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Huntley Dent
Fanfare, May 2019

Vladimir Jurowski, returning for the first time in four years after giving up his position as music director, conducts the London Philharmonic with his usual ardor and artistry—the composer could hardly have dreamed of better. Besides the orchestra, there’s a small chorus in the pit, functioning as the voices in Hamlet’s head, percussion and brass in the balcony, and various sound effects (eerie wind, low seismic rumbling), and unobtrusive electronica. These adjuncts are used with theatrical effectiveness. © 2019 Fanfare Read complete review



Opera, March 2019

DEAN, B.: Hamlet [Opera] (Glyndebourne, 2017) (NTSC) OA1254D
DEAN, B.: Hamlet [Opera] (Glyndebourne, 2017) (Blu-ray, HD) OABD7231D

For assembled here are singers of quite extraordinary calibre. Allan Clayton’s Hamlet, his warm, empathetic tenor in glorious form, is a powerful, eloquent portrayal of a young man on the edge of madness. © 2019 Opera




Joe Cadagin
Opera News, January 2019

DEAN, B.: Hamlet [Opera] (Glyndebourne, 2017) (NTSC) OA1254D
DEAN, B.: Hamlet [Opera] (Glyndebourne, 2017) (Blu-ray, HD) OABD7231D

Baritone Kim Begley’s performance as the pedantic Polonius is pure Gilbert and Sullivan—his pompous melisma on “I will be brief” recalls Pooh-bah’s never-ending toast in The Mikado.

Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic are joined by the disembodied Glyndebourne Chorus, whose incantatory muttering from offstage awakens some haunting sonorities. © 2019 Opera News Read complete review



Roy Westbrook
MusicWeb International, October 2018

The music itself is tense and ear-catching from the outset, especially in the compelling orchestral writing, which has added colour from various unusual instrumental additions.

The use of a semi-chorus of eight singers placed in the pit among the orchestra is very effective. (Simon Rattle told Dean, on learning of this Glyndebourne commission, “the thing about Glyndebourne is it has one of the best opera choruses in the world.”) The vocal writing is often nervy and angular, keeping the tension high in a world with an evil deed at its heart, so depicted as nightmarish and dysfunctional from the start.

Ophelia’s derangement is however a virtuoso piece of writing for the amazing Barbara Hannigan, and she is just one among a quite remarkable line-up of singers. © 2018 MusicWeb International Read complete review




Remy Franck
Pizzicato, October 2018

Hamlet is not the easiest Shakespeare work to set in music, but Brett Dean was particularly successful in doing so. His opera was premiered at the Glyndebourne Festival with an outstanding cast and a marvelous staging. The performance is intense and emotionally charged. © 2018 Pizzicato




Andrew Mellor
Gramophone, September 2018

DEAN, B.: Hamlet [Opera] (Glyndebourne, 2017) (NTSC) OA1254D
DEAN, B.: Hamlet [Opera] (Glyndebourne, 2017) (Blu-ray, HD) OABD7231D

The drama unravels thrillingly, shockingly, touchingly. Screen viewing allows for total focus on an astonishing central performance from Allan Clayton. His portrayal of Hamlet’s decline would be noteworthy even without singing that is full of expressive meaning and always imbued with stringent beauty even in rage. © 2018 Gramophone





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