As Lucia "Lucia di Lammermoor" (Festival Lyrique-en-Mer, August 2019):

 

"The Maltese soprano Nicola Said embodies the accursed Lucia and gradually builds the tilt of her character to madness. The singer proposes a woman at once fragile, spontaneous and touching. The multiplicity of expressions is also found in the brilliant voice, powerful, agile, sharp treble. The effects "delirious" (trills, superacute) are dosed so as not to dilute the tragic essence of the character. The voice gradually becomes lighter (end of Act 2 and Act 3) as if to denote its moral transfiguration."

Véronique Boudier, Olyrix, August 2019

"The applause and applause have long resonated, reflecting the enthusiasm and emotional intensity felt in front of the artistic quality of this creation is served by exceptional voices, including that of soprano Nicola Said, who literally embodies Lucia. From end to end, she carries this particularly demanding opera role. The Ensemble she forms with its male partners is serving with strength this tragic love story, behind which is the political story of a totalitarian system that false human relations."

The telegram, August 2019

"The young Maltese soprano Nicola Said is an amazing Lucia: unity of the registers, richness of the timbre, highs sovereigns, vocalizations soft and easy...a deeply moving performance. The actress is no less touching than the singer, making credible the misguidance of the young woman torn between duty and feelings."

Tania Bracq, Forum Opera, August 2019

As Maria "City of Humanity" (Reuben Pace, Mediterranean Conference Centre, November 2018):

“Pace, who clearly knows how to write for voices, seemed to find his muse in the succulent, soaring soprano of Nicola Said and her compassionate character Maria”

Yehuda Shapiro, Opera Magazine, March 2019

"Excelente la María de la maltesa residente en Londres Nicola Said"

Gonzalo Pérez Chamorro, Ritmo Magazine, November 2018

As Lucia " Lucia di Lammermoor" (Fulham Opera,  Arcola Theatre/Grimeborn Festival, August 2018):

"Said made an appealing and rather sparky Lucia, at first quite together yet very much a live wire. In her opening solo, she revealed a finely vibrant voice which coped admirably with the tessitura. Technically strong, she was also a neat stylist and throughout the evening there was much to enjoy. In her solo in Act Two, with Said singing at a quieter, less vibrant level, there was great beauty too. Of course, everyone was waiting for the Mad Scene and Said did not disappoint. This was a very traditional version, rather than one of the modern editions, and Said included all of the ultra-high notes. She has all these, but I felt that she might want to investigate some of the modern editions. What I liked about the Mad Scene was that it felt all of a piece with the opera, rather than Said's party piece. This was very much Lucia as drama, and that helped enormously."

Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill, August 2018

"Nicola Said seems a delightful singer with her laser-bright top notes and hers was a nuanced, tensely eerie – and very bloody – ‘Mad Scene’. She had by this point elicited much sympathy for her plight especially in our current #MeToo world."

Jim Pritchard, Seen and Heard International, August 2018

"Nicola Said’s Lucia copes with Donizetti’s challenging soprano writing, producing a ravishing “Egli è luce ai giorni miei”, the very image of a headstrong teenager in love, and a musically lyrical Mad Scene; Said’s Lucia is a lost little girl in a vortex of male vendetta, a not unjustified interpretation."

Charlotte Valori, TheatreCat.com, August 2018

As Lucia " Lucia di Lammermoor" (Fulham Opera, November 2017):

"The Lucia of Nicola Said was no fragile creature, but a spontaneous young woman. By the time she entered for her Mad Scene, wielding a large knife and wearing her husband’s bloodied dress shirt, she seemed genuinely deranged and dangerous.  Lyrical and sensuous of timbre…her staccatos were brilliant and the highest notes full-toned and integrated with the rest of her voice. 

Yehuda Shapiro, Opera Magazine, February 2018

As La Charmeuse "Thaïs" (Chelsea Opera Group, Cadogan Hall, June 2018)

"In her turn as La Charmeuse, Nicola Said spun enticingly juicy coloratura."

Yehuda Shapiro, Opera Magazine, September 2018

As Ariane "Ariane" (Guildhall School, June 2016):

 

"Stealing the show was the Ariadne of Nicola Said (currently a student of Yvonne Kenny). The pathos of her final aria was little short of magnificent, and she entered into the spirit of Callas perfectly. Bright-toned and expressive, and blessed with excellent stage presence, she captured our hearts."

Colin Clarke, Classical Source, June 2016

"Nicola Said’s Ariane was technically capable; the role demands great flexibility and ease at the top of the voice which Said generally met with aplomb...Her lament was sung movingly and there were some really striking diminuendi that were used to great dramatic effect."

Dominic Lowe, Bachtrack, June 2016

As Lucia "The Rape of Lucretia" (Guildhall School, February 2016):

 

"The maid Lucia’s high, bright vocal line is always a surprise, and Nicola Said floated it with purity and a hint of mischief, which contrasted well with the warmth and authority of Elizabeth Lynch’s Bianca."

Peter Reed, Classical Source, February 2016

 

"Nicola Said is irresistibly engaging, even cute as the sweet young maid Lucia, brightly unaware of the tragedy around her."

Charlotte Valori, Bachtrack, February 2016

 

 

As Rosaura "Le Donne Curiose" (Guildhall School, November 2015):


"Nicola Said demonstrated a creamy tone complemented by a strong low register, and she commanded attention...During their expression of devotion...the singers conveyed a candour which aroused our own empathy."

Claire Seymour, Opera Today, November 2015
 
"A number of voices to watch nevertheless register, including Thomas Atkins’s Florindo, Milan Siljanov’s Arlecchino, Bethan Langford’s Beatrice and Nicola Said’s Rosaura."

George Hall, The Guardian, November 2015
 
"Matching that theatrical flair is admirably idiomatic singing from the student cast, none better than Nicola Said and Thomas Atkins as the out-of-sorts young lovers."

Richard Morrison, The Times, November 2015
 
"For young minx Rosaura (soprano Nicola Said) it has to be womanising...As the unmarried daughter, she has the most to lose, and plays mercilessly on the affections of hapless young Florindo (latin-toned New Zealander Thomas Atkins) until he hands over his key. Though Said began with a slightly harsh edge, her performance warmed up impressively, petulance turning to persuasive sweetness, she and Atkins providing the touching dramatic heart of the piece."

Helen Wallace, Classical Music (BBC Music Magazine), November 2015
 

 

As Zerbinetta "Ariadne aux Naxos" (Opera Project/West Green House Opera, August 2015):


"Decked out in a sparkling headdress, Nicola Said looked perfect as Zerbinetta and she brought warmth - not just glitter - to all the notes that Strauss lavished on the role. Though she needed to impose firmer definition on both musical lines and the text, she contended astonishingly well with the pitter-pat of her male colleagues' feet as they shadowed her moves in her big cadenza. Fortunately - and contrary to Zerbinetta's claims - in no way did each step render her dumb."

Yehuda Shapiro, Opera Magazine, October 2015
 
"The singing  stands out with three performances proving overwhelming. Nicola Said as Zerbinetta is possessed of a clear but agile soprano, with her various high and low notes here proving to be responses to the tactile advances of the players."

Sam Smith, MusicOMH, August 2015
 
"If future seasons are at the level of this Ariadne auf Naxos which closed this year’s festival, then the other major country-house outfits – the Three Gs (Glyndebourne, Garsington and Grange Park) – had better look to their laurels....  Maltese soprano Nicola Said gave a sweet performance as Zerbinetta.... Her top Ds had delightful ping."

Warwick Thompson, Classical Source, August 2015
 

 


“A true rising star who already has that glamorous appeal peculiar to sopranos. She has all the above qualities as well, and her striking bravura is there too, of a different kind. Throughout her performance, it was as if she were deliberately playing with those devilishly difficult runs and throwing them to the wind almost with a shrug. She did all that when she sang Mozart’s Dal tuo gentil sembiante, from Ascanio in Alba. All done with a heady mix of grace and power, with a superbly beautiful, crystalline voice that provoked shouts of “bravo!” and my lone “brava!”

Albert G. Storace on Le Siècle des Lumières, Sunday Times of Malta, August 2013
 
“Said is star material: presence, looks, interpretation and technique. She also sings with her eyes and supple movements sailing along as the conniving Norina in Quel guardo, il cavaliere... So anch’io la virtù magica from Donizetti’s Don Pasquale; the coquette in Non, je ne veux pas chanter from Isouard’s Le billet de loterie with its touch of virtuoso coloratura…More of the latter came in the wondrous plaintiveness of O, quante volte from Bellini’s I Capuleti e I Montecchi: pure bel canto crowned by a lovely clarity of tone, and in Deh vieni, non tardar from Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, sang with all the ardour of young love.”

Albert Storace on Spotlight Concert: Grand Tour of Europe. Times of Malta, March 2013
 
“Ms. Said, brimming with self-confidence and showing a remarkable stage presence (those who know her well can verify that even as a very young child she had always shown a great love for music and performing), impressed the audience with her interpretation of mainly romantic music well-suited to her light coloratura soprano. Her high notes were clear and in tune...Ms. Said has clearly shown that she will eventually become a top-notch opera singer!”

Joyce Guillamier on An Enchanted Evening, Sunday Times of Malta, January 2011

© Nicola Said 2015-2019