Maxine Robertson Management

March 2014 - newsletter 28





MRM Artists Jump In
The following artists were happy to take on these dates at very short notice:

Andrew Tortise - a programme of Lehár, Loewe, Novello and Coward with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Nicholas McGegan (3 & 4 January)

Thomas Walker - Messiah with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Ottavio Dantone (January 11)

Sally Matthews - Brahms German Requiem with the Philharmonia and Andris Nelsons (24 February).


Marcus Farnsworth
From 16 May, baritone Marcus Farnsworth returns to English National Opera to sing Guglielmo in Phelim McDermott's new production of Mozart Così fan tutte. For ENO he has already appeared in Britten Billy Budd and Death in Venice.

Marcus Farnsworth

Marcus first sang Guglielmo in 2011, while a student at the Royal Academy of Music. In the three years since then, he has established an international reputation as a versatile singer in opera, concert and recital, as the most recent reviews below confirm. His career, so far, has included the title role in Britten Owen Wingrave in Germany, European tours of Monteverdi Vespers with Emmanuel Haim and recitals at the Wigmore Hall, London; La Monnaie, Brussels and Amstersdam Concertgebouw. Two UK tours as Eddy in Mark Anthony Turnage Greek brought comments such as "electrifying" (The Telegraph) & "definitive" (Sunday Times).

Plans in the near future also include further performances of the Schubert cycles with James Bailieu, including, for the Sheffield Schubert Festival, Winterreise (7 March) and Schöne Mullerin (9th) and for the Wiltshire Music Centre, Schöne Mullerin (28th). Marcus gives a recital with Simon Lepper on 12 March, at Opéra de Lille, including Schubert, Rorem, Ireland and Bridge. On 6 April, he sings Brahms German Requiem with Aldeburgh Voices, at Snape Maltings Concert Hall and for the Newbury Spring Festival sings a programme of Schumann, Brahms, Barber and Warlock with The Myrthen Ensemble (18 May).


Rorem, Butterworth, Stuart MacCrae (world première) - Hebrides Ensemble - UK tour
...the excellent baritone, Marcus Farnsworth...it was the emotional intensity of the delivery, particularly from Farnsworth, that kept the audience rapt. ..navigating the craggy vocal line (Rorem) with directness and plangency and keeping the visceral Whitman texts upfront...a new work, Parable, by Stuart MacCrae...Farnsworth handled superbly...Butterworth's Six Songs from 'A Shropshire Lad'...sung by Farnsworth with heartbreakingly fragile masculinity.
Kate Molleson, The Guardian, 11 February, 2014

Marcus Farnsworth fixed the audience with a steely gaze and virtually spat out the words, ensuring each hit its target with utter clarity...Farnsworth seemed like a different singer, though, in songs from Butterworth's A Shropshire Lad, all no-nonsense lyricism and smoothly rounded tone – which made their impact all the more poignant...Farnsworth's superbly clear delivery (MacCrae)...
David Kettle, The Telegraph, 12 February, 2014


Peter Maxwell Davies Eight Songs for a Mad King - Hebrides Ensemble - UK tour
...baritone Marcus Farnsworth – the grippingly visceral soloist in their recent performances...
Kate Molleson, Herald Scotland, 29 January, 2014


Britten Canticles - Mark Padmore, Iestyn Davies, Julius Drake - Wigmore Hall Live recording
The three singers (Marcus Farnsworth the forthright baritone) sound perfectly matched in Journey of the Magi.
Richard Fairman, Gramphone, January, 2014

The strength of the teamwork is also palpable here. Few players on disc match the close bond that Mark Padmore, Iestyn Davies, Marcus Farnsworth and their outstanding pianist Julius Drake display in their performance of the Journey of the Magi.
Hilary Finch, BBC Music Magazine, January, 2014


Britten Albert Herring - BBC Symphony Orchestra - Steuart Bedford
Marcus Farnsworth had the right rude vigour as Sid the butcher's assistant.
Paul Driver, The Sunday Times, 1 December, 2013


Berlioz L'enfance du Christ - BBC Symphony Orchestra - François-Xavier Roth
Joseph, sung in a clean baritone by Marcus Farnsworth...
Erica Jeal, The Guardian, 17 December, 2013


Berlioz L'enfance du Christ - BBC Symphony Orchestra - François-Xavier Roth
Karen Cargill's Mary and Marcus Farnsworth's Joseph sang with beautifully even tone and immaculate phrasing.
Anna Picard, The Times, 19 December, 2013



MRM Artists Success in the Press
KAREN CARGILL - Berlioz L'enfance du Christ - BBC Symphony Orchestra - François-Xavier Roth
Karen Cargill sang Mary with a beautifully tender, gentle gleam...
Erica Jeal, The Guardian, 17 December, 2013


ELIZABETH WATTS - Mozart Don Giovanni - The Royal Opera, Covent Garden - Nicola Luisotti
Best of all was Elizabeth Watts' Zerlina - perhaps the most purely captivating aspect of an invigorating if uneven evening.
Rupert Christiansen, Daily Telegraph, 3 February, 2014

With the exceptions of Elizabeth Watts' bright-toned, serious Zerlina, and Alexander Tsymballuk's booming Commendatore, the vocal performances were not special.
Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times, 9 February, 2014

The sparks come from Malin Byström's Anna and Elizabeth Watts' Zerlina...Watts turns Batti, batti into a song of seduction, claiming the entire audience as her conquest.
Andrew Clark, Financial Times, 3 February, 2014

Elizabeth Watts sparkled in her debut as Zerlina.
Fiona Maddocks, The Observer, 9 February, 2014

...Elizabeth Watts's lively, engaging Zerlina.
Barry Millington, London Evening Standard, 3 February, 2014

Holten is lucky with his cast...Elizabeth Watts' perky Zerlina...
George Hall, The Stage, 3 February, 2014


ELIZABETH WATTS - CPE Bach Magnificat - Akademie für Alte Musik, Berlin - Hans-Christoph Rademann - Harmonia Mundi recording
Elizabeth Watts's vibrant operatic soprano shines in Quia respexit...This is a glorious disc.
Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times, 16, February, 2014


MARK PADMORE - Bach St Matthew Passion - Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra - Sir Simon Rattle - New York
...Mark Padmore, one of the great Evangelists of our time, and superb here. A wandering witness to terrible events he helplessly recalls, he is a cousin of the shellshocked Captain Vere he portrayed in Britten's Billy Budd at the Brooklyn Academy of Music a few weeks ago...the sensitivity with which he described Peter warming himself, the majestic way he unfurled the word 'weinete' (wept) or his soaring line after Jesus declares Pilate powerless...Mr. Padmore's performance was an integrated, unforgettable vocal and dramatic whole.
Zachary Woolfe, New York Times, 27 February, 2014


MARK PADMORE - Britten Billy Budd - Glyndebourne Festival Opera - BAM, New York
Mark Padmore, the Vere of this production, gives one of the most memorable performances I have seen in opera...the ovation was especially ardent for Mr Padmore. Something remarkable had happened...penetrating depth...Every singer who performs in English could learn from Mr Padmore's artistry.
Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, 9 February, 2014


MARK PADMORE - Tippett Boyhood's End, The Heart's Assurance - James Bailleau - Wigmore Hall
The Purcellian melismas and awestruck gasp at the 'immense shining void' of the sky suit Mark Padmore's lean, grave voice...authoritative, implacable singing...
Anna Picard, The Times, 5 December, 2013

Padmore sang both with his usual fastidious, studied seriousness...absorbing...
Andrew Clement, The Guardian, 4 December, 2013

(Boyhood's End) Mark Padmore and pianist James Baillieu revealed it as a stroke of genius. They gave it a reverent stillness...a sensitive response to a text...
Ivan Hewitt, The Telegraph, 6 December, 2013


SALLY MATTHEWS - Brahms German Requiem - Philharmonia - Andris Nelsons
Sally Matthews's solo brought a moment of true spiritual radiance.
Hilary Finch, 26 February, 2014


SALLY MATTHEWS - Janacek Jenufa - La Monnaie, Brussels - Ludovic Morlot
The gifted soprano Sally Matthews never shortchanges Jenufa's many gripping moments...Ms. Matthews's voice...soars rapturously...And she scores in the final scene...
George Loomis, New York Times, 30 January, 2014

...excellent cast led by Sally Matthews' radiant Jenufa...
Francis Carlin, Opera Now, March 2014


SALLY MATTHEWS - Britten Peter Grimes - Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia - Antonio Pappano
...exceptional singing...memorable performances from Sally Matthews (Ellen Orford)...
Luigi Bellingardi, Opera, February, 2014


SALLY MATTHEWS - Beethoven Cantata on the Death of Emperor Joseph ll - San Francisco Symphony Orchestra - Michael Tilson Thomas - SFS Media recording
Sally Matthews sustains the long phrases with warm, consolatory tone.
Richard Lawrence, Gramophone, February, 2014


SALLY MATTHEWS - Britten The Turn of the Screw - London Symphony Orchestra - Richard Farnes - LSO LIVE recording
His cast is perfect...Matthews spot on in conveying the Governess's growing horror and resolve...
Guy Weatherall, BBC Music Magazine, January, 2014


SALLY MATTHEWS, KATHERINE BRODERICK - Britten The Turn of the Screw - London Symphony Orchestra - Richard Farnes - LSO LIVE recording
Sally Matthews's passionate Governess and Katherine Broderick's thrilling Jessel are vividly characterised...
Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times, 12 January, 2014

...the rest of the cast excels. Katherine Broderick's darker-toned Miss Jessel contrasts well with fellow soprano Sally Matthews.
Malcolm Hayes, BBC Music Magazine, February, 2014


ANDREW TORTISE, STEPHAN LOGES - Bach Mass in B Minor - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Jonathan Cohen
...the effortless radiance of tenor Andrew Tortise and Stephan Loges' magisterial bass. A moving performance.
Ken Walton, The Scotsman, 16 December, 2013


STEPHAN LOGES - Berlioz L'enfance du Christ - Swedish Radio SO & Choir - Robin Ticciati - Linn Records recording
...Véronique Gens (Mary) and Stephan Loges (Joseph) are first-rate soloists.
David Cairns, The Sunday Times, 1 December, 2013

Joseph and Mary's lullaby-duet O mon cher Fils, with Stephan Loges and Véronique Gens, manages to be both serene and sumptuous...
Malcolm Riley, Gramophone, December, 2013

Véronique Gens and Stephan Loges are eloquently matched as Mary and Joseph...
*****Geoffrey Norris, The Telegraph, 5 December, 2013


ELENA GALITSKAYA - Monteverdi Orfeo - Opéra national de Lorraine, Nancy - Christophe Rousset
Carol Garcia's expressive Musica and Elena Galitskaya's handsomely sung Proserpina stand out...
*****Francis Carlin, Financial Times, 17 January, 2014


EDGARAS MONTVIDAS - Bruneau Requiem - Orchestra and Chorus of La Monnaie, Brussels - Ludovic Morlot - Cypres Records
Ludovic Morlot and his Belgian forces sound classy...Edgaras Montvidas is the best of the quartet of soloists.
Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 9 January, 2014


SIMON LEPPER - Wolf, Debussy, Strauss - Recital with Malin Christensson - Tonhalle Zurich
Hier, bei einer Auswahl von Wolfs Mörike-Liedern, gab Simon Lepper gleich zu Beginn des Abends zu verstehen, dass mit ihm am Klavier zu rechnen sei. Mit viel Glitzerglanz verführte der englische Pianist zum Hinhörenin...in Das verlassene Mägdlein, wo sich Klavier und Stimme zur herzzerreissenden Klage verbanden

At the beginning of the evening, during a selection of Wolf's Mörike-Lieder, Simon Lepper made it clear that he was a force to be reckoned with. With much glittering splendour in his playing, the English pianist seduced his audience into listening closely...in Das verlassene Mägdlein, piano and voice combined to form a heartrending lament.
Jürg Huber, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 27 January, 2014


SIMON LEPPER - British Rhapsody - Su Zhen, viola - Stone Records
Beautifully played, this is an addictive disc
****Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian, 9 February, 2014


JEREMY OVENDEN - Haydn The Creation - London Symphony Orchestra - Richard Egarr
All three vocal soloists made distinctive contributions...Jeremy Ovenden's tenor Uriel was engagingly fluent...the knowing pause he inserted into his final recitative about the Garden of Eden was as good a moment of interpretative detail as any throughout the evening.
Martin Kettle, The Guardian, 14 January, 2014



ANDREW FOSTER-WILLIAMS - Beethoven Cantata on the Death of Emperor Joseph ll - San Francisco Symphony Orchestra - Michael Tilson Thomas - SFS Media recording
Andrew Foster-Williams gives a vivid account, ranging over nearly two octaves, of Joseph crushing the head of the 'monster called Fanaticism'.
Richard Lawrence, Gramophone, February, 2014


ANDREW FOSTER-WILLIAMS - Lully Phaëton - Les Talens Lyriques - Christophe Rousset - Aparté recording
Andrew Foster-Williams's virile baritone is equally well suited to Epaphus.
Richard Lawrence, Gramophone, January 2014

Andrew Foster-Williams is a strong, effective Epaphus.
Brian Robins, Opera, March 2014



MRM Artists forthcoming highlights
Ingela Bohlin throughout April sings performances of Handel Messiah in the highly successful staging by Claus Guth, conducted by Christoph Rousset, at the Theater an der Wien.

Katherine Broderick on 2 March sings a programme of arias from Gluck Alceste, Iphigénie en Tauride and Orphée ed Eurydice for Opéra National de Lorraine, Nancy. On 29 March she sings Vaughan Williams Sea Symphony with Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra, also to be recorded for the Hallé label. On 10 & 11 April Katherine returns to Nancy for performances of Mahler Symphony No 4 with l'Orchestre Symphonique et Lyrique and on 5 & 6 May is in Estonia to sing excerpts from Strauss Ariadne auf Naxos with the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and Olari Elts.

Elena Galitskaya gives a recital on 15 April in Nantes of songs by Rachmaninov with pianist Alphonse Cemin.

Sally Matthews sings Brahms German Requiem on 21, 22, 23 March with Orquesta Simfònica de Barcelona and Francois-Xavier Roth. From 29 May, Sally sings Blanche in Robert Carsen's production of Poulenc Les Dialogues des Carmélites for The Royal Opera, Covent Garden and Sir Simon Rattle.

Annalena Persson during April and May sings Tosca with Gothenburg Opera, Sweden and conductor Pier Giorgio Morandi.

Elizabeth Watts sings Mozart Requiem with Orquesta Simfònica de Barcelona and Pablo Gonzalez on 28 February, 1 & 2 March. On 16 March, she gives a recital entitled The Nightingale and The Rose at Wigmore Hall, with Simon Lepper, which they repeat at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam on the 25th - the music to include, Strauss, Britten, Duparc and Granados. On 15 May, Elizabeth sings Vaughan Williams Sea Symphony with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Andrew Manze and on the 25th gives a recital with Roger Vignoles in Antwerp, Belgium - including songs by Wolf and Strauss.

Karen Cargill on 7 & 8 March, sings Duruflé Requiem with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Robin Ticciati and with Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Munich on the 13th & 14th, again with Ticciati. On 16 & 17 May, Karen sings performances of Verdi Requiem with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

Claudia Huckle during April and May, sings Marfa in Mussorgsky Khovanshchina with the Birmingham Opera Company, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and conductor Stuart Stratford.

Sunnyboy Dladla sings Paolino in Cimarosa Il Matrimonio Segreto for Zurich Opera at Theater Winterthur during May.

Stuart Jackson sings Haydn The Creation with the Ulster Orchestra and Jean-Luc Tingaud on 21 March. In April, he sings the tenor arias in performances of Bach St John Passion with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Stephen Layton at St John's Smith Square, London (18th) and in Antwerp on the 23rd. On 11 & 12 May, Stuart joins Dame Emma Kirkby in The Queens' Command - concerts at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre paying musical tribute to Queen Elizabeth 1, curated by Trevor Pinnock.

Edgaras Montvidas on 8 March sings Hélios in Félicien David Herculanum at the Opéra Royal de Versailles, with Hervé Niquet and the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra. Also in March, he sings Alfredo in Verdi La Traviata for Leipzig Opera. From 18 May, Edgaras sings Lensky in Graham Vick's production of Tchaikovsky Eugene Onegin for Glyndebourne Festival Opera and Omer Meir Wellber.

Jeremy Ovenden sings Handel La Resurrezione on a European tour with René Jacobs and Le Cercle de l'Harmonie, including in March: Madrid (6th), Versailles (28th), Brussels (29th) and on 21 April, Cracow. Also in April, he sings Mozart Mass in C Minor in Cologne (11th) and Dortmund (12th) with the WDR Sinfonieorchester and Christoph Eschenbach.

Mark Padmore on 22 March, sings Peter Quint in Britten The Turn of the Screw at the Vienna Konzerthaus with the Wiener Kammerorchester and on the 28th & 29th, Evangelist in Bach St Matthew Passion with Daniel Harding and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. On 13 & 18 April, Mark sings Evangelist St John Passion in Peter Sellars' staging for the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle at Baden Baden and on 13 May gives a recital: Beethoven An die ferne Geliebte, Birtwistle Songs from the Same Earth and Schumann Dichterliebe,at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam with Till Fellner and at Wigmore Hall, London on the 18th.

Andrew Tortise during April, sings Peter Quint The Turn of the Screw in a new production by Valentina Carrasco for Opéra National de Lyon and Kazushi Ono.

Thomas Walker sings Zadok in Handel Solomon on 20 & 21 March in Lisbon, with Paul McCreesh and Coro e Orquestra Gulbenkian. Then, on 12 & 13 April he sings Britten St Nicolas and Haydn Nelson Mass with Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart and Jeffrey Tate and on 14, 16 & 17 May, Mendelssohn Elijah with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, once again with Paul McCreesh.

Andrew Foster-Williams during April sings Balstrode in Britten Peter Grimes for Opéra National de Lyon and Yoshi Oida. On 14, 16 & 17 May he joins Thomas Walker for the performances of Elijah with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and on the 23rd & 24th sings Haydn The Seasons with Bernard Labadie and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Stephan Loges with Elizabeth Watts, sings Mozart Mass in C Min with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Olari Elts on 3 & 4 April and on the 18th sings the bass arias in Bach St Matthew Passion with the Munich Bach Choir and Hansjörg Albrecht. On 24 May he sings Brahms German Requiem with the Leeds Festival Chorus and the Orchestra of Opera North and on the 30th, gives a recital with soprano Birgid Steinberger and Roger Vignoles at Schloss Lembeck, Dorsten, including Brahms, Cornelius, Liszt and Mahler.

Lukas Jakobski throughout April sings The Abbot, in Britten Curlew River for Opéra National de Lyon.

Simon Lepper on 16 March, joins Elizabeth Watts for their recital The Nightingale and the Rose at Wigmore Hall and at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam on the 25th. He gives a recital tour with baritone Stéphane Degout, including Fauré L'horizon chimérique, Liszt Petrarch Sonnets and ballads by Schubert, Schumann and Weill - Toulouse: April 28, Bordeaux: April 30, Wigmore Hall: 2 May and Strasbourg: 7 May.