“In addition, Thursday’s performance was the Met debut of the brilliant Finnish conductor Susanna Malkki, who becomes, amazingly, only the fourth woman to take the podium in the company’s history … This production is lucky to have the impressive Ms. Malkki conducting. All the modernist sonorities and layered strands in this dense, complex music come through. She is excellent at animating the buzzing, frenetic riffs and fleeting ostinatos that ripple through the score. It was only last year that this charismatic conductor, then 46, made her auspicious New York Philharmonic debut. The Met must have her back as often as possible.”

Anthony Tommasini – The New York Times

“The excellent Susanna Mälkki made her Met debut in the pit. Unlike most opening nights, there was never a hint of dispute with tempos between singers and orchestra, and the conducting revealed every detail in the score and maintained impeccable balances within the orchestra and with the singers. The Finnish conductor was received as rapturously by the audience as the singers …”

George Grella – New York Classical Review

” This dynamism was front and center, expressed musically by the superb Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, under the expert leadership of Susanna Mälkki in her house debut. (This, too, was a milestone in the breaking of glass ceilings—she is only the fourth woman to conduct at the Met.)”

Heidi Waleson – The Wall Street Journal

“… musical standards remained lofty. Susanna Mälkki, making her house debut, conducted with verve that never precluded accuracy …”

Martin Bernheimer – Financial Times

“Nothing would kill this opera deader than a clumsy conductor; fortunately, Saariaho’s fellow Finn Susanna Mälkki summons the score’s swells and undertows with Poseidon-like powers. In this first Met engagement — as in her New York Philharmonic debut last year — she proves herself an indispensable marvel, drawing clarity and brilliance from the score’s complexities.”

Justin Davidson – Vulture

“That the Met orchestra, which sometimes tends toward the bombastic, played throughout with such delicacy indicates that conductor Susanna Mälkki has both exquisite taste and a phenomenal sense of control. In lesser hands this piece might end up as diffuse as a dish of lukewarm Jell-O, but Mälkki made everything cohere into a web of precise gossamer.”

James Jorden – Observer