Review: New opera body is on song with fantastic ‘Figaro’

Conductor Peter Whelan’s command is perfectly pitched, with the orchestra’s comic timing occasionally uncannily well-judged, getting laughs all on its own. This is a packed evening’s first-rate entertainment; it runs the full three hours and 20, with every minute well spent.

Katy Hayes, The Independent

Review: Irish National Opera’s The Marriage of Figaro

He was abetted by conductor Peter Whelan, who coaxed fleet playing from the Irish Chamber Orchestra so that the action rarely dragged.

Hugh Canning, The Times

The Marriage of Figaro review: Fun and frolics at Irish National Opera’s Figaro

” Conductor Peter Whelan and the Irish Chamber Orchestra gave what was an invigorating performance, full of energy and lightness of touch. I was impressed by the crisp articulation and sharp rhythms. The balance was well struck between singers and orchestra allowing the glorious vocal lines to soar.   “

Andrew Larkin, Bachtrack.com

The Marriage of Figaro review: setting high standards for Irish opera

” Under his guidance the Irish Chamber Orchestra in the pit becomes a character in its own right, not just driving and supporting the drama, but effectively commenting on it, too.   Whelan doesn’t just glory in Mozart’s gorgeous writing for wind instruments. He shapes and frames phrases in ways that seem entirely fresh, sometimes generating a growl or a mutter, sometimes acting like a powerful spur to energise the action on the stage.   “

Irish Times Review of The Proud Bassoon

It was Johann Mattheson who referred to “the proud bassoon” as long ago as 1713. The baroque bassoon is a kind of dancing bear, one gifted with the stamina and skill to achieve Riverdance-like energy levels, but also with a penchant for melancholy and mournfulness…

Zelenka Sonatas is made BBC Magazine ‘Chamber Choice’

Your wind group Ensemble Marsyas formed in 2011, and you’ve just released your debut disc. How did the ensemble get started?
“We met at the music conservatory in Basel when we were students. It was a great place for early music performance practice. There were some fantastic oboe and bassoon teachers there at the time, so that’s how we met…”

Weber Concerto recording launch in Edinburgh and Glasgow with Scottish Chamber Orchestra

Some composers are loved in their lifetime and revered for evermore. Others are misjudged by their peers and only appreciated after they’re gone. And others – groundbreakers and mavericks, superstars of their day – seem to fall out of fashion as the decades and centuries wear on. Such is the case with Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826). Perhaps his biggest mistake was to be a direct contemporary of both Beethoven (1870-1827) and Schubert (1797-1828), whose legacies have (rightfully) eclipsed his…