“True Verdian music-making”: Tobias Ringborg conducts Il Trovatore

12 May 2015

Scottish Opera’s new production of Il Trovatore opened in Glasgow last Thursday to enthusiastic notices. Much of the credit for the musical success of this well received production has been given to conductor Tobias Ringborg. Below we have collated a selection of critical responses.

Tobias can be seen conducting Il Trovatore in further performances of this production on 14 and 17 May in Glasgow, on 21 and 24 May as part of the Edinburgh International Festival, and on 11 and 13 June in His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen.

“Scottish Opera ended its 2014-15 season on a high with this solidly cast, superbly conducted revival. The transformative agent was Tobias Ringborg… Ringborg has two essentials for a Verdi conductor: temperament and style. The former was evident from the vitality he drew from the very first choral tableau, and his knack of drawing the threads of a scene into a natural, powerful climax; the latter in his sensitive, never manicured phrasing of the aria accompaniments, always giving his singers the right support and allowing the music to breathe. Verdi’s instrumental voicing pulsated under his care…The immaculately tuned succession of chords at the start of the prison scene was another pleasurable detail. Ringborg is the most inspiring Verdi conductor I’ve heard since Richard Armstrong; I can’t think of higher praise.”
Andrew Clark, Opera Magazine

“With the conductor, Tobias Ringborg, encouraging razor-sharp rhythms and tubby, ominous bass lines from the orchestra and the chorus delivering stonking denunciations of everyone, this is true Verdian music-making.”
Richard Morrison, The Times ****

“In the pit, Swedish conductor Tobias Ringborg elicits a renewed sense of purpose from the Scottish Opera Orchestra. There is fire in their belly, tempered nonetheless by Ringborg’s insistence on clarity of texture and energised, but disciplined, pacing. He reacts instinctively to the nuances of the singers, without allowing the momentum to falter.”
Ken Walton, The Scotsman ****

“Swedish conductor Tobias Ringborg keeps the orchestra crisp and the pacing neat…”
Kate Molleson, The Guardian

”... the Orchestra of Scottish Opera, conducted by Tobias Ringborg, plays as well as it has all season. ... Ringborg subsequently achieved a near-perfect balance between pit and stage.”
Keith Bruce, Herald Scotland ****

“Under the brisk baton of Tobias Ringborg the Orchestra of Scottish Opera sound full blooded throughout.”
Lauren Humphreys, The Public Reviews ****

“This is also a distinguished night for the company’s orchestra and chorus, both of them providing taut music-making and unstoppable dramatic momentum. Much of the credit goes to Swedish conductor Tobias Ringborg, who pushes the score along as if he had real fire and brimstone in his veins.”
George Hall, The Stage ****

“Down in the pit, Tobias Ringborg was managing to get the most sensitive playing out of the orchestra that has been heard in the Theatre Royal all year. Consistently quite reserved tempi allowed the singers the chance to shine and there was a wonderful (and in Glasgow, rarely achieved) balance between the pit and the stage. At just one moment in the third act did it seem that there was the danger of everything going out of kilter but this was soon rectified. Musically this production was something of a triumph.”
Kelvin Holdsworth, Opera Britannica ****

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