2023 in the press


"The conductor’s authority and understanding permeate every bar, but the whole cast excel in this deeply satisfying production"
The Guardian, Rian Evans ★★★★☆

"A heroic final chapter in Longborough’s Ring"
The Times, Richard Morrison ★★★★☆

“Anthony Negus conducts a sharp and brilliant orchestra in this simple but compelling production of Wagner’s final opera of the Ring"
The Telegraph, Nicholas Kenyon ★★★★☆

"a cogent, original vision, one that is permeated with images of books and plays interestingly with notions of storytelling and legends … Longborough has a secret weapon in its music director, Anthony Negus, simply one of the finest Wagner conductors around … he creates such ideally honed tension and pace that at the end an epic silence preceded applause."
iNews, Jessica Duchen ★★★★☆

“Longborough enjoys a high reputation for its Wagner productions, and this latest addition should reinforce its role as, in the words of The Times, ‘the Bayreuth of the Cotswolds’.”
Bachtrack, Roy Westbrook ★★★★☆

“it allows the singers and musicians to concentrate their talent and skills on Wagner’s Ring Cycle catharsis without too much over direction. In a confined space it seems sensible to concentrate our focus on the unfolding drama which is all contained in the music.”
Opera Scene, Mike Smith

“Longborough proves yet again that you don’t need a mega-budget to stage a Wagner opera successfully … All it needs is a fine cast of singing actors and a coherent interpretation of the piece that matches every element of the music with stage direction and set design.
British Theatre Guide, Colin Davison

"A magnificent Götterdämmerung at Longborough … Aside from the dramatic pacing from Negus, what makes this new production so special are strongly defined performances that consistently hold the ear and eye … Anthony Negus’s sterling control of the score and his fifty-plus players commands the utmost admiration”
Opera Today, David Truslove

“Sometimes a performance just hits the sweet spot and this Götterdämmerung proves to be a thrilling finale to Longborough Festival Opera’s current Ring cycle … It is such a moving, satisfying end to this epic that, unexpectedly, I couldn’t hold back the tears.”
The Stage, Amanda Holloway ★★★★☆

“In 2024 Bayreuth will indeed come to Longborough. This Ring Cycle promises to be an unmissable epic.”
Reaction Life, Gerry Malone

“Longborough’s best Wagner yet”
Seen & Heard, Jim Pritchard

“an enthralling and engaging production”
Midlands Music Reviews, Chris Morley ★★★★★

“A performance of quality and distinction”
MusicOMH, Sam Smith ★★★★☆

"a triumph. It offers everything – atmosphere, coherence, profound understanding of the meaning and significance of the myth, fine acting, brilliant orchestral playing and superb singing. What more could one ask?”
Oxford Prospect Arts, Julia Gasper

"Clemens Krauss’s 1953 Bayreuth Ring pared his forces right down, to an intimate level, with the emphasis on clarity, of music and text. Such a feat is achieved similarly at Longborough, the Cotswolds’ Bayreuth"
Engelsberg Ideas, Paul Lay

“a superb rendering of Wagner’s Gotterdammerung … a perfect fusion of performers that transformed the production from excellent to superb … Another triumph for conductor Anthony Negus and director Amy Lane.”
Pershore times, Brian Johnson-Thomas

“every single performer in this production were of world-class standard, and, just as you think the bar can’t possibly be raised, there are some truly outstanding performances … The Longborough Festival Opera orchestra, led by Anthony Negus, were faultless yet organic, perfectly interpreting the solemnity, tragedy and majesty of the work with all of its complexities and nuances.”
Cotswold Life, Candia McKormack

"This production of Götterdämmerung is in every aspect excellent, cogent and intelligently articulated … the Longborough approach consistently creates an experience that musically and intellectually reinforce your understanding and appreciation of the work itself and this Götterdämmerung firmly reflects the house approach … The standing ovation at the end was totally deserved.”
Plays to See, Mel Cooper ★★★★★

“This Ring is an artistic, economic and organisational masterpiece ... it is grand opera of the highest calibre”
Opera Online, Helmut Pitsch

“vivid characterisation and singing, all of the singers skilfully negotiating the demands of Wagner’s text and music, the size of the theatre making this the most conversational and interactive of Rings … Anthony Negus was unfailingly in command of the score’s expressive scene-setting, story-telling flexibility”
Classical Source, Peter Reed

"Anthony Negus sustained impressive dramatic tension and rhythmic crispness … Amy Lane's production was almost radically straightforward: characterizations were clear, the acting was intimate and detailed”
Opera magazine, Warwick Thompson

“… the House erupted with cheers and sustained applause … a capable conductor who is highly sensitive to Wagner’s music, singers who can convey the emotions of the characters, and a staging that allows the music to speak for itself.”
The Article, Mark Ronan

L'elisir d'amore

“an energetic young cast … [the chorus] sings with precision and gusto, and the conductor Alice Farnham ensures that the production cracks along with brio and wit.”
The Stage, Yehuda Shapiro

“From the pit, Alice Farnham drives the action forwards and takes the Longborough Festival Orchestra through their paces. They play vividly and classily.”
Opera Today, Claire Seymour

"wonderful staging from Longborough Festival Opera, joyous, inventive, and totally charming, making even these jaded old eyes and ears aware of what an absolute masterpiece this is in such a gem of a production”
Midlands Music Reviews, Chris Morley ★★★★★

“The production is dynamic from the start … The attention to detail throughout is staggering …Alice Farnham elicits an extremely smooth and accomplished sound from the Longborough Festival Orchestra.”
MusicOMH, Sam Smith ★★★★☆

“A magical L’elisir from Longborough Festival Opera … The composer is in excellent hands with the conducting of Alice Farnham."
Opera Scene, Mike Smith

“… a thoroughly enjoyable romp in the sun as Longborough’s season excels.”
Seen & Heard, Clive Peacock

"All the male leads really shone most in their duets or trios with Adina, where Jennifer Witton matched her brilliant voice and bright, vivacious sound to each of them with such finesse as to bring out the best in both"
Oxford Prospect Arts, Julia Gasper

"Max Hoehn shows a consistent vision and a great sensitivity to the work and is one of the elements of the complete success of a show that was interestingly designed by Jemima Robinson and performed with notably consistent commitment by everyone on the stage.”
Plays to See, Mel Cooper ★★★★☆

“The brio and edge of Alice Farnham's conducting infused the energetic young cast … With his easy-going charm, Thando Mjandana as Nemorino won the audience's heart”
Opera magazine, Yehuda Shapiro


“Vividly sung by an ensemble of 12 and exquisitely played by period group La Serenissima, Olivia Fuchs’s lively production of Monteverdi’s opera is full of contemporary references”
The Guardian, Rian Evans ★★★★☆

“a consistently fine cast”
Bachtrack, Roy Westbrook

"Olivia Fuchs’ updating of the action to the modern day works so well, for while she imbues the drama with contemporary concerns these also prove to be universal ones"
MusicOMH, Sam Smith ★★★★☆

"What a thrill to see and hear the theorbo, harp, harpsichord plus string and brass sections who comprise La Serenissima, playing their beloved baroque music, directed confidently, by Robert Howarth … The oft-prominent sound of the theorbo, played by Lynda Sayce and harp by Oliver Wass, were Longborough treats, of which there have been many this season.”
Seen & Heard, Clive Peacock

“This production is a vital demonstration that less is more in Monteverdi’s enduring masterpiece, allowing its poetry and music to speak with as much urgency as it surely did to its first audience in 1607.”
Classical Source, Curtis Rogers

“A strongly-sung descent into the underworld”
The Arts Desk, Boyd Tonkin ★★★★☆

"the musical performances were so compellingly stylish and pleasing”
Plays to See, Mel Cooper

“The stars of the show were the players of La Serenissima under Robert Howarth, with the gorgeous sounds, including Oliver Wass on the harp who I couldn’t quite see, and the clearly visible theorbo played by Lynda Sayce.”
Opera Scene, Mike Smith

“Directed by Olivia Fuchs and Nate Gibson, this presentation of the world’s first great opera simply gripped an enthralled audience from start to finish”
Midlands Music Reviews, Chris Morley ★★★★★

“One of the pleasures of Longborough Festival Opera is the range and ambition of its creative endeavour every summer as it unerringly gives us the highest quality performances of some of the greatest music written for the stage … L’Orfeo was a spectacle of movement and colour as much as a rendition of agreeable sound … this was classy stuff – precisely what we’ve come to expect from Longborough over the years.”
Stratford Herald, Preston Witts

“[Peter Gijsbertsen] sang with poignancy and power that transcended the centuries and made the emotions truly timeless.”
Oxford Prospect Arts, Julia Gaspar

The Fairy Queen

"This new production by Polly Graham is a triumph in many ways and may help give the piece a stronger foothold in the repertoire.”
The Stage, Edward Bhesania ★★★★★

"this is an impressive way to stage Restoration semi-opera for today's audience.”
Bachtrack, Roy Westbrook

“Part opera, part romance, part comedy, part masque, The Fairy Queen has many parents, and now, in this captivating reworking, it has a few more.”
British Theatre Guide, Colin Davison

“This Fairy Queen relishes the form’s piecemeal nature and presents a wonderfully engaging – both challenging and inspiring – creative refashioning”
Opera Today, Claire Seymour

"An innovative and all embracing production … a plethora of excellent performances from among the young cast … a joyous and life affirming evening all round”
MusicOMH, Sam Smith ★★★★☆

"a ravishing interpretation of Purcell’s The Fairy Queen … Graham’s exploration of the ways music could be woven through the action produces spectacular results”
Seen & Heard, Clive Peacock

"a feel-good end to Longborough’s 2023 season.”
Opera Scene, Mike Smith

“Longborough Festival Opera has created a vital, intelligent and completely successful production of Purcell’s The Fairy Queen … this is entertaining and provocative theatre at its most imaginative.”
Plays to See, Mel Cooper ★★★★★

"fresh and vibrant take on Purcell’s semi-opera: a fascinating mash-up of baroque and folk music, interwoven with chunks of Shakespeare’s text”
Midlands Music Reviews, Anthony Bradbury ★★★★★

"irrepressibly realised by the performers here, so that the whole production comes off as one effervescent fantasy”
Classical Source, Curtis Rogers

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