David Parry, Katie Bray and Luciano Botelho have received fantastic reviews for their performances in Rossini's Il Turco in Italia at Garsington Opera. The production opened on 26 June, conducted by David Parry and the final performance will take place on 15 July. Katie Bray and Luciano Botelho play the roles of Zaida and Narciso respectively.
David Parry's conducting received high praise from the critics: "a justly celebrated Rossinian, conducts a performance that is equally colourful and crisply pressed, adding further drama with his continuo playing at the fortepiano" (Edward Bhesania, The Stage). He has been lauded for his "unflagging pep" (Anna Picard, The Times) and for displaying "the assured touch of an old hand: the pace is always lively without ever dissolving into frantic, there’s bounce and lift whenever it’s needed, and the lyrical passages are delivered with elegance" (David Karlin, Bachtrack).
"David Parry conducted a well-paced account of the score, combining elegance and balance like a fine, bubbling prosecco, as this music should. He avoided the temptation simply to rush through it but secured from the Garsington Opera Orchestra the sense of a gradual acceleration and increasing tension which creates a genuinely exciting and dramatic effect" - Curtis Rogers, Seen and Heard International
Commending Luciano Botelho for how his "clear, bright tenor impressed in the role of Narciso" (David Karlin, Bachtrack), critics commented that "it was a treat to hear so genuinely Italianate a sound" (Melanie Eskenazi, musicOMH).
"Luciano Botelho bravely essayed the challenging role of Narciso with its high-wire acrobatics (it was written for Giovanni David who created Rodrigo in Otello and whose range went, easily, up to high F). Botelho has an attractive lyric tenor voice with a delightful stage presence…" - Robert Hugill, Opera Today
Commenting on Katie Bray, critics have praised the "style and warmth" (Anna Picard, The Times) of her singing and how she "really made Zaida count. She combined a vivacity with warmth of tone, and created a real sense of character" (Robert Hugill, Opera Today). It was also remarked that “Katie Bray, another house favourite, sang Zaida with superb projection and mastery of her role” (Melanie Eskenazi, musicOMH)
“I’d defy anyone to name a more complete singing actress than Sarah Tynan, except perhaps Katie Bray. Here we get them both…as the gypsy Zaida, the every-changing Bray – who never ceases to astonish – lent her irresistible stage presence along with her rich, penetrating mezzo to a performance of scene-stealing delight” – Mark Valencia, What’s on Stage