Un ballo in maschera
Opera Now (September 2019)
'Matthew Kofi Waldren's conducting built the tension superbly, marshaling his excellent cast and orchestra with an aggresive elegance that suited the opera.'
Opera (August 2019)
'Yet this sterling cast and orchestra remained unfazed – especially the orchestra. Matthew Kofi Waldren kept the City of London Sinfonia on a very tight rein and it responded with a the tautest ensemble imaginable. Here was a conductor with a very clear idea of what he wanted and determined to get it. Not that he was relentless with his singers: he allowed Anne Sophie Duprels plenty of leeway with Verdi’s rest in Amellia’s ‘Ma dall’arido stelo divulsa’, while keeping the orchestral interjections tidy. Quite how the orchestra managed to continue playing in this vein, finger numb with cold, remained a mystery, but the strings were full-bodied and the brass, complete with cimbasso, gleamed.'
The Times (June 2019)
'That's four stars for fortitude as well as finesse...Almost from first note to last the rain pelted on that canvas roof, creating a din that obliterated anything under mezzo-forte. That the rapport between the singers and the excellent City of London Sinfonia didn’t waver for a moment is a tribute to the admirable conductor, Matthew Kofi Waldren.'
The Independent (June 2019)
'The ball scene with its bloody denouement, powered with tremendous verve by Matthew Kofi Waldren in the pit…'
The Sunday Times (June 2019)
'Musically, this challenging middle-period Verdi left little to be desired, thanks to Matthew Kofi Waldren’s superb conducting'
The Guardian (June 2019)
'Matthew Kofi Waldren, meanwhile, conducts with passion and sensitivity.'
Bachtrack (June 2019)
'The City of London Sinfonia played Verdi’s epic score with effervescent brightness and a full-bodied bloom under Matthew Kofi Waldren...'
The Arts desk (June 2019)
'Conductor Matthew Kofi Waldren puts the City of London Sinfonia absolutely at the heart of Verdi’s scheming and yearning. There’s a spare, skeletal beauty to his Prelude, icy violin broken chords chilling the warmth of the cellos, and this spiky unease runs right through the performance, the music never fully surrendering or releasing into amorous comfort. The opening chords of Act I Scene II ring out like gunshots, and the chorus achieve a subtler menace in a magnificent final scene.'
Seen & Heard International (June 2019)
'Waldren is a fine conductor, as his La rondine, the season opener in 2017, indicated, and he clearly has a very good feeling for Verdi, both in the felicities of scoring and in the larger picture.'
Classical Source (June 2019)
'Orchestrally much of the distinct qualities of this score are evident. Matthew Kofi Waldren conducts a spirited and detailed account, and, in tandem with the cohesive staging, this is one of Opera Holland Park’s successful Verdian ventures.'
Culture Whisper (June 2019)
'Waldren has his finger on the pulse of Verdi and an unerring feeling for the music's inner beats and rhythms. Walking that tightrope between dragging and rushing is a gift and a skill that the audience can relax into, carried along at a rate that is as right and natural as your own heartbeat. Luckily, he has the City of London Sinfonia and the Opera Holland Park Chorus at his beck and call. There was such lovely solo playing from the pit on opening night , notably from the principal cellist, flautist and clarinet. Oh and all the rest...As for that chorus. You just want to take them all home...this is an outstanding production, musically, visually and theatrically.'
Opera Today (June 2019)
'Matthew Kofi Waldren, who impressed so much with his Traviata last year, exercises acute control over the pacing and ensures that we're enthalled. The musical temperature of each moment is brilliantly judged, and varied; and the passion is as much driven by rhythm as it is by melody or colour.'
The Spectator (June 2019)
'Musically it's exemplary... Underpinning it all is Matthew Kofi Waldren’s restless orchestra, an unsettling, Hitchcockian engine for this stylish tragedy.'