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Bryn Terfel

  • Bass-Baritone

Reviews

Bryn Terfel press reviews

The New York Times
Title Role in Sweeney Todd for the Lyric Opera of Chicago
The Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel may have been born to sing a lot of roles, Wotan among them. But it would be difficult to imagine a more perfect marriage of role, voice and stage personality than his performance of the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Mr. Terfel is a true bass-baritone, rolling out sonorous, ominous rivers of sound. Furthermore, his larger-than-life frame and personality suit the character to perfection.

Opera News
Dulcamara in L'Elisir d'Amore for De Nederlandse Opera
With his overwhelming personality, his humor and his voice filling the farthest corner of the theater, he created a Dulcamara who will not be easy to forget. This became the operatic leading role.

The Sunday Telegraph
Title Role in Don Giovanni for the Royal Opera, Covent Garden
Terfel is a force of nature, dominating the stage and portraying Giovanni’s aristocratic arrogance, sex appeal, macho cruelty, and the grossness of all his appetites with equal ease. His voice can switch from a honeyed pianissimo to a stentorian roar without losing a trace of musicality.

The New York Times
Recital at Carnegie Hall, New York
Mr. Terfel loves words, loves the sounds of words and loves giving them to his audience in huge bunches of variegated colors. He can roar – with pain, with pleasure, with fierce indignation, filling the hall with full, strong tone. But he can also coo and purr at an extreme pianissimo, making a sound that stays audible only because there is so much in it to feel, as well as to hear.

Opera
Wagner Arias Recording for Deutsche Grammophon
Terfel brings a more beautiful voice to this repertory than anyone currently singing it. The sound is full and rich, vibrant throughout its range. Terfel demonstrates that Wagner benefits from attention to beauty of tone as much as Mozart does. And he shows a lieder singer’s concern with details and diction…Terfel is able to apply pressure on the voice without compromising its quality; he combines intensity of utterance with lustrous tone.

The Sunday Times
Falstaff Recording for Deutsche Grammophon
Bryn Terfel may be young (ish) for “Old Jack”, but vocally, he is in his prime, and he glides through the treacherous passages with effortless ease. This is the most charismatic and beautifully sung Falstaff on disc since Tito Gobbi’s classic performance for Karajan in the mid-1950s. As “international” Falstaffs go, this is as good as it gets today.

The Sunday Times
Falstaff Recording for Deutsche Grammophon
Bryn Terfel may be young (ish) for “Old Jack”, but vocally, he is in his prime, and he glides through the treacherous passages with effortless ease. This is the most charismatic and beautifully sung Falstaff on disc since Tito Gobbi’s classic performance for Karajan in the mid-1950s. As “international” Falstaffs go, this is as good as it gets today.

The Financial Times
Title Role in Gianni Schicchi for the Royal Opera House
This is nevertheless one man’s show. Bryn Terfel’s Schicchi has the mien of a mechanic, the cunning of a peasant, the comic timing of a clown and the Italianate vowels of a prize songster.

The Times
Title Role in Gianni Schicchi for the Royal Opera House
But this Schicchi will surely be ranked alongside his Falstaff as a glorious testament to his comic abilities.

Evening Standard
Title Role in Gianni Schicchi for the Royal Opera House
The title role might have been made for Bryn Terfel, physically dominant, soaring over the orchestra with ease. His comic timing is immaculate, every flicker of an eyebrow bristling with wit and purpose; sly, oafish, hilarious, cunning.


The Straits Times
Singapore - 7 November 2006
A platter of bonbons - by Stephanie Yap

WELSHMAN Bryn Terfel gave an intimate recital on Sunday evening, presenting a programme of lieder and folksong, rather than the dramatic arias that have packed opera houses and made him a legend.

The bass-baritone's voice has been described as "chocolatey" and, indeed, it is like Forrest Gump's proverbial chocolate box: full-bodied and thunderous one minute, it can switch to pianissimo and tender in the next measure, a dexterity that is as much a Terfel trademark as his towering 1.9m frame.

Accompanied by the elegant pianist Michael Pollock, he started with a couple of Handel's arias, which showed his vocal flexibility as he glided effortlessly from the energetic Si, Tra I Ceppi from Berenice to the velvety Ombra Mai Fu from Serse.

He then spent the first half of the recital featuring British composers and their lyrical songs from the late 1900s. While easy on the ear, the onslaught ultimately left me feeling slightly peaked, as if I had stuffed myself full of candy on an empty stomach.

Still, his virtuosity was obvious as he displayed a pure falsetto in Ralph
Vaughan Williams' Silent Noon, while Roger Quilter's famous settings of poetry by Shakespeare and Tennyson were a platter of rich bonbons. '
The second half of the programme proved more nutritious, with a selection of Mozart's and Debussy's lieders which showcased to great effect the brilliant, vibrant colour of his tessitura.

But the highlight of the concert was his rendition of Henri Duparc's L'invitation Au Voyage, which was moody and dark. This was followed by a tour-de-force performance of Gabriel Faure's Automne, enveloping the hall with larger-than-life intensity.

For the finale, he got the audience to sing along to Oh What A Beautiful Morning from Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma, sweeping them off their feet and winning himself a standing ovation.

Bryn Terfel's recital was a treat.
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Rian Evans guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 11 November 2009 22.30 GMT

It's the nature of opera and musical theatre that the tenors are the good boys and baritones are the bad. Bass-baritones are especially bad. So it's no surprise to find Bryn Terfel recording a disc of the nasty pieces of work he's so accomplished at portraying; still less to have him do a villains' tour.

These cameo glimpses of roles for which he is acclaimed are tightly focused, every word perfectly articulated: Iago from Verdi's Otello, is cruelly calculating, Méphistophélès from Gounod's Faust is Satan personified, while, in the Te Deum from Puccini's Tosca, Terfel's Baron Scarpia, the corrupt chief of police, sounds gorgeous but is horribly menacing.

Terfel's clever use of Sweeney Todd's cut-throat razor in the all-too-short Sondheim extract, and of the knife when playing Mack the Knife from Weill's Threepenny Opera, showed just how he layers his characterisations with vocal and psychological colour. Apart from a, well, vile bit of keyboard in the Weill, the young Sinfonia Cymru played stylishly under the baton of Gareth Jones, though we could have done with an intermezzo or two less from them, and a bad boy or two more from Terfel. Stealing un-ashamedly from tenor repertoire, Terfel delivered Sporting Life's It Ain't Necessarily So from Porgy and Bess with relish, and also Javert's Stars from Les Misérables. Even those for whom crossover is the work of the devil will smile here.