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Press Reviews

Press Quotes


****  Financial Times

'The performance unfolds with unusual fluency, thanks to Allen's shapely ensembles and intelligent direction of the solos.'


***   The Guardian

 'Sir Thomas Allen...has created a classy drama with uncluttered, unpretentious storytelling. Allen is a singer's director; he knows the score having played both male leads himself,  and presumably manages the cast how he would want to be managed, imposing nothing fancy, and trusting them to get on with some decent acting and singing, which they do accordingly. The production looks gorgeous in Simon Higlett's sets.'



****  The Herald

'Scottish Opera's new production of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, which opened on Friday, is one of the glories of the company in its recent history. It is gorgeous to look at, needle-sharp in it's design and atmospheric at every level, from rustic scene to intimate interior to a breathtaking nocturnal vista. It is directed by Sir Thomas Allen with a genius that picks up every nuance of humour, subtlety, wit, irony and ambiguity: the resultant stagecraft by the superb cast is wonderful.' 



****  The Scotsman
'There are absolutely no pretentions about Sir Thomas Allen's new production of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro for Scottish Opera, which opened last night in Glasgow. For Allen has played it completely straight to an 18th-century setting, and focused on quality of theatre, quality of singing and thoroughly enjoyable comic entertainment.'


****  The Times

 'I haven't checked with the Guiness World Records but Allen must have sung in more Figaros than almost any other living performer. That experience shows, and not just in the deft stagecraft and his sensitivity to singers' needs (how refreshing to have big arias delivered centre stage and directly to the audience) but in the seasoned insights apparent in the nuanced acting as well....Allen's staging is very traditional, but not without imaginative touches as well.'


**** Opera Britannia

'The production shows just how much fun an evening can be with big tunes, big jokes, big frocks and an excellent and well balanced cast...Sir Thomas Allen deserves much credit for directing an immensely satisfying and successful production. In particular, his direction never allowed this to become a mere bedroom farce. The genius of the piece is that we enjoy the comedy so much that we do not realise that all our presumptions of power and privilege are being mercilessly mocked and deconstructed along the way.'


*****Inverness Courier

'a production that was at once resolutely traditional and very fresh, with singing of the highest quality from a notably well-chosen cast, a splendid set and excellent orchestral playing.'


*****News of the World

'a stunningly realised piece of theatre...The sets are beautiful and ornate, teeming with little details and flourishes, and the singing - not to mention the acting - is top notch across the board...this is a fantastic night out for anyone. Bravo!'


The Sunday Times

'it's a pleasurable encounter with a long-lost friend. Anyone within striking distance of Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen or Inverness would be mad to miss it.'


The Independent on Sunday

'The singing is sweet, light and lithe....A decently sung, sympathetic Figaro.'