December 2009 - newsletter 11
MRM Artists success in the press
Stephan Loges - Oxford Lieder Festival
Stephan Loges, a late cover for illness, and pianist Roger Vignoles gave a searing account of Schumann’s Dichterliebe plus a selection of Wolf’s Mörike songs. This distinguished bass-baritone, whose stage manner is sober and unshowy, colours his voice with effortless pinpoint precision, calibrating emotion in every note, every breath, every silence. Having carelessly not registered him before, despite his appearance on several of John Eliot Gardiner’s Bach Cantata discs, I have now elevated him to my admittedly fickle and haphazard hall of fame.
Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian, 8 November, 2009
Karen Cargill - ROSSINI The Italian Girl in Algiers, Scottish Opera
The stellar performance of the buxom-and-proud mezzo Karen Cargill, a Scottish Marilyn Horne, pearly of tone and insouciant as she scampers up and down Rossini’s dizzying scales. She gives a larger-than-life performance in every sense, as an all-tits-and-teeth soap diva. She’s deliciously self-consciously vulgar, except when singing the notes: a genuine, home-grown prima donna.
Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times, 8 November, 2009
The lynchpin is Scottish mezzo Karen Cargill, an Italian girl to reckon with; voluptuous, stylish and funny, with a twinkle in the eye. The voice sounds rich and even and Cargill meets the role’s musical challenges with an insouciance that makes coloratura sound easy. She inhabits the stage as if she belongs there. What can Scottish opera give her next?
Andrew Clark, The Financial Times, 2, November 2009
…Scots mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill as Isabella…sang Per lui che adoro and Pensa alla patria with an assured elegance, and gamely acted the vamp.
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 27 October, 2009
An excellent cast is led by Karen Cargill in superb voice, suitably minxish as the eponymous girl.
Rowena Smith, The Guardian, 25 October, 2009
Andrew Foster-Williams - HANDEL Messiah Recording, Polyphony/Stephen Layton
Andrew Foster-Williams’ singing is marvellous. “Why do the nations” is thrillingly dispatched and he holds the listener in the palm of his hand as he confides, “Behold, I tell you a mystery.”
David Vickers, Gramophone
The most natural singing and enunciation comes from Andrew Foster-Williams. He releases a flow of sound on fine breath support, unimpeded by exaggerated consonants. One hears every syllable clearly, with his musical line smooth. He and Layton take “Why do the nations” swiftly, leaving no doubts about the furious raging: all done without ungainly huffing and puffing.
John T. Hughes, International Record Review
Edgaras Montvidas - DONIZETTI L'elisir d'amore, Scottish Opera
Montvidas seems perfect from the start: .....pleasing on the ear, and matched by touchingly earnest acting. His Una furtiva lagrima is done with a rare gracefulness rather than showboating histrionics.
Richard Morrison, Times on line, 25/09/09
Edgaras Montvidas brings to Nemorino a sympathetic fragility, with enough emotive power to evoke his ultimate triumph.
Ken Walton, Scotsman, 25/09/09
Strong performances cemented the success of the production; however the star of the evening was undoubtedly Edgaras Montvidas, whose Nemorino was sweetly earnest and beautifully sung.
Rowena Smith, The Guardian, 24 September 2009
Fflur Wyn - MASSENET Werther, Opera North
…and sparkling Fflur Wyn makes a heartfelt Sophie.
Lynne Walker, The Independent, 19 November 2009
…and (with) Fflur Wyn as a vivacious Sophie, this was a potent line-up.
Fiona Maddocks, The Observer, 4 October 2009
Flur Wyn is a touching, very teenage Sophie, fascinated yet scared by the adult world around her.
Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 28 September 2009
…Flur Wyn is the spirited Sophie. A memorable evening.
Andrew Clark, The Financial Times, 1 October 2009
Mark Padmore - SCHUBERT Winterreise recording with Paul Lewis
Everywhere, there is the sense of a great occasion, of two deeply thoughtful artists pushing each other ever onwards.
Gramophone Magazine, November 2009
Padmore’s singing of the gentler number has a poignant lyricism that is most affecting while in the wider songs there is a sense of hysteria only just under control…..The recording quality is of the highest order.
Michael Kennedy, Sunday Telegraph
the balance between voice and piano is exceptional, the interpretation bold and complex.
Anna Picard, Independent
Mr. Padmore’s rich voice illuminates the passion and mournful introspection of the lonely wanderer.
Vivian Schweitzer, The New York Times
MRM Artists forthcoming highlights
Ingela Bohlin is singing Drusilla L’incoronazione di Poppea at Theater an der Wien in a new Robert Carsen production.during January and February.
Karen Cargill will make her debut with the Nash Ensemble singing Falla at the Wigmore Hall, London in December and sings Berlioz La Mort de Cléopâtre with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Robin Ticciati. In February she returns to the SCO to sing Berlioz L’enfance du Christ, again with Robin Ticciati, and sings her first Mahler Symphony No 3 in Manchester with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and Vassily Sinaisky.
Marcus Farnsworth will give the opening recital of the monthly Oxford Lieder Festival series with Elizabeth Burgess on 30 January, and on February 14 with take part in Valentine’s Song with the Song Circle Royal Academy at the Wigmore Hall, London.
Andrew Foster-Williams will sing Messiah with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Paul Goodwin, and the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra and John Nelson in December, then in January he will sing further performances of Purcell The Fairy Queen at the Opéra Comique, Paris with Les Arts Florissants and William Christie.
Lukas Jakobski will sing the Herald in concert performances of Verdi Otello at The Barbican, London, with Sir Colin Davis and the London Symphony Orchestra in December, followed by performances of Messiah throughout Ireland with The Irish Baroque Orchestra and John Butt. In February Lukas will sing the role of Tall Englishman in Prokofieff The Gambler for The Royal Opera, Covent Garden.
Simon Lepper performs Schubert Schwanengesang in January with Christopher Purves at Opera North’s Howard Assembly Room, Leeds, and gives a recital with Patricia Bardon for Den Norske Opera in Oslo with music by Handel, Schubert and Brahms. In February he performs Spohr, Brahms and Schumann with Karen Cargill and Maximiliano Martin at the RSAMD, Glasgow and the Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh.
Sally Matthews sings in Haydn Creation with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Mark Elder at the Royal Festival Hall, London and in Poissy, France in December and in February will sing Fiordiligi Così fan Tutte for the Royal Opera, Covent Garden.
Edgaras Montvidas will sing Massenet Werther in Vilnius in December with the Lithuanian State Orchestra and in January and February will sing Tamino with the Opéra National de Bordeaux.
Jeremy Ovenden will sing Ferrando Così fan Tutte with Oper Frankfurt in February.
Mark Padmore gives performances of One Evening, an exploration of Schubert Winterreise by Katie Mitchell at Lincoln Center, New York in December, then in January sings Henze and Schumann with Andrew West at the Wigmore Hall, London, and tours the UK and Europe with the Britten Sinfonia giving thirteen performance of Britten Les Illuminations. In February Mark sings Evangelist and Arias in Bach St John Passion in Munich with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Ton Koopman.
Annalena Persson sings her first Chrysothemis in Strauss Elektra at La Monnaie, Brussels in January and in February her first performances of Mahler 8th Symphony in Australia with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and in New Zealand with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, both conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy.
Viktor Rud sings Schaunard La Bohème for Oper Leipzig in December and in February will sing Prosdociuto in Rossini Il Turco in Italia for Hamburg State Opera.
Andrew Tortise will perform Messiah with the Academy of Ancient Music and Richard Egarr in Spain, including Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona in December, and in January gives a recital at the Bruges Concertgebouw, including music of Britten, Dowland and Peter Maxwell Davies.
Thomas Walker has a busy December starting with Messiah in Cardiff for Welsh National Opera conducted by Harry Bicket followed by a programme of Bach cantatas at the Vienna Konzerthaus with Chorus Viennensis the Vienna Boys Choir and Gerald Wirth ending with a trip to Lisbon to sing in Haydn Creation with the Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa. In January he will sing in Britten War Requiem for the first time in Moscow with the Novaya Opera Choir and Orchestra and Jan Latham-Koenig.