'Sophie's Choice' reviews

‘Sophie’s Choice is masterful and simply one of the most compelling operas I have seen.  It already has the air of an oft - performed work, not a newly-commissioned piece.  Maw ’s sense of dramatic pacing is felt at every moment and he outstrips every other composer working today.  His dialogue is easily understood yet remains profound.  Nunn ’s production–one of the most expensive mounted by the opera house–is astonishing…Despite its four hours, including a 30-minute interval, the performance is the right length and does not drag at all.  The audience, which included Chelsea Clinton and Madonna, gave a tremendous ovation at the curtain, with the most applause going to Maw.’
The Sunday Times (Paul Driver)

‘…the opera has magnificent music, fervently delivered by the Royal Opera House Orchestra under Simon Rattle ’s white-hot direction.  The first half - hour is deceptively calm; almost Vaughan Williams reborn. Then Maw conjures beguilingly sensuous or exuberantly high-spirited ensembles … But it is the searing orchestral interludes towards the end that really hit the spot.  Maw’s “traditional” style – tonal, but laced with killer discords–may once have exasperated the avant-garde.  But these days we can only be grateful that someone is writing operatic music worthy of comparison with Britten and Berg…I strongly recommend it.  Maw’s opera has a bigness of sonority, passion, ambition and spirituality that sends it soaring above the work of his contemporaries.’
The Times (Richard Morrison)

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