Reviving an important but rarely performed opera is one of the ways the Bard SummerScape festival paints a nuanced portrait of the past, and this year’s exploration of “Sibelius and His World” continues that tradition. This year, Bard presents the first fully-staged New York production of Die Liebe der Danae (The Love of Danae, 1940), by Sibelius’s contemporary Richard Strauss. The production, starring soprano Meagan Miller, a grand finals winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, will be directed by dynamic young opera and theater director Kevin Newbury, and both are making their SummerScape debuts; world-renowned architect Rafael Viñoly has designed the sets, returning to Bard for the first time since his acclaimed creations for SummerScape’s 2004 production of Shostakovich’s The Nose. The opera’s five performances (July 29 & 31; August 3, 5, & 7) feature the festival’s resident American Symphony Orchestra and music director Leon Botstein, whose 2001 Telarc recording of the work won high praise.
Born in Delaware and now living in New Jersey, Meagan Miller recently scored another triumph in Vienna (a town she now fondly thinks of as a second home), this time with her role debut as Nyssia, in Zemlinsky’s Der König Kandaules at the Volksoper. Der Standard observed, “Meagan Miller offered vocal luxury in golden profusion," while the Neue Merker noted, “[She was] fantastic as the so-beautiful-coveted-by-two-men Nyssia… [Miller] can add to her Ariadne success another ‘crown jewel’. The jugendlich-dramatik role also requires the golden cantilena of the high-Strauss sopranos and Meagan Miller can really show this off." This fall, Miller achieves another important milestone in her burgeoning international career when she makes her house debut at the Vienna State Opera as Richard Strauss’s Daphne (Dec 10 – 19).