Conductor Julia Jones' return to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, is being welcomed by the critics, who are celebrating her "finely detailed reading" of Die Zauberflöte and the "verve and clarity" of her performance.Renowned for her interpretations of the work, Julia last conducted Die Zauberflöte at Seattle Opera in the summer. Her past ROH engagements include Die Zauberflöte in 2013 and Così fan tutte in 2010.
Julia is joined by Rayfield Allied artists Peter Bronder (Monostatos, pictured above) and, later in the run, Janai Brugger (Pamina) and David Shipley (Second Armed Man).
"As brisk as the swish of a panniered skirt, the conductor Julia Jones’s finely detailed reading of the overture sets a smart pace for this philosophical pantomime of opposites and pairs. While the strings are kept plain, the woodwind flourish under her direction: bassoons, clarinets, oboes and, of course, the flute." (Anna Picard, The Times **** )
"And in the pit, Julia Jones conducts a performance that stands out for its verve and clarity." (Hannah Nepil, Financial Times ****)
"In the pit, Julia Jones’ well-paced reading of Mozart’s score found just the right balance between weight and period punch." (Mark Pullinger, bachtrack ****)
"British conductor Julia Jones returns to the pit where she maintains perfect dramatic momentum, and the whole evening goes with a swing." (George Hall, The Stage ****)
"The conductor Julia Jones maintained steady tempos and the orchestra were poised and controlled, never anything less than refined, but never pushing the boat out. The horns sounded terrific as did, fittingly, flautist Margaret Campbell." (Bernard Hughes, The Arts Desk)
"Conductor Julia Jones keeps the plot boiling with taut, urgent tempo choices. ... The ROH Orchestra played delightfully with a discreet sense of historically informed style." (Mark Valencia, WhatsOnStage ****)
"Julia Jones, who also conducted the 2013 revival, is strong in the pit, achieving lithe, thoughtfully paced and extremely well balanced playing from the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House." (Sam Smith, musicOMH ****)
"The whole thing was held together by purposeful conducting from Julia Jones who kept up the momentum and spirit of both the story and the music." (William Hartston, Daily Express ****)
The performance on 20 September will be broadcast live to cinemas around the world.
Photographer: Tristram Kenton