Reviews

Vivienne – new chamber opera

September 21st, 2013  |  Published in New Works, Reviews


mcneffA new one act opera for mezzo soprano and piano about T S Eliot’s ‘mad’ wife, Vivienne

 

Reviews

Evening Standard *****
McNeff delivers an unpredictable yet instantly appealing score. The story unwraps in songs that always hint at popular idiom — crunchy bebop infuses her late-Forties mourning, Berlin-style cabaret hints at Eliot’s possible Fascist sympathies — but their structure is elastic and mutable. You enjoy the tune but never quite catch it. Kieron Quirke

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Secret Garden review

October 21st, 2012  |  Published in Reviews

 
Opera on Two Acts based on the novel by Frances Hodgeson Burnett

Newly revised version premiered by Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music in July 2012 and at the Banff Festival of the Arts in Canada in August 2012 conducted by Dominic Wheeler and directed by Kelly Robinson. Read the rest of this entry »

Chalk Legends review

August 21st, 2012  |  Published in Reviews

 
chalkTHE CHALK LEGENDS – When Viking skeletons were unearthed in Dorset it was the start of a tale that led back over a thousand years into a mysterious world… with a strange modern twist.


The Times
At this premiere it was also a triumph of hard work and organisation. The BSO, Dorset Youth Orchestra, eight local choirs and two dance companies successfully fused and struck sparks in a tricky rectangular space. Under MarkForkgen’s baton and Williams’s direction no cues were dropped, no note fumbled. Marvellous.
Geoff Brown

 

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Daughters of the elements

August 31st, 2011  |  Published in New Works, Reviews


Tête à Tête Opera Festival highlights this year included performances of Stephen McNeff’s Daughters of the Elements.

“Far more conventional but no less effective, Stephen McNeff’s Daughters of the Elements (simply but touchingly staged by Bankes-Jones) depicts Marie Curie and her two daughters reminiscing about Curie’s laboratory breakthroughs, her marriage, and her brief affair with a married scientist that scandalised Paris. With McNeff’s delicate instrumentation evocatively realised by the Chroma Ensemble under Robin Newton, and every word made crystal clear by Mary Plazas, Katherine Bond and especially Lucy Schaufer as Marie, the work emerges as an autumnal but lyrical song-cycle counterpointing the certainties of science against the unfathomable and often painful complexities of human behaviour.” The Times Read the rest of this entry »

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