Ukrainian Liudmyla Monastyrska’s rich, dramatic soprano has caught the attention of press and audiences alike since 1996, when she made her stage debut as Tatiana in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin in Kiev. A modern artist with a classic sensibility regarding the art of singing, Ms. Monastyrska is acclaimed for her lush, powerful, compelling performances and superb technical command. Her relationships with European, American and Asian opera houses have continued to expand following her highly acclaimed European 2010 debut with Deutsche Oper Berlin in the title role of Puccini’s Tosca.Read more
Following summer engagements that included her debut in the title role in the Opera National de Paris’ July new production of Aida, Ms. Monastyrska’s announced appearances in the 2016-17 season include return engagements with Opera Nacional de Paris, (Tosca), and with the Metropolitan Opera (singing the title role in Aida with Marco Armiliato, and as Abigaille in Nabucco with James Levine and Placido Domingo), her company debut with Bayerische Staatsoper (Abigaille in Nabucco) and three productions with Deutsch Oper Berlin (Tosca, Abigaille in Nabucco, and her role debut as Elisabetta in Don Carlo). This summer 2017 will see the first set of performances singing the title role in Placido Domingo’s 2017-2018 Aida: The Stadium World Tour. Tour cities to come.
Ms. Monastyrska’s 2015-16 season began and ended with the role of Abigaille in Nabucco – with the Deutsche Oper Berlin in summer 2015 and with Placido Domingo at London’s Royal Opera House in June 2016. She sang the role of Lady Macbeth on a tour of Verdi’s Macbeth through Japan with the Royal Opera House led by conductor Sir Antonio Pappano in summer 2015, followed by her championing the title role of Puccini’s Tosca in both Houston Grand Opera’s and the Metropolitan Opera’s fall productions under Patrick Summers and Joseph Colaneri respectively. Winter/spring 2016 appearances included a return to the Metropolitan Opera to sing Santuzza in Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana with conductor Fabio Luisi, and her debut with the Vienna State Opera singing the title role in Verdi’s Aida under conductor Simone Young.
Among Ms. Monastyrska’s performance credits are Verdi’s Macbeth with Maestro Pappano and Nabucco with Nicolà Luisiotti at London’s Royal Opera House (both new productions), and Nabucco, Cavalleria Rusticana and Aida at La Scala. Aida has also served as her introduction to the Metropolitan Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and Vienna State Opera, as well as the Hollywood Bowl, where she sang Aida in concert under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel. With the Deutsche Oper Berlin, she has appeared in productions of Puccini’s Tosca, and Verdi’s MacBeth and Nabucco, as well as a concert version of Attila. Ms. Monastyrska has sung Verdi’s Messa da Requiem at Rome’s Accademia di Santa Cecilia as well as with The Cleveland Orchestra, and has also sung Verdi’s La Forza del Destino with Zubin Mehta at Valencia’s Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia. She appeared in Macbeth with the Staatsoper Berlin, sharing the stage with Placido Domingo, and made her Italian debut with Festival Puccini in Torre del Lago, Italy. In 2015, she made her debut at the Salzburg Easter Festival conducted by Christian Thielemann, singing the role of Santuzza in a new production of Cavalleria Rusticana with Jonas Kaufmann, as well as the Verdi “Requiem”. She also sang Verdi’s I Due Foscari, which featured Placido Domingo, at Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu.
Ms. Monastyrska can be seen/heard on DVDs of Macbeth and Nabucco – both from the Royal Opera (Opus Arte), and in Sony Classics DVD of Cavalleria Rusticana from the 2015 Salzburg Easter Festival with the Staatskapelle Dresden.
Born in Kiev, Liudmyla Monastyrska was a principal soloist with the Ukraine National Opera for several years before expanding her international career. Ms. Monastyrska and her family make their home in Kiev.
“Liudmyla Monastyrska is a veteran of this production, and she showed an excellent command of her formidable voice as Aida. It is a big beautiful voice that is produced with seeming ease, and can scale the range of the role with remarkable continuity. Her high notes often trailed into delicate pianissimo before opening up. I was most impressed with her strong chest voice that remained full and thrilling as she sang Aida’s lower notes. Aida’s two big arias, “Ritorna vincitor!” and “O patria mia” were exciting and exquisite; the latter was the highlight of the afternoon.”
“Clear singing, obscure production: Domingo and Monastyrska in Nabucco
The audience interval chatter confirmed that the outstanding singing of the evening came from Liudmyla Monastyrska’s Abigaille. What makes Monastyrska ideal for the role is her dynamic range: when she goes for the grandiose “Salgo già del trono aurato”, you’re left in no doubt whatsoever about who, barring an Act of God, is going to come out the winner of the golden throne. Just moments before, she displayed total control of pianissimo in the contemplative ‘Anch’io dischiuso un giorno.”
“As the awful Abigaille, Liudmyla Monastyrska’s formidable stature, imperious gestures and simply colossal voice obviously compel attention, but she also produces the evening’s most ravishing pianissimos.”
“The protagonists let their voices radiate impressively: The Ukrainian Liudmyl Monastyrska is a sovereign Aida… She creates beautiful, touching moments in her ‘Numi, pieta’.”
“The fabulous directing in Mascagni’s one-act play seemed to inspire all soloists, the services a round festival night-worthy performance. Liudmyla Monastyrska’s lush dark-luminous soprano lent her already passionate sounding Santuzza added attraction. With fiery passion and drama, she threw herself accordingly into an intense and enthralling vocal performance. Still, the Ukrainian was always able to scale back her voice to a minimum, with its well-trimmed, space-filling and touching Piani a success – great rejoicing for this thrilling role Portrait.”
“Monastyrska is also a superb musician and technician, singing stylish pianissimos and dominating ensembles like no other Verdi soprano I’ve heard (that was evident right from the start in her Covent Garden debut as Aida).”
“It is Liudmyla Monastyrska’s vocally scorching Abigaille, grandly of the old school in volume, tone and technical bravado, who raises the temperature of the evening. Steady as a rock and fearsomely implacable, with a searing top register and cavernous low notes, she steals the show – and the biggest ovation.”
“Sharing the musical honours is Liudmyla Monastyrska as Abigaille, the vengeful daughter of Nabucco (aka Nebuchadnezzar). The Ukrainian soprano sings with thrilling amplitude, giving a performance that seems old-fashioned only because so few Verdian singers have this power today.”
“The ‘daughter’ Abigaille is in fact the child of a harem slave, and turns out to be a monster — an aspect Liudmyla Monastyrska captures in her commanding tone. But she still provides the wherewithal for a powerful and ultimately touching duet with her putative father.”
“For Liudmyla Monastyrska, who brought her voluptuous soprano to the title role, it was a triumphant house debut. … Ms. Monastyrska, a native of Kiev, Ukraine, and an established star at that city’s opera house, comes to the Met a fully mature artist. She is gifted with a luscious round soprano that maintains its glow even in the softest notes. Her “O patria mia” was beautifully drawn and colored with darker inflections that added dramatic intensity. ”
“With a big shimmering sound, Liudmyla Monastyrska was the chief attraction of the Metropolitan Opera’s revival of Verdi’s “Aida.” The 37-year-old Ukrainian soprano made her Met debut in the opening performance of the run Friday night and displayed something of a rarity these days – a dramatic voice capable of filling the Met in a core Verdi role. Her high notes were thrilling as the Ethiopian princess who is enslaved. She showed her voice’s steel in “Ritorna vincitor (Return a conqueror)” and its warmth during”O patria mia (O, my country).”… Given the dearth of singers who can perform these parts at the 4,000-capacity Met, she is a singer to watch. ”
“Liudmyla Monastyrska had a triumphant debut in the title role, providing a deeply moving portrayal of the suffering heroine. Her voice has heft and potency that rang viscerally through the massive choruses in Acts one and two, but it has an exquisite delicacy that was perfectly suited to Verdi's sweeping lines. Nowhere was this more evident than in Aida's famous aria 'Ritorna Vincitor' during which her internal conflict between her love for the Egyptian general Radames and her native Ethiopia is put on display. During the sublime 'Numi Pieta' Monastyrska started the phrase with a very gentle color, almost mezza voce, and slowly built up a thrilling crescendo to the climactic A flat. Aida gets two chances to sing this phrase and both times, Monastyrska delivered heart wrenching renditions. During her 'O Patria Mia' in which Aida ponders whether she will ever see her home again, Monastyrska brought a similar gentleness to her phrasing. As she rose toward the high C near the end of the aria, she built a lengthy crescendo, but then delivered the C as a disembodied pianissimo that made the moment sublime.”
“The showstopper of the night was Liudmyla Monastyrska, a Ukrainian soprano who sounded sensational in Lady Macbeth's 'Letter Scene' from Verdi's 'Macbeth.' Monastyrska, who is to make her Metropolitan Opera debut later this month in Verdi’s 'Aïda,' would seem to have all the ingredients for a major career—a rich, potent voice that she deploys with confidence over a wide range. She captured the dangerous abandon of Lady Macbeth’s outpourings, while maintaining firm control over the tricky vocal line. ”
Mike Silverman, Associated Press
+49 175 570 3807
+1 917 319 9616