Miles Mykkanen was a knockout as Lensky. The Russian language brought out a squillante quality in his tenor, thrilling to hear in the confines of the Willson Theater. The lyric intensity of his singing made each moment count, and the duel-scene aria was a stretch of sheer vocal gold.
Opera News, Fred Cohn
Palm Beach Opera has fielded a dream cast that does full justice to Bernstein’s memorable melodies. In the title role, Miles Mykkanen’s boyish demeanor, dulcet lyric tenor and reserves of vocal power and stamina perfectly embodied the naive protagonist. Mykkanen actually made one believe that Candide could endure war, poverty and the death and enslavement of friends and lovers and still remain optimistic. His sheer theatrical aplomb almost overshadows his subtle vocal artistry. He movingly captured the pathos of “It Must Be So” and “Is This All Then?” Mykkanen’s English diction was absolutely clear, whether singing or in spoken dialogue.”
South Florida Classical Review, Lawrence Budmen
Miles Mykkanen has garnered recognition on the world’s concert and operatic stages for his “focused, full-voiced tenor” (The New York Times). Of his performances in Eugene Onegin at the Juilliard School, Opera News wrote, “Mykkanen was a knockout as Lensky. The lyric intensity of his singing made each moment count, and the duel- scene aria was a stretch of sheer vocal gold.”
The 2017-18 season sees Mr. Mykkanen performing the title role of Bernstein’s Candide with the Arizona Opera and Palm Beach Opera and Peter Quint in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw for Opera Columbus in a new production by Stephen Wadsworth. The music of Stravinsky serves the tenor’s debut at the Canadian Opera Company in Robert Lepage’s The Nightingale and Other Short Fables. On the concert stage he is heard in performances of Handel’s Messiah with the New Jersey Symphony and Indianapolis Symphony, in concert performances of Verdi’s Otello with Robert Spano leading the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and in Bernstein’s Songfest with his frequent collaborators, Steven Blier, Michael Barrett, and the New York Festival of Song. The tenor makes his New York Philharmonic debut in a program of highlights from West Side Story conducted by Leonard Slatkin and joins the Bard Music Festival for performances of Moniuszko’s Halka and Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette with Leon Botstein conducting the American Symphony Orchestra.Read More
Last season Miles Mykkanen sang Belmonte in Opera Columbus’ new production of Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Tichon in Janáček’s Káťa Kabanová in a new Stephen Wadsworth production at Juilliard conducted by Anne Manson, Candide in a fully staged production with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, and joined the world premiere cast of Kept: A Ghost Story by Kristin Kuster and Megan Levad in a presentation at the Virginia Arts Festival conducted by JoAnn Falletta. On the concert stage he bowed in Handel’s Messiah with the St. Thomas Church 5th Avenue Choir of Men and Boys and Concert Royal, Mozart’s Requiem with the Sarasota Orchestra, and in recital programs under the auspices of the New York Festival of Song. The tenor spent the summer at the Marlboro Music Festival where his performances spanned from song of Brahms and Britten to chamber music of Brett Dean with distinguished guest artists Paul Lewis, Mitsuko Uchida, Roger Vignoles, and many others.
Mr. Mykkanen’s opera credits include championing new work in addition to leading roles drawn from the classic repertoire. He gave the world premiere of Matthew Aucoin’s Crossing at the American Repertory Theatre directed by Diane Paulus and Opera News wrote, “Miles Mykkanen’s work was especially distinctive: his burnished high tenor seemed like the organizing principle around which the other voices cohered.” He was involved in the world premieres of Ricky Ian Gordon’s Twenty-Seven and Jack Perla’s Shalimar the Clown. Other operatic highlights include performances of Die Zauberflöte, Eugene Onegin, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Ariadne auf Naxos, Les mamelles de Tirésias, La traviata, Le nozze di Figaro, La finta giardiniera, Der Kaiser von Atlantis, The Cunning Little Vixen, Dialogues of the Carmelites, Le donne curiose, A Hand of Bridge, and Down in the Valley. The tenor has sung with Wolf Trap Opera Company and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, in recital at Carnegie Hall and at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, and in concert with Juilliard415, the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, New World Symphony, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and with members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
PBS Great Performances produced a documentary of Renée Fleming’s American Voices festival in 2015, featuring Miles Mykkanen in a master class with Tony Award-winner Sutton Foster. He also was seen on Medici.tv in Juilliard’s live-stream master classes with Renée Fleming, Fabio Luisi, and Emmanuel Villaume, respectively. The tenor is a youngARTS Gold winner and the recipient of prizes from the Sullivan Foundation, Toulmin Foundation, Novick Career Advancement Grant, and Juilliard’s Joseph W. Polisi Award. Recently graduated from The Juilliard School with an Artist Diploma in Opera Studies, Miles Mykkanen earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from the school under the tutelage of Cynthia Hoffmann.
Bill Palant, Étude Arts
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