La Rondine

Opera Holland Park - 2017

‘And yet in many ways the night belongs to conductor Matthew Kofi Waldren, spinning a sparkling City of London Sinfonia like a top. One swallow may not make a summer, but this Rondine has certainly made mine.’

Claudia Pritchard; Culture Whisper; June 2017


‘This swallow soars thanks to their stylish work on stage…as well as to an idiomatic conductor, Matthew Kofi Waldren, who gets the City of London Sinfonia to wallow in Puccini’s lush, glittering orchestrations…A huge OHP hit’

Hugh Canning; The Sunday Times; June 2017


‘I don’t expect to see anything much better this summer than OHP’s opener… idiomatic conducting by Matthew Kofi Waldren – this a great start to what promises to be an exceptional season.’

David Mellor; The Mail on Sunday; June 2017


‘a production that is wholly idiomatic and satisfying both musically and dramatically…The City of London Sinfonia is clearly in fine form this season. The brisk tempi and flexible rubato set by regular conductor Matthew Kofi Waldren kept things moving without putting the singers under unreasonable pressure in their most exposed moments…some exquisite points of solo detail from the harp, woodwind and percussion that serve to remind us how much of a pointillist craftsman Puccini was in his layered orchestration.’

Tim Hochstrasser; Live Theatre UK; June 2017


‘Matthew Kofi Waldren is excellent at steering the deft mood-changes and easy lilt of the score’

David Nice; The Arts Desk; June 2017


‘The ever-splendid City of London Sinfonia, whose annual residence is one of the company’s outstanding boasts, played the score for all its worth under Matthew Kofi Waldren’s elegantly energised baton.’

Mark Valencia; What’s on Stage; June 2017


‘Matthew Kofi Waldren’s conducting is lithe and bright.’

Anna Pickard; The Times; June 2017


‘The chorus was on soaring form, the City of London Sinfonia – brass especially – spirited and infectiously enthusiastic. Conductor Matthew Kofi Waldren kept the tempi fluid and well paced. This was a buoyant start to a varied season.’

Fiona Maddox; The Observer; June 2017


‘Matthew Kofi Waldren shows a fine Italian hand in the pit. With the chorus on fabulous form in the big set-piece ensembles, it all adds up to a glorious season opener.’

Warwick Thompson; Metro; June 2017


‘Also, the orchestration is magnificent and all credit to Matthew Kofi Waldren for coaxing the orchestra to its best…the evening was a triumph. Dance rhythms were infectious; elsewhere, one heard a level of detail one might have considered unlikely given the quasi-outdoors setting. Without doubt, Puccini’s orchestration is as sophisticated as his writing for voices, especially his calibrated way of writing in the final act, matching music to drama impeccably. A special mention, too, for the leader Martin Burgess and his various solos, all magical.’

Colin Clarke; Seen and Heard International; June 2017


‘Matthew Kofi Waldren drew a first-class performance from the City of London Sinfonia, revelling in the glorious froth and whimsy of the score, occasionally threatening to overpower the singers early on in the performance, but highlighting so much of the sweeping beauty and orchestral detail of Puccini’s writing that one could sit there and wallow in that alone. As an opening to Opera Holland Park’s 2017 season, this was a resounding success.’

Dominic Lowe; Bachtrack; June 2017


‘Matthew Kofi Waldren demonstrated a superior empathy for Puccini’s late style and an easy command of the City of London Sinfonia in the pit.’

George Hall; Opera News; June 2017


‘The City of London Sinfonia under Matthew Kofi Waldren gives a fine performance of Puccini’s evocative score.’

Clare Colvin; The Sunday Express; June 2017


‘With Matthew Kofi Waldren conducting the City of London Sinfonia with warm affection and Martin Lloyd-Evans presenting a likeable staging…this is an operatic confection that can be warmly recommended to anyone with a sweet-tooth and a soft heart.’

Rupert Christiansen; The Daily Telegraph; June 2017


‘There’s lush support from the City of London Sinfonia under Matthew Kofi Waldren and the energetic Opera Holland Park Chorus.’

Inge Kjemtrup; The Stage; June 2017


‘Super musical direction of the City of London Sinfonia by Matthew Kofi Waldren brought the score fully to life. This fun start to the 2017 season packs a musical punch as soon as the orchestra strikes up, a swallow heralding a summer of opera to come.’

Mark Ronan; Mark Ronan Theatre Reviews; June 2017


‘With two strong voices, conductor Matthew Kofi Waldren allows the City of London Sinfonia to raise its decibel levels above the average at Holland Park, and La rondine comes across as more full-blooded as a result.’

Richard Fairman; Financial Times; June 2017


‘Matthew Kofi Waldren kept the ensemble scenes in the first two acts moving with vivid impetus, encouraging the orchestra to provide characterful, full-blooded drama which complemented the stage…in the duets he showed that he could balance things, allowing the singers to shape Puccini’s melodies. This wasn’t the most luxuriant account of the score, but the playing of the City of London Sinfonia brought out the vibrant colours and details of Puccini’s writing.’

Robert Hugill; Opera Today; June 2017


‘Matthew Kofi Waldren, who has with good reason been nurtured by Opera Holland Park, has a clear idea of the score’s show-time versus high-opera inclinations…there was plenty of warmth, detail and attention to the singers.’

Peter Reed; Classical Source; June 2017


‘The City of London Sinfonia makes the most of Puccini’s score, ably conducted by Matthew Kofi Waldren.’

Sebastian Taylor; Camden New Journal; June 2017


‘Direction by Matthew Kofi Waldren is sure-footed’

Michael Church; The Independent; June 2017


‘Matthew Kofi Waldren’s conducting is excellent’

Sam Smith; Music OMH; June 2017