Acis & Galatea at Confidencen, 2019

Bo Löfvendahl in Svenska Dagbladet writes in “Two hours of pure joy – absolutely world class”

“This is a performance at the highest level musically – two hours of pure joy. Everything is steered with driving energy and light touch by Olof Boman, who under the name Confidencen Opera & Music Festival Orchestra has gathered a dozen of Swedens best baroque musicians.”

“With his fine phrasing, Staffan Liljas binds together the wild melodic jumps of his Polyphemos and gives the evil villain human sensibilities.”

Loretta Villalobos in Expressen writes in “A trip worth the trouble when Confidencen performs Händel”

“If you look apart from the beautiful scene changes of the rococo theatre and the imaginative costumes, in the end this performance is a feast of song and music all the way – not least thanks to the well balanced precision with which Olof Boman leads the Confidencen Opera & Music Festival Orchestra.”

“Staffan Liljas as Polyphemus is the only one who produces real acting, and where it might have devolved into flamboyant evil, it remains on course due to his stage presence.”

Bodil Hasselgren in Tidskriften Opera writes in issue 4 2019
“Here the stage director Tine Topsøe has used the historic theatre and the beautifully painted set pieces to highlight the pastoral aspects of Handels opera.”

“Olof Boman leads the Confidencen baroque orchestra with steady hand, lending it a simultaneously transparent and weightless sound suitable to the piece.”

“Polyphemus – who in Topsøe’s interpretation is a cast out figure turning his sorrow into aggressive malice – is performed solidly and with feeling by Staffan Liljas, who has the most stage presence of them all.”

Björn Gustavsson in Dalarnas Tidningar writes in “Distanced staging and clarity – Händel in two premieres”

“It is a staging of the rare type where everything works and where you notice how everyone, both on stage and in the orchestra, are driven by a common inspiration. The performance of about two hours is simply put hauntingly good: a shimmering water color filled with clarity, precision and luster.”

“The jealous Polyphemus (bass Staffan Liljas, here better than ever) becomes a Scarpia-like prince of darkness and kills his rival.”

Henry Larsson in Capriccio writes in “Colourful Handel at newly started Confidencen Opera & Music Festival”

“The fine bass Staffan Liljas gives the rogue Polyphemus elements of dreadfulness – a monster in the saga – and rages his scorned love with virtuosity in the aria I rage – I melt – I burn!”

Der Vampyr at Läckö castle, 2018

Niklas Smith in Seen and Heard International writes in “A Thrilling Night With The Vampire In Läckö”

“Staffan Liljas played Malwina’s father Davenaut, who at first appears avuncular if vain, but becomes an old-fashioned patriarch when Malwina rejects his plan to marry her to the Earl of Marsden (Ruthven in disguise) before midnight and has the audacity to announce that she loves Aubry, a young knight with little money or snob appeal. Mr Liljas’ sonorous bass sounded the part whether he was a genial host or enraged head of the family.”

Bo Löfvendahl in Svenska Dagbladet writes in “200 year old vampire is resurrected – full of life”

“It is hard to imagine a more ideal place for a ghost story than the court yard at Läckö castle, perched on top of a windblown cliff overlooking lake Vänern. When twilight sets in, the eery feeling creeps closer: this evening amplified by hissing black shadows and a vampire with long pointed nails eagerly licking his lips.”

“Staffan Liljas [presents] a beautifully sung father figure”

Vivier’s Journal, Konserthuset, 16 maj 2018

Camilla Lundberg in Dagens Nyheter writes in “Top Marks. Wonderfully dynamic performance when Claude Vivier finally arrives in Sweden”

“With travels to Bali and Iran, with readings of the Bible, Pinocchio and Lewis Carrol, in 1977, Vivier composed a sometimes extatic, sometimes drastic diary in the grand choir piece ‘Journal’. Four vocal soloists and percussion evokes something of a lithurgical ritual; steeped in asian spirituality but also punctuated by absurd notions from Alice Through the Looking Glass.

Reine Brynolfssons wonderfully dynamic manual is juxtaposed against the wonderfully pure timbre of the Eric Ericsons Chamber Choir, capped off by the four star soloists – clear as a starry night in the ecstatic final’s invocation to a unattainable cosmic love.”

Erik Wallrup in Svenska Dagbladet writes in “Murdered composer revived with fragility”

“Brilliant – especially as the more significant approaches toward the new music seldom occur outside the walled-off gardens of the festivals.”

“The solo quartet was excellent”

Madama Butterfly, Skånska Operan, 2017

Kjell A Johansson in Kristianstadsbladet writes in “Puccini a Success at Bäckaskog”:

Staffan Liljas in the role of the American Consul of Nagasaki acts as a communications link between the couple. The soloists diction is good overall, but Staffan Liljas does not allow you to miss a single consonant.

Of all the Skånska Operan productions I have seen, and there are many, I think this “Madama Butterfly” is the one that has made the deepest impression on me.

Lars-Erik Larsson in Skånska Dagbladet writes in “A Butterfly with many qualities”:

As an audience member one is drawn into their feelings and engaged in the story. It is fine acting and well thought-through direction.

Ligetiland, Folkoperan, 2016

Bo Löfvendahl in Svenska Dagbladet writes in “Success when Folkoperan frolics in Ligeti’s World”

“‘Aventure’ for three voices becomes a complete miniature opera, where Staffan Liljas and Maria Sanner join Alexandra Büchel on stage. Reclined in lounge-chairs they enact a whole movie of reactions, with great vivacity and skill.”