News

6 Sep 2019

“It was impossible not to be swept away”: Read the outstanding reviews for Benvenuto Cellini

​Our tour of Benvenuto Cellini fittingly began at the Festival Berlioz on 29 August, held at the composer’s birthplace of La Côte-Saint-André. Performances at the Berliner Festspiele and BBC Proms followed on 31 August and 2 September, with the final performance at the Chateau de Versailles still to come. The tour was a fitting conclusion to the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique’s five-year commitment to the music of Hector Berlioz, bringing John Eliot Gardiner, the ORR and Monteverdi Choir together with a stellar cast of soloists and an innovative staging from Noa Naamat to create “A Benvenuto Cellini of unfailing gusto” (The Telegraph).

Read a selection of the reviews below:

“Gardiner’s dazzling semi-staging, in tandem with the director Noa Naamat, is the finest performance of this problematic work I have seen… it was the crowd, in the shape of Gardiner’s Monteverdi Choir, who swept all before them, throwing confetti in the Roman Carnival scene and pretending to work bellows in the furnace to cover the appearance of the statue (Duncan Meadows). This was ‘semi-staging’ as elaborate and effective as I have ever seen it at the Proms.”
Hugh Canning The Sunday Times - click here to read the full review

“The Monteverdi Choir sounded thrilling… It was impossible not to be swept away.”
Tim Ashley ★★★★★ The Guardian - click here to read the full review

“This performance could not have been more alive… the most visually alive prom of the season.”
David Nice ★★★★★ The Arts Desk - click here to read the full review

“This performance unleashed a torrent of musical exuberance and rhythmic vitality.”
Curtis Rogers ★★★★★ Classical Source - click here to read the full review

“A Benvenuto Cellini of unfailing gusto from John Eliot Gardiner and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique at the Proms.”
Rupert Christiansen ★★★★ The Telegraph - click here to read the full review

“The chorus was knockout… To hear it brilliantly articulated at breakneck speed by a jiving, swaying choir was jaw-dropping.”
Richard Morisson ★★★★ The Times - click here to read the full review

“The Monteverdi Choir was on top form… choir and orchestra were unsurpassed.”
Fiona Maddocks ★★★★ The Observer - click here to read the full review

“Best of all were the high energy antics of The Monteverdi Choir, racing around the stage, dispatching the complex choruses with élan.”
Mark Pullinger ★★★★ Bachtrack - click here to read the full review

“Sir John Eliot Gardiner leads a Berlioz performance of awe-inspiring scope at the Proms.”
Colin Clarke – Seen and Heard International - click here to read the full review

Click here to listen to the performance at the BBC Proms on the BBC website.