Countertenor Christopher Ainslie's Garsington Opera debut in the role of Athamas in a new production of Semele, directed by Annilese Miskimmon and conducted by Jonathan Cohen, won him outstanding reviews.
"With fine contributions from Christopher Ainslie (Athamas) ... this was a splendidly sung performance."
Barry Millington, Evening Standard ****
"One of today's top countertenors, Christopher Ainslie, was wasted in the secondary role of Athamas."
Mark Valencia, What's On Stage ****
"The emotional havering between Christopher Ainslie’s Athamas and Jurgita Adamonytė’s Ino – Semele’s rejected bridegroom and the bridesmaid who adores him from afar – is breathtakingly done. ... Ainslie and Adamonytė are profoundly touching together."
Tim Ashley, The Guardian
"Christopher Ainslie ... sang with real style as Semele’s rejected earthly bridegroom."
Melanie Eskenazi, musicOMH
"Christopher Ainslie in the latter part sang with fluent, graceful ease."
Curtis Rogers, Seen and Heard International
"Athamas’ first aria of passion, ‘Hymen, haste, thy torch prepare’ ... was technically accomplished and stylishly phrased."
Claire Seymour, Opera Today
Much in demand as an interpreter of Handel's music, Ainslie has performed it for Glyndebourne, the Handel Festivals in Göttingen and London, Teatro Real Madrid, English National Opera and with the National Symphony Washington D.C.. He has also appeared at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Bregenz Festival, and the opera houses in Lyon and Nancy.