On 4 May 2019 Gemma Summerfield made her Scottish Opera debut as Pamina in The Magic Flute, conducted by Tobias Ringborg, who returned to the company following critically acclaimed performances of Le nozze di Figaro, Il trovatore and Rigoletto. Both artists have received excellent reviews for their performances:
It’s cast from strength too, with a gorgeously creamy Pamina from Gemma Summerfield...
Finer still is the exciting playing of the orchestra, who have had a brilliant season. The conductor Tobias Ringborg keeps the music focused, helped by some period-sensitive touches such as minimal string vibrato and natural trumpets and timpani.
Simon Thompson, The Times ★★★★
All cast members generally impress - though Gemma Summerfield and Julia Sitkovetsky shine above them all vocally, commanding powerful yet elegant and agile instruments in the roles of Pamina and The Queen of the Night respectively.
In the pit, Tobias Ringborg's passion for this composition is in plain sight as he chooses to conduct without a baton, instead sculpting the sound with his bare hands - commanding an obedient and responsive orchestra who themselves cannot resist a glimpse of the on-stage eccentricities during their periods of rest
William Parker, Opera Guide Scotland ★★★★★
Gemma Summerfield’s honeyed Pamina...
In the elevated pit with all players out in front of the stage, Tobias Ringborg held stage and players together well bringing out period colours from a Mozartian-sized band that included natural trumpets, small-bore trombones, basset horns and period timpani.
David Smythe, Bachtrack ★★★★
The women also give the strongest vocal performances of this cast, Gemma Summerfield a lovely warm-toned Pamina…
The Orchestra of Scottish Opera, in period band mode under conductor Tobias Ringborg, and performing in a raised pit in front the proscenium arch for this revival, was also on essentially fine form from that point of view.
Keith Bruce, The Herald ★★★★
The production runs at the Theatre Royal, Glasgow until 18 May, before touring to Inverness, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, London and Belfast. More information is available on the Scottish Opera website.
Photo credit James Glossop.