of Alastair Miles in costume are credited here
Don Giovanni, Opera North, Grand Theatre, Leeds, UK
... outstanding [performance...]
from Alastair Miles as Leporello. This is one of the great comic roles,
and he plays it to perfection. You will not see a better Leporello
Alastair Miles' Leporello is really
impressive. He is a versatile actor with a voice like dark chocolate,
spot-on when it comes to the lowest notes.
For this writer though, the revelation of
the evening was Alastair Miles' realisation of Leporello. I have seen
this fine singer in "heavy" roles viz Mephistopheles, King Philip II,
Zaccaria - to imagine that such nimble movement, comic timing and
amusing facial expressions lurked beneath a somewhat dour exterior.
Vocally and dramatically his Leporello is all that I could have wished;
delivery of the Catalogue Aria showed that Miles is equally at home in
the 'basso buffo' repertory. In fact he's miles better (forgive the
pun!) than any previous Leporello that I can recall since I saw Geraint
Evans and Gabriel Bacquier decades ago.
Judas Maccabaeus, BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall
… the brilliantly authoritative tone of bass
Alastair Miles, who was stepping in at the last minute... Taking on the
two roles of Simon and Eupolemus, Miles excelled in every aria… he
exuded regal power… The Lord Worketh Wonders (Handel in Messiah-and-I –will-shake mode) was delivered with first-rate articulation and fantastic projection, even in the lower register.
Meistersinger von Nurnberg,
Glyndebourne Festival Opera
top-hatted Pogner, Alastair Miles, and though he is no black-voiced
German bass, he is still magnificent, making one wish, as all great
Pogners do, that he didn’t have such long absences from the stage. His
scene with his daughter Eva at the start of Act II was as moving as
anything in the opera, as it should be.
The mastersingers were all strongly cast, pride of place going to
Alastair Miles as an immensely sympathetic Pogner, whose warm bass
sound and sense of melodic line made his passages of narration as
enjoyable as they should be.
Alastair Miles’s Pogner was in every sense the voice of experience.
Alastair Miles (in terrific voice) is dogmatic yet touching as Pogner.
Lucrezia Borgia, English National Opera
Miles, aside from possessing an extremely powerful bass-baritone, also
gave one of the most dramatically captivating performances of the
evening in his role as Lucrezia Borgia’s husband, Alfonso d’Este. His
dark, expansive and open sound, coupled with perfect diction, soared
over ENO’S excellent orchestra with perfect ease, and his tall,
imposing figure and confident manner on stage added real dramatic
weight to his performance.
Alastair Miles was vocally stentorian and aptly censorious as
Miles’s bass is dark, and his gestures sturdy.
Miles sang with notable elegance as the creepy Mr Lucrezia Borgia (aka
equally strong performances from Alastair Miles as Lucrezia’s appalling
Lucrezia’s repulsive husband, Alastair Miles is an appreciable asset.
Miles (that rare thing, a lithe bass) had fun with Alfonso.
Miles gives a sharply etched portrayal as Alfonso, Lucrezia’s husband.
Miles was darkly expressive and managed a welcome degree of physical
characterisation that carried to my balcony seat.
Miles brought a vivid, wicked persuasive and manipulative delight to
his role as he twisted his voice around Rutter’s and this was the high
point of the evening for me.
Miles’s sturdily sung Alfonso...
Miles is a fine Titian-look-a-like Alfonso d’Este.
The image of the real Alfonso, Alastair Miles spits and
thunders with authority.
Miles is an imposing Alfonso.
Miles was a mellifluous and sonorous Alfonso d’Este.
see and hear the wonderful bass of Alastair Miles, an ENO favourite,
here in the part of Alfonso d’Este, still magnificently resonant of
voice and with wonderful stage presence born of huge experience.
superb as the haunted Philip.
Best of the principals are Alastair Miles's distinctive King Philip,
John Tomlinson's terrifying Grand Inquisitor and Clive Bailey's Monk.
BBC Music Magazine
Miles's Philip II is a more fiery interpretation of the King than many
others in recorded terms, and he really sings off the words and brings
the character to theatrical life... the encounter with John Tomlinson's
terrifyingly implacable and vocally imposing Grand Inquisitor is the
highlight it should be... Taken as a whole this is an exciting issue,
most remarkable for the compelling contributions of Alastair Miles and
for Richard Farnes's refreshingly non-fussy and non-indulgent reading
of the score.
CD: Rossini, The Italian Girl in Algiers (highlights)
Happily, the three men in her [Jennifer
Larmore's] life are equally vividly characterised: Alan Opie as her
hang-dog admirer Taddeo, Barry Banks a most eloquent Lindoro, and
Alastair Miles as the lascivious Mustafa. Fifty years ago there was
barely a bass in Europe who could find his way around Mustafa's
bumbling coloratura, let alone project the text as Miles does here.
Gramophone, June 2009 (link
not available yet)
CD: Richard Strauss, The Complete Songs Volume 4
It has to be said that with the first sound of Alastair Miles, one is
immediately aware of a change, not merely in the quality and nature of
the voice, but in its production too. ...Miles impresses deeply, down
indeed to the depths of his low D flat.
Gramophone, June 2009 (link not available yet)
The bass songs show Strauss once again in predominantly serious vein,
and Alastair Miles brings a wonderful gravitas to his readings. Im Spätboot is a sober affair,
but all the more affecting for its economy, not perhaps what one would
expect from Strauss a year after Salome.
The four songs from Op.87 are made up of three pensive and expansive
Rückert settings (from 1929 and 1935), leavened with a boisterous,
earlier setting of a poem from Goethe's West-östliche
Diwan, Erschaffen und Beleben. Miles brings the same steady,
authoritative delivery and seriousness of purpose to the Rückert,
rising to the occasional emotional outbursts magnificently
(particularly in the lovely Im
Sonnenschein that finishes the disc), while he and Vignoles make
the most of the sometimes arch humour of Erschaffen und Beleben.
Miles's robust, sensitive bass excels in Im Spätboot, perfectly
capturing the eerie dark atmosphere of Strauss's weary boat passenger.
Mendelssohn: Elias, Théâtre des
Miles s'acquittait avec honneur d'un rôle écrasant. Le
chant était, comme toujours, probe et les vocalises
Miles campe un prophète de haute stature, terrible ou abattu. Ce
familier de l'oratorio Haendelien peut assumer sans peine les vocalises
de Ist nicht des Herren Wort,
émouvoir dans un Es ist genug
au phrasé irreprochable.
Rake's Progress, Theater an der Wien
zur Freude von Nick Shadow, jenem Teufel, der in Gestalt des
toenenden Basses Alastair Miles ganz zeitgemaess die
pleasing was Nick Shadow (the Devil)
played by the
characterful and sonorous bass Alastair Miles who portrayed him as
a modern financial consultant waiting till the last moment to reveal
virtue [excellent diction] was shared with his alter ego, Alastair
Miles, a very plausible tempter, not too demonic until their last scene
together - one of the best things I have seen from him.
New York (Tilson Thomas)
Best of the
lot was bass Alastair Miles
New York Sun
CD: La Cour de Celimene
Miles is a bubbling comic delight with a
strong, enchantingly merry delivery
American Record Guide
Alastair Miles negotiates the coloratura with his customary aplomb
Miles is also at his best as Le
Beaupré, an attractive comic creation that nearly steals the
Miles impresses as the affably cynical Commander, more excited by
property than love.
The Daily Telegraph
also features a sparkling score and is very ably performed by soprano
Laura Claycomb and bass Alastair Miles in particular. Frothy fun. Alastair Miles enjoys himself in his role of worldly
aristocrat with the attributes of a virtuoso and a buffo bass.
de Faust, Welsh National Opera
throughout with sheer presence is Alastair Miles, his measured,
powerfully voiced Mephistopheles sinister rather than flamboyantly
diabolic, the very embodiment of evil.
di Lammermoor, Netherlands Opera
Politiker der Kirche, der taktiert, abwägt und demagogisch
manipuliert, präsentierte mit grosser Stimme und beeindruckender
Kultur Alastair Miles [Raimondo]
Miles [Raimondo] thundered impressively.
John In Love, English National Opera
Alastair Miles’ uptight Ford explodes like Peter Cook on speed.
suggests Ford’s volcanic jealousy in a brilliantly underplayed, funny
and touching account of the role.
Hugh Canning, The
La Juive, Royal Opera House
Miles gave the performance of his life as Cardinal Brogni.
Eleazar’s great rival Cardinal Brogni, Alastair Miles’ authority was
self-evident with chills and compassion exacted from his charismatic
bravura part [Brogni] was extravagantly sung by Alastair Miles who
exhibited splendid low notes, so cavernous that I expected him to
emerge after the interval in pot-holing garb!
Messiah, London Symphony Orchestra (CD here)
successful was bass Alastair Miles, who gave probably the best
performance I've ever heard from him. To achieve such steady tone,
fluid legato and powerful projection through arias such as The Trumpet Shall Sound and Why Do The Nations? is quite something for
any artist. It was a shame that we didn't hear more from him.
Drahtzieher Zoroastro wirkt umso gefährlicher, als er in Gestalt
von Alastair Miles ganz ohne äusseren und stimmlichen Aplomb
daherkommt; das seine Bassstimme so leicht und agil geführt wird,
Neue Zürcher Zeitung
Miles, ein Altmeister der Alten Musik, singt diesen Heerespsychologen
noch immer nobel stilsicher und kleidet sie in eine Figur, die als
Mischung aus Monty Python, Mister Q und Donald Rumsfeld angelegt ist.
Miles makes much of the sonorous, scheming Zoroastro.
CD: Nabucco, Opera
Miles proves his pre-eminence among British basses today in Verdi:
every note of his two solos is sung with strength and a feeling for
line, and he is as happy on high as below. DISC OF THE MONTH.
Sebastien, Roi de Portugal, Royal Opera
Miles, as Dom Juan, was a chilling Grand Inquisitor.
Miles knows how to sing the bass roles of early nineteenth century
Italian and French opera like nobody else these days, and his faultless
sense of style was very much in evidence.
Nabucco, Opera North
Miles, hotfoot from singing the chief schemer in Covent Garden’s Dom Sebastien, produced a wealth of
dazzling virtuosity as High Priest Zaccaria, the voice admirably
supported and effortlessly secure.
English National Opera
Miles, done up to look like a darkly malevolent Don Quixote, is a
splendid Silva, ferocious in attack, chillingly unforgiving, and more
incisive with the text than anyone.
Alastair Miles makes a magnificent Silva, with effortless smoothness of
line and firmness of tone, as well as an impressive stage presence.
Christiansen, The Daily Telegraph
Miles fulfils his role's dramatic potential as a deliciously villainous
Damnation de Faust, London Philharmonic Orchestra
Miles’s superb Mephistopheles, mocking and menacing through every vowel.
Miles revealed a dangerous and aggressively devilish Mephistopheles
hidden behind a seemingly harmless exterior.
CD: Zaira, Opera
among the singers is Alastair Miles in the role of the enlightened
Muslim king [Orosmane] in love with Zaira. The writing is for a high
lyric bass with the skills of a thorough virtuoso. Miles is exemplary
in the evenness and fluency of his scales and gruppetti, and the tessitura suits
Miles is outstanding in the role of Orosmane, Sultan of Jerusalem.
Miles delivers impeccable singing.
Orosmane, the opera’s most sympathetic character, Alastair Miles sings
with tonal excellence and the requisite agility for a role created by
Orosmane’s aria in which florid twists and turns are encountered in
phrase after phrase, though Alastair Miles, in splendid voice, is in no
way fazed. His well-supported tone and clean articulation of notes
allow him to realise every vocal ornament with
which Orosmane’s music confronts
him. His fleet negotiation of the cabaletta
tempted me to repeat it
immediately. I succumbed.
Damnation de Faust, London Symphony Orchestra
Miles’ Mephistopheles matched the orchestra's dramatic sensitivity, and
he relished every detail of the supernatural effects Berlioz invents
for his character. He jumped up from his seat for his opening lines,
just as the orchestra created a malevolent
explosion of rasping
trombone lines and weird string sounds. And he captured the irony at
the heart of the character.
Miles’ Mephistopheles was superbly sung and characterised, the devilry
not overdone and all the more sinister, while the sardonic mockery was
The Sunday Telegraph
La Sonnambula, Royal Opera House
Miles as the Count [Rodolfo] sounds deliciously mellifluous.
Miles, crisp of tone and suave of manner, is equally well cast as the
excellent Alastair Miles’ raffish Count (Noel Coward in Freud-land)
sustains a true bel canto
line – Vi
stylish singer on stage was Alastair Miles as Count Rodolfo, very bel
Miles’ noble bass and striking stage presence made more than a comprimario of
the shadowy Count Rodolfo.
The Sunday Times
BBC Proms, London Philharmonic Orchestra / Masur
Masur missed nothing, and he had a trump in Alastair Miles’ Elijah:
commandingly forceful and dramatic in crunching diction, well-tuned and
well up to his tricky florid passages.
Miles isn’t the barnstorming Elijah that Bryn Terfel gave us a few
years back, but a burnished, cultured presence at the centre of the
work. Miles gave him nobility and strength, particularly in his great
resigned recitative It is enough,
by a cello tune of simmering romanticism.
was there both in Alastair Miles’ singing of the title role,
firm-toned with a real unswerving authoritative edge to his voice, and
in the urgent choruses.
English National Opera
Miles’ Zaccaria – noble, fervent, vocally spectacular yet genuinely
spiritual – is second to none.
Miles’ Zaccaria is a class act of international standard, quite
bass role of Zaccaria, the Hebrew high priest, is sung with astonishing
fervour and brilliance by Alastair Miles.
The Evening Standard
CD: Alastair Miles – Great
Operatic Arias, Chandos
This is a
splendid showcase for the appreciable talents of Alastair Miles, one of
the best basses ever produced in this country.
is well formed and beautifully placed. And everything here is sung with
polish and intelligence – sometimes brilliance.
Carlos, Opera North
Miles is hardly new, but his first King Philip was simply sensational.
His sense of Verdian legato is
the real thing – he never seems to take
a breath – and his bass tone is contained, darksome, perfectly
focussed. His portrayal of this introverted
autocrat, crippled by isolation and
emotional impotence is already profoundly stirring. What it will be
like in ten years time, heaven alone knows.
Rodney Milnes, The