Les Pecheurs de Perles

Opera Holland Park 2013


"Matthew Waldren's sympathetic music direction went a considerable distance in making this a very cultivated Pecheurs...The conductor Matthew Waldren did well to avoid the saccharine in a score with such a penchant for prettiness, and I much admired the way in which he folded in the reappearances of the the big duet tune to give the drama an unexpected sense of direction and psychological truth. The City of London Sinfonia's playing was responsive and stylish."

Peter Reed, Opera, September 2013



"The City of London Sinfonia...under Matthew Waldren, a dynamic musician who won his spurs at OHP as an exceptional chorus-master between 2009 and 2011. It is typical of this company to keep faith with its home-grown talent and the young conductor repaid the investment handsomely. He shaped Bizet's score with great sensitivity, alive to its exotic colours, and keen to display the melodic orchestrations to their best advantage. The players responded with style....Pace and dynamics were ideal: Waldren is a talent to watch."

Mark Valencia, Classical Source



"Matthew Waldren extracts some very fine singing and playing from his chorus and orchestra, whose violist, oboist and harpist rise nobly to their respective challenges...musically it's pretty much the biz."

Michael Church, The Independent



"In the pit, the conductor Matthew Waldren...has an ear for Bizet's silky textures and is a steady hand."

Neil Fisher, The Times



"Matthew Waldren takes it all very seriously and draws attractive playing from the City of London Sinfonia"

Rupert Christiansen, The Daily Telegraph



"But it’s conductor Matthew Waldren and the City of London Sinfonia who best exploit the score’s lush sonorities and provide the evening’s richest pleasures."

Jason Best, Time Out



"Bizet's The Pearl Fishers, which closed last weekend, was a musical delight from start to finish, conducted by young Matthew Waldren"

Michael Coveney, What's on Stage



"Les Pecheurs de Perles, a musical treat under the baton of Matthew Waldren"

Chris Gray, Oxford Times



"The music provides a host of situations in which to display some of the fondest harmonic and orchestral subtleties - all of which are nicely brought to the fore in the current Opera Holland Park production by the City of London Sinfonia under the young baton of Matthew Waldren...By any measure, the best performance came from the orchestra. It was there, in the pit, that Bizet's eclectic score tried hardest to come out fully in all its various, intermingling, contrasting facets, supplying...musical cunning."

Francesca Vella, Bach Track



"Throughout the evening Matthew Waldren drew lovely playing from the City of London Sinfonia."

Mark Pullinger, Opera Britannia



"Conductor Matthew Waldren directs an efficient reading, getting lovely clarity from the strings and some beautifully blended work from the horns, and musically this is an enjoyable evening...Meantime, it's a show worth hearing."

Alexandra Coghlan, The Arts Desk



"Conductor Matthew Waldren was highly sympathetic accompanist. He didn't drag things out and allow the big tunes to become self-indulgent, but he allowed the singers great flexibility which counted a lot towards our enjoyment. Hearing a fine singer shaping a line and bringing small rubatos to phrases is one of life's pleasures in this sort of music. Waldren was aided and abetted by the City of London Sinfonia, who brought great style to their performance. Les Pecheurs is [an] opera which critics love to chunter about. But here, Waldren and Platt [dir.] paid it the compliment of taking the work seriously. They and their cast performed it with winning directness which was rightly popular with the audience."

Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill



"It would be disastrously bad form to not mention the evocative playing of the City of London Sinfonia, conducted by Matthew Waldren. The young conductor brought out the subtleties of Bizet’s score with aptitude seemingly beyond his years: tempi were well chosen--especially for that oh-so-famous duet/theme that runs rampant throughout--and he led the chorus through their difficult moments with style."

Mike Migliore, Musical Criticism



"The City of London Sinfonia summoned up a surprisingly rich array of tints and shades under the proficient baton of Matthew Waldren. The woodwind and string soloists rose admirably to their respective challenges and there was some wonderfully soft playing from the horns."

Claire Seymour, Opera Today