Ainslie and Sporsén “admirable” and “outstanding” in Thebans at ENO

18 May 2014

The world premiere of Julian Anderson’s first opera Thebans – written for English National Opera and directed by Pierre Audi – took place last week at the London Coliseum and with it has come excellent reviews for Rayfield Allied artists Julia Sporsén and Christopher Ainslie.

Singing the roles of Antigone and Theseus/The Messenger respectively, Sporsén and Ainslie have each been described as “excellent” and “admirable” by Barry Millington (Evening Standard). Fiona Maddocks comments on how “Christopher Ainslie’s otherworldly, gilded Theseus/Messenger mastered his difficult but effective vocal lines, in which word stresses did not always fall on the strong beat but sounded all the more natural for it” and describes how “a mournful cor anglais shadows the vocal line of Antigone, passionately delivered by Julia Sporsén” (The Observer). Guy Dammann goes on to describe Julia Sporsén as “outstanding” in her role (The Guardian). Writing in Opera, John Allison writes: “Christopher Ainslie was spellbinding in his narration – a Messenger who made you really listen to the message – and his countertenor seems to be growing in its powers of projection”. Allison is equally complimentary of Julia, commenting “With plenty of vocal temperament and incisive colour, Julia Sporsén was a passionate Antigone”.

Thebans runs until 3rd June. For more information and to purchase tickets click here. You can also watch excerpts of Christopher and Julia performing their roles in this video made by the Financial Times.

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