Reviews & Features
Fidelio In Concert
Singing her first Leonore, Katherine Broderick is by turns deeply affecting and thrilling: Töt’ erst sein Weib is simply electrifying … The whole thing is haunting, beautiful and extraordinarily moving.
Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 14 September 2020
Katherine Broderick presented a thrilling Leonore, seeming to revel in the role’s cruellest vocal challenges, and Toby Spence went hell-for-leather at Florestan’s great aria. Stephen Richardson was a bluffly avuncular Rocco, Richard Burkhard a properly magisterial Fernando. The young ones shone: Galina Averina was a delightfully spirited Marzelline and a very promising young tenor Trystan Llyr Griffiths, made much more than usual of Jaquino … Altogether a heart-warming occasion.
Rupert Christiansen, The Daily Telegraph, 13 September 2020
In a strong cast, soprano Katherine Broderick’s soaring power as Leonore cuts through everything, while Galina Averina’s exquisitely sung Marzelline makes a lovely foil. Bass Stephen Richardson brings unusual warmth to the part of gaoler Rocco, while Toby Spence’s incarnation of his prisoner Florestan becomes the portrait of a soul in torment.
Michael Church, The Independent, 21 September 2020
Beethoven’s immortal score, performed with such life-affirming radiance.
Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times, 20 September 2020
The sterling cast stood out in front, led by Katherine Broderick powerful and impassioned as Leonore and Toby Spence as Florestan. Both were stretched to their limits by Beethoven’s vocal demands, but their performances were robust and convincing. Without the usual spoken dialogue, this condensed version could not convey the resonance of the original, yet proved revelatory.
Fiona Maddocks, The Observer, 20 September 2020
This post-lockdown admittance to Garsington Opera’s spacious, award-winning pavilion with its impressive acoustic was always going to be something extraordinary … Given a chamber group as a kind of Greek chorus, the players also became dramatic participants, on a level with the singers. The acoustics loved the characterful woodwind solos, Timothy Rundle‘s oboe above all, and which brought instant tears to the eyes in the timeless rapture just before the final hymn to Leonore.
David Nice, The Arts Desk, 19 September 2020
I can honestly say that this is a stronger, more interesting performance of Fidelio than might have happened in normal circumstances … The first act quartet, “Mir ist so wunderbar”, took us to operatic heaven, with vocal and instrumental lines interwoven so that every line was crystal clear but the sum of the parts was greater still.
David Karlin, Bachtrack, 13 September 2020
Conductor Douglas Boyd, Garsington’s artistic director, seemed absolutely in his element, emphatically conveying the heights and depths of the score.
George Hall, Opera News, 19 September 2020
A chamber group of 13 from the Philharmonia Orchestra played one to a part. Conductor Douglas Boyd did a convincing job: there was excitement, drama, sensitivity, commitment. It felt special – full of detail that I’d never previously noticed. Katherine Broderick’s Leonore was a tour de force and Toby Spence made a sympathetically boyish Florestan.
Michael White, Opera Now, 18 September 2020
The inescapable power of the piece comes through, due to Mumford’s discrete direction, the vocal aptness of the principals and the measured and yet equally dynamic conducting of Garsington’s artistic director, Douglas Boyd.
George Hall, The Stage, 14 September 2020