Michaela Martens

Michaela Martens

Vocalists — Mezzo-Soprano

One of the most wrenching moments in “The Death of Klinghoffer,” the 1991 opera by the composer John Adams and the librettist Alice Goodman, occurs during the final monologue by Marilyn Klinghoffer, which brings this raw, penetrating, strangely mystical work to its conclusion. The earthy mezzo-soprano Michaela Martens was overwhelming in this scene when the Metropolitan Opera’s production of “Klinghoffer,” a company premiere, opened on Monday night... it’s Michaela Martens who slings the whole evening over her shoulder and walks away with it at the end. Adams gives her the last word, the searing lament of a new widow for whom pain is already an old acquaintance. With a voice that is powerful, tempered, and focused, Martens concentrates all the evening’s tensions into those final minutes, a statement of quiet, helpless rage: “I wanted to die.” But she can’t, not yet. —The New York Times - Anthony Tommasini

In the opera's distinct two-part form, mezzo-soprano Michaela Martens commanded the stage as the Trojan prophetess Cassandra in the two acts depicting The Fall of Troy. Martens' performance carried a magnetism which enthralled as she projected with voluminous ease her character's convictions with deep dark colours and a harrowing vibrato. After sacrificing herself in death in order to protect herself from being raped by the invading Greeks, Martens' performance continued to resonate... —Bachtrack - Paul Selar

The singer who most tore at the heart was Michaela Martens, as Marilyn Klinghoffer. Her low voice gave foghorn strength to the opera’s desolate last lines, after the widow has refused the Captain’s empty condolences: “If a hundred / People were murdered / And their blood / Flowed in the wake / Of this ship like / Oil, only then / Would the world intervene. / They should have killed me. / I wanted to die.” —The New Yorker - Alex Ross


The Boston Globe hails Michaela Martens for her "dense, color-saturated voice" and declares: "She is a passionate and sympathetic vocal actress." Ms. Martens is fast becoming known for her portrayals of some of the most difficult dramatic mezzo-soprano roles in the repertoire, beginning with a triumphant last minute debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago as die Amme in Die Frau ohne Schatten, a role she repeated for the Oper Graz in a new production by the critically acclaimed director Marco Marelli.

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    • Photo: Tess Steinkolk
      Photo: Tess Steinkolk