Maxine Robertson Management

September 2013 - newsletter 26





Claudia Huckle - Success at Plácido Domingo's Operalia, 2013
At the international singing competition in Verona, on August 25, contralto Claudia Huckle won the Birgit Nilsson Remembrance Award, the first female recipient, for the singing of Wagner and Strauss. The jury included: Peter Katona (Royal Opera, Covent Garden), Jonathan Friend (Metropolitan Opera, New York), Dominique Meyer, (Vienna State Opera), Joan Matabosch (Gran Teatro del Liceu, Barcelona) and Ilias Tzempetonidis (La Scala, Milan).

This Autumn Claudia will sing the title role in Britten The Rape of Lucretia in a new production by Fiona Shaw for Glyndebourne Tour, throughout the UK during October and November. She will also sing Mozart Requiem with the City of London Sinfonia and Stephen Layton on November 13.

Reviews of Claudia's recent performances as Hänsel in Humperdinck Hänsel und Gretel include:

Hänsel and Gretel (enchantingly sung by Claudia Huckle and Anna Devin)...
Michael Kennedy, Opera, September, 2013

And the central performances are exceptionally strong. Claudia Huckle and Anna Devin play very convincingly off each other as Hansel and Gretel...Huckle's sumptuous contralto.
Michael Church, The Independent, 28 June, 2013

Anna Devin and Claudia Huckle are particularly good and a near ideal match...Huckle's convincingly boyish Hänsel...elegant contralto...
George Hall, The Guardian, 24 June, 2013

Huckle made one of the most believably boyish Hänsels I have seen...The set-pieces were well sung...completely engaging...
Robert Hugill, Opera Today, 24 June, 2013



MRM Artists Success in the Press
EDGARAS MONTVIDAS - Puccini La Rondine - The Royal Opera, Covent Garden
...it was left to Edgaras Montvidas, playing the poet Prunier with a debonair, slightly effete air, to take centre stage with some of the panache that was missing elsewhere...
Richard Fairman, Financial Times, 9 July, 2013

Edgaras Montvidas's incarnation of the poet Prunier is vivid and resonant...
Michael Church, The Independent, 8 July, 2013

...Edgaras Montvidas, excellent as the effete Prunier...
Erica Jeal, The Guardian, 8 July, 2013

Edgaras Montvidas' immaculate vocal and physical exploration of the sophisticated society wit Prunier.
George Hall, The Stage, 9 July, 2013

Edgaras Montvidas...in particular, aided by his tall stature, fashioned a genuinely persuasive character, a charming poseur forced by the heart to drop the pose...
Russ McDonald, Opera, September, 2013


SALLY MATTHEWS - Mozart Le Nozze di Figaro - Glyndebourne Festival Opera - Robin Ticciati - DVD
Sally Matthews as the Countess is outstanding: in Dove Sono, miserably clutching a cushion as a security blanket, then singing out gloriously.
Richard Lawrence, Gramophone, August, 2013

...a perfect Countess...her predicament was clear...the voice itself is gorgeous, full lyric...
Robert Levine, International Record Review, June, 2013

Sally Matthews uses exceptional technique to surmount the big challenges, with glorious phrasing.
David Nice, BBC Music Magazine, September, 2013

SALLY MATTHEWS - Dietsch Le Vaisseau fantôme - Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble - Marc Minkowski
Sally Matthews...apart from singing her French part impeccably, there's also a grain of endearing salt in her sultry Minna. It's the third scene (act 2) that stimulates the senses a bit more and which showed off Sally Matthews the most; making it a Minna-tour de force. Her part and her performance left little room for others to shine...
Jens F. Laurson, Ionarts, Washington DC, 20 June, 2013

Sally Matthews' velvety soprano and polished delivery brought Minna to life, not least in her big solo scene that began with a prayer and concluded with a bouncy cabaletta.
George Loomis, New York Times, 28 May, 2013


ELENA GALITSGAYA - Strauss Capriccio - Opéra de Lyon
The 'Italian' duettists were young Russians, Elena Galitsgaya and Dmitri Ivanchey, unknown to me hitherto, but well worth encountering here.
Hugh Canning, Opera, September, 2013


MARK PADMORE - Britten Billy Budd - Glyndebourne Festival Opera - Sir Andrew Davis
The central characters are peerlessly played...Mark Padmore sings Vere with a burning, tortured intensity.
Michael Church, The Independent, 12 August, 2013

Michael Grandage's brilliantly acute production...now reinvigorated by Mark Padmore as the conflicted Captain Vere.
Neil Fisher, The Times, 17 August, 2013

...his musicality is faultless and his rendering of the textual nuances crystalline: what a feeling artist he is.
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 11 August, 2013

Mark Padmore is highly charged as a Captain Vere who makes every word tell and is determined to be more than merely a passive observer of events.
Richard Fairman, Financial Times, 12 August, 2013

MARK PADMORE - Birtwistle Songs from the Same Earth - World Première; Britten Sechs Hölderlin-Fragmente; Schumann Dichterliebe - Andrew West - Aldeburgh Festival
Mark Padmore and pianist Andrew West matched the oscillations of text and music to perfection (Birtwistle). All fed into their compelling performance of Schumann's Dichterliebe...
Fiona Maddocks, The Observer, 23 June, 2013

Mark Padmore found shades of grey in his eloquent tenor voice...
Hilary Finch, The Times, 18 June, 2013

Mark Padmore and Andrew West judged the Dichterliebe to perfection...Padmore was fully alive to the subtleties of Schumann's word-painting...Padmore and West in particular worked wonders with Britten's Sokrates und Alcibiades...(Birtwistle) Well served by Padmore and West.
Guy Damman, The Guardian, 14 June, 2013


ANNALENA PERSSON - Wagner Siegfried - Opera North
Annalena Persson's Brünnhilde sings with light radiance.
Andrew Clark, Financial Times, 18 June, 2013


ANDREW FOSTER-WILLIAMS - Dauvergne Hercule mourant - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset - Aparté recording
...Hercule shows heroic resolve, a frame of mind that Andrew Foster-Williams' rich bass-baritone and commanding bearing impressively convey.
George Loomis, Opera, September, 2013

ANDREW FOSTER-WILLIAMS - Wagner Lohengrin - Lanaudière Festival - Yannick Nézet-Séguin
...Telramund was no less lifelike as portrayed by the splendidly focussed British bass-baritone Andrew Foster-Williams.
Arthur Kaptainis, Montreal Gazette, 1 August, 2013

...excellentes voix graves masculines étaient celles du Britannique Andrew Foster-Williams, en Telramund...
...excellent lower male voices were those of the British Andrew Foster-Williams, as Telramund...
Claude Gingras, La Presse, 12 August, 2013

ANDREW FOSTER-WILLIAMS - Rossini Guillaume Tell - Rossini in Wildbad Festival - Antonio Fogliano
Tell was sung by Andrew Foster-Williams...He has a powerful baritone, which is strong in its heights, with beautiful colours.
Lennaert van Anken, Operamagazine Netherlands, 14 July, 2013

Der Bassbariton Andrew Foster-Williams meistert die Titelrolle bravourös
Bass-baritone Andrew Foster-Williams brilliantly masters the title role.
Werner Müller-Grimmel, Stuttgarter Nachrichten, 15 July, 2013

Andrew Foster-Williams, in dessen Stimme Tells ganze Empörung über die Fron des Vaterlandes zu lodern scheint - ein Sänger, unterwegs zum Heldenbariton.
Andrew Foster-Williams - in whose blazing voice one can hear the outrage of the Homeland - a singer on the way to becoming a Heldenbaritone.
Badische Zeitung, 15 July, 2013

ZeitungAuch der Bariton Andrew Foster-Williams als Freiheitsheld vermag vokal charismatisch für sich und seine patriotische Sache einzunehmen, ohne darüber ins plakative Stentor-Pathos zu verfallen.
The baritone Andrew Foster-Williams, as the charismatic freedom fighter, manages to play the nationalist without falling into stentorian pathos.
Gerhard R. Koch, Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung, 14 July, 2013

Bassbariton Andrew Foster-Williams brilliert mit verinnerlicht dramatischer Kraft.
Bass-baritone Andrew Foster-Williams shines with internalised dramatic power
Eckehard Uhlig, Die Deutsche Bühne, 16 July, 2013


KAREN CARGILL - Bach St Matthew Passion - Philadelphia Orchestra - Yannick Nézet-Séguin
The Scottish mezzo - so brilliant recently as Wagner's Waltraute and Berlioz's Anna at the Met - brought her rich and compelling artistry to a very different style, showing complete mastery of runs and inspiring dynamic control. Her impassioned, ravishingly vocalized Erbarme mich was the evening's vocal and emotional highlight.
David Shengold, Opera News, 5 June, 2013

KAREN CARGILL - Berlioz Les nuits d'étés; La mort de Cléopâtre - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Robin Ticciati - Linn Records recording
Karen Cargill is up against some illustrious mezzo competition on disc, yet her ravishing account of Les nuits d'étés ranks with the best of them...Cargill's French diction is superb...she offers a highly nuanced reading of La mort de Cléopâtre...This is a disc to which I'll be returning soon and often.
Mark Pullinger, International Record Review, July/August, 2013


STEPHAN LOGES - Haydn Die Schöpfung - Kammerakademie Potsdam - Antonello Manacorda
...Stephan Loges mit einem glanzvollen Bass von stabiler Tiefe.
...Stephan Loges with a splendid bass voice and solid low notes.
Antje Rössler, Märkische Allgemeine Zeitung, 26 August, 2013

STEPHAN LOGES - Weber Der Freischütz - London Symphony Orchestra - Sir Colin Davis - LSO Live recording
Among an excellent supporting cast, Sally Matthews (Ännchen) and Stephan Loges (Samiel) stand out.
Anna Picard, BBC Music Magazine, August, 2013


ANDREW TORTISE - Britten Gloriana - The Royal Opera, Covent Garden
Belles prestations aussi de...surtout Andrew Tortise (Spirit of the Masque) à la voix suave...
Fine contributions also from...especially the elegant voice of Andrew Tortise (Spirit of the Masque)...
Erna Metdepenninghen, Crescendo, 1 July, 2013

Mark Stone's Mountjoy, Clive Bayley's Raleigh and Andrew Tortise's Spirit of the Masque are each outstanding.
Michael Church, The Independent, 21 June, 2013

Clive Bayley and Andrew Tortise add notably good contributions.
Richard Fairman, Financial Times, 23 June, 2013

Andrew Tortise's clean sweet tenor sings The Masque of Time...
Anna Picard, The Independent, 30 June, 2013


MARCUS FARNSWORTH - Britten Death in Venice - English National Opera - Edward Gardner
In an opera that is full of vignettes...Anna Dennis's strawberry seller and, in particular Marcus Farnsworth's darkly menacing English Clerk stand out.
Martin Kettle, The Guardian, 17 June, 2103

Everything about the performance - Edward Gardner's crystalline orchestra, Andrew Shore in multiple guises, Tim Mead, Marcus Farnsworth...is pitch-perfect...
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 19 June, 2013


LUKAS JAKOBSKI - Britten Church Parables - Mahogany Opera - Roger Vignoles - Aldeburgh Festival
The best of the singing, from Lukas Jakobski as the Abbot who summons the audience to watch his monks enact the drama, is imposingly fine.
Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 19 June, 2013

...Lukas Jakobski set the tone promisingly and with superb presence as the Abbot (Curlew River)...Jakobski's colourful Astrologer was strong again (The Burning Fiery Furnace).
John Allison, Opera, August, 2013

Lukas Jakobski was a resonant Abbot.
Richard Fairman, Financial Times, 18 June, 2013

LUKAS JAKOBSKI - Handel Acis and Galatea - Iford Festival - Christian Curnyn
Our not-so-friendly giant Polythemus was beautifully cast in the form of bass Lukas Jakobski, whose impressive frame of six feet plus several inches and shaven head brought the required dramatic impact onto the scene. He nicely caught the essence of giant-ness with a rolling wide-spread gait and slowed-down body movements, whilst his rich bass coped nimbly with the faster passages such as that old favourite of Victorian parlours O ruddier than the cherry.
Sue Loder, Opera Today, 31 July, 2013



MRM Artists forthcoming highlights
Katherine Broderick during October sings Britten Spring Symphony with the Sverdlovsk Philharmony in Ekaterinburg, Russia (11th) and, in a return visit to Belfast, sings Strauss Vier letzte Lieder and Mahler Symphony No 4 with the Ulster Orchestra (27th). On November 7 she sings Vaughan Williams Symphony No 7 with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Andrew Manze.

Sally Matthews on October 3 & 4 sings Hero in concert performances of Berlioz Béatrice et Bénédict in Edinburgh and Glasgow, with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Robin Ticciati. Also in concert, during October she sings Ellen Orford in Britten Peter Grimes with Antonio Pappano and the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Rome and, in November, the title role in performances of Unsuk Chin Alice in Wonderland with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra (14th & 16th) and a programme of Mozart arias at Wigmore Hall, London with The English Concert and Harry Bicket on 20th.

Annalena Persson on September 14 & 15 sings Isolde's Liebestod with the Prague Philharmonia and conductor Jiri Belohlávek in Verona and Perugia.

Elizabeth Watts during September sings Mozart Mass in C Minor in Milan and Turin with Daniel Reuss and the Akademie für Alte Musik (4th & 5th) and gives a recital in Santiago, Spain with Roger Vignoles on the 24th - the music to include Britten, Parry and Geoffrey Bush. In October she sings Vaughan Williams Sea Symphony with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and Sakari Oramo and on November 21 sings Britten Quatre Chansons Francaises and Mahler Symphony No 4 with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Martyn Brabbins.

Karen Cargill sings Béatrice in Berlioz Béatrice et Bénédict in Edinburgh and Glasgow with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Robin Ticciati on October 3 & 4, in concert, joining Sally Matthews and on the 26th and 27th sings Wood Dove in Schoenberg Gurrelieder with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle. During October and November Karen sings Berlioz Les nuits d'étés and La mort de Cléopâtre with the London Symphony Orchestra and Valery Gergiev on a European tour, including Paris, Essen, Brno and London.

Stuart Jackson in September begins a season with the Oper Stuttgart Studio. Roles will include: Gastone La Traviata; Abdallo Nabucco and 2nd Priest Die Zauberflöte. Covers will include: Don Ramiro La Cenerentola; Don Ottavio Don Giovanni; John Darling Peter Pan and Orphée Orphée et Eurydice. On 1 November he will appear with the Huddersfield Choral Society and Jane Glover in Handel Israel in Egypt

Edgaras Montvidas during September, October and November sings Alfred, in Christopher Alden's new production of Die Fledermaus for English National Opera.

Jeremy Ovenden on September 13, sings Mozart Requiem in Brussels with Le Cercle de l'Harmonie and Jérémie Rhorer and also with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Donald Runnicles on the 26th & 29th. On the 22nd he sings Mendelssohn Die erste Walpurgisnacht with Paul McCreesh and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. On October 3 & 4, Jeremy will sing Haydn Creation in Lisbon, also with Paul McCreesh and the Gulbenkian Choir and Orchestra. During November he will sing Britten War Requiem - on the 14th & 15th with the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra, and on the 21st & 22nd, with the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, all with conductor John Nelson.

Mark Padmore sings Britten Nocturne for Tenor and Chamber Orchestra on 2 October with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski. Then, on the 17th, 18th & 19th, he sings Evangelist in a revival of the highly successful Peter Sellars staged performances of Bach St Matthew Passion with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle. On 2 & 3 November, Mark will sing Britten War Requiem in Brussels, with the Orchestra and Chorus of La Monnaie and Ludovic Morlot and Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings with the Gothenberg Symphony Orchestra on the 6th & 7th.

Thomas Walker will sing Basilio and Curzio in Mozart Le Nozze di Figaro, on tour with René Jacobs and the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, including: 22 September in Ambronay, France; 11 October in Paris; 29 November in Freiburg. He will also sing Mozart Requiem with the City of London Sinfonia and Stephen Layton on November 13.

Marcus Farnsworth during October and November sings Eddy in Mark-Anthony Turnage Greek, on a UK tour including 4 performances at The Royal Opera Linbury Studio on 21, 22, 25 & 26 October. Other appearances in November include: Britten War Requiem with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (2nd); Sid in Britten Albert Herring, in concert with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Steuart Bedford (23rd); a concert at Concertgebouw Amsterdam, including Schubert Lieder and Britten Canticles (26th) with Mark Padmore and Julius Drake, and, with pianist James Baillieu, on 29th he will sing Schubert Winterreise for the International Chamber Music series at Portsmouth University, the start of a UK tour.

Andrew Foster-Williams throughout October sings Hidraot in Gluck Armide for Netherlands Opera with Ivor Bolton and Barry Kosky. Highlights during November include: Britten War Requiem with the Oregon Symphony Orchestra (2nd & 3rd); Mozart Requiem with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and Bernard Labadie (7th, 8th & 9th) and recitals with Simon Lepper in Venice (13th) and Wigmore Hall, London (17th), the programmes to include songs by Ibert, Duparc and the world première of Stephen McNeff Trois Chansons de Laforgue.

Stephan Loges on 1 September gives a recital with Iain Burnside on BBC Radio 3 for NI Opera Festival of Voice. Other recitals that month include three concerts for the Beethoven Festival in Glasgow with Llyr Williams and the Elias String Quartet. He also sings Mozart Requiem with Bernard Labadie and the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra on 12th and Britten War Requiem with the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra, Japan and Tadaaki Otaka on 20 & 21, a work her returns to in November with the Hungarian National Philharmonic and Howard Williams.

Simon Lepper on 25 October performs Twilight of the Romantics with Angelika Kirschschlager, a programme of songs by Wolf, Schumann, Korngold at La Monnaie, Brussels. On 13 & 17 November, he joins Andrew Foster-Williams for their recitals in Venice and at Wigmore Hall and on the 30th, gives a recital of Spanish song with Clara Mouritz at the Howard Assembly Room of Opera North, Leeds.