María José Montiel
Press
    • 2017: March
    • Symphony N. 2 (Mahler)
    • Nino Dentici, El Correo
    • 2017: February
    • Recital
    • José Luís López López, ABC Sevilla
    • 2016: December
    • Carmen (Bizet)
    • First and foremost, of course, Carmen needs a formidable singer in the title role, and FGO has one in María José Montiel. The Spanish mezzo-soprano effortlessly produced rich, sensual tones in the famous Habanera and Seguidilla, lowering her voice in the final renditions of the Habanera melody, in a manner that made the aria less showy and more insinuatingly intimate. In her stage manner, she communicated Carmen’s sexual mastery subtly, in the easy confidence of her walk and gestures, without the over-the-top posing and exaggeration often  portrayed.

      South Florida Classical Review, South Florida Classical Review
    • 2016: August
    • Concert
    • "María José Montiel has true class and gave an excellent concert. The singer had ample resources to deal with an undoubtedly challenging programme and, especially, exquisite sensitivity in her singing, thick with pianissimos and filati, swathed by the chamber ensemble which accommodated the particular romanticism of her expression".

      Levante
    • 2016: August
    • Recital (Tribute to Enrique Granados)
    • Opera Actual
    • 2016: July
    • Recital (Premiere of works by Guillermo Martínez)
    • "María José Montiel has a homogeneous tessitura in the three octaves that the role spans; subtlety in nuances, variety of colour, from dry, metallic recitative to tenderness, the art of binding the phrasing with ample fiato in the service of beauty and naturalness in singing"

      El Comercio
    • 2016: May
    • María José Montiel & Orquesta de Valencia
    • Montiel, the righteous winner of the 2015 National Music Prize, displayed the plethora of facets that make up her art.  I do not know which of these is most outstanding: her attractive tone which is both dark and bright at the same time; the roundness of the notes in all registers of her wide tessitura and the way her voice reached every corner of the space with the right intensity; her musical and dramatic versatility which allows her to be just as convincing as the innocent Mignon, the eager Charlotte, the seductive Dalila or all in one like Scherezade and also daring like Carmen.

      Alfredo Brotons Muñoz, El Levante Valencia
    • Maria José Montiel is currently in exceptional voice. Her mezzo voice combines the dark, almost contralto tone with an unusual sweetness and flexibility. Also, her mastery of fiato means that she can play comfortably with the dynamics and project her voice with a range of colours. For example, the softness of the etherial colour of the pianissimos was outstanding.

      Cesar Rus, Las Provincias
    • As well as being an exceptional singer with a beautiful, soft and dense voice, Maria Josè Montiel is also an outstanding exemplar of technique. She has excellent technique in voice placement and breathing, intense projection, always full of nuances. 

      Antonio Gascó, El Periodico Mediterraneo
    • María José Montiel is at an excellent vocal and artistic moment, which she showed in this unforgettable concert.  Her mezzo voice combines a dark, almost contralto tone with extraordinary sweetness and flexibility.  Her mastery of fiato allows her to play with dynamics with ease and colour her notes.  In this way, the softness and ethereal colour of the pianissimi was breathtaking..

      Ópera Actual
    • 2016: April
    • Luisa Miller (G. Verdi)
    • "María José Montiel portrayed Federica with genuine temperament as well as flawless vocal ease". 

      Alejandro Martínez, Platea Magazine
    • "The mezzo-soprano from Madrid María José Montiel, who has just triumphed as María Moliner, really got the best out of Federica, a small role but really outstanding because of the singer".

      Álvaro Del Amo, El Mundo
    • "María José Montiel is a real treat as Federica".

      Gonzalo Alonso, La Razón
    • "Federica is an ideal role for María José Montiel who sang very well, especially in the constancy of the quality of her low register". 

      Luis Gago, El País
    • "The mezzo María José Montiel was a real treat for the thankless role of Federica. The singer showed off her outstanding dense and full projection.  She also made an impact with her sound and intention with the phrase “Io non cangiai” which precedes the duet “Dall’aule raggianti” in which she practically overshadowed Costanzo to the point of almost making him disappear at the end of the scene.  She also used her voice and phrasing expertly in her scene in the second act which ends with the unusual a cappella quartet “Come celar le smanie”."

      Rubén Martínez, Codalario
    • "María José Montiel portrayed her role with compact density, showing the breadth of scope of her voice, which is currently in magnificent form."

      Paloma Sanz, Brío Clásica
    • 2016: April
    • María Moliner (A. Parera)
    • "María José Montiel is the consummate leading lady, she is fully engaged both vocally and dramatically and has a truly beautiful, full voice, flawless in all registers..." 

      Gonzalo Alonso, Beckmesser
    • "A top-notch cast, in which the great mezzo María José Montiel filled herself with that heroism which is so feminine: great generosity despite her ostracism.  Montiel has a velvety voice and lots of personality.  If anyone can claim to be a success, it is her..."

      Jorge Fernández Guerra, El País
    • "It is the priceless María José Montiel who is responsible, in great measure, for the opera´s success.  Her voice was excellent, as usual, with great intensity in the first scene, which she knows how to maintain at all times.  But she also shines as an actress: her María Moliner captivates, with her dignity, dedication and sad end, and with the mezzo-soprano´s moving performance, which, ironically, it is difficult to describe with words. "

      Jesús Blanco López, Libertad Digital
    • "Evidently, the musical centre is the impressive performance of mezzo-soprano María José Montiel.  She is on stage at all times, she sings with enormous perfection and commitment, and she glories in the role which, although it has been written especially for her, is tremendously demanding.  However, she pulls it off like the great diva that she is."

      Tómas Marco, Diario El Mundo
    • "María Moliner rests and lives in María José Montiel.  The whole opera, music and text rests on her shoulders.  She does it in such a way that it is difficult to imagine it sung by another voice.  Parera Fons seems to intuit this from the beginning and grants her, as well as an almost continuous presence on stage (she only goes off on a couple of occasions), two great solo moments which coincide with the beginning and the end of the music and which summarise the entire personal evolution of the lexicographer.  The way her singing unfolds, energetically, full of the initial excitement, reflecting a very particular mentality, tenacious and perservering, until the decline, choking with emotion, syllabic, and the effort to remember every word, suffering from Alzheimer´s, this is a Montiel who lives and breathes Moliner.  She does.  We do.  It is lucky that there was such a committed artist taking the lead role in this premiere.  In her last moments and with her final look at the audience, recalling her mother, her dictionary, and she herself, the mezzo once again sent shivers down our spine."

      Gonzalo Lahoz, Platea Magazine
    • 2016: January
    • Recital - Teatro Principal, Zaragoza
    •  "...those moments, armed only with your voice and your gesture, are where the root, the foundation of the artist can be seen, the depth of their art.  Montiel has a great voice, beautiful, fully mezzo, which moves with ease within the tesitura of her range.  She does not lack an attractive tone, warm and golden, a vertiginous fiato which gave some glorious moments during the concert, and, above all, mastery of filati, with notes which were held almost like a whisper for interminable seconds, exciting the audience."

      Javier del Olivo, Platea Magazine
    • 2015: December
    • Carmen (G. Bizet)
    • “The conductor accompanied the soloists with a firm hand, achieving great complicity with the orchestra and the leading lady: María José Montiel, who gave it her all on stage, with unique and minutely shaded phrasing dedicated to a role which she knows through and through and which she knows how to respect and when to unfold”

      Pablo Meléndez-Haddad, ABC
    • "At the San Carlo, María José is Carmen!  Forget Milan, forget La Scala, this year opera can be found in Naples at the Teatro San Carlo.  Get this name well into your heads: María José Montiel.  She is Carmen, she is Parthenope.  You are in Naples, but in reality you have been transported to Seville.  Now imagine her coming out, in her heels, crushing the grains of sand at the gate of the bull pen leading to the square.  It is there, and from that exact place where the acoustics are perfect, where she brings the most beautiful and seductive Habanera that you have ever heard to life.  Close your eyes.  Let her voice get under your skin.  Try, if you can, to make contact with Carmen´s soul.  Now full of sunshine, now dark.  Sombre too.  Try, if you can, to be men.  In front of you is a woman.  The woman.  Ready for anything.  Free and authentic.  Dare, if you can, to challenge her.  Offer up your chest to her wildness and temperament."

      Michele Fronterrè, Formiche
    • "Montiel´s Carmen is freedom made into opera... she unfurled a palette of colours which allowed her to delineante a sensual Carmen, full of detail, of pure, melodious filigree, with unforgettable moments such as the return to 'amour est enfant de Bohéme' after the Seguidilla, with a last 'prends garde à toi' which has remained in the aural memory of Naples"

      Gonzalo Lahoz, Platea Magazine
    • "María José Montiel shone in the title role and what was seen on stage that day was truly impressive.  Montiel´s voice took us to that unknown place which is Carmen´s delirious world of desire and eroticism.  Her masterful sul fiato singing and her technique, which she uses to wonderful effect, lay the foundations of the singer´s totally committed and authentic art.  Her rounded tone remains homogeneous throughout her entire range (her control over the singing of the A Sharp in the Seguidilla and the high C at the end of Act II are extraordinary), with a low register which leads us into the most beautiful depths of her sound."

       

      Francisco Quirce, Codalario
    • 2015: September
    • Samson et Dalila (C. Saint-Säens)
    • "The night undoubtedly belonged to Montiel, who was a seductive, vengeful Dalila.  Her vibrant voice, with polished tones in the lower register, well positioned high notes and extraordinarily beautiful phrasing, shone in every one of her arias, especially in the famous "Mon Coeur"

      Gabriel Rangel, El Norte
    • “Something which undoubtedly stood out and excited the ears of the audience was the Spanish mezzo-soprano María José Montiel’s performance.”

      Arturo González, El Horizonte
    • “It was in the first act, when María José Montiel and the Monterrey Corps de Ballet appeared, that the audience gave its first big ovation, at the end of the episode.”

      Gustavo Mendoza, Milenio
    • “The Spanish mezzo-soprano María José Montiel was the female lead (Dalila), and she equally balanced both villainy and irresistible desirability within the role. She is very physically attractive, with a voice which has some extraordinary characteristics such as the velvety beauty of the low notes, allowing a performance loaded with passion, which became evident in the second act when she performed the famous aria Mon cœur s'ouvre à ta voix, in which she seduces our hero with great vocal expressivity and sensuality which she combines with naturalness"

      David Zambrano de León, “Puesta en escena” - Radio Nuevo León
    • 2015: June
    • Lied Cycle
    • “In the opening night of Empfänger unbekannt (Antoni Parera)… with a musicality which tended to each aspect of the sound and every possible detail of the metrics and the narrative in this dramatisation of four marvellous pieces of writing by Ruth Schweikert… they allowed a sublime Montiel to give us one of her most vivacious offerings of the night…  tears sprung to the eyes in À Chloris (Reynaldo Hahn), the mezzo-soprano’s singing was emotionally charged, making the entire hall tremble with feeling.  The trilogy of songs by Villa-Lobos (Melodia sentimental), Ovalle (Azulao) and Halffter (Ai que linda moça) cannot but take us back in time… Montiel is moving. Montiel is vital, and she makes us experience continuous emotion”

      Gonzalo Lahoz, Codalario
    • 2015: March
    • Mahler's Symphony N. 3
    • "When María José Montiel began Nietzsche´s invocation “O Mensch/Oh Homem” in the 4th movement, something happened: Where had that voice that was so deep come from?  Suddenly we had passed through to higher spheres, and we did not come back down again…the whole thing was a challenge, an incredible tour de force, absolutely memorable, intensely emotional, with special and huge applause at the end.  With two women: the unforgettable Montiel, conducted by Joana Carneiro"

      Augusto M. Seabra, Publico.pt
    • 2015: March
    • Recital at Teatro Gayarre, Pamplona
    • “It was in the second part when the audience enjoyed the best of the evening; in particular there were two highlights; the first was the interpretation of Reynaldo Hahn’s “A Chloris”, sung with a big variety of inflections and extraordinary filati. The second was, of course, the aria from Samson et Dalila, to which no one could remain indifferent”.

      Xavier Armendáriz, Diario de Navarra
    • 2015: February
    • Recital at Palau de la Música, Valencia
    • "Montiel has a valuable instrument, for its colour and pliancy, its measured centre, low notes which seduce you with their intensity and infallible high notes.  She radiates class as a singer and stage actress, which is the reason she has appeared at the greatest opera houses in the world".

      José Doménech Part, Levante
    • 2014: October
    • Carmen (Bizet)
    • “Bravo María José Montiel! The best Carmen of the current time, with a vocal perfection and warmth worthy of admiration. She is a real asset for the theatre and for our opera scene”
       

      Tomás Marco, El Mundo
    • “Carmen was María José Montiel warm of tone, rounded in delivery; with full-blooded and beautiful notes […] she built up the character securely with sinuous phrasing and a judicious use of dynamics”.
       

      Arturo Reverter, La Razón
    • “The great luck we had is that this Carmen is sung by one of the best of her defenders and performers in the history of the role, with her sensitivity and her voice: María José Montiel. As always, she did not only bring the character to life but also submerged herself in Bizet and Merimée´s motives, and this can be seen, and it is appreciated. […]Montiel does and undoes Carmen with pleasure; this is why it is her pet role”
       

      Gonzalo Lahoz, Codalario
    • "...the role of Carmen was taken by she who is, undoubtedly, the best Spanish mezzo-soprano, María José Montiel [...] a beautiful voice, velvety, of an extraordinary brilliance.  Her low notes and her high notes coexist in perfect harmony and her vocal line, pure, perfect, with elegant and exalted phrasing and breath control bestow on her the status of great singer [...] her acting skills are huge, hypnotic..."

       

      Miquel Giménez, El Mundo (Cataluña)
    • 2014: July
    • Concert with RTVE Orchestra and Chorus
    • “The 4th July will be a day to remember for María José Montiel: her apotheosis in her home city (Madrid) in a symphonic-choral concert as demanding as it was impressive.  Her extremely beautiful timbre, delicate colour, fine legato, temperament and power were clear for all to hear."

      Gonzalo Alonso, La Razón
    • 2014: April
    • Symphony N. 2 (Mahler)
    • In Lied Urlicht María José Montiel has just the right firmness, both in the dark and the middle ranges, to tell us restlessly that life is pain and suffering, but most importantly, she has a facility in reaching high notes which proclaims a celestial world.

      Opera Click
    • 2013: October
    • Rigoletto
    • María José Montiel (Maddalena): blessed with a rich, ample and meaty voice, with a centre generous in decibels. She attacks low notes without relying on resonance from the chest, always covered and masked, with no great loss of sound and without being swallowed up by the orchestra.

      Codalario
    • 2013: September
    • La Tempranica
    • At the peak of her form, it is a pleasure to hear her voice which is accompanied by good diction, musicality and a contagious delivery.

      Gonzalo Alonso, La Razón
    • This approach fits Montiel like a glove, as she is a singer with a strong connection to her roots, so her emotional romance Sierras de Granada was sung with strength and verve.

      Juan Ángel Vela del Campo, El País
    • 2013: July
    • Concert in tribute to Anton Garcia Abril
    • María José Montiel showed that she is a singer with a well-pitched voice, rich in harmonics, meaty and warm; wide and extensive, with substantial volume and well-regulated. Her wide and sonorous centre, with low notes supported naturally made a perfect foil to some high notes which came across more firmly.

      Ramón G. Balado, El Correo Gallego
    • 2013: June
    • Rigoletto (Verdi)
    • María José Montiel (Maddalena) seduced us with her low, deep and captivating voice.

      Juan José Roldán, l Correo de Andalucía
    • María José Montiel’s Maddalena was a real treat.

      Andrés Moreno Mengíbar, El Diario de Sevilla
    • 2013: May
    • La Gioconda (Ponchielli)
    • Blessed with an enviable tone and legato, María José Montiel brought the role of La Cieca to the top level, with an impeccable line.

      David Verdier, AnaClase.com
    • ... homogeneity in Maria José Montiel’s La Cieca, in impeccable voice in all her registers.

      Didier van Moere, ConcertoNet
    • Extremely beautiful was the voice of María José Montiel in her aria Voce di donna o d'angelo.

      Gérard Mannoni, AltaMusica
    • The only really moving and perfectly delineated female character was Maria José Montiel’s La Cieca, with a beautiful and deep voice.

      Bruno Serrou, Classique d'aujourd'hui
    • Maria José Montiel’s La Cieca was outstanding and gave us the best moments of the evening, with a broad and finely projected voice, never excessive or histrionic, but full of emotion.

      Chantal Cazaux, L'Avant-Scène Opéra
    • The mezzo-soprano María José Montiel´s emotional Cieca was quite an event.

      Christian Merlin, Le Figaro
    • The Spanish mezzo María José Montiel has a voice with a warm tone and moving phrasing which suits the character of la Cieca perfectly.

      Marie-Aude Roux, Le Monde
    • 2013: January
    • Recital, 40th Anniversary National Alliance for Hispanic Health
    • Beyond a night of magical moments, it was truly a magical night where the magenta velvet overtones of María José Montiel's sweet and powerful voice enveloped all with its warmth, each note exquisite in sound and performed exquisitely as a Strad cello in the hands of the most gifted of artists. The dance between singer and pianist, Miquel Estelrich Serralta, created a world of finely threaded notes brought to life with mute conversations, pianissimi, crescendi, and textured fortissimi birthed with absolute smoothness and seemingly endless breath.

      María Pía Ugarte, Examiner
    • 2012: November
    • Carmen (Bizet)
    • In her Atlanta Opera debut, María José Montiel is everything a “Carmen” should be. Flirtatious. Coquettish. Sexy. Fierce. The brilliant mezzo-soprano from Spain beguiles and seduces in the company’s season-opening production at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

      Jamila Robinson, The Atlanta journal-Constitution
    • Spanish mezzo-soprano María José Montiel gave a larger-than-life performance as Carmen: every gesture was exaggerated for the sake of drama. Montiel’s entrance aria, the “Habanera”, was rich with dynamic contrast and rubato. The contralto-esque timbre of her instrument in the middle and low voice is simply stunning. Montiel’s singing in the last act was earthy and muscular — unforgettable.

      Opera News
    • The mezzo-soprano María José Montiel played the title role with good taste and flair. Blessed with a beautiful voice, warm and resonant, she showed us a feminine side to Carmen, who flirted with the villagers in the square at the end of her cigarette-selling day, whilst then becoming a cold and calculating leader of a gang of smugglers. Accustomed to being obeyed, she does not hesitate to mistreat the men who desire her, but she treats the people close to her with delicacy. She portrayed the “Habanera” with spontaneity and verve, but the seguidilla and the seductive dance for Don José really stood out, making expert use of the castanets while she moved. An authentic Spanish lady, faithfully portraying another Spanish lady.

      Ximena Sepúlveda, ProÓpera
    • 2012: June
    • Medea (Cherubini)
    • The other top performer in the Medea cast was Spanish mezzo María José Montiel as Neris, Medea’s servant, who is graced with the most beautiful aria in the score. Montiel has become an intense, top-quality singer in recent years.

      Roberto Herrscher, Opera News
    • María José Montiel garnered logical cheers after Neris´ aria, since she sang it in an exemplary fashion. Her voice is lovely, full of harmonics and bubbling forth in a way which illuminated the Palau, she has impeccable taste and musicality. It seems to be an easy aria, but it is not, and she achieved what Cherubini wanted: time stopped.

      Gonzalo Alonso, La Razón
    • María José Montiel was in the role of the maid Neris, and her sensational aria Solo un pianto, with its fascinating bassoon solo, was a model of vocal beauty, control of the breath and incredibly beautiful high notes.

      Roger Alier, La Vanguardia
    • María José Montiel stood out with the most sublime singing. Her wide register, great technique and exquisite taste confirm her as already being a world class singer. Her memorable solo Solo un pianto gained a heartfelt ovation.

      Joaquín Guzmán, ABC
    • She completed the female trio as Neris. Her Solo un pianto could well become a classic, she showed an extraordinary communion between voice and sensitivity.

      César Rus, Las Provincias
    • Alongside the soprano shone another star of great magnitude: the mezzo from Madrid María José Montiel, who gave a rounded performance of Neris, the human counterpoint, no less dramatic but articulated with compassion and tenderness. The way she alternated between open singing at a high volume and whispered diction sotto voce, contained, incicive and intimate, completed yet another perfect recital and she garnered ovations comparable to those given to the lead.

      G. García Alcalde, Diario Información
    • Pride is María José Montiel´s Neris. The mezzo from Madrid performs her role of witness to Medea´s murderous and vengeful fury with pertinent acting skill, and her solo aria was justly applauded.

      César López Rosell, El Periódico de Catalunya
    • 2012: March
    • Carmen (Bizet)
    • The fantastic María José Montiel´s Carmen, with her voluptuous, polished timbre, triumphed due to her subtle sensuality, displayed in the lightness with which she sang the Habanera.

      Eraldo Martucci, Quotidiano di Puglia
    • Garnering huge applause in the First Night, the Spanish mezzo María José Montiel is currently one of the most acclaimed singers of Carmen.

      Giuseppe Pascali, La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno
    • 2012: February
    • Gala con concierto en la entrega del Premios Campoamor Mejor Cantante Femenina
    • María José Montiel got a standing ovation from the audience with the aria "Oh, mio Fernando", from La favorita,... she is a simply marvellous singer.

      Javier Neira, La Nueva España
    • 2012: January
    • Andrea Chénier (Giordano)
    • Maria José Montiel's touching Madelon was nicely understated.

      Moore Parker, The Opera Critic
    • 2011: December
    • Beethoven's Ninth Symphony
    • Maria Jose Montiel is outstanding in the quartet of soloists, the mezzo-soprano from Madrid has sung in all major Italian theaters receiving standing ovations, particularly for her performance of Carmen.

      Enrico Parola, Corriere della Sera
    • 2011: December
    • Stabat Mater (Dvorák)
    • Maria Jose Montiel, who has recently been proclaimed the best female singer of last season by Spanish critics, showed off the warmth of a very beautiful centre and intelligently resolved the difficulties posed by a part written more for contralto than mezzo.

      Gonzalo Alonso, La Razón
    • 2011: October
    • Recital. Piano: J. M. Colom
    • Montiel´s voice is in its prime, with a warm centre and powerful high notes, mezza voce, piano and filato were used with great musicality, generous and temperamental without ever going over the top and with such power to communicate that sparks were flying in the auditorium. We want to see and hear her more!

      Gonzalo Alonso, La Razón
    • 2011: July
    • Tríptic de Mosen Cinto by Joaquin Rodrigo
    • María José Montiel has a mezzo voice with character and sparkle, and she performed “El arpa sagrada” with deep emotion and “El violín de San Francesc” with popular musicality.

      Irina Lino, Kronen Zeitung
    • With great sensitivity and a full and enveloping sound María José Montiel sang with her powerful voice and great drama.

      Helmut Christian, Kleine Zeitung
    • 2011: June
    • Carmen (Bizet)
    • The mezzosoprano María José Montiel´s performance fulfilled the expectations of the most demanding members of the audience. Her mezzo voice with dark tints and a wide register, with incredible intonation and natural singing, made her character totally believable. Moreover, she has a very important quality: that of maintaining the strength, intensity and calibre throught her portrayal of the character which is pivotal to the whole opera.

      Jesús Sánchez-Ferragut, Diario Bahía de Cádiz
    • María José Montiel (Carmen) defended this familiar role very well, giving it strength and expressiveness thanks to her temperament and the richness of her tone, impregnating it with her natural charm on stage.

      Alejandro Pozo, Diario de Jerez
    • An impressive stage appearance and a thorough belief in the destiny of this woman on the part of the singer. Splendid throughout, her hard work yielded great results.

      German San Antonio, Mundoclasico.com
    • 2011: April
    • L'Atlàntida by Falla
    • María José Montiel was in great voice, full and extremely beautiful, well managed.

      Gonzalo Alonso, Beckmesser.com
    • 2011: January
    • Stabat Mater by Rossini
    • Warm tone, full, strikingly smooth.

      Arturo Reverter, Beckmesser.com
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