The 2019 London Handel Festival has now begun and has kicked off in great style with a new production of Handel's Berenice for the Linbury Theatre at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. One of the more obscure Handel operas, Berenice returns to Covent Garden for the first time since its premiere in 1737, presented with a new English translation and with the London Handel Orchestra under the baton of renowned Handelian Laurence Cummings.
Laurence has received fantastic praise from the critics so far, including a five-star review from the Independent:
"And the staging also incorporates the instrumentalists, with three continuo players on stage and occasionally drawn into the merry pranks. That makes Laurence Cummings’s achievement in holding together the music from the pit all the more impressive. His pacing of Handel’s ear-tickling tunes is impeccable." - Richard Morrison, The Times ****
"the London Handel Orchestra under Cummings's direction plays with quintessential Baroque grace and verve" - Michael Church, Independent *****
"the London Handel Orchestra, conducted with flair by Laurence Cummings, sounds ideal in the Baroque-sized Linbury theatre" - Richard Fairman, Financial Times ****
"Motivational conductor Laurence Cummings judges tempos nicely and the London Handel Orchestra produces endless quality tone" - George Hall, The Stage ****
"the performance here was first-rate, benefitting from the ideally intimate dimensions of the Linbury Theatre and its generous acoustic, as well as the crisp playing of the London Handel Orchestra sparkly conducted by Laurence Cummings" - Rupert Christiansen ****
"Laurence Cummings conducts a whistle-stop, light-touch performance" - Erica Jeal, The Guardian ****
"Laurence Cummings draws expressive playing from the London Handel Orchestra" - Barry Millington, Evening Standard ****
"it sounds ravishing as conducted by Laurence Cummings" - Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times
Berenice runs until 7 April 2019 and more information can be found here.