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2024 Season Reviews

Platée

★★★★★
“Garsington Opera… pulled off a huge success with this sparkling (in more ways than one), funny, engaging production…”
Melanie Eskenazi, MusicOMH, 29 May

★★★★★
“Rameau’s comic masterpiece receives a new and scintillating production at Garsington Opera”
Tim Hochstrasser, Playstosee.com, 1 June

★★★★
“Rameau’s earthy score, which The English Concert brings vividly to onomatopoeic life in the pit, excellently directed by Paul Agnew”
Rebecca Franks, The Times, 30 May

★★★★
“Director Louisa Muller finds a way through in a production that generates a steadily increasing degree of sympathy for poor Platée”
George Hall, The Stage, 30 May

★★★★
“Samuel Boden excels in a series of outrageous costumes by designer Christopher Oram: green sparkly swimsuit with matching flippers; peacock-tailed tutu; over-the-top wedding dress.”
Stephen Pritchard, The Observer, 2 June

★★★★
“Among the solo roles, Holly Brown as the scheming Muse of Comedy stands out for the delicate way she catches Rameau’s idiom.”
Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph, 30 May

★★★★
“Garsington has established itself as the most stylish and adventurous of Britain’s country-house opera companies.”
Michael Church, inews, 31 May

★★★★
“Overall this is a lavish, hugely entertaining show teeming with ideas.”
Claudia Pritchard, CultureWhisper, 31 May

★★★
“The chorus is superb – diction chiselled, phrasing in high-definition – and they move with enviable ease”
Flora Wilson, The Guardian, 30 May

★★★
“Ossian Huskinson’s Jupiter impressed with his strong bass-baritone voice”
Richard Fairman, Financial Times, 31 May

★★★
“This production has a lot going for it: fabulously performed music, an engaging performance in the title role and an entertaining scenario with great visuals and plenty of comic gags.”
David Karlin, Bachtrack, 30 May

“Rameau’s score is a riot. The choral singing was as lithe as the dancing and the English Concert under Paul Agnew launched itself with enormous bounce and vim at all the bird effects, dissonances and chromatic slithers. It’s a shiny, raunchy, heartless spectacular: perfect Friday night viewing, in other words”
Richard Bratby, The Spectator, 6 June

“Mireille Asselin has a purity of tone and an innate Baroque sensibility that charms even as she descends in a lift dressed as a DJ dropping tunes in a DJ booth.”
Adrian York, London Unattached, 30 May

“Ossian Huskinson proves to be a suavely confident Jupiter, alongside Murray in his second part as Mercury, equally silver-tongued, and Henry Waddington’s dependable Chitheron, as they set about their mission.”

Curtis Rogers, Seen and Heard International, 3 June

Figaro

★★★★
“As the Countess, Samantha Clarke sang a drop-dead gorgeous ‘Porgi amor’, accompanied by birdsong and warbling clarinets, while ‘Dove sono’ was no less beautiful”
Mark Pullinger, OperaNow, 3 June

★★★★
“Bethany Horak-Hallett was the pick of the bunch with her ardent, quivering Cherubino”
Melanie Eskenazi, MusicOMH, 31 May

★★★★
“John Cox’s production feels as fresh as ever. The strong cast in this latest reincarnation by revival director Bruno Ravella brings out the best of Mozart’s effervescent tunes and Lorenzo da Ponte’s comic brilliance, and the evening fizzes with fun.”
Charles Hebbert, Culture Whisper, 5 June

★★★
“The Philharmonia Orchestra – recently confirmed alongside the English Concert as Garsington partners for the next five years – plays dynamically under Norwegian conductor Tabita Berglund”
Edward Bhesania, The Stage, 31 May

“Berglund’s pacing of the score is consistently sure and the sonorities of the Philharmonia’s modern instruments are sympathetically calibrated. It would be hard to leave Garsington’s Le nozze di Figaro without feeling a satisfied glow”
Yehuda Shapiro, Opera Today, 6 June

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

★★★★★
“An outstanding British cast without a weak link, all of whom will be at the Royal Albert Hall in September when Garsington brings a version of this Dream to the Proms. Crowe is in gorgeous voice, her Come Now a Roundel luscious, and, under the influence of Puck’s narcotics, singing with honeyed inebriation.”
Neil Fisher, The Times, 17 June

★★★★
“Iestyn Davies’ ideally articulate and subtly voiced Oberon”
George Hall, The Stage, 17 June

★★★★
“Superbly played by the Philharmonia Orchestra under Douglas Boyd, bringing out all the unresolved tensions and sweet resolutions of the score”
Melanie Eskenazi, MusicOMH, 17 June

★★★★
“A dream cast and a sparkling orchestra”
Richard Fairman, Financial Times, 17 June

★★★★
“Davies’ light but intensely focused sound seems to control everything, while Crowe’s voice rings out majestically, her deluded love-making with Bottom’s donkey being both comic and piercingly sad; the royal pair’s closing duet is exquisite”
Michael Church, inews, 17 June

★★★
“Each character – John Savournin’s pedantic Quince, Adam Sullivan’s slow-witted Snout and above all Richard Burkhard’s big-hearted Bottom – was nicely etched”
Ivan Hewett, The Daily Telegraph, 17 June

★★★
“The “fairy band” – Wormsley locals, not formally trained singers – were excellent: Britten would have loved that link to the community”
Roy Westbrook, Bachtrack, 17 June