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Monteverdi L’Orfeo

Jonathan Miller breathed an extra dimension into the Orpheus-Eurydice myth which lifted Monteverdi's exquisite music on to an entrancing new plane. Tucker's impressive performance grew in stature as the piece progressed; Joanne Lunn, Julia Gooding and Michael George also distinguished themselves amid a cast with no weak links, fusing with [the NLC's] period players in Monteverdi as authentic as it gets. This packed, rapt house was privileged indeed. The Observer

With the excellence of the cast and the authority of the playing, the evening revealed the range of L'Orfeo's music, from the imposing, brassy fanfares that dramatised the underworld to the seraphic violins that accompanied Orfeo. The musicians conjured spine-tingling effects with the simplest of gestures, such as the tenebrous organ line that dramatised the moment when Orfeo heard the news of Euridice's death, or the single chord that sealed his fate as he turned to gaze on his beloved in the underworld. L'Orfeo has a dramatic brilliance that few composers have ever achieved, and the work was created anew by the clarity of this staging. The Guardian

Monteverdi's vocal music can express human feeling with greater depth and immediacy than many a later and ostensibly more tuneful opera, and it was this fundamental awareness that made the performance so compelling. There was terrific variety and colour in [the NLC's] reading of the score. An excellent cast headed by Mark Tucker (Orfeo) and Revital Raviv (Euridice) also fielded Michael George as Pluto, Simon Grant as Caronte and Andrew King as a Shepherd, a Spirit and Apollo. Sung in clearly articulated Italian, the performance made every word tell, so that the opera's tragic heart beat with extraordinary emotional force. Daily Telegraph

The highlight of the Inside Monteverdi weekend at the South Bank Centre was Jonathan Miller’s beautiful, poetic semi-staging of L’Orfeo. At the production’s heart was tenor Mark Tucker, who gave a wonderful performance of the demanding title role. His smile had a soft, saintly radiance. His sorrow came from deep within. This was a fragile, vulnerable hero. Evening Standard

The New London Consort played with their usual compelling style and flair. Tempos were not always fast, but the evening passed in a flash. Opera Magazine

Jonathan Miller’s widely praised staging of “L’Orfeo,” here in the work’s China premiere, was performed by the New London Consort. It was a production well worth the effort. The ensemble was exquisitely prepared. Costumed in Shirin Guild’s earth-toned, loose fitting linen garb, the 12-member cast moved easily, leisurely about the bare-boned stage with poise and assurance, singing with a sense of directness and immediacy that shed contemporary light on this ancient myth. The cast was uniformly splendid, led by Mark Tucker’s sure-pitched, unadorned heldentenor in the title role. The real thing. Those in attendance were highly enthusiastic. Musical America

Purcell Dido & Aeneas

How many masterpieces can you take in one day? Mid-afternoon, we gathered in the Royal Festival Hall for Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, its punch and aching beauty crisply realised by the New London Consort. There was no shortage of bright sounds. Joanne Lunn’s every word, note and decoration dazzled, and she wasn’t even Dido. Julia Gooding and Michael George, just as affecting, occupied the title parts. Every number came nourished with playing of exemplary force and finesse, timpani whipping up a tempest, violins leading a merry dance. Dido’s Lament was properly heartbreaking. The Times

Purcell The Indian Queen

The playing was fabulous, the singing faultless, and the whole thing revealed The Indian Queen to be a work of great brilliance, wit and emotional power. The Guardian

Orpheus in Albion

Soprano Julia Gooding and bass-baritone Michael George did wonders with a chunk of John Blow's deliriously suggestive Venus and Adonis, and celebrated the "pleasures divine in love and wine" to be found in Purcell's incidental music for Thomas Shadwell's rewrite of Timon of Athens. The same score, along with Purcell's Indian Queen, provided some spectacular solos. George fulsomely evoked "wild Lapland's gothic night", which Thomas Linley associated with Macbeth's witches. Glorious stuff, every second of it. The Guardian

Bach Orchestral Suites

A compelling, often intriguing and always fresh account of Bach's four Orchestral Suites. This performance challenged received wisdom and invited listeners to think again about past musical traditions and their cultural context. The Independent

Monteverdi Vespers 1610

A dazzling Monteverdi concert magnificently performed by the New London Consort. The most affecting, gripping 90 minutes of music I’ve experienced for a long time. Or ever. [The Vespers] had here the shapeliness and inevitability of a Mozart symphony. The Sunday Times

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