Press Reviews 2018

The Skating Rink

"...all the twists and pace of a TV thriller, matched with music equally direct and striking. It deserves many more outings."
Richard Morrison, The Times, 9 July 2018

"An intriguing experiment in neo-noir that pays off handsomely."
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 6 July 2018

"Fine performances and first-rate conducting drive a taut plot."
Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 6 July 2018

"How many other new operas keep the audience on the edge of their seats to the end?"
Richard Fairman, Financial Times, 6 July 2018

"This complex modern drama, brilliantly sung, is a frozen asset."
Paul Driver, Sunday Times, 15 July 2018

"One of the summer season's most surprising triumphs. The musical standards are very high indeed."
Guy Dammann, Times Literary Supplement, 20 July 2018

"Finely observed and strongly performed."
George Hall, The Stage, 6 July 2018

"...grips and entertains at first audience-friendly whodunit with a spiky libretto and a colourful, Spanish-tinged score."
Mark Valencia, WhatsOnStage, 13 July 2018

"Shivers up and down the spine."
Charlotte Valori, Bachtrack, 6 July 2018

"The Skating Rink must surely have many future stagings to come."
Paul Levy, Arts Journal, 12 July 2018

"At the heart of this enthralling opera are unfailingly fine performances. The whole package is terrific."
Claudia Pritchard, Culture Whisper, 6 July 2018

"Sawer has created a score full of mystery. Hats off to Garsington!"
Alexander Campbell, Classical Source, 6 July 2018

"Sawer's intriguing score, excellently conducted by Garry Walker..."
Sam Smith, Music OMH, 7 July 2018

"Strong performance of a new opera with a very striking voice."
Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill, 6 July 2018

"It's a gold medal from me for this fine piece of British choreography."
Scarlett Roitman, Diary of a Londoness, 12 July 2018

"The score is executed with aplomb. Strong acting from all and good vocal performances. Congratulations Garsington."
Louise Lewis, British Theatre Guide, 8 July 2018

"The ensemble, as a whole, were brilliant in their singing and their movement."
Katy Hammond, Daily Info, 10 July 2018

"Poetry in motion. The opera is ideally cast and the quality of the singing is excellent."
John Burleigh, Henley Standard, 23 July 2018

"An intriguing story, told by a superb cast of voices. I was gripped from beginning to end."
Cindy Burrowes, Henley LIfe, 1 August 2018

"A lot of the confidence came from the conducting of Garry Walker. It was masterly."
Roderic Dunnett, Music and Vision, 24 July 2018

"It is a vibrant and energetic score, with some beautiful more contemplative moments, and well served by an earthy libretto by Rory Mullarkey.
Keith Clarke, Classical Music, 1 August 2018

"There was not a single weak link in an excellent cast of singer-actors."
Jonathan Cross, Opera, 1 September 2018


"One of the most sheerly enjoyable and touching British Falstaffs of recent years."
Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times, 1 July 2018

"There's no better way to spend a summer's evening. This is an ensemble that seems to have been together for years."
Richard Morrison, The Times, 20 June 2018

"Henry Waddington gives the most convincing, moving, and beautifully-sung portrayal I've ever seen."
Michael Church, The Independent, 18 June 2018

"This Victorian-set production is a delight."
Richard Fairman, Financial Times, 18 June 2018

"I've never heard Falstaff better conducted. A first-class British cast is led by Henry Waddington, with a beautifully sung Falstaff."
David Mellor, Mail on Sunday, 23 June 2018

"The most cheerful and warm-hearted production of Verdi's final opera I have seen."
Clare Colvin,, 24 June 2018

"Bruno Ravella directs a top-class realisation of Verdi's final opera."
George Hall, The Stage, 19 June 2018

"Lives up to its billing as this summer's country house talking point. Ravella's production overflows with invention."
Mark Valencia, WhatsOnStage, 19 June 2018

"...brimming with good humour and verve...this clever, funny production."
Amanda Holloway, Opera, 1 August 2018

"...subtle, elegant production."
Charlotte Valori,, 18 June 2018

"A thoroughly professional and well-executed Falstaff."
Sebastian Scotney,, 18 June 2018

"The pace is terrific. Richard Farnes conducts a stirring account."
David Truslove,, 18 June 2018

"This is the best rendering I have ever heard. Henry Waddington's Falstaff is a beautifully crafted character. A bright and glittering performance from Garsington."
Louise Lewis, ​British Theatre Guide, 23 June 2018

"Garsington is shown at the very top of its game in a sensational new production that sounds wonderful, looks brilliant and provides perfect entertainment for a lovely summer evening."
Christopher Gray, The Oxford Times, 28 June 2018

"A very entertaining evening and a delight for those new to opera."
Nick Wayne, Pocketsize Theatre, 27 June 2018

"It was glorious. An evening of beautifully constructed, overt comedy featuring an elite cast of exceptionally talented artists."
Helen McWilliams, Entertainment Views, 17 June 2018

"A real musical rediscovery of the role of Falstaff. An exceptional evening."
Jean-Marcel Humbert, Forum Opera, 24 June 2018

"A triumph for the company and all concerned."
George Smart, Town and Country, 26 June 2018

"Garsington Opera is shown at the very top of its game in a sensational new production that sounds wonderful, looks brilliant and provides perfect entertainment for a lovely summer evening."
Chris Gray, Oxford Mail, 29 June 2018

"A jubilant example of Garsington at its best."
Rebecca Lipkin, The Arbuturian, 9 July 2018

"A faultless interpretation. Henry Waddington and Richard Burkhard were outstanding. A production of the highest order."
Trevor Howell, Henley Standard, 16 July 2018

"An opera that should pulse with life from beginning to end; this production achieves that admirably."
Curtis Rogers, Seen and Heard, 21 June 2018


"Miah Persson gives one of the most detailed and nuanced acting performances of any singer of the past decade or more...this is a near-immaculate assumption. This Capriccio confirms Garsington's status as the best country-house opera address after Glyndebourne."
Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times, 10 June 2018

"Tim Albery's delicious staging. There was no weak link. The great coup was the Countess herself...singing the role with beauty of tone, subtlety of vocal colour and that ideal, Straussian blend of wit, consternation and wisdom."
Fiona Maddocks, The Observer, 10 June 2018

"This Capriccio, splendidly conducted by Dougie Boyd, really is a must-see."
David Mellor, Mail on Sunday, 10 June 2018

"Persson sings the part of the Countess with Mozartian grace and purity of line...that finale is a proper showstopper."
Neil Fisher, The Times, 5 June 2018

"Miah Persson is superb. The Swedish soprano sings with a voice of pearl and gold. A final scene in which we glimpse Straussian heaven."
Hugo Shirley, Financial Times, 4 June 2018

"Miah Persson is the acme of sophistication as the Countess, singing with all the silvery grace that Strauss adored. Douglas Boyd conducts a sumptuous account of the music."
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 2 June 2018

"A perfectly judged new production. In Miah Persson we get an ideal Countess."
Michael Church, The Independent, 4 June 2018

"Miah Persson is a peerless Countess. The final aria...immaculately sung."
Clare Colvin, Sunday Express, 10 June 2018

"Garsington makes as good a case as you can for Strauss's frothy Capriccio. Douglas Boyd showed himself to be a fine Straussian. In particular he made the Moonlight Music as it needs to be: achingly lovely, so that one longs for more, but is rightly denied it."
Michael Tanner, The Spectator, 8 June 2018

"Persson is stellar in this gracious, glorious role. A sophisitcated summer treat."
Mark Valencia, WhatsOnStage, 5 June 2018

"Makes a profound impression under conductor Douglas Boyd. Miah Persson's final solo scene is unforgettable in its expressive warmth."
George Hall, The Stage, 4 June 2018

"Miah Persson, looking and sounding radiant."
Barry Millington, Evening Standard, 4 June 2018

"This is world-class singing. Miah Persson is commanding, graceful and luminous of tone throughout. An exquistitely staged and sung production."
Claudia Pritchard, Culture Whisper, 2 June 2018

"A beautiful production by Tim Albery. Miah Persson sailed sweetly and swiftly through the conversational snatches and soared through Strauss's expansive arcs with a blend of silvery limpidity and golden gleam."
Claire Seymour, Opera Today, 3 June 2018

"Stardust has fallen on Garsington in the shape of Swedish soprano Miah Persson."
David Nice,, Monday 4 June

"A gentle, sympathetic Capriccio."
David Karlin, Bachtrack, 2 June 2018

"Featuring a Countess who is surely destined to be the Strauss soprano of our time."
Melanie Eskenazi, Music OMH, 26 June 2018

"From the opening sextet to the dreamy horn solo in the 'Moonlight' music, the playing is big on detail and style, as indeed is the whole, impeccable evening."
Peter Reed, Classical Source, 2 June 2018

"The star of the evening was Miah Persson...she has a wonderfully rich liquid-like voice. A great achievement, and a perfect evening."
Mike Proudfoot, Daily Information, 1 June 2018

"Albery's production is a witty interpreation, which gets even better in the second half."
Louise Lewis, British Theatre Guide, 1 June 2018

"Miah Persson is at the top of her game and supplies a sensational performance. Under the baton of Douglas Boyd, this is a musical joy."
Christopher Gray, The Oxford Times, 7 June 2018

"The Garsington Opera Orchestra played their hearts out. Miah Persson shone in the starring role."
Maureen Idowu, Henley Standard, 3 June 2018

"A strong cast and a radiant account of the title role."
Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill, 11 June 2018

"A new production that oozes style. 
Jean-Marcel Humbert, Forum Opera, 20 June 2018

"The star of this performance was Miah Persson. Her Countess was made perfctly."
Dr Jacek Kornak, Cooltura, 24 June 2018

"The direction of Douglas Boyd was sensitive, detailed and expressive."
Agustín Blanco Bazán,, 27 July 2018

"Garsington continues to cement its Straussian credentials under Douglas Boyd's baton. Miah Persson delivers a radiant, mellifluous account of the Countess."
Curtis Rogers, Seen and Heard, 5 June 2018

"There were many musical rewards to enjoy. That was true above all for Persson."
Mark Berry, Seen and Heard, 13 June 2018

Die Zauberflöte

"A sharp new production."
Fiona Maddocks, The Observer, 10 June 2018

"A clever new Mozart staging. Best of all is Louise Alder as Pamina. She is a rising star and you can easily see why."
Richard Morrison, The Times, 4 June 2018

"Plenty of laughs, it's stylish and inventive, and the cast is strong. This is a clever production."
Michael Church, The Independent, 1 June 2018

"Netia Jones's imaginative re-think. There is excellent work by the cast, especially Louise Alder's radiant Pamina, Benjamin Hulett's lyrical Tamino and bass James Creswell's magisterial Sarastro."
Clare Colvin, Sunday Express, 10 June 2018

"Netia Jones' new production is a corker. The musical side of things is unalloyed delight. Christian Curnyn stirs the Garsington Opera Orchestra to exuberant heights and galvanises a wonderfully distinguished cast."
Mark Valencia, WhatsOnStage, 1 June 2018

"An enigmatic staging. Louise Alder's flawlessly controlled Pamina, Sen Guo's immaculately skilled Queen of the Night, Benjamin Hulett's clean-edged Tamino and James Creswell's richly flowing Sarastro all score highly."
George Hall, The Stage, 1 June 2018

"This is a smashing cast: fresh-sounding, and each bringing slightly more to the table, vocally, than you necessarily expect with a Zauberflöte."
Richard Bratby, The Spectator, 9 June 2018

"Louise Alder sang a commanding Pamina. The depth in casting was admirable."
Mark Pullinger, Bachtrack, 1 June 2018

"One of the handsomest productions we've ever seen in this auditorium. This is as strong a cast as Garsington has ever fielded."
Alexandra Coghlan,, 1 June 2018

"A superb cast. In this visually enchanting and intellectually thought-provoking production, Jones interweaves copious ideas into a multifarious concept."
Claire Seymour, Opera Today, 1 June 2018

"This is a cast and orchestra which any house would be proud to show off."
Melanie Eskenazi, Music OMH, 19 June 2018

"Beautifully exectued both visually and acoustically."
Scarlett Roitman, Diary of a Londoness, 7 June 2018

"This production is a must-see. It is both fresh and different and visually satisfying."
Amanda Sadler, Henley Standard, 18 June 2018

"The singing gets ovations. It's a fine cast..."
Michael White, Catholic Herald, 22 June 2018

"Louise Alder is one of those sopranos who is worth a trip to the countryside to discover a voice of velvety density, clarity of articulation and firmness of steel in the long phrases."
Augustín Blanco Bazán,, 27 July 2018

"The performance supported excellent contributions from the cast. Louise Alder's Pamina is radiant and effusive. Sen Guo was musically commanding and accurate in the role's celebrated vocal displays."  ​
Curtis Rogers, Seen and Heard, 5 June 2018