"Furness, however, is terrific in the immensely difficult title role. Gauchely attractive, he… sings it all with great ease and impeccable style… it’s Furness’s night."
"...almost too seductive for a serial romantic failure. This is a voice with star quality, and Furness can float it delicately over a final chord as readily as he can send it slamming to the back of the hall."
The Arts Desk
"The vocal honours of the evening went unequivocally to Samuel Furness, whose performance of Lensky’s aria… was so pure in tone, so full of useless regret, that I wonder if I have ever heard it sung so finely."
"Even [Kecal] was outshone by the remarkable Vašek of Samuel Furness, a lyric tenor clearly going places… one of the most complete, funny and touching impersonations of this tricky role that I have seen."
Described as having “all the makings of a star” in the Guardian, and hailed as “a lyric tenor clearly going places” in Opera magazine, young tenor Sam Furness has sung major roles for Scottish Opera and in Florence, Santiago and Toulouse, always earning praise for his compelling acting and innate musicality.
Engagements in the 2016-17 season include debuts at the Teatro Real, Madrid (The Novice Billy Budd), Vlaanderen Opera (Vitek The Makropulos Case), Philharmonie de Paris (Jaquino Fidelio) and Real Filharmonía de Galicia (Britten’s Les Illuminations), as well as returns to the Wigmore Hall (Linfea La Calisto for La Nuova Musica), Royal Festival Hall (Mozart’s Requiem), Garsington Opera (Jack Silver Birch) and Northern Ireland Opera (Don Ottavio Don Giovanni).
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Title role of Offenbach Les contes d’Hoffman, cond. Philip Sunderland, dir. James Bonas
English Touring Opera, October 2015
Furness, however, is terrific in the immensely difficult title role. Gauchely attractive, he charts Hoffmann’s descent from naive idealism to self-destructive despair with compelling veracity, and sings it all with great ease and impeccable style… it’s Furness’s night.
Sam Furness’s tenor as Hoffmann ... sounds almost too seductive for a serial romantic failure. This is a voice with star quality, and Furness can float it delicately over a final chord as readily as he can send it slamming to the back of the hall.
The Arts Desk
The ubiquitous Hoffmann (strongly sung and flamboyantly acted by Sam Furness) is no longer a poet deserted by inspiration but a silent movie director who is equally washed up.
The singing is of exceptional quality. Sam Furness flings himself with total commitment into Hoffmann’s torment – it’s refreshing to hear a British tenor let rip with such full-throated ardour and he plays the part of the hopeless unshaven wastrel to the hilt.
There was no doubting the passion and promise of Sam Furness’ blond-mopped Hoffmann.
The screening of this ‘lesson in love’ is overseen by Sam Furness’s jaded and disillusioned Hoffmann, a slumped figure of dejection, pathos blending with mundanity - a former Romantic hero now reduced to an idler blowing smoke rings. Furness was tireless in the title role and blended an ethereally beautiful head voice with focused lyrical power and rich warmth. Furness also showed good sense in pacing himself and ensuring that he had the stamina to sustain the lyrical intensity; indeed, he began strongly, but held enough in reserve to offer some thrillingly impassioned singing in the Antonia and Giulietta Acts. He was utterly convincing as the somewhat shabby poet-turned-filmmaker.
The cast were on fine form… Sam Furness has a lyrical tenor voice and he did a great job with Kleinzach’s aria in the prologue which he sang with tongue in cheek heroic gusto… he delivered well in the incendiary scenes in the Antonia and Giulietta Acts where he gave us some thrilling singing and a ravishing beauty of tone.
Seen and Heard International
Offenbach’s Hoffmann is a drunkard, a dreamer, a seducer and a murderer. Played with gusto by tenor Sam Furness, we first see him in the depths of drink, goaded, unsuccessfully by his Muse (mezzo soprano Louise Mott) into producing his next work of genius.
No such problem with the lyrical singing of Sam Furness, who made a beautifully convincing Hoffmann, poet and visionary rescued from his own excesses…
Sam Furness in trascendent form…. Furness is lyrical, fearless and tireless in the title role.
Rising star tenor Sam Furness brings burnished and varied tone to his self-destructive Hoffmann.
Sam Furness is excellent as Hoffmann, producing a strong and expansive tenor sound.
Baron Lummer in Strauss Intermezzo, cond. Jac van Steen, dir. Bruno Ravella
Garsington Opera, June 2015
Sam Furness turns in a fine performance as a shameless, perpetually grinning Baron Lummer
Sam Furness, as the dashing Baron Lummer with whom Christine is supposed to be entangled, delivered a wonderfully detailed portrait of caddish, wheedling opportunism
Other supporting roles are flawlessly taken. Sam Furness does a perfect comedy turn as the not very bright young fop Baron Lummer
Sam Furness is a splendidly laconic Baron Lummer.
Sam Furness’s Baron… [is] excellently shambolic
Sam Furness brings some much-needed comic relief as spivvy Baron Lummer
Sam Furnes’s Baron Lummer offered a well-judged mixture of vocal allure and immaturity of character.
Števa in Janáček Jenůfa, cond. Stuart Stratford, dir. Annilese Miskimmon
Scottish Opera, April 2015
Sam Furness is a wonderfully slippery Števa.
Sam Furness’s recklessly immature Števa [is] all too credible.
Joe in Puccini The Girl of the Golden West, cond. Keri-Lynn Wilson, dir. Richard Jones
English National Opera, September 2014
…young lyric tenor Sam Furness’s voice gleaming occasionally through the textures
Jaquino Fidelio, cond. Douglas Boyd, dir. John Cox
Garsington Opera, June 2014
For me there were two standout performances. Jennifer France, and especially Sam Furness, in the usually boring roles of Marzelline and Jaquino, acted and sang impeccably and in such a way as to make you care about characters most productions scarcely bother with.
Making more than is on the page of the somewhat inconsequential Jaquino was Sam Furness, very much the handsome chap who wants his girl.
Lensky Eugene Onegin, cond. Jane Glover, dir. John Ramster
Royal Academy of Music, March 2013
The vocal honours of the evening went unequivocally to Samuel Furness, whose performance of Lensky’s aria before the duel, a piece that can sound maudlin, was so pure in tone, so full of useless regret, that I wonder if I have ever heard it sung so finely in the theatre.
Samuel Furness (Lensky) stood out for his bright, commanding tenor and confident acting.
…Samuel Furness's Lensky [was] outstanding...with exceptional singing… Furness held on to his top-note farewell with a cheeky persistence that had you gasping. But this was the last night of the run and he could do it, so why not? In a work suffused with poignancy, it was nice to smile.
Title role of Albert Herring, cond. David Syrus
Théâtre du Capitole Toulouse, January 2013
From a vocal perspective, the young British tenor is beyond reproach…
In the role of the 'May King'…Sam Furness is perfect. His monologues are delivered with a touching spontaneity… His beautiful tenor voice is moving…as an actor he is excellent.
The tenor Sam Furness was a remarkable interpreter of Albert Herring. Herring is a character who needs a convincing actor-singer rather than just a brilliant singer and this British tenor lives up to the challenge remarkably well.
The first ever May King at the Théâtre du Capitole is sung by young Sam Furness. This lyric tenor, who will turn 27 this year, already shows pretty amazing qualities of timbre, evenness throughout his whole vocal range and an innate musicality… my goodness, what great promise.
Singing the role of Albert, young British tenor Sam Furness is a revelation. A natural on stage, his Albert is genuine and touching. Here is a singer who knows how to negotiate the pitfalls of the score. Not to be missed.
Vaŝek The Bartered Bride, cond. Peter Robinson, dir. Rodula Gaitanou
British Youth Opera, September 2012
Yet even [Kecal] was outshone by the remarkable Vašek of Samuel Furness, a lyric tenor clearly going places... With Gaitanou’s help, Furness created one of the most complete, funny and touching impersonations of this tricky role that I have seen.
Sam Furness, a fine tenor who can also act, commanded the stage as the poor, shy, tongue-tied boy who eventually finds his inner grizzly bear by joining a circus.
All the principals are singers one would like to hear again. Particularly outstanding [is] Samuel Furness, whose portrayal of the socially maladjusted Vasek — a stuttering victim of maternal oppression who finds his vocation in a circus bearskin — is a tour de force.
London Evening Standard
Samuel Furness’s stammering nerd, Vasek [was] pointed and vigorous from the start, though his real blossoming comes in Act III, when this dolt bridegroom advances beyond caricature into a genuinely sympathetic character.
There was no need to make allowances for tonight’s cast. The stuttering, twitching, and completely hilarious Vašek (Samuel Furness)… provided some moments of pure comedic genius.