June 2014 - newsletter 29
MRM Artists Jump In
Sally Matthews was able to sing at short notice Haydn Creation, in Dublin and London, with Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Sir Simon Rattle (May 4 & 6).
Sally Matthews was the ecstatic soprano.
Andrew Clark - Financial Times - 7 May, 2014
...Sally Matthews, who has a tender tone exactly right for the innocence of her sentiments...In all a delight.
Ivan Hewitt - The Telegraph - 7 May, 2014
...Sally Matthews's fluidly expressive soprano...
Erica Jeal - The Guardian - 7 May, 2014
"Claudia Huckle's sensuous, impassioned Marfa", wrote Richard Fairman in the Financial Times, of her recent performances in Graham Vick's production of Mussorgsky Khovanskygate: A National Enquiry for Birmingham Opera Company with The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and conductor Stuart Stratford. (Further reviews below).
Claudia is the 2013 winner of the Birgit Nilsson Remembrance Award at Plácido Domingo's Operalia competition at Verona, the first female recipient. She studied at the Royal College of Music, London and Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia, before spending four years in the ensemble of Leipzig Opera.
This summer she will make her debut at the Festival d'Aix en Provence singing Third Lady Die Zauberflöte, appear at the Edinburgh International Festival singing in Janácek Glagolitic Mass and sing Mary Magdalene in Elgar The Apostles for the 2014 Three Choirs Festival. Future plans include debuts at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden in 2015 singing Third Lady Die Zauberflöte and Glyndebourne Festival in 2016, singing Hippolyta in Britten A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Claudia Huckle sang with absolute conviction as Marfa.
Hugo Shirley - Opera - June, 2014
The fast-rising British contralto Claudia Huckle was brave and intelligent as the strange, schismatic Marfa...
Fiona Maddocks - The Observer - 27 April, 2014
Best of all are Keel Watson...and Claudia Huckle as his daughter Marfa, whose unswerving love for Andrei Khovansky provides the emotional heart to what can be an intimidatingly unsparing work.
Andrew Clements - The Guardian - 23 April, 2014
The opera is notably well sung...Claudia Huckle's Marfa - Andrei's discarded lover - is a lush-toned siren.
Hugh Canning - The Sunday Times - 27 April, 2014
The whole cast is memorable...Marfa, finely sung by Claudia Huckle.
Michael Tanner - The Spectator - 3 May, 2014
MRM Artists Success in the Press
SALLY MATTHEWS - Janácek Jenufa - La Monnaie, Brussels - Ludovic Morlot
Sally Matthews's soprano has the right blend of purity and power for Jenufa...
John McCann - Opera - May, 2014
SALLY MATTHEWS - Dietsch Le Vaisseau fantôme - Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble - Marc Minkowski - naïve recording
Sally Matthew's Minna has excellent French and well-studied dramatic projection of the role.
Mike Ashman - Gramophone - April, 2014.
SALLY MATTHEWS; KATHERINE BRODERICK - Britten The Turn of The Screw - London Symphony Orchestra - Richard Farnes - LSO Live recording
...Sally Matthews's Governess; this is a voice with infinite colours and the soprano knows how to maximise her gift...with a shimmering soprano that never fails her...Katherine Broderick unleashes her considerable soprano as the wretched Miss Jessel.
OPERA NOW CHOICE*****Francis Muzzo - Opera Now - May, 2014
KATHERINE BRODERICK - Vaughan Williams Sea Symphony - Hallé Orchestra - Sir Mark Elder
...an outstanding performance, one of the finest ever...Katherine Broderick the rapturous Wagnerian soprano...
*****Tim Ashley - The Guardian - 31 March, 2014
ELIZABETH WATTS - Mozart Don Giovanni - The Royal Opera, Covent Garden - Nicola Luisotti
Elizabeth Watts's Zerlina was exquisitely sung, elevating the character into a passionate, sexually aware creature who has clearly outgrown her provincial past.
Ashutosh Khandekar - Opera Now - April 2014
Elizabeth Watts's spunky, flirty Zerlina added a much needed buffo element into a po-faced evening, her palpable desire to be seduced reflecting her keenness to get ahead in the world - the singing was delightfully bright and fresh, too.
Hugo Shirley - Opera - April, 2014
ELIZABETH WATTS - Bach St John Passion - Academy of Ancient Music - Richard Egarr - AAM recording
...soloists with naturally expressive voices who can also inject telling interpretive details, such as Elizabeth Watts's quick reining-in of the phrase 'Mein Licht' at the end of Ich folge or impassioned surge of tone in the da capo of a heartbreaking Zerfliesse.
Lindsay Kemp - Gramophone - April, 2014
Elizabeth Watts shapes her phrases beautifully, with a sure sense of direction...
Simon Heighes - International Record Review - April, 2014
MARK PADMORE - Thomas Larcher A Padmore Cycle - Thomas Larcher - Harmonia Mundi recording
...a compelling and sensitive advocate...the songs make full use of Padmore's exceptional interpretive talents.
*****Christopher Dingle - BBC Music Magazine - June, 2014
My main interest in this new disc of works by the Austrian composer and pianist Thomas Larcher was A Padmore Cycle (2010-11), which he wrote for the elegant and eloquent tenor Mark Padmore. It is a haunting, enigmatic work, with a taste for gnomic melodies, as are the other tracks, for piano.
Zachary Woolfe - The New York Times - 18 March, 2014
MARK PADMORE - Britten Billy Budd - Glyndebourne Festival Opera - Brooklyn Academy of Music - 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 - The New York Times - 9 February, 2014
EDGARAS MONTVIDAS - Eugene Onegin - Glyndebourne Festival Opera
...the male who strikes home is Edgaras Montvidas's Lensky, eloquently virile enough to actually make his duel with Onegin borderline believable.
Geoff Brown - The Times - 20 May - 2014
...Edgaras Montvidas, who goes on to deliver an immaculately refined account of Lensky's elegiac aria...
George Hall, The Guardian, 20 May, 2014
EDGARAS MONTVIDAS - Félicien David Herculanum - Brussels Philharmonic - Hervé Niquet
Edgaras Montvidas, vaillant et lumineux Hélios, affirme une réelle affinité avec ce répertoire...son francais, de surcroît, est quasi irreproachable.
Edgaras Montvidas, the brave and luminous Helios, confirms a real affinity with this repertoire ... his French, moreover, is virtually flawless.
José Pons - Opera Magazine Today - April, 2014
EDGARAS MONTVIDAS - Saint-Saëns Les Barbares - Opéra Théâtre de Saint-Etienne
Edgaras Montvidas...strong voice, which could also provide enchanting lyrical moments.
Erna Metdepenninghen - Opera - May, 2014
Edgaras Montvidas, ténor lyrique d'une élégance toute simple, tel qu'on imagine Marcomir...c'est par l'engagement et la diction que ce jeune Lituanien s'est distinguishé
Edgaras Montvidas, a lyric tenor of simple elegance, just as we imagine Marcomir...it is with his commitment and diction that the young Lithuanian distinguished himself.
José Pons - Opera Magazine Today - April, 2014
MARCUS FARNSWORTH - Mozart Così fan tutte - English National Opera - Mark Wigglesworth
Marcus Farnsworth, phrasing sensitively and projecting crisply, made an outstanding debut as Guglielmo.
Rupert Christiansen - The Telegraph - 17 May, 2014
Marcus Farnsworth enhances his growing reputation with a brawny, sonorously sung Guglielmo.
Richard Morrison - The Times - 20 May, 2014
Marcus Farnsworth is excellent as Guglielmo.
Hugo Shirley - The Spectator - 24 May, 2014
MARCUS FARNSWORTH - Wolf - The Complete Songs, Vol 7 - Sholto Kynoch - Stone Records
Baritone Marcus Farnsworth has the most sonorous voice of the four; you'd be happy to hear him sing almost anything.
David Patrick Stearns - Gramophone - June, 2014
ANDREW FOSTER-WILLIAMS - Britten Peter Grimes - Opéra de Lyon
Andrew Foster-Williams is a compelling Balstrode, with a well-tempered voice and reassuring presence...
Fabrice Malkani - Forum Opéra - 15 April, 2014
ANDREW FOSTER-WILLIAMS - Mendelssohn Elijah - Sydney Symphony Orchestra - Paul McCreesh
Bass-baritone Andrew Foster-Williams was outstanding in the title role. Vocally, he impressed with his resounding strength, unadorned clarity, shapely phrasing and excellent diction. Foster-Williams's Elijah was also brilliantly characterised as he assuredly traversed the prophet's many mood swings.
Murray Black - The Australian - 16 May, 2014
ANDREW FOSTER-WILLIAMS; THOMAS WALKER - Mendelssohn Elijah - Sydney Symphony Orchestra - Paul McCreesh
As Elijah, Andrew Foster-Williams was a revelation...vocally confident and secure, his rich baritone sailed over all obstacles...his diction was superlative, his use of text gripping...Equally striking was the Scottish tenor Thomas Walker as Obadiah...it was a pleasure to hear his beautifully modulated tone...almost Italianate sound in his heady top notes.
Clive Paget - Limelight - 17 May, 2014
...an outstanding quartet of soloists. Andrew Foster-Williams portrayed Elijah with glowing richness and fierceness, bordering on relish, when slaying the priests of Baal...Thomas Walker sang with light, sinewy and energised sound.
Peter McCallum - The Sydney Morning Herald - 15 May, 2014
THOMAS WALKER - Bach St John Passion - Herderkirche Weimar - Dunedin Consort - John Butt
...the emotion and drama in his interpretation was certainly gripping, thanks to the excitable spontaneity of the central Evangelist's narrative role (euphoric and compelling from Scots tenor Thomas Walker)...
Ken Walton - The Scotsman - 28 April, 2014
ANDREW TORTISE - Britten The Turn of The Screw - Opéra de Lyon
Andrew Tortise's eerily sung Quint makes a much stronger impression...
Hugh Canning - The Sunday Times - 20 April, 2014
Andrew Tortise's Peter Quint was as insidious and creepily seductive as he should be.
Hugo Shirley - The Spectator - 24 April, 2014
LUKAS JAKOBSKI - Britten Curlew River - Opéra de Lyon
William Dazeley's noble Ferryman and Lukas Jakobski's imposing Abbot were outstanding.
Hugo Shirley - The Spectator - 24 April, 2014
Dès cette entrée saisissante...la basse Lukas Jakobski, dans le rôle de l'Abbé, est remarquable d'intensité. Sa voix ample et sonore donne toute la solennité requise au personage...
From his striking entrance...bass Lukas Jakobski in the role of the Abbot, displays remarkable intensity. His ample and sonorous voice gives all the solemnity due to the character...
Fabrice Malkani - Forum Opera - 12 April, 2014
MRM Artists forthcoming highlights
Emma Bell during June sings Madame Lidoine in Robert Carsen's production of Les Dialogues des Carmélites for The Royal Opera, Covent Garden and Sir Simon Rattle, joining Sally Matthews. In July Emma sings Elettra in Mozart Idomeneo, in a new production by Jorge Lavelli for the Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires and conductor Ira Levin.
Katherine Broderick during June and July returns to Opera North to sing Woglinde Götterdämmerung in concert on a UK tour including Leeds, Birmingham and Gateshead. On July 19 she sings Strauss Vier letzte Lieder with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and conductor Eivind Aadland in Brisbane, Australia and on July 28 sings Mahler Resurrection Symphony at the Three Choirs Festival, in Worcester Cathedral.
Elena Galitskaya on June 2 sings Proserpina and Ninfa in a concert performance of Monteverdi L'Orfeo at La Salle Pleyel, Paris with Christophe Rousset and Les Talens Lyriques. Then on the 18th gives a recital of songs by Rachmaninov with Alfonse Cemin at the Festival d'Aix en Provence.
Sally Matthews during June sings Blanche in Robert Carsen's production of Poulenc Les Dialogues des Carmélites for The Royal Opera, Covent Garden. Also in June she sings Carl Orff Carmina Burana with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, again with Simon Rattle and on the 25th & 26th sings Mozart Requiem at the Vienna Konzerthaus with Ivor Bolton and the Wiener Symphoniker.
Annalena Persson sings Isolde on July 19, in a concert performance of Tristan und Isolde with the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra and Eckehard Stier. Then from the 26th sings the title role in performances of Puccini Turandot at Teatro Lirico di Cagliari with conductor Roberto Abbado, with further performances during August.
Elizabeth Watts on June 14 & 16 sings Mahler Symphony No 4 with Marc Albrecht and the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and on the 21st, sings Beethoven Symphony No 9 in London with Academy of Ancient Music and Richard Egarr. During July Elizabeth sings Handel L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato in Madrid for the Mark Morris Dance Group and on the 23rd gives a recital, including songs by Wolf, Schubert, Strauss and Rachmaninov with Peter Donahoe for the Fishguard International Festival.
Karen Cargill in June and July sings Dryad, in Christof Loy's production of Strauss Ariadne auf Naxos for The Royal Opera, Covent Garden and Antonio Pappano. On June 29 she sings Mahler Symphony No 8 with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen and on July 26 sings Verdi Requiem with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Yannick Nézet Séguin in San Sebastian, Spain.
Sunnyboy Dladla during June and July sings Nick, in a new production by Barrie Kosky of Puccini La Fanciulla del West for Zurich Opera.
Stuart Jackson on June 4 sings in a programme of Mozart Concert Arias with the Classical Opera Company and Ian Page, at St John's Smith Square, London.
Edgaras Montvidas sings further performances during June and July of Lensky, in Graham Vick's production of Eugene Onegin for Glyndebourne Festival Opera. On August 24 he sings Verdi Requiem in Lithuania, with the Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra at the Pazaislis Festival.
Jeremy Ovenden during June sings Nerone in Monteverdi L'Incoronazione di Poppea for Opéra National de Paris. On July 23 he sings Mozart Mass in C Minor with the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra and Christophe Rousset. He sings Mozart Requiem on July 19 with the RAI Orchestra, Turin and on August 3 at the BBC Proms, with Donald Runnicles and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.
Mark Padmore on July 15 sings Schumann Liederkreis, Op 39 at the Aldeburgh Festival, in a concert which also includes the world première of Ryan Wigglesworth Echo and Narcissus and Janácek The Diary of One who Disappeared. On June 26 he gives a recital with Kristian Bezuidenhout at the Schubertiade Schwartzenberg, Austria, including songs by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schumann Dichterliebe which he also sings at this year's Cheltenham Festival on July 11, in a recital including the world première of a new commission by Huw Watkins as well as Tippett The Heart's Assurance. Also in July Mark sings Haydn Die Schöpfung with Bernard Haitink and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks at the Salzburg Festival (18th) and in Ottobeuren Cathedral (20th).
Andrew Tortise in July sings further performances of Peter Quint, in Oliver Mears's production of Britten The Turn of The Screw for Nevill Holt Opera (5 & 7) and on the 19th sings Monteverdi Vespers of 1610 in Salzburg Cathedral, with The Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra and Sir John Eliot Gardiner. Then on the 29th Andrew sings Bach Mass in B Minor with Academy of Ancient Music, for The Three Choirs Festival in Worcester Cathedral.
Thomas Walker sings Handel Alexander's Feast with the Lithuanian National Opera and conductor Rolf Beck, on June 20 & 21 in Vilnius. On July 5 Thomas sings Mozart Coronation Mass in the opening concert of the Trasimeno Festival in Basilica Superiore di San Francesco, Assisi, with Jeffrey Tate and Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano and on August 28 performs Monteverdi First Book of Madrigals with Luca Pianca (Theorbo) in Antwerp.
Marcus Farnsworth sings Guglielmo in further performances of English National Opera's new production of Così fan tutte during June and July and on August 1 sings Jesus in Elgar The Apostles with the Philharmonia Orchestra for the Three Choirs Festival, in Worcester Cathedral.
Andrew Foster-Williams in June sings Don Pizzaro Fidelio on a European tour with Le Cercle de l'Harmonie and Jérémie Rhorer, including Brussels (11 &12) and Paris (14). He sings Beethoven Symphony No 9 on the 21st with Academy of Ancient Music and Richard Egarr in London joining Elizabeth Watts and with Orchestra National de Lille and Jean-Claude Casadesus on July 9 at the St. Riquier Festival. Also during July Andrew sings Handel L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato in Madrid for the Mark Morris Dance Group, again with Elizabeth Watts and on the 23rd sings Mozart Mass in C Minor in Salzburg Cathedral with the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra and Christophe Rousset, here joining Jeremy Ovenden.
Stephan Loges with Iain Burnside, gives a recital as part of the World War 1 Weekend at Wolfson College, Oxford, including songs by Ivor Gurney, Arthur Somervell, John Ireland and Martin Shaw.
Lukas Jakobski during June sings Pietro in Verdi Simon Boccanrgra for Opéra National de Lyon and conductor Daniele Rustioni.
Simon Lepper makes 2 appearances at Wigmore Hall in June: a recital, Sacred and Profane on the 3rd with counter-tenor Lawrence Zazzo including songs by Purcell/Britten, Mussorgsky, Poulenc and the London première of a Wigmore Hall commission by Iain Bell, These motley fools and on the 27th joins Sophie Bevan and Christopher Maltman for the final recital in the 'Joseph Marx Song Series' he has curated, the programme to include music by Marx, Pfitzner, Zemlinsky, Korngold and Strauss. In August, he joins Stéphane Degout in a programme of songs by Schubert, Loewe, Fauré and Liszt at the Ravinia Festival, Chicago (6th) and at the Edinburgh Festival (27th).