upfront chest-voice routine as Mrs. Quickly with aplomb, and it must be mentioned that the gear change to the middle and upper register was expertly managed, too."

Jesse Simon - Mundoclassico.com

"Among the quartet of merry wives (and wives-to-be) there was not a weak performance to be found...Dana Beth Miller was an utterly charming Mistress Quickly."

Alexander Hildebrand - Opernfan.de

"Mrs. Quickly, for whom the name of the character is now comical, transforms into a Dolly Buster look-alike with a dark-toned voice. Due to the huge artistic presentation of this figure, designed by Dana Beth Miller, she remains strongest in my memory."

Ulrich Amling - Der Berliner Tagesspiegel

"Dana Beth Miller's earthy mezzo-soprano transformed Mrs. Quickly, with open-hearted bodily expression, into an almost demonic "gossip girl."

 

As Amneris in Aïda

James D. Watts, Jr. - Tulsa World

"As Amneris, the Egyptian princess who has everything except the man with whom she's infatuated, Dana Beth Miller makes every mercurial mood change palpable. From Amneris' craftiness at drawing out why her slave Aida is so distraught, then exulting in that knowledge, or from her desperate pleading Radames to save himself from the judgment he faces to her fury at being scorned yet again, Miller embodied this character so completely, so believably, that one hardly needed the surtitles to know exactly what Amneris was thinking and feeling. And it was all expressed in a voice of great, yet precisely wielded power, able to cut through the densest ensembles. "

 

As La Cieca in La Gioconda at Deutsche Oper Berlin

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Lutz Nalepa - GB Opera

"Dana Beth Miller has a real contralto and convinced as Mrs Quickly recently. Her voice fits ideally to La Cieca and her “Voce di donna” was one of the highlights of the 1st act."

 

As Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana

Andy Metzger - Pensacola News Journal

"Miller is spectacular as Santuzza. Her vocal prowess and intense dramatic interpretation of the role ruled the stage. Audiences will marvel at her work in this role."

Mark Wilkinson - Sound and Noise

"As Santuzza, Dana Beth Miller proved herself a fine actress, capturing the dramatic intensity that the role requires. Her voice was equally dramatic and plenty beautiful. Her performance was captivating."

Elizabeth Withey - The Edmonton Journal

"Dana Beth Miller clawed at my heart with her jaw-dropping vocal performance as Santuzza. The mezzo was the embodiment of betrayal, physically curled over with pain...she owned heartbreak with her whole body. This Santuzza needs to make an album about her anguish; it is bound to go multi-platinum."

 

Contralto Soloist in Mahler's Third Symphony with the San Antonio Symphony

David Hendricks - The San Antonio Express News

"Mezzo soprano Dana Beth Miller, a Texas native who now is an international opera star, sang impressively in the fourth movement, adding just the right amount of bel canto effect to her darkly colored voice."

Mike Greenberg - Incident Light

"Two of its six movements call for voices, very nicely supplied here by mezzo-soprano Dana Beth Miller, the women of the Mastersingers chorus and the Chidren’s Chorus of San Antonio. Ms. Miller’s huge, bright, finely controlled instrument was deeply pleasurable."

 

Mezzo Soprano Soloist at the Opera de Montreal International Gala

Arthur Kaptainis - The Montreal Gazette

"One newcomer who stood out was Dana Beth Miller, an American mezzo-soprano who brought a fiery tone, firm technique, and old-fashioned sense of theater to "Acerba volutta" from Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur."

Earl Arthur Love - ConcertoNet, The Classical Music Network

"Some standouts included Dana Beth Miller who blew us away with "Acerba volutta" from Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur and in the famous quartet from Verdi's Rigoletto. Miller has not only a warm, full-bodied voice with awesome sustaining power, but also a stage presence that should light up any scene."

 

As Maddalena in Rigoletto

Mike Greenberg - Incident Light

"Dramatic mezzo-soprano Dana Beth Miller was a sultry and lustrous Maddalena, Sparafucile's sister, who appears only for a short time in Act III. It was an act of cruelty to allow the audience so brief a hearing of such a wonderful voice." 

The Daily Camera

“But the tremendous vocal caliber on display Saturday went well beyond what we are used to hearing at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. All five lead singers (three of whom are making their Opera Colorado debut) gave awe-inspiring vocal and dramatic performances, lending an even more shattering impact to this ultimate tale of revenge gone wrong. . . Mezzo-soprano Dana Beth Miller, as Sparafucile’s sister Maddalena, the Duke’s unfortunate savior, has a glowing, penetrative voice that is best spotlighted in the famous Act III quartet.”

David Fleshler - The Miami Herald and South Florida Classical Review

"As Sparafucile’s sister Maddalena, mezzo-soprano Dana Beth Miller was a standout, pleading movingly and in rich tones for her brother to spare the Duke’s life and more than holding up her end in the celebrated quartet."

Jeff Haller - ConcertoNet, The Classical Music Network

"Dana Beth Miller has a darkness of tone suggesting a contralto more than a mezzo, which she uses to nearly walk off with the opera with her late entrance."

 

As Carmen with Boston Lyric Opera

Jeremy Eichler - The Boston Globe

"Heading the cast was Dana Beth Miller as a compelling Carmen...her voice is full of alluringly dark colorings and has a heavier weighting well-suited to her character's tragic dimensions."

Thomas Garvey - The Hub Review

"The singing is often sublime, particularly from Dana Beth Miller's Carmen...she is blessed with a memorably rich mezzo, suffused with a smokily tragic allure that's all but perfect for the role."

Rita Reznikova - Going.com/Boston

"The title heroine(sung by mezzo-soprano Dana Beth Miller in her BLO debut) keeps the spark alive. She is more raunchy than coquettish, and brings a rawness to the role with a voice full of chutzpah. It is a deep, velvety mezzo soprano that is very becoming of a darker, more mature Carmen."

Kalen Ratzlaff - Opera News

"As Carmen, mezzo-soprano Dana Beth Miller displayed a voice both smoky and rich, which suited her character perfectly."

 

As the Foreign Princess in Rusalka with Opera Colorado

Marc Shulgold - Opera News

"The biggest voice of the evening belonged to the commanding, foot-stamping Foreign Princess, delivered with gusto and wit by Dana Beth Miller."

 

As Margared in Lalo's Le Roi d'Ys with the American Symphony at Avery Fisher Hall

Steve Smith - The New York Times

"Dana Beth Miller, singing the part here, wielded a rich, substantial voice...along with a winning stage presence that made her character sympathetic even in extremes of self-involved recklessness."

John Yohalem - Opera Today

"Dana Beth Miller has made the best of a transition to a lower fach; her Margared was full of hysterical threats, remorseful asides, and heroic repentance...one appreciated her cool control of a sizable and richly colored mezzo in a long, various and demanding part."

Howard Kissel - The New York Daily News

"As the villainess Margared, Dana Beth Miller brought a splendid mezzo-soprano and great dramatic instincts to the role."

Patrick Dillon - Opera Canada

"The "bad" sibling was heated to a stirring boil by mezzo Dana Beth Miller, whose steely, columnar voice, easily emphatic at bottom and tapering to an always exciting top, recalled the Margared I first encountered, Rita Gorr via old EMI LPs."

Philip Gardner - Oberon's Grove

"It's quite rare these days to encounter a singer who brings not only a highly individual timbre and a real sense of intensity but also a very personal commitment and passion to what is being sung. We are so accustomed today to hearing singers whose heyday has passed, or cookie-cutter voices from the younger generation, that when someone comes along with something special to offer it is quite a revelation. Dana Beth Miller's performance as Margared in the American Symphony Orchestra's concert reading of Edouard Lalo's LE ROI D'YS at Avery Fisher Hall was in a way a throwback to earlier times when singers came out and just gave lavishly of themselves, reveling in their own vocal prowess: unafraid of - and in fact totally committed to - buying directly into the emotional context of the music. Ms. Miller has recently shifted from soprano to mezzo; in fact I would be tempted to call her a dramatic contralto. Her voice has a smouldering richness in the lower range and she can punch out the high notes as well. The sound has a colour all its own but more importantly Ms. Miller has a feeling for grandeur of utterance that reminded me at times of Rita Gorr. Margared, a cousin to Wagner's Ortrud, is a princess steeped in melodrama and Ms. Miller wasn't afraid to express the character's violent passions yet she showed great wisdom in keeping everything musical and not resorting to 'effects'."

Link to Oberon's Grove

 

As Mère Marie in Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites with Austin Lyric Opera

Jeanne Claire van Ryzin - Austin American Statesman

"Dana Beth Miller as Mere Marie unleashed torrents of luscious clear tones."

Paul Wooley - ConcertoNet, The Classical Music Network

"Dana Beth Miller's portrayal of Mere Marie almost lost emotional control several times as the mezzo's upper register soared throughout the house. Dramatically, it worked, as she created a Mere Marie that was more strict and commandeering than usual. The mezzo's huge voice boomed, but Miller also managed to find intimacy and pathos during the latter scenes of the second act."

Mike Greenberg - Incident Light

"Dana Beth Miller was a powerhouse in the role of the assistant prioress, Mother Marie."

 

Arias, Overtures, and Arabesques - Sacramento Opera, Philharmonic Orchestra and Ballet

Edward Ortiz - The Sacramento Bee

"...As always in such concerts, there is a standout performer. This mantle fell to mezzo-soprano Dana Beth Miller, whose radiant and brilliant voice made the largess of the Community Center Theater feel like an intimate European opera house. Miller, who made a stellar debut last year as Desdemona in the Sacramento Opera's production of Verdi's Otello, commanded all three arias she sang. And her voice grew stronger and more complex with each aria. She gave a bracing performance of the "Mon coeur" aria from Camille Saint-Saens' Samson et Dalila. She later offered a tantalizing performance of "Acerba volutta" from the opera Adriana Lecouvreur by Francesco Cilea. But the highlight of the evening was her super-focused take on "O mio Fernando" from Donizetti's La Favorita. In this her voice radiated richness and power, as if it were a fiery candle vanquishing the darkness of a dank, loveless room."

 

As the Mother and Witch in Opera Cleveland's Hansel and Gretel

Donald Rosenberg - The Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Dana Beth Miller made a tour de force of the dual roles of the Mother (actually Hansel and Gretel's stepmother) and the Witch. As the former, Miller deftly walked the tightrope between parental rage and wifely affection. Transformed into cookie-monster hag, she spit out words with cackling pleasure and sent her voluminous mezzo-soprano into orbit. She didn't fly on a broom, but the portrayal soared."