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KS Nina Stemme - Sopran


Salome (Salome), Royal Albert Hall, Proms 2014

«Donald Runnicles conducted his Deutsche Oper Berlin orchestra – he is music director – and soloists led by Nina Stemme, always a phenomenal performer but here in her element. Strauss dreamed of a singer who could act 16 yet had the voice of Wagner's Isolde, a role in which Stemme currently reigns supreme. Her Salome had an almost uncaring nonchalance, a physical ease and vocal abandon which made her final love-in with the head unbearably and revoltingly heartbreaking. If those adjectives are not normally aligned, it reflects the ambiguous impact this opera makes.»

Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian, 07.09.2014

«At the centre of it all was Nina Stemme, whose magnificent performance reinforced her reputation as the finest Salome of today. Owning the platform, she gave us all the character's Wildean complexity – obsessed, insecure, worldly, petulant, terrified, triumphant – and never sounded less than radiant. There were no props in what was basically a choreographed concert rather than any kind of staging, so no severed head for her to caress in the final scene. But as she kissed the air, and her voice blossomed into one last magnificent crescendo, you could almost believe the head was there, dripping blood on to the front row.»

Erica Jeal, The Guardian, 01.09.2014

«On Saturday night (30 August) the astonishing soprano Nina Stemme not only showed that to be factually inaccurate, she managed to make Strauss’s angular lines sound completely natural. This Salome was engaging and sympathetic, a woman shaped by the amoral court of King Herod, but determined to shape her own life. ... But this is Salome’s opera and it was Nina Stemme’s night. She brought coherence and focus to a character too often seen as simply deranged and dangerous.»

Elizabeth Davis,, 01.09.2014

«She made us believe. By the alchemy of the performer’s art, Nina Stemme – offstage a brisk and respectable Swedish mum of 51 with an MBA – slipped on to the platform transformed into the teenage Jewish princess whose killer combination of nascent sexuality and spoilt-brat obstinacy motivates Strauss’s compellingly decadent masterpiece. There were no histrionics, no gimmicks: Stemme’s figure is slender and her hair is worn loose, but she doesn’t prance around or flirt with seven veils. Instead she maintains a steely poise throughout, chillingly suggestive of the relentless tick-tocking of Salome’s tiny mind. Nor did Stemme play games with her voice. ... This emotional reserve paid dividends in a thrillingly magnificent account of the final scene, where Stemme seemed to deliquesce in an orgasm of toxic sadism that melted into a weirdly empty post-coital serenity. Here was a demonstration of the greatest dramatic soprano of our day at the peak of her powers.»

Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 01.09.2014

«No limitations bound Stemme’s total assumption. Slinking down from the side steps in a star-spangled black dress, she instantly invoked the spoilt adolescent, first petulant and then obsessive, with authoritative chest voice already at scary odds with both that and the diaphanous orchestral wraps. Hers is one of those rare dramatic sopranos with whom you know you can feel secure in the insane demands on the top of the range and the over-arching phrases: she knows what to do, at every point. And if in the past I think I’ve noted the seams, dramatic characterization and musical expression were absolutely as one last night.»

David Nice,, 01.09.2014

«Nina Stemme gives a career-defining performance at the BBC Proms as Strauss's wayward Princess... Following her success as Brunnhilde in last year's Ring cycle, Nina Stemme returned to sing the demanding title role in Strauss' opera for the first time in London, and triumphed once again. Any fears that adding the heavier soprano roles from the Wagner canon to her repertoire would tarnish her burnished soprano voice were instantly dispelled. Coquettish and child-like to begin with, she moulded Strauss' phrases with a sense of innocence that then gave way to steely determination as she demanded the head of Jochanaan. Her final scene is probably better described as a Liebeskopf than Liebestod, and here she rose to even greater heights, soaring over the huge orchestra with unflinching power. Hers was a world class performance, confirming that there are few if any sopranos who can touch her in this repertoire.»

Keith McDonnell,, 01.09.2014

«Ereignis dieser konzertanten Aufführung war Nina Stemme, die derzeit sicher weltweit fähigste Interpretin der Salome... und sich einen makellosen, schlanken und jugendlichen Jubelklang bewahrt hat...»

J. Bartels, Das Opernglas, 01.10.2014