Press Reviews: Operatic Performances

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These are just some of the outstanding reviews that Neil Jenkins has received for his operatic performances. These reviews and others can be seen here

Strauss: Salome (Herod)
Scottish Opera & Welsh National Opera

“Neil Jenkins was a superb Herod, really singing the music instead of guying it, as has been known, but at the same time conveying the tetrarch’s superstition and political cunning.”

Michael Kennedy, Sunday Telegraph

“The most complete performance comes from the Herod of Neil Jenkins. Jenkins bends every note, every phrase, through seemingly infinite shades of bluster, insecurity, and insinuation.”

Hilary Finch, The Times

Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier (Valzacchi)
Welsh National Opera & Liege Opera

“‘Opera Now’ readers would expect me to single out – and rightly so – Neil Jenkins as a decidedly Gothic Valzacchi”

Graeme Kay, Opera Now

Puccini: Madam Butterfly (Goro)
Scottish Opera

“Neil Jenkins contributes a masterly character-study of Goro, the marriage broker.”

The Observer

Mozart: Die Zauberflote (Monostatos)
Scottish Opera & Glyndebourne Festival

“Neil Jenkins’ Monostatos provided some of the most enjoyable singing and certainly the clearest diction of the evening.”

Neil Mackay, The Guardian

Oberon: Weber (Title role)
Opera de Lyon

Monteverdi: The Return of Ulysses (Eumaeus)
English National Opera

“The old shepherd Eumaeus, one of the most wonderful smaller roles in this wonderfully well-supplied opera, is taken now by Neil Jenkins; he is a commanding Monteverdian (I remember with undimmed admiration his Kent Opera Ulysses in the late 1970s), and his focussed energy and disciplined passion light up the stage.”

Max Loppert, The Financial Times

Britton: Paul Bunyan (Inkslinger)
Aldeburgh Festival, Brighton Festival and National Tour

“Neil Jenkins draws the character as well as the lyrical style of Johnny Inkslinger. A very well-judged performance.”

William Mann, The Times

Count Ory – Rossini (Title role)
Kent Opera & New Sussex Opera, conducted by Ivan Fischer

Secure top Cs a-plenty came from Neil Jenkins’ Count Ory – a fluent and engagingly unscrupulous character.

Michael John White, The Independent

The comic detail is consistently well interpreted and Neil Jenkins’s likeable lecher is a treat – a charismatic performer

Jan Whitehead, The Stage

Britten: Peter Grimes (Title role)
Brighton Festival & Israeli Opera

Neil Jenkins’ commandingly sung performance in the title role unflinchingly presents Peter Grimes, the tragicfisherman, as a tormented victim of circumstance…

Peter Whitebrook, The Scotsman

What a transformation of last week’s mincing Dr Caius (in Jonathan Miller’s Falstaff) was this tense and wild Grimes, with the mad glitter in his eyes when thwarted but a controlled clarity of voice, intensely moving in his moment of sad musing in the storm scene. Definitely a ‘Peter Grimes’ not easily forgotten

Felix Aprahamian, The Sunday Times

Grimes’ great solo in the pub scene was put over with astonishing force but the musical line never lost; every word was clear, the timing of each phrase nicely calculated. Neil Jenkins gives his performance of a lifetime.

Hugo Cole, The Guardian

Henze: The English Cat (Lord Puff)
Frankfurt Festival

Neil Jenkins as the elderly husband Lord Puff was outstandingly successful in projecting his words and therefore his character

Winton Dean, The Musical Times

Berg: Lulu
Glyndebourne Festival

…such fine artists as Neil Jenkins sound as though they have been singing Berg all their lives

Rodney Milnes, The Times

…an excellent, poisonous Marquis from Neil Jenkins

David Murray, The Financial Times

Stravinsky: The Rake’s Progress (Sellem)
Welsh National Opera

Neil Jenkins’ Sellem was witty and closely observed as well as admirably sung.

Michael Kennedy, The Sunday Telegraph

Neil Jenkins was a brilliant auctioneer.

Andrew Porter, The Observer

Prokoviev: Betrothal in a Monastery (Don Jerome)
Wexford Festival

Neil Jenkins gave one of the performances of his career, one to match his unforgettable Grimes in Nicholas Hytner’s production of ‘Peter Grimes’ for the Brighton Festival. Gracefully phrased, easily projected, every word effortlessly voiced, this was singing of great distinction. And Mr Jenkins crowned his performance with a show-stealing display on the musical glasses.

Elizabeth Forbes, Opera Magazine

Britten: Owen Wingrave (General Sir Philip Wingrave)
Glyndebourne Opera Festival

Neil Jenkins faces the awesome task of stepping into the roles created for Peter Pears and passes the test with flying colours: he sings beautifully as the cantankerous General and the anonymous singer of the Ballad of the Wingraves.

Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times

Janacek: The Makropulos Case (Vitek)
Glyndebourne Opera Festival & Netherlands Opera

The opening lines take the clerk Vitek up to a top B, most beautifully voiced by Neil Jenkins, and from the outset he sets a vocal standard the others match

Rodney Milnes, The Times

Tippett: King Priam (Achilles)
Kent Opera & TV Relay

Neil Jenkins is an Achilles equally fine in the famous war-cry and in the nostalgic regret for his homeland, which I have never heard so finely realised.

David Cairns, Sunday Telegraph

Monteverdi: The Return of Ulysses (Title role)
Kent Opera

The audience ended by showing high enthusiasm. That was a tribute to the richly characterised Ulysses of Neil Jenkins.

Arthur Jacobs, Opera

Monteverdi: The Coronation of Poppea (Arnalta)
produced by David Alden for Welsh National Opera

Neil Jenkins sings Arnalta very beautifully, and is the stateliest, most tight-lipped drag-queen imaginable, like Ronnie Barker at his best. And he keeps his act up through the curtain-calls: when a lewd wolf-whistle greeted him from the gallery, he responded with a shy moue and modestly lowered eyes.

Rodney Milnes, The Times

Donald Swann: Perelandra

“…Neil Jenkins’ C.S.Lewis was a particular delight, commanding the platform with perfect diction and expression. Each line found its drama written across his face, and every word carried clearly over the orchstra…”

Opera, September 2009