“Superb young singers”: excellent reviews for Gemma Summerfield and David Shipley in The Magic Flute at Glyndebourne

11 November 2020

This month Glyndebourne presented semi-staged performances of The Magic Flute, featuring two Rayfield Allied artists. Soprano Gemma Summerfield, a finalist in the inaugural Glyndebourne Opera Cup in 2018, sang Pamina, a role she has previously sung for Scottish Opera. Bass David Shipley made his principal debut with the company as Sarastro, having previously performed in the chorus of Billy Budd.

Both artists have received excellent reviews:

Gemma Summerfield sang Pamina’s aria with such ravishing purity of tone that one wished that less of her music had been excised.
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph
The other star, primarily for vocal reasons, was the talented soprano Gemma Summerfield, whom I saw in Scottish Opera’s Magic Flute at the Hackney Empire last year. Her heroic-toned Pamina continues to grow in stature, a bigger voice than customary today, perhaps, but one wielded with remarkable delicacy and musical insight, and her G minor aria was treasurable.
Hugh Canning, The Times
Gemma Summerfield, an obvious star in the making … brings the full radiance of youthful soprano to Pamina; the closing stages of her lament were magically hushed, too, and the moments where time stands still – in Act One when she tells Papageno to “be truthful”, in Act Two where she greets her prince before the trials, and meets a similar response of heartbreaking tenderness, simply perfection.
David Nice, The Arts Desk
David Shipley’s youthful, nobly sung Sarastro … was balm for the ears.
Hugh Canning, The Times

Following the cancellation of performances from 5-21 November, two further performances have been announced for 9 and 10 December, also featuring Nick Pritchard as Tamino. More information about the production can be found here.

Photo credit: Bill Cooper

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