12 Apr 2017
The Arts Desk ★★★★★ by Stephen Walsh
‘Gardiner’s Monteverdi Odyssey begins, aptly and superbly, with his Odysseus masterpiece’
‘Gardiner’s Ritorno showed that, on the contrary, his style of recitative, constantly in motion between a sort of dry chatter and informal lyrical song, with every shade in between, is probably the most sophisticated form of word-setting known to man’.
‘The playing by the English Baroque Soloists seemed to me nearly flawless, and I liked very much Rooke’s discreet but poised use of the quite limited Colston Hall platform’
The Guardian ★★★★★ by Andrew Clements
‘John Eliot Gardiner’s ad-hoc company of impressive singers and musicians shine in a beautifully realised semi-staging that sounded totally assured’
‘Every moment of it is totally compelling. Gardiner brings an easy, long-practiced flexibility to the recitative and its fluid switches into arioso and aria, and working with the same group of singers on all three operas seems to be paying enormous dividends’
‘There was total assurance about everything musical and dramatic in the performance, and immaculate diction too, from both the native Italian speakers in the cast and the non-Italians’
‘Every element in this show, you sense, has been carefully thought out and beautifully realised’
The Times ★★★★★ by Rebecca Franks
‘John Eliot Gardiner made a triumphant start to a year-long celebration of Monteverdi’s 450th anniversary’
‘It already looks as if it will be the unmissable event of this Monteverdi year’
‘In gorgeous aubergine silk, with a voice to match, Lucile Richardot made a wonderfully imploring and dignified Penelope. Furio Zanasi was her vivid Ulisse; he makes everything he sings sound as natural as speech.
Elsewhere, Anna Dennis was a stand-out Melanto, radiant, flirtatious and totally in control, and Krystian Adam gave a well-judged portrait of Telemaco. The choir added a touch of heavenly polish’