'the augmented choir of The Sixteen – impeccably disciplined, supremely stylish – are the true stars of this enthralling show'
'Robert Murray made a wonderfully outrageous Belshazzar, conspicuous in his consumption, omniverous in his sexual tastes and generally self-indulgent'
'The Sixteen and their allies... sang, especially in the sublime choruses of the enslaved Jews, with a heart-lifting power that united dazzling vocal discipline with an emotional force that might have knocked down those walls by itself.
'Robert Murray’s Belshazzar steered that very fine line between undue histrionics and credibility very skilfully, and made it possible for one to believe that this personable young tenor was actually a very bad man indeed. His singing was both powerful and beguiling.'
'Conducted by the exceptional Francesco Cilluffo, Christopher Luscombe’s production for The Grange Festival succeeds beyond any possible expectations.'
'Christopher Luscombe's production is savvily updated, precisely calibrated and musically captivating'
'It’s rare to find an evening of comedy that seems to perfectly assembled, but the Grange delivered the full package.'
'Robert Hayward made a delightful Falstaff, an old roue who has no idea that he is ridiculous but who can scrub up well (for his Act Two seduction scene) when needed. Hayward made Falstaff's self-absorbtion an enjoyable part of his routine and his nimble performance was the centrepiece which anchored the production.'
'Christopher Luscombe has created a real hit with his gently, appropriately updated setting and aptly directed singers, and the evening is the most entertaining so far of all the Summer Festival operas.'
'With a fine cast and a production of rare wit and poignancy, this is one of those occasions which remind us that Le nozze di Figaro is truly one of life’s great operatic experiences.'
'Ellie Laugharne stood out as Susanna for clarity of tone and quality of legato; tightly-wound, she showed just the right combination of frustration and amusement. Barely able to conceal her physical repulsion of Almaviva, we were given a woman determined to do her utmost to take control of her fate'
'Lloyd-Evans and his team ensured that the closing miracle of forgiveness and reconciliation worked its magic without cynicism, with Mihai’s Countess no longer a scorned, frantic victim but a vision of healing grace'
'Ellie Laugharne's grounded Susanna and Mihai's sorrowful Countess offer real depth of feeling, and the opera's final healing message of love and forgiveness rings completely true'
'Things are similarly impressive vocally, with Kiandra Howarth on full throttle as Konstanze, one of Mozart’s most challenging coloratura roles. Her voice has edge, range and substance to spare, and while her volume and brilliance brook no opposition and some articulation is flattened out at the top of her voice, her performance is all part of Konstanze’s imperious and morally unassailable bearing'
'But Copley’s production is good fun and plays it by the book, so we actually get Osmin up a tree, picking figs, just as the libretto tells us'
'Making stronger impressions are bass-baritone Jonathan Lemalu as a grand-scale Osmin who savours the comic possibilities of his role, and actor Alexander Andreou in the spoken role of Pasha Selim – a character to whom he brings considerable humanity and dignity'
'Rigorous classical technique underpinned the contemporary stylings; McGregor’s company dancers brought a surging energy, buoying up jewel-like moments from the RB stars – Soares borne aloft, Hayward whipping through the air with fierce determination; an oh-so-delicate Stix-Brunell. It was a fittingly grand finale for this first foray to the country.'
'There have been some brilliant productions of Il Barbiere di Siviglia , but this one beats them all … by a whisker!'
'This was a busily engaging performance, breaking no new ground but drawing strong performances out of the cast to ensure that the wit and musical brilliance of Rossini's opera came over'
'Charles Rice as Figaro is a charismatic presence right from his famous first aria, while David Soar as the heavyweight Don Basilio also boasts impressive talent.'
'In all it’s a terrific show, and the only Handel production I’ve ever seen which obeys the old showbiz principle: leave your audience wanting more.'
'Walter Sutcliffe’s production trades in the thrills and spills, deceptions, seductions, and revelations, cutting out the recitatives so that the whole thing rushes along as if there’s no tomorrow.'
'Its glorious music, political satire and imaginative staging make this an absolute must-see production.'
'There is nothing to equal the collaboration of real experts in their field, as The Grange Festival has demonstrated yet again with this stunning Agrippina'
'A production such as this breathes new life into Baroque opera, showing to those open-minded enough to see it, how such works can still excite attention and pleasure.'
'This cracking production, with its gripping mix of sex, power, schemes, politics, lies, lust and love, could have been written for the box-set age'
'We were blessed with six young singers all at the start of successful careers and all capable of making the audience feel that they would wish to be nowhere else in the world at that moment than listening and watching them'
'For my own part, I am glad that other people were on the jury, because all the artists brought something special to the afternoon.'
'David Parry drove this sparkling score forward with ease and drew polished playing from members of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Trinity Laban'
'Personality oozes from Sarah Pring’s Lady Bertram and Jeni Bern’s Mrs Norris, while the other roles are all solidly sung.'
'I would put an Austen tenner on this becoming a summer opera favourite, not least because it is both amusing and heartfelt. Dove and his librettist, Alasdair Middleton, are in tune with Mansfield Park's sense and sensibilities'
'Martin Lloyd-Evans directs the staging energetically, framed by Dick Bird's simple but elegant design'
'Dove and his librettist Alasdair Middleton, did provide us with charming entertainment which was stylishly and slickly staged by director Martin Lloyd-Evans and designer Dick Bird'
‘Copley's expertly crafted production extracts every ounce of humour from Britten's cosy comedy; in the pit, Steuart Bedford brings precision and sensibility'
‘This is the best show I've seen there since the daring shot at Prokofiev's The Gambler a decade ago'
‘Pinkstone allowed his performance to become more animated and the final scene was a brilliant mixture of comedy and seriousness'
‘Meticulously directed by Tim Supple and inventively designed by Sumant Jayakrishnan’
A bold and innovative launch to the new Grange Festival’ ‘a new Grange Festival has risen phoenix-like in Hampshire’ ‘Exemplary central performances’
‘Nilon wonderfully captures Ulisse’s noble anguish’ ‘Bonitatibus embodies Monteverdian singing at its finest, fusing text and line into a single expressive unit, emotions contained and vivid.’
'Bizet's orchestration, sparklingly dispatched by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the conductor Jean-Luc Tingaud'
‘Na'ama Goldman, who happens to look a lot like the late Amy Winehouse, was terrifically cast in the title role'
'No one could accuse director Annabel Arden and designer Joanna Parker's production of Carmen of not being innovative or accessible'