An "electrifying" Saül at Théâtre du Châtelet conducted by Laurence Cummings with Christopher Ainslie as David

28 January 2020

Conductor Laurence Cummings and Christopher Ainslie (as David) have received great acclaim for their performances in Handel's Saül at Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, which opened on 21 January 2020.

Barrie Kosky's vivid and energy-filled production was premiered at Glyndebourne in 2015 to great critical acclaim, followed by a highly successful tour in which Cummings and Ainslie both performed. Cummings returned to Glyndebourne in 2018 to conduct the revival and now brings Kosky's production to the Châtelet, where both he and Ainslie make their debuts.

A renowned interpreter of Handel, Laurence Cummings has been highly praised for his fresh interpretation and energy that he brings to the pit:

"Conducted by the British Laurence Cummings, who also plays a pivoting organ in the middle of the stage at the opening of the second part, the musicians excel, whether in the clarity of the tutti or in the intimacy of a speech between lutes or theorbos."
Guillaume Tion, Libération
"Led by a lion-like Laurence Cummings, the 42 musicians in the pit make this music roar with a consummate sense of grandiose, a fleshy continuous bass and a remarkable synchronisation with the scene."
Guillaume Saintagne, Forum Opera
"Laurence Cummings is undoubtedly at home in the Handelian universe. Under the expert baton, the ample gestures and the motivating looks of the British conductor, the orchestra pushes the excitement to its peak while delicately supporting the poetry of lamentations."
Claire de Oliveira, Olyrix

"with the alchemy of the English Laurence Cummings [the orchestra] has visibly taken a quarter turn: under its galvanized direction, the great strength of the orchestra sounds of the fire of God, with a very British majesty, but also a magnitude, a brilliance and a tone that we are not always used to hearing from a baroque orchestra. Electrifying evening for a delirious room: it feels good."
Christian Merlin, Le Figaro

Christopher Ainslie also receives great acclaim for his moving and powerful performance of David:

“The show is a splendour, served by an impeccable cast: [including] Christopher Ainslie as David.”
Nicolas Blanmont, La Libre Belgique
“Christopher Ainslie plays a high class David, particularly moving in his delicate arias.”
Florent Coudeyrat, ConcertoNet.com
“Countertenor Christopher Ainslie, who has previously performed David, sings “Oh Lord, whose mercies numberless ” with purity and agile vocal lines leading to breath-taking resolutions despite the length of the phrases: his delicacy and sensitivity win over the public, who rightly award him a triumphant appreciation.”
Claire de Oliveira, Olyrix
“the excellent David of countertenor Christopher Ainslie, simultaneously luminous and imperious.”
Chantal Cazaux, Avant Scène OPÉRA

Performances run until 31 January. Click here for more information.

Photo credit: (c) Patrick Berger

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