Reviews & Features

Recent press reviews, interviews & articles

Garsington Opera at Home

UNMUTE: A Musical Reunion

★★★★★ "There have been many splendid ventures gingerly reviving live music-making recently (...) This concert comes closer than most to getting to the heart of what makes the art form so rewarding. Blessed with daylight and a prospect of the gorgeous gardens beyond, the stage comes alive, but not because of scenery, props or set. It is sincere singing, thoughtful playing and selfless conducting that make opera come alive." Claudia Pritchard, Culture Whisper, 6 July 2020

"One radiant light of the proceedings is soprano Soraya Mafi who lives every phrase as Susanna, and whose breath control is impressively reflected by baritone Roderick Williams in the Act 1 arioso of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin and Sam Furness playing poet Lensky in elegiac mood. Brindley Sherratt as Tchaikovsky’s Prince Gremin is deeply affecting in the refrain of that eminently detachable bass aria (...) And how lovely it sounds with just chamber forces of the Philharmonia (...) Garsington leader Douglas Boyd conducts, but leaves the strings to have the last, supremely cultured word in the Sextet from Strauss’s Capriccio. Classy, and beautifully filmed to boot." David Nice,, 11 July 2020

"Garsington Opera’s UNMUTE: A Musical Reunion (...) was a perfect combination of nostalgia and optimism. Six singers, Garsington’s Artistic Director Dougie Boyd, members of the Philharmonia Orchestra and actor Samuel West reminded listeners of what we are all missing this summer, and at the same time provided uplifting hope for and anticipation of next year’s summer opera season - and the renewal of the UK’s cultural life more generally." Claire Seymore, Opera Today, 7 July 2020

"Just to remind us of the very high standard of singing at Garsington Opera, Unmute: A Musical Reunion, a live concert from the pavilion has been filmed ‘at a distance,’ (...)  The concert begins with the ‘recognition’ scene from Le nozze di Figaro, in a delightful performance from a true ensemble, with Joshua Bloom’s genial Figaro, Roderick Williams’ urbane Count and Soraya Mafi’s sparkling Susanna. There follows a beautifully sung ‘Sull’aria’ featuring the elegant, cultivated voice and statuesque presence of Nardus Williams’ Countess. After two more extracts from Figaro, we hear some entrancing ensemble singing from Soraya Mafi, Nardus Williams, Joshua Bloom and Sam Furness, in the sublime quartet ‘Mir ist so wunderbar’ from Beethoven’s Fidelio. (...) The concert comes to a close with the bittersweet String Sextet from Strauss’ Capriccio, evoking memories of Garsington Opera’s wonderful 2018 production, and reminding us of the delights to come in 2021" Melanie Eskenazi, Music OMH, 8 July 2020

Le nozze di Figaro

Our 2017 production of John Cox's Le nozze di Figaro is available to watch online for free until September on YouTube and The Bartered Bride from 2019 is available until the end of May.

Ten Ways to Have Fun Indoors
The Telegraph
, 21 March 2020

"I've never seen better. Everyone seems perfectly cast and you'd be happy to encounter all of them in any opera house in the world."
David Nice,, 30 March 2020

"One of the big hits of Garsington Opera's 2017 Season. Invite an all-star cast into your home."
Claudia Pritchard, Culture Whisper, 28 March 2020

"Garsington has put online its joyous production directed by the veteran John Cox and with the consummately accomplished bass Joshua Bloom in the title role."
Michael White, Camden New Journal, 3 April 2020

"However many Figaros you have seen, this one should not be missed...A class act."
Clare Colvin, Sunday Express

"A staging whose limpid beauty has already secured success many times."