A Midsummer Night's Dream
English Touring Opera
"A Cleopatra to die for"
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph
“A Cleopatra to die for – Without a doubt, however, the show’s star is Soraya Mafi, whose beguiling Cleopatra melts hearts in “Giusto ciel” and “Piangero la sorte mia” before dazzling us with “Da tempeste il legno infranto”. Her voice is diamantine in projection, perfectly in tune, easy with the coloratura and happy to frolic high above the stave. When Mafi is singing, we get lift off.”
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 06 October 2017
"The star turn is Soraya Mafi as the Egyptian queen, Handel’s “immortal sex kitten”, as Winton Dean put it. She sings all eight of her sublime and witty arias with an immaculate, instrumental clarity, bravura and emotional expressiveness...she is a budding Handelian of the highest calibre and a captivating performer."
Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times, 15 October 2017
“Mafi, her tone silvery yet sensuous, is a comparably outstanding Cleopatra; Se Pietà is particularly exquisite – one of the advantages of the overlapping material is that we get to hear her sing it twice.”
Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 09 October 2017
“Soraya Mafi as sparkling, opportunistic Cleopatra, affecting in her arias”
Neil Fisher, The Times, 06 October 2017
Soraya Mafi’s Cleopatra charts Handel’s delicate but ornate lines with skill”
George Hall, The Stage, 05 October 2017
Soraya Mafi’s quick-witted, piquant Cleopatra — revealing unexpected depths in both ‘Se pietà’ and ‘Piangerò’ — and Catherine Carby’s Cornelia, stoic and quietly ferocious, to Kitty Whately’s traumatised Sesto. If Christopher Ainslie’s Cesare (efficiently, if a little mono-chromatically sung) remains a cipher, it only serves to tip the opera’s sensitive power dynamic further in favour of this irresistible Cleopatra.
Alexandra Coghlan, The Spectator, 14 October 2017
“Soraya Mafi’s Cleopatra is one of dainty, coquettish charm, rather than flashy, blazing virtuosity, and there is almost a fragile delicacy in the roulades of her and Ainslie’s ornamentations for their concluding duet, which is moving to hear.”
Curtis Roger, Classicalsource, 07 October 2017
“…the standout performance comes from Soraya Mafi as Cleopatra. Displaying a sweet and strong soprano, she effortlessly meets of all the part’s considerable vocal demands, and radiates real presence and allure.”
Sam Smith, MusicOHM, 07 October 2017
“Soraya Mafi, dazzling as Cleopatra, was heartbreakingly beautiful in “Piangerò la sorte mia”, while her duet with Christopher Ainslie’s Caesar, “Caro! – Bella! – Più amabile beltà” is mesmerising…I could, to be fair, have listened to Mafi’s devastating “Se pietà” another hundred times without complaint”
Olivia Bell, Bachtrack, 09 October 2017
“English Touring Opera has assembled an outstanding cast for this prestige production, dominated by a performance from Soraya Mafi as Cleopatra that verges on the divine…Astounding highlights (among too many to mention) included Mafi’s third-act showpieces “Piangerò” and “Da tempeste”
Mark Valencia, What’s on Stage, 09 October 2017