The wit from the pit - David Parry’s Rossini “full of sparks and sparkle”

21 June 2016

Conductor David Parry‘s return to Garsington Opera, where he has been championed as a Rossini expert for well over a decade, more than delivers what it promises: his latest production, L’italiana in Algeri, has been lauded as full of sparks and sparkle, crisp, intense, striking, elegant and sophisticated, to name only a few attributes. We have collated the reviews below.

David Parry has recorded extensively in this repertoire and earlier this year, the bel canto specialist conducted the German stage premiere of Rossini’s Ermione as well as Maometto Secondo in Rostock. He appears at the Rossini Festival in Pesaro this summer and conducts a programme centred around the Italian composer at the Maggio Musicale in Florence. A versatile performer, among his other engagements this season are Carmen for Scottish Opera, Tales of Hoffmann in Wuppertal, The Goose of Cairo in Stephen Oliver’s completion with the London Mozart Players, the world premiere of Kemal Yusuf’s Cain with the Bournemouth Symphony, as well as concerts with the Moscow State Philharmonic and the English Chamber Orchestra.

L’italiana runs until 10 July, with performances on 23 and 28 June and 2, 8 and 10 July 2016.

“Yet the wit in this show comes from the pit, where David Parry conducts a brisk, Mozartian interpretation with outstanding clarinet, flute and horn solos.”
Anna Picard, The Times

“At Garsington, the score is crisply and briskly conducted by David Parry.”
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph

“David Parry conducts with plenty of fizz.”
Hugh Canning, Sunday Times

“Parry nicely judges the score’s mix of lyricism and hard-edged wit. And that great first act finale is clockwork in its precision.”
Tim Ashley, The Guardian

“The conductor David Parry is a fine Rossinian… The frothy Act 1 finale ... is even more glorious than that in Barbiere… The whole ensemble clicked into clockwork precision here and ... the performance threatened ... to take to the skies on the set’s flying carpet.”
Mark Pullinger, Opera

“This is David Parry’s tenth Rossini opera for Garsington, and it shows in an assured musical performance that’s full of sparks and sparkle ... Parry makes the most of the grace and the deft touches in the score: the oboe phrases, the horn calls and the many delicate pizzicato string interludes all come through with grace. “
David Carlin, bachtrack

“David Parry, ... drew tight discipline from the Garsington instrumentalists. The tautness of the pianissimos was striking, and the overture (the opera’s best music) was enlivened by surprising sforzandos. The woodwind relished their concertante roles in the drama and flute, oboe, bassoon and horn each enhanced the dramatic characterisation. “
Claire Seymour, Opera Today

“[Will Tuckett’s production] struck exactly the right note, amplifying Rossini’s dramatic and emotional intensity. As did the orchestra, conducted by David Parry, who has championed the composer’s unique style of playing at Garsington since 2002.”
Bucks Free Press

“Garsington’s long-running relationship with the bel canto specialist and the conductor David Parry continues to earn dividends with crisp playing from Garsington’s orchestra.”
George Smart, Harpers Bazaar

“David Parry conducts a clean, brisk interpretation.”
Alexandra Coghlan, The Spectator

“Garsington has a handy knack for Rossini, and under conductor David Parry the orchestra has learned how to play this stuff with as much finesse and style as any band in the country. This performance ... was a pretty lovely example of how to perform this passingly elegant, refined, sophisticated, beautiful and highly entertaining score, full of delicacy and detail, wit and sprung rhythms. ... I took to watching Parry’s expressive and dramatic conducting…”
Robert Thicknesse, The Critics Circle

“Rossini veteran David Parry conducted the first night with flair, zip and lightness of touch…”
Mark Valencia, WhatsOnStage

“... a mad finale which sees chorus, orchestra and principals working their socks off under conductor David Parry. “
Christopher Gray, Oxford Times

“L’Italiana in Algeri is David Parry’s twelfth Rossini for this company, and his affinity for this music shone in every bar, from the ‘surprise’ phrases in the overture to the rousing final chorus: once more he drew sparkling playing from the Garsington Opera Orchestra.”
Melanie Eskenazi, musicOMH

“David Parry’s conducting is lively, bright, and exciting on all counts, with an impeccably precise ensemble.”
Jean Michelle Pennetier, Forum Opera

“David Parry’s orchestra was absolutely first-rate, making for a very enjoyable evening.”
Paul Levy, Arts Journal

“Celebrated interpreter of Rossini, David Parry, returns to Garsington ... with The Italian Girl in Algiers directed by Will Tuckett. It’s no surprise that Parry is loved by his singers as he conducts with infectious enjoyment, highlighting the charm and wit of this very funny piece, perhaps not so sophisticated as The Barber of Seville, but much more fun. ... The Act 1 Finale is a highlight, the polyphony miraculously wrought by the 21-year-old composer and delineated superbly by Parry and his singers. The ‘Sugar-Daddy’ Act 2 terzetto is brilliantly managed – real laugh-out-loud stuff.”
Cary Gee, Tribune

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