“Matthew Halls scored a triumph”

Posted on Apr 18, 2019 in Matthew Halls, Reviews | No Comments
“Matthew Halls scored a triumph”

“…the results were profoundly inspired revelations of Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony…Halls had a tall order placed before him and he didn’t flinch…the highlight of the night was Halls’ masterstroke of bringing the third, fourth and fifth movements together in an undifferentiated hymn to contemplation, of life and death, of meaning and mortality, and ultimately, of the […]

Butterfield’s “clarion tenor”

Posted on Apr 16, 2019 in Benjamin Butterfield, Reviews | No Comments
Butterfield’s “clarion tenor”

“Of course, the opening funereal measures of the Requiem had a sobering effect, but even here, Mozart did not neglect the element of theatricality. Dashon Burton’s thundering basso in “Tuba mirum” was a stunner, followed by Butterfield’s clarion tenor, Atkinson’s silky mezzo, and Colton’s sweet and airy soprano — in fact an entire progression of […]

LA Times: “Handel’s ‘Saul,’ not the ‘Messiah,’ with Nicholas McGegan in his element”

Posted on Apr 11, 2019 in Nicholas McGegan, Reviews | No Comments
LA Times: “Handel’s ‘Saul,’ not the ‘Messiah,’ with Nicholas McGegan in his element”

“Four years after “Saul,” Handel and the same librettist, Charles Jennens, would go on to produce that first true, most famous and still most lasting of all oratorios, meant for Easter (even if appropriated by Christmas). Instead Nicholas McGegan, the longtime music director of the Berkeley-based period instrument ensemble and as fine a “Messiah” master […]

Handel’s ‘Saul’ gets “heroic treatment” by McGegan, Van Doren & Panthaki

Handel’s ‘Saul’ gets “heroic treatment” by McGegan, Van Doren & Panthaki

“Saturday’s performance, which repeats Friday in San Francisco and Saturday in Palo Alto to close Philharmonia’s 38th season, found McGegan and ensemble in top form, powering through the two hour, 50-minute score with brisk, unflagging energy…Robust bass-baritone Daniel Okulitch thundered appropriately, relishing every moments of Saul’s badness, and sopranos Sherezade Panthaki (Michal) and Yulia Van […]

McGegan, Van Doren, and Panthaki in an “expansive” Saul

McGegan, Van Doren, and Panthaki in an “expansive” Saul

“McGegan’s leadership brought out the score’s color and vibrancy. Not even the peevish Saul himself could have begrudged the performers their success…Soprano Sherezade Panthaki brought her trademark clarity and tonal sensuality to the role of Michal…Yulia Van Doren (Merab) and tenor Aaron Sheehan (Jonathan) acquitted themselves handsomel” -Read more at SF Datebook.

Williams was “as godly in appearance as he was vocally”

Posted on Apr 5, 2019 in Douglas Williams, Reviews | No Comments
Williams was “as godly in appearance as he was vocally”

“Among the supporting roles, the most striking impression was made by bass-baritone Douglas Williams as Neptune. I can’t think of another Idomeneo production that manages to turn Neptune into a starring role, given he has only two minutes of music in the three-hour opera. Williams proved that he’s as godly in appearance – barechested and […]

Molomot and Vinokour shine in Florentine Opera’s ‘Poppea’

Posted on Apr 4, 2019 in Jory Vinikour, Marc Molomot, Reviews | No Comments
Molomot and Vinokour shine in Florentine Opera’s ‘Poppea’

“Molomot was an Arnalta who upheld Seventeenth-Century conventions but set a standard of his own in the rôle…Arnalta’s lullaby for Poppea, ‘Oblivion soave,’ is one of the most exquisite pieces in Seventeenth-Century opera, and Molomot sang it with piercing expressivity that so entranced the audience that merely breathing seemed to disturb the scene’s serenity…Cuing singers […]

Butterfield is “perfectly cast” with Calgary Phil

Posted on Mar 30, 2019 in Benjamin Butterfield, Reviews | No Comments
Butterfield is “perfectly cast” with Calgary Phil

“Benjamin Butterfield, perfectly cast for the lyric tenor part, offered memorable performances of If With All Your Hearts and Then Shall the Righteous Shine Forth, both arias tenor favourites the world over. Always a musical and intelligent singer, he is, understandably a favourite with Calgarians.” -Read more at Calgary Herald.

Daniel Taylor’s “golden voice”

Posted on Mar 27, 2019 in Daniel Taylor, Recording, Reviews | No Comments
Daniel Taylor’s “golden voice”

“Daniel Taylor guests for the alto aria Virgam virtutis in which the interplay between his golden voice and the continuo instruments is sublime.” -Read more at TheWholeNote.

Halls “brought the stage to life” with H&H

Posted on Mar 26, 2019 in Matthew Halls, Reviews | No Comments
Halls “brought the stage to life” with H&H

“…the chemistry between conductor and ensemble truly brought the stage to life…Halls undeniably has a special ability to unite the ensemble…Halls’s historical performance sensibilities combined with the distinct sonorities of a period orchestra unveiled subtle colorings often hidden in modern orchestral renditions.” -Read more at The Harvard Crimson.  Photo: Courtesy of Sam Brewer