Archives for April 2018

April reviews

Handel Teseo

St George’s Hanover Square

12/04/18 & 14/04/18

Sam Smith for MusicOMH.com 5*****

“The programme stated that ‘Tonight’s performance aims to recreate the drama in the Perfection that would have been experienced by the audience in 1713 with scenes, decorations, flights, and machines’. If this seemed a bold claim, as it meant that this concert performance had to generate the same sense of excitement that the original would have achieved through flying dragons, transformation scenes and apparitions, the promise was fulfilled as the playing was electric, demonstrating immense energy and drive. Although La Nuova Musica, conducted from the harpsichord by David Bates, can take the credit for giving such a highly charged performance, it was entirely appropriate for it to do so because the score clearly leant itself to such an approach.”
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Robert Hugill for Planethugill.com 4****

Teseo has a richly imaginative orchestration, and in many of the arias, Handel uses his forces of oboes, bassoons, strings and continuo (plus occasional flutes, recorders and trumpets) with skill and imagination. David Bates and his forces brought out all these fascinating textures, supporting the voices with a gorgeous tapestry of sound. This concert performance was a fine achievement from all concerned, and it was lovely to have the chance to hear this fascinating yet rarely performed opera in such an engaging performance.”
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Curtis Rogers for Classical Source

“This was Baroque Opera as it should be, realised in an assured and imaginative fashion, so as to allow the work’s vivid contrasts and colours to emerge, and the artifice of its formal structure to serve the emotional dictates of the music. With performers of this calibre, such repertoire has a great deal more to offer and beguile audiences.”
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Purcell Dido and Aeneas

Wigmore Hall

07/04/18

Rebecca Franks for The Times 4****

“This certainly was a memorable concert performance of Dido and Aeneas by David Bates’s La Nuova Musica, crammed on stage with theorbos spilling over the flower arrangements. The tartness, fragility and earthiness of the period instruments was beguiling, matched by a chorus sensitive to every word and a uniformly excellent cast, with Rachel Kelly and George Humphreys in the title roles and Anna Dennis a powerful Belinda.”
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Claire Seymour for Opera Today

“This performance of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas by La Nuova Musica, directed by David Bates, was, characteristically for this ensemble, alert to musical details, vividly etched and imaginatively conceived.”
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