Gianni Schicchi & Les mamelles de Tiresias
Opera (April 2019)
'Anyone doubting whether a conservatoire could summon the necessary style and fluency would have been quickly disabused by these performances. Standards of singing‚ acting and orchestral playing were uniformly high‚ with production values to match. So hats off first to Matthew Kofi Waldren for eliciting such alert and idiomatic responses from his musicians...'
Bachtrack (Jamuary 2019)
'Matthew Kofi Waldren conducted a lively orchestra‚ the students taking the tricky pacing and balance in the Puccini in their stride. I have only seen the two-piano version by Britten of the Poulenc‚ so the full orchestration was a revelation with its lush harmonies (premonition of Carmélites)‚ sweeping phrases and many vignettes including a polka for the gamblers and a waltz for Thérèse.'
The Scotsman (January 2019)
'What connects the two performances is an unstoppable sense of entertainment... Les Mamelles de Tirésias is spectacular in every sense‚ with outstanding performances across the board... Conductor Matthew Kofi Waldren’s orchestra comes fully to life in the Poulenc‚ as does everything.'
Opera Scotland (January 2019), Schicchi
'Central to the enterprise was the excellent student orchestra under the dedicated control of a new guest conductor‚ Matthew Kofi Waldren. On opening night his pacing was just right.'
Opera Scotland (January 2019), Les mamelles
'Having previously heard the light‚ slightly brittle‚ piano reduction‚ it was fascinating to hear Poulenc’s original thoughts for the orchestra. Just in the opening minutes‚ during the Theatre Director’s prologue‚ we heard from the orchestra phrases and colours reminiscent of the Organ Concerto and Gloria‚ which were followed by a foretaste of that wonderful opera Dialogues des Carmélites. All these lovely colours were projected quite beautifully by the student orchestra under guest conductor Matthew Kofi Waldren.'