Reviews

Máire Flavin


Soprano

 

Silent Night

Putz

Opera North

December 2018

 

"Máire Flavin is emotionally powerful as the visiting opera singer Anna Sørensen, who eventually crosses enemy lines" (George Hall, The Financial TImes)

 

"However unbelievable the presence of the operatic couple may be, you can’t fault the fervour with which Máire Flavin and Rupert Charlesworth depict these central figures" (RIchard Morrison, The Times)

 

"As Sprink’s lover, Anna Sørensen – the opera’s only woman – Máire Flavin made a rewarding shift from petulant diva to brave French captive." (Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian)

 

"Tim Albery directs the spectacle across the Town Hall’s platform with his customary clarity and economy, facilitating a clutch of excellent performances: Máire Flavin and Rupert Charlesworth as the operatic duo" (Ruperty Christiansen, The Telegraph)

 

"the vocal performances are of a high standard throughout. Rupert Charlesworth impresses as the German tenor with Máire Flavin making the most of his slightly histrionic girlfriend." (Alfred Hickling, The Guardian)

 

"The named characters are brought to vivid life by seasoned performers. Rupert Charlesworth and Máire Flavin sing beautifully as German opera singers who put their lives at risk by crossing enemy lines." (James Ballands, British Theatre Guide)

 

"Musically and dramatically, Silent Night packs a powerful emotional punch in the hands of Opera North’s accomplished cast led by Maire Flavin and Rupert Charlesworth as Anna Sorensen and Niklaus Sprink." (Geoffrey Mogridge, Ilkley Gazette)

 

"Flavin, who is given great opportunities to exercise her coloratura abilities, has just the right kind of benign charisma for the part." (bachtrack.com)

 

The Merry Widow

Lehar

Opera North

Autumn 2018

 

"Máire Flavin delivered a knowing Hanna with a fetching Irish brogue that rang true; her soprano was delightful, exquisitely so in her patriotic 'Vilja'." (Martin Dreyer, Opera magazine)

 

"Máire Flavin excels as Hanna, capturing the character's disarming mixture of elegance and working-class wit.  She has a luminous stage presence and her singing is delightful, particularly during her rendition of "Vilja-Lied"." (British Theatre Guide)

 

"Soprano Máire Flavin sings Hanna Glawari, the widow from the fictitious country of Pontevedra whose wealth is sought after by numerous would-be lovers. She has great poise and elegant presence as she is surrounded by predatory men on the make. Her warm voice hit the heights with precision and she sang the famous ‘Vilja-Lied’ with great emotional force." (Richard Wilcocks, Bachtrack)

 

"Máire Flavin shines as Hanna Glawari, aka the merry widow. Whenever Hanna lets her veneer of sophistication slip and reveals her country girl roots, Máire Flavin speaks in her native Irish accent which is a lovely touch and adds even more humour to her character. Her showstopper 'Vilja o Vilja' is given a beautifully sensitive rendition - definitely a case of less is more." (Elaine Annable, The Yorkshire Times)

 

"Maire Flavin is a rich-toned Glawari, also bold and showy in the uppermost register" (Edward Bhesania, The Stage)

 

"The widow, Countess Hanna Glawari, is sung beautifully by Maire Flavin.

The pairing of Flavin and de Lang works like a dream, and their voices mix in a sublime harmony." (Yorkshire Magazine)

 

Contessa d'Almaviva

Mozart

Irish National Opera

April 2018

 

"His put-upon wife has the hardest crosses to bear.  And it's the Countess of Máire Flavin who plucks most successfuly at the heartstrings. She delivers some of the opera's greatest moments with peaches and cream tone and melting sadness." (Michael Dervan, The Irish Times)

 

"Máire Flavin sings the Countess Almaviva, and her refined stage presence suits this part perfectly. By soprano alchemy, she manages to single-handedly alter the tone of proceedings from farcical to poignant." (The Irish Independent)

 

"Máire Flavin's beautiful countess started shakily in her notoriously exposed opening Cavatina, but warmed up to deliver a moving account of her big Act III aria." (The Sunday Times)

 

Hannah, The Second Violinist

Dennehy/Walsh

Wide Open Opera/Irish National Opera

July/September/October 2017

September 2018

 

"Sharon Carty as the conflicted wife Amy, Máire Flavin as her free spirited, former college lover Hannah, and Benedict Nelson as the murderous husband Matthew, are each superb. Singing from Carty, Flavin, and Nelson is also superb throughout" (Chris O'Rourke, The Arts Review)

 

"The trio of soloists perform excellently, bringing humour as they sing operatic vocals in everyday conversational English, commenting on shades of wall colours and their love of pizza and drinking, worlds apart from the classic librettos of centuries past." (Selina Begum, TheUpComing)

 

"There are allusions to Renaissance music (especially from the chorus) but mostly the score moves from shy lyricism to hyper-neurotic energy, and the vocal lines can be predictable. At least they are singable, and are relished here by the strong baritone Benedict Nelson (Martin), bright mezzo Sharon Carty (Amy) and warm soprano Márie Flavin (Hannah)." (John Allison, The Telegraph)

 

"The singing was done with plenty of spirit by Sharon Carty, Benedict Nelson and Maire Flavin, in between swigging wine, getting emotionally thwarted and, in one case, daubed with Hammer Horror blood. The spunky chorus needs mentioning too." (Geoff Brown, The Times)

 

"Thankfully, mezzo-soprano Sharon Carty, who plays Amy, and soprano Máire Flavin, who plays Hannah, add some class to an otherwise uninspired composition, but it’s such a shame that the words they sing are mostly insipid generalities." (Richard Maguire, The Reviews Hub)

 

"Filmed images drive the drama, matched by ethereal vocalisation for the three soloists, Sharon Carty, Máire Flavin and Benedict Nelson, and an onstage chorus of 16 singers." (Helen Meany, The Guardian)

 

Mimí, La bohème

Puccini

Iford Arts Festival

May/June 2017

 

"Irish soprano Màire Flavin is superbly cast in the role; conveying all the vulnerability of the character in their first scene together through strong acting and impeccable expression when she sings “Yes, they call me Mimì”." (Rebecca Lipkin, The Arbuturian)

 

Donna Anna, Don Giovanni

Mozart

Opera Theatre Company

Autumn 2016

 

"There was no doubting the appeal of Máire Flavin's Donna Anna and Tara Erraught's Donna Elvira, singers who flourish in the Mozartean balances and textures that conductor Fergus Sheil secures from the RTE Concert Orchestra." (Michael Dervan, The Irish Times)

 

"Vocally there were some very fine performances, from Tara Erraught as Elvira and Máire Flavin as Anna" (Ian Fox, Opera Magazine)

 

"Máire Flavin was a very convincing and perfectly cast Donna Anna, both visually and vocally, with a beautiful scenic presence, elegant poise and passionate interpretation." (Pia Maltri, bachtrack)

 

"Máire Flavin sings Donna Anna with pure tone and beautiful focus; tender, elegant and deeply moving." (Michael Lee, Goldenplec)

 

"Máire Flavin as Donna Anna carries the serious side of the story with a beautiful dignity" (Katy Hayes, The Irish Independent)

 

"The intensity of Máire Flavin's performance in the role of Donna Anna emphasised the element of pathos as the grieving daughter" (Cathy Desmond, The Irish Examiner)

 

Mimi, La Bohème

Puccini

Opera Theatre Company

Summer 2016

 

"Máire Flavin has a commanding stage presence, and she gave a moving performance of Mimí, beautifully sung." (Ian Fox, Opera Magazine)

 

"The leads are strongly taken: Máire Flavin is a multifaceted Mimi" (Michael Dervan, The Irish Times)

 

"Flavin excelled; her voice a force of nature that swept through the aisles." (Mel Clarke, Sunday Times)

 

"Máire Flavin makes an impressive role debut as Mimí, and her voice grows into the part as the evening progresses, bringing beautiful warmth of tone and affecting drama to the third and fourth acts." (Michael Lee, Goldenplec)

 

"Frail seamstress she may be, but there was nothing fragile about Máire Flavin's strong and clear-voiced Mimí" (Cathy Desmond, The Examiner)

 

 

Fiordiligi, Cosí fan tutte

Mozart

Opera North

Spring 2016

 

"The real discovery is Irish soprano Máire Flavin, who is resplendent as Fiordiligi.  Flavin has a perfectly proportioned Mozartian voice, with a glittering upper register that suggests she may be the next singer ready to graduate to greater things." (Alfred Hickling, The Guardian)

 

"It's a real ensemble effort, with Máire Flavin's peachily sung Fiordiligi the pick of the bunch." (Richard Morrison, The Times)

 

"Máire Flavin's perky Fiordiligi took the lead...Flavin was new to this house, and her vocal flexibility made a memorable impact." (Martin Dreyer, Opera Magazine)

 

"Fiordiligi...is demanding stuff and Máire Flavin superbly delivered what was required with great stage presence to boot.  Technically secure...this is surely a singer who is going places" (John Leeman, Seen and Heard International)

 

"Vocal honours in a cleanly sung performance go to company debutante Máire Flavin who sings Fiordiligi with great beauty and (when needed) emotional intensity." (Ron Simpson, The Examiner)

 

"Irish soprano Máire Flavin sang the role of Fiordiligi with consummate vocal poise and tonal richness. Clearly, Flavin is destined for a major international career." (Geoffrey Mogridge, Ilkley Gazette)

 

"In the cast Máire Flavin stands out in probably the piece's most difficult part, Fiordiligi, and her long aria Per pietà, damning her temptation and bemoaning the absence of Guglielmo, is utterly spell-binding." (Gareth Morgan, LeftLion.co.uk)

 

 

Soprano, Mahler's Second Symphony

Alan Buribayev - conductor

RTE National Symphony Orchestra

National Concert Hall, Dublin

October 2015

 

"He flung wide the gates so that emotion burst forth unimpeded like ecstatic GAA fans invading the pitch at Croke Park. If you were willing and open to it, the music on Friday might well have moved you. And if it did, it would have been due in no small measure to Buribayev’s heart-on-sleeve approach and to the fervent singing of soprano Máire Flavin and mezzo Patricia Bardon." (Michael Dungan, The Irish Times)

 

"For the conclusion of the symphony, conductor, orchestra, choir and soloists poured every ounce of energy and life into the music. The effect was beyond words; sublime, transcendental, awe-inspiring - as if the mind at last had understood the happiness of life after the great chasm of death." (Andrew Larkin, Bach track online)

 

"The entry of mezzo-soprano Patricia Bardon in the fourth movement is a breath-taking moment, matched only by the beauty of soprano Máire Flavin’s singing in the final movement." (Golden plec online)

 

Title Role - Agrippina

Irish Youth Opera and Northern Ireland Opera

Autumn 2015

 

"Soprano’s Anna Devin as the devious Poppea, and Máire Flavin as the scheming, duplicitous and ruthlessly ambitious Agrippina, each ready to employ their considerable sexual charms to seduce weak minded men to their bidding were riveting throughout. Vocally each deliver impeccable performances, with Flavin’s aria at the opening of Act Three being particularly noteworthy." (The Examiner)

 

"Máire Flavin’s compelling title character opens the drama as a slick operator, manipulating all around her with the aim of placing her spoiled teenage son Nerone (Rachel Kelly) on the imperial throne. Always a powerful presence on stage, Flavin easily projects the theatrical charisma that this role demands, along with beautifully-focused singing. The depth of her performance is felt most strongly in her second-act aria ‘Obsession why must you torment me’ [‘Pensieri, voi mi tormentate…’], with intensity making way for flashes of brittle vulnerability." (Golden Plec online)

 

"The cast  performs with an unrestrained energy that is more than matched by the Irish Chamber Orchestra, directed with fire from the harpsichord by Jonathan Cohen.  There’s nothing that Flavin and Devin won’t do as the manipulative Agrippina and Poppea.  It’s an evening to remember." (Michael Dervan, The Irish Times)

 

"Máire Flavin is terrific as the arch super-bitch Agrippina in killer heels and designer décolleté who schemes to advance her son to power." (Cathy Desmond, The Irish Examiner)

 

Second Lady - The Magic Flute

Welsh National Opera

Spring-Summer 2015

 

"Gorgeous of voice and sensual by nature are the Three Ladies (Camilla Roberts, Máire Flavin and Emma Carrington)" (Mike Smith, Wales Online)

 

"It was an evening that clearly set out to emphasise the comic pantomime elements rather than the more solemn masonic ones in the search for truth and wisdom. Key to this was Jacques Imbrailo‘s ultra South African Papageno who was excellent, as were the three ladies (Emma Carrington, Camilla Roberts and Máire Flavin)." (Geraint Davies, South Wales Argus)

 

"This was altogether a strong cast [the] three ladies (Camilla Roberts, Máire Flavin, Emma Carrington) equally attractive in tone, lifting their skirts to entice Tamino into breaking his vows and losing Pamina." (Mark Ronan reivews)

 

"The Three Ladies, led by a full-voiced Camilla Roberts, made short work of the lobster, and looked as if they were about to eat Tamino for breakfast." (Simon Rees, Bachtrack)

 

"The ensemble support was fine too: including the splendidly lascivious Three Ladies" (Norman Stinchcombe, Birmingham Post)

 

Tisbe - La Cenerentola

Scottish Opera

Autumn 2014

 

"Best are the three women. Rebecca Bottone and Máire Flavin sing nimbly and have fun as the stepsisters, all swivelling hips and mouths agog." (Kate Molleson, The Guardian)

 

"Rebecca Bottone and Máire Flavin supply good comic foil as sisters who opt for humble pie rather than starvation." (John Allison, The Telegraph)

 

"The cast rejoices in two fine ugly sisters (Rebecca Bottone and Máire Flavin)" (Fiona Maddocks, The Observer)

 

"Rebecca Bottone and Máire Flavin made a spry pair of wild-haired jealous sisters, their voices blending together in their anxiety to win over their hearts' desire and improve their station" (Ken Dundas, Bachtrack)

 

"Sandrine Anglade's interpretation plays up to the pantomime traditions of the story, and she is well served by the performances of Rebecca Bottone and Máire Flavin as the far-from-ugly sisters." (Keith Bruce, The Herald Scotland)

 

"Rebecca Bottone and Máire Flavin gave it their all as dance- and image-obsessed ugly sisters Clorinda and Tisbe but stopped well short of pantomime excess – as did Anglade’s production overall, cheeky witty and perceptive, but always with taste and a sense of compassion." (David Kettle, The Scotsman)

 

"Anglade’s clear storytelling is full of light touches and comic asides, which add to and complement the music…[including] the fiery vocal flounces of Rebecca Bottone and Máire Flavin as stepsisters Clorinda and Tisbe" (Thom Didbin, The Stage)

 

"Rebecca Bottone and Máire Flavin make a suitably pouting and preening pair of (actually far from) ugly sisters" (Richard Morrison, The Times)

 

Emmy - Der Vampyr (Marschner)

Everyman Theatre and Cork Operatic Society

June 2014

 

"Such thrilling contrasts are like the composer’s signature, perhaps at their best when Máire Flavin’s Emmy recounts the story of a lost girl, her phrasing heightening Marschner’s habit of relating pastoral imagery to the supernatural." (Mary Leland, The Irish Times)

 

"The lyrical and honeyed voices of Máire Flavin and Emma Nash, among a strong cast of soloists…combined to make this another highly polished opera from the Everyman, which brought the audience to its feet for a standing ovation last night." (Liam Heylin Cork Echo)

 

"This was a superb production, with not a wasted moment, right to the final shock, which drew an audible shriek from some of the attendees at the Everyman.  For voices, for music, for setting — and, yes, for horrors aplenty and shivers up the spine — you won’t do better than Der Vampyr." (Jo Kerrigan, Irish Examiner)

 

"Ground-breaking and impressive…his three victims were splendid, Máire Flavin, Emma Nash and Kim Sheehan" (Ian Fox, Opera Magazine)

 

"Hrólfur Saemundsson was joined by an equally excellent set of principals…[including] Máire Flavin’s sultry Emmy.  All three female lead vocalists had clarity, beauty and individuality in their voices…they each managed to create stand out moments, whether it was Nash’s wonderful physicality in her seduction, Flavin’s brilliantly performed (and choreographed) song about vampire lore, or Sheehan’s portrayal of fear and frustration in the Hail Davenaut number, they all showed evidence of exceptional talent." (Chris Bennett, Insert Title)

 

Opera Highlights

Scottish Opera, 2014

 

"The trick, of course, is to piece this musical miscellany smoothly and dynamically together, achieved here with complete lack of fuss and pretension.  Full marks to the young singers...who gel like a team who've been together all their lives.  [They] take us beyond usual operatic expectations. Never a dull moment." (Ken Walton, The Scotsman)

 

"The thrill of hearing even one operatic voice up close is exciting, and here four evenly matched voices produced a tremendous sound in the hall...it was particularly interesting to compare the two Musetta waltzes, Puccini's performed with appropriate "bad girl" delight by Sarah Power and Leoncavallo's more sinuous approach in a powerful performance by Máire Flavin." (David Smythe, Bachtrack)

 

 Nancy - Albert Herring

Mid Wales Opera, 2013

 

"Máire Flavin was an expressive and often touching Nancy" (Rian Evans, Opera Magazine)

 

"Máire Flavin [was] outstanding...as an appealing Nancy [and had] more emotion in her character than in all the rest of the characters put together" (Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post)

 

"It's a marvellous presentation by a superbly adaptable cast...[who all] excel themselves" (Nigel Jarrett, South Wales Argus)

 

4*Times review "a top drawer show...Matthew Sprange's Sid and Máire Flavin's Nancy, both excellent" (Neil Fisher, The Times)

 

4* Telegraph review "Mid Wales Opera[s] version is freshly imaginative, bracingly sharp-edged and a lot of fun...the cast forms a strong team" (Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph)

 

Dido - Dido & Aeneas

Atelier Lyrique de Tourcoing, 2012

 

"...une decouverte pour les publics de la région, la non moins jeune mezzo Irlandaise Máire Flavin dans le role de la reine Didon...elle a littéralement pétrifié le public.  Sans doute quelques spectateurs...n'ont-ils pu retenir quelques larmes.  Ovation pour ce concert" (Jean-Marie Duhamel, La Voix du Nord)

 

[…a discovery for the people of the region, the also young Irish mezzo, Máire Flavin in the role of the queen Dido…she literally struck the public dumb.  Without doubt, some spectators could not but let tears fall. An ovation for this concert.]

 

Dorabella - Cosí fan tutte

Welsh National Opera, 2012

 

"Máire Flavin...in the role of Dorabella, was outstanding, and the aria Smanie implacabili was delivered with a great deal of force." (www.manchestersalon.co.uk)

 

"Maire Flavin dropped into Dorabella with flair and a voice which found no difficulty with Mozart’s demands." (www.larkreview.co.uk)

 

"Dorabella...was taken on with flawless aplomb by Maire Flavin, who was equally beautiful and believable – you would never have known that she wasn’t an original member of the ensemble if you hadn’t been told." (Andrea Hopkins, www.dailyinfo.co.uk)

 

Jacinthe - Gretry's L'amant jaloux

Bampton Classical Opera, 2012

 

"Máire Flavin not only sang beautifully but was also richly comic as a savvy maid from across the Irish Sea in the Grétry." (Rodney Mills, Opera Magazine)

 

"Máire Flavin was excellent as the feisty maid, Jacinthe." (Claire Seymour, Opera Today)

 

"Máire Flavin performed the regulation lippy maid with feisty charm" (Robert Thicknesse, The Oxford Times)

 

Musetta - La Boheme

Lyric Opera Ireland, 2012

 

"Rising Irish star Máire Flavin takes the role of Musetta...and looks set for great success on the opera stage." (www.entertainment.ie)

 

Public Opinion - Orpheus in the Underworld

Scottish Opera and Northern Ireland Opera, 2011

 

"The other stand-out performance of the evening is that of Dublin mezzo-soprano Máire Flavin in the role of Public Opinion. It's a formidably school-marmish piece of character acting…It's mainly a speaking part, but Flavin unleashes a ripe, powerful stream of mezzo tone when the opportunity presents itself." (Terry Blain, Irish Theatre Magazine, 2011)

 

"Mezzo Máire Flavin Ireland's representative in this year's Cardiff Competition, revealed a different side of her character as the pompous Public Opinion, more speaking than singing, but a commanding presence in both." (David Byers, The Irish Times)

 

"Public Opinion [was] played with whilrwind energy by Máire Flavin" (Michael Church, The Independent)

 

Tisbe - La Cenerentola

Clonter Opera, 2010

 

"the two sisters (Eva Ganizate as Clorinda and Máire Flavin as Tisbe) not only sang brilliantly but worked together, to superb comic – and sometimes near-shockingly nasty – effect. That was a remarkable achievement." (Robert Beale, Citylife.co.uk)

 

Chérubin - Massenet's Chérubin

Guildhall School of Music and Drama, 2010

 

"Máire Flavin - at once dreamer, dueller and dunce as the randy hero… utterly winning as all three. With her fluttery vibrato, juicy high notes, and a wonderfully idiomatic way with Massenet’s lilting phrases, here’s a star in the making.” (Neil Fisher, The Times)

 

"Máire Flavin, in the title role, is one of the most successful in a trouser-role that I have ever seen. She looks a perfect ringer for a young man in uniform, and has a wonderful voice to match." (Nick Breckenfield, Classicalsource.com)

 

"Irish mezzo-soprano Máire Flavin was splendid in both her singing and her characterisation, really convincing as a teenager, easily distracted by the next bit of skirt to go past, infatuated with even the word ‘woman’. Dressed in RAF officer’s uniform, she strutted around the stage, hands in pockets, full of pent-up testosterone. Her voice, so impressive as Aurelio in L’assedio di Calais in the autumn, was even finer here…Flavin’s French diction was faultless, her acting convincing in the teenager’s awkwardness, frustration and lust for life." (Mark Pullinger, Opera Brittania)