Dido’s Ghost – Buxton International Festival – The Guardian Review

★★★★

Flora Willson, The Guardian

“A beguiling tapestry of fragmentary quotations and knowing gestures to an earlier music language, overlaid with a contemporary sonic palette.”

Read the full review here.

Dido’s Ghost – Buxton International Festival – The Arts Desk Review

★★★★★

Robert Beale, The Arts Desk

“It’s a stimulating piece of creation and adaptation, done to a very high standard indeed, and may even be remembered as one of the most striking and original artistic products of the Covid era.”

Read the full review here.

Dido’s Ghost – World Premiere at the Barbican – The Stage Review

★★★★

George Hall, The Stage

“Wallen’s skilful score offers atmosphere, variety and some impressive characterisation and is finely sung and played in a performance founded on the excellent Baroque specialist Dunedin Consort under conductor John Butt; musical standards are high throughout.”

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Dido’s Ghost – World Premiere at the Barbican – iNews Review

★★★★

Alexandra Coglan, iNews

“This is a bold reimagining of Purcell’s classic… All are superb, but it’s Matthew Brook’s Aeneas who carries the piece. The feckless charmer of Purcell’s origin here becomes wiser and sadder – finally a man worthy of the Lament, which he delivers with heart-stopping vulnerability and tenderness.”

Read the full review here.

Dido’s Ghost – World Premiere at the Barbican – Opera Today Review

Claire Seymour, Opera Today

“Dunedin Consort played with characteristic vividness, relishing the dynamic counterpoint, melodic rhetoric and rhythmic spring… Matthew Brook gave an outstanding performance as the man forced, simultaneously, to re-live his past and re-examine his present.”

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Dido’s Ghost – World Premiere at the Barbican – The Times Review

Geoff Brown, The Times

“… there was the lively precision of John Butt’s Dunedin Consort, its period instruments regularly spiked with the electric guitars that signalled when Wallen had arrived and Purcell had left.”

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Dido’s Ghost – World Premiere at the Barbican – Planet Hugill Review

Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill

4.5/5 stars

“… breathtakingly daring yet intelligently done.”

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Dido’s Ghost – World Premiere at the Barbican – The Economist Review

The Economist

“A conversation across centuries and styles… Dido’s Ghost hauntingly shows that so-called “period” instruments can, and should, play key parts in the music of today.”

Read the full review here.

Dido’s Ghost – World Premiere at the Barbican – Vox Carnyx

Keith Bruce, Vox Carnyx

“It is desirable beyond argument that Dido’s Ghost becomes a repertoire work.… Dunedin stalwart Matthew Brook has never been better than he is here… Nardus Williams as the supportive Belinda is also a powerful presence, and Scots mezzo Allison Cook is fearsome as Lavinia…”

Read the full review here.

Dido’s Ghost – World Premiere at the Barbican – Bachtrack Review

★★★★

David Smythe, Bachtrack

“a dramatic and thrilling work… Purcell’s work is performed as a memory masque, not quite bookended by the new work as the ghosts take over and the operas collide at the end with an extraordinary and unexpected twist”

Read the full review here.

Dido’s Ghost – World Premiere at the Barbican – The Guardian Review

★★★★

Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian

“Anyone who insists on Purcell pure might find the mix too challenging, yet this new work is bold and moving, a piercing reminder of how the past haunts the present. Dido’s celebrated lament is heard, but not as you expect it. With a conviction that transfixes, Aeneas himself now sings the plaintive, tolling utterance, to devastating effect.”

Read the full review here.

Passio with Hebrides Ensemble – Live on BBC Radio 3 – Vox Carnyx Review

Keith Bruce, Vox Carnyx

“All this is beautifully measured in this performance, conducted by William Conway of the Hebrides Ensemble…”

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Matthew Passion – Online Broadcast – Vox Carnyx Review

Keith Bruce, Vox Carnyx

“This is Butt’s Bach scholarship made flesh in a way that anyone coming to the work for the first time will instantly appreciate… “

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The Brandenburgs – Live at Wigmore Hall – The Times Review

Richard Morrison, The Times

” …those patterns seem to flow seamlessly without the music-making sounding mechanistic. It’s a fine line to tread. The Dunedin Consort, directed from the harpsichord by John Butt, managed it beautifully in the first movement of No 6, perhaps the least well-known concerto of the set. Here the two violas that (in the absence of violins) take unusual starring roles each phrased their lines with supple flexibility without destabilising the metre. And the combination of violas, gambas, cello and bass sounded gorgeously dark and mellow.”

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Lagrime Mie – Spitalfields At Home – The Guardian Review

Rian Evans, The Guardian

“Tenor Nicholas Mulroy realised a similarly rich flexibility of sound in Monteverdi and Schütz. For both their rarity value and striking directness of expression, Mulroy’s singing of Dolce Maria by Francesca Caccini and Barbara Strozzi’s Lagrime Mie stood out.”

Read the full review here.