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Bruce McCollum
MusicWeb International, February 2017

The singers are seasoned opera performers; bass Matthew Treviño as Dr. P, soprano Rebecca Sjöwall as his wife, and tenor Ryan MacPherson as the Neurologist. The story holds the attention, and the recording is entertaining. However, it is an opera that should be seen as well as heard for best effect.

…this Naxos disc is a valuable and satisfying addition to the catalogue restoring this celebrated Nyman opera to general availability. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Joe Cadagin
Opera News, February 2017

Soprano Rebecca Sjöwall seems uncomfortable with the Mrs. P’s high tessitura—she’s shrill and thin-voiced throughout the performance, but it suits her domineering character to an extent. In spite of the sappy text for Dr. S’s final “More music!” prescription aria (one of the few moments of expansive lyricism), the warm, elegant sound of tenor Ryan MacPherson’s ascending chromatic runs almost had me buying into the work’s naïve optimism. © 2017 Opera News Read complete review



James H. North
Fanfare, January 2017

This performance is a fine one; in particular, the two men speak and sing so clearly that an English speaker needs no libretto. The only other audio recording is of the premiere performance, conducted by the composer, on CBS (MK 44669). Both the soprano and the bass are superior to those on this Naxos disc, and the small orchestra plays with greater vigor and warmth… © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review



Robert Benson
ClassicalCDReview.com, December 2016

This performance is an emotional ride through the mind, sensitively performed by a sterling cast assisted by Nashville Opera directed by Dean Williamson. © 2016 ClassicalCDReview.com Read complete review



Robert Tomas
The WholeNote, October 2016

Nyman, the musician, does not disappoint here—the taut, short score is indeed minimalist (Nyman is credited with inventing this musical term in 1968) and punctuates the dramatic arc perfectly. …this is a rare recording of an important work. © 2016 The WholeNote Read complete review



Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, October 2016

The three principals Matthew Treviño, Rebecca Sjöwall and Ryan MacPherson do a great job realizing the roles and the chamber orchestra fills out the score with zest and brio.

Bravo! © 2016 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review



Nigel Harris
MusicWeb International, October 2016

…the Nashville recording can be warmly welcomed and recommended. …the sound is good, and—above all—it restores to the catalogue a highly unusual work of real craftsmanship and considerable depth. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review




Infodad.com, October 2016

The Nashville Opera recording under Dean Williamson is a very fine one, with the clarity of orchestral playing particularly noteworthy—the music both underlines and provides balance to the lack of certainty of what is happening in Dr. P’s mind, and it is satisfying (and ultimately understandable) that music should become a portal of sorts through which Dr. P is able to enter, or re-enter, the world occupied by his wife and the neurologist. © 2016 Infodad.com Read complete review




Norman Lebrecht
Musical Toronto, September 2016

There is affecting singing by Matthew Trevino and Rebecca Sjöwall, the afflicted couple, and from Ryan MacPherson as the neurologist, …The premiere recording…is superior in every respect, not least for the composer’s direction from the piano. © 2016 Musical Toronto Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, September 2016

Born in 1944, Michael Nyman has aimed at breaking down the barrier between the populist culture and serious composition, and, in his sphere, has surely succeeded. By embracing minimalism he had been the ‘odd man out’ in British music, though he has largely forging his own version by creating a happy marriage with the lyricism. This he was then to use in opera where he shaped a ‘singing’ vocal line against a repetitive accompaniment. Of his small crop of theatre works, The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat is generally regarded as his masterpiece. The unnerving story is of the famous singer who is referred to a neurologist. There it is discovered that his brain is changing the ‘messages’ sent by his eyes, so that the things he now believes he is seeing is totally different to reality—hence the title of the opera. His wife refuses to accept he is mentally ill, but for the man life is only tolerable in performing and listening to music. That story has allowed Nyman to incorporate slivers of songs by Schumann, and includes a complete performance of Ich grolle nicht from the song-cycle Dichterliebe. Lasting for around an hour, it employs a septet of instruments and three singers, the Neurologist also having a speaking part. It is here given a suitably ‘cool’ approach by the tenor, Ryan MacPherson, with the bass, Matthew Treviño, and soprano, Rebecca Sjöwall, as the singer and his rather belligerent wife. Dean Williamson conducts the instrumental group from the Nashville Opera Orchestra. © 2016 David’s Review Corner





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