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Werther Press Reviews

 

‘American tenor Jonathan Boyd makes a muscular, determined Werther, one far from the introspective dreamer we might expect…Viktoria Vizin is spellbinding as Charlotte, the object of Werther’s affections – oblivious as his desire blossoms, yet racked with guilt in her moving final scene, a masterpiece of joyless desperation…the Orchestra of Scottish Opera have never sounded so good. Under Francesco Corti’s sure direction, they convey Massenet’s turbulent emotions in grand sweeps of surging sound, yet remain ever sensitive to the music’s subtler moods.’
**** The Scotsman

 

‘a sensitive and intelligent production directed by newcomer Pia Furtado. She and her designer Helen Goddard have brought the original 18th-century setting forward a hundred years or so, placing the action in the moral world of Zola and Ibsen, where the opera’s theme of middle-class decencies smashed by adulterous passion makes perfect sense…. Jonathan Boyd is a young American tenor, with a light, sweet and heady voice...His Charlotte, Viktoria Vizin (within recent memory a Carmen at Covent Garden), is similarly plausible and involved, making their scenes together as palpitatingly charged with suppressed intensity as I have ever seen them.’
**** The Daily Telegraph

 

‘this new production makes for a wonderful , albeit wonderfully miserable, evening out, with the downbeat storyline offset by memorable vocal performances and dazzling playing by an orchestra (conducted by Francesco Corti) at the height of its powers…Without the appalling staginess that mars some opera death scenes, the acting is understated while the chemistry between the two [Jonathan Boyd as Werther and Viktoria Vizin as Charlotte] is properly electrifying. As part of the 50th anniversary programme, Scottish Opera has already performed a critically acclaimed and visually dazzling production of Mozart’s ever-popular Magic Flute. Later this year, the company will set sail with a joyful new version of the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta The Pirates of Penzance. Werther is an altogether less obvious choice and one that highlight sthe scope and breadth of the company’s creative ambitions. It’s never going to be as immediately popular as the other big-name crowd pleasing productions, but it will surely be counted a success if it can make a new audience painfully glad to be joyfully unhappy.’
****Scottish Mail on Sunday
 

 

‘Viktoria Vizin’s Charlotte and Jonathan Boyd’s Werther make a pair of powerful, expressive voices, hers darker-hued than his, but still well-matched. Charlotte’s emotional unravelling in the final acts is compellingly portrated by Vizin. Anna Devin’s Sophie is sweet and nimble-voiced, and Roland Wood is a warm Albert. ‘
*** The Guardian

 

‘Among a fine cast that included Anna Devin’s sweet-voiced Sophie and excellent performances, both vocally and dramatically, from the six young children, Vizin and Boyd mae a well-matched couple…his submission to the dark torrent was persuasive and impassioned.’
*** The Times

 

‘[Jonathan] Boyd’s Werther was an extraordinary achievement. The part keeps him on stage and in the limelight for so much of the action that it must be a relentless part to take on. Fortunately he was more than up to the task. His voice had enough passion to please the audience but also a fraught, worried agony that ensured a real sympathy…As she came to realise her passion for the now absent Werther her [Viktoria Vizin’s] voice took on an emotional quality that could not have been foreseen earlier in the evening. As Charlotte writhed her way around her drawing room in agonies of love, so the intensity of Miss Vizin’s singing built and built… Singing honours still go to Anna Devin though. Her Sophie was a delight. Trilling her way up and down a large vocal range, she was coquettish and quite delicious…This is a confident new staging that has much to commend itself. The score is interesting, the voices are balanced and beautiful and though it is agonising to be witness to, this is ultimately a very satisfying tragedy indeed.’
**** Opera Britannia 
 

‘In Scottish Opera’s smart new production from Pia Furtado, the action is brought forward from 1780 to early 1900, and is told in a series of flashbacks, from the snowy end of the opera…The music is a glorious score from start to end, full of tunes which illustrate the mood of the main characters. Francesco Corti led a tremendous performance from the Scottish Opera orchestra and it was lovely to hear the cor anglais, and most surprisingly an alto saxophone, getting plenty to do. This was a performance where the quality of the singers really counted and did not disappoint. Two newcomers to Scottish Opera as the leads, American tenor Jonathan Boyd and Hungarian mezzo Viktoria Vizin headed up a uniformly finely sung cast. Boyd really inhabited his role, in strong voice showing increasing desperation as he tried to turn Charlotte’s loyalty away from her husband. Vizin’s sturdy burnished tone matched well with Boyd, both voices filling the climaxes in the last two acts. Irish soprano Anna Devin was a particularly engaging Sophie…a voice to watch. ‘
**** bachtrack.com