Mark Stone press reviews
Opera Holland Park – ‘La forza del destino’ – July 2010
"Mark Stone made a sterling Don Carlo"
Rupert Christiansen, Daily Telegraph, 28 Jul 2010
"Mark Stone makes a strong, forthright Don Carlo"
Richard Fairman, Financial Times, 29 Jul 2010
"The vigorous malice of Don Carlo is etched in vocal fire by Mark Stone"
George Hall, Guardian, 28 Jul 2010
"Mark Stone has the right ringing-tingling high baritone for Leonora’s mad, monomaniacal brother Carlo"
Warwick Thompson, Bloomberg, 30 Jul 2010
"As Don Carlo, Mark Stone’s soul searching over whether he should look at Don Alvaro’s private papers produces some of the most deeply moving singing of the evening. His subsequent confrontation with Alvaro bursts with intensity"
Sam Smith, Whats on stage, 29 Jul 2010
"Mark Stone's Don Carlo is smoothly done"
Neil Fisher, The Times 29 Jul 2010
"Mark Stone’s Don Carlo is another highlight, combining richness with dramatic heft"
Edward Bhesania, The Stage, 30 Jul 2010
"Mark Stone as Don Carlo is every bit as impressive, and he sings with passion and verve"
Michael Darvell, Classicalsource.com, 27 Jul 2010
"Mark Stone, a notable Enrico in ENO's Lucia di Lammermoor, relishes another wicked brother role as Don Carlo…"
Claire Colvin, Daily Express, 2 Aug 2010
"Although I've heard Mark Stone in recital and in smaller roles at the Royal Opera House, this was the first time I've heard him in a role as substantial as Don Carlo. He's even better as opera singer than recitalist, because he projects so well, and has commanding stage presence. Stone's Don Carlo is a natural aristocrat. You know immediately that he's not Pereda of Salamanca - no meek student would sing with such authority! An elegant voice, which Stone uses well to evoke the more driven aspects of the character."
Doundou Tchil, Classical Iconoclast, 1 Aug 2010
"Urna fatale" is elegantly phrased... he has the measure of this hot-blooded, foolish character"
Anna Picard, Independent on Sunday, 1 Aug 2010
Buxton Festival – ‘Véronique’ – July 2009
"...a finely judged performance from Mark Stone's pink-accessoried bounder-cum-romantic lead (a part written for the creator of Pelléas, no less)."
Roger Parker, Opera Magazine, September 2009
"Mark Stone’s debonair Florestan heads an experienced cast."
Andrew Clark, Financial Times, 12 July 2009
Philadelphia Opera – ‘Gianni Schicchi’ – April 2009
"Mark Stone made a surprisingly young Schicchi. Looking somewhat Rinuccio's like louche older brother, he spent a good bit of time (including curtain calls) in his underwear - probably not something Tito Gobbi ever imagined."
David Shengold, Opera Magazine, September 2009
"Baritone Mark Stone was a wickedly beguiling Gianni Schicchi. Fearless as a conniver and dauntless as a doting father, he’s up to any and all tricks to guarantee Lauretta’s happiness. He sang with vocal amplitude and acted with precise detail."
Michael Caruso, Chestnut Hill Local, May 2009
"Gianni Schicchi is, in fact, the leading man, even though he may have a few politically-incorrect traits. Yes, he's selfish and unscrupulous. He also is funny and clever. Mark Stone plays him in the right way, [and] sings with an attractive baritone."
Steve Cohen, Opera Critic, 05 May 2009
"Mark Stone [gave a] vocally sonorous portrayal of the title role. Any singer who ends up onstage in his underwear without falling into British farce clichés is a fine actor indeed."
David Patrick Stearns, Philadelphia Enquirer, 28 April 2009
Welsh National Opera – ‘L’elisir d’amore’ – February / March 2009
"Mark Stone's Belcore looked dashing and sounded it too."
Rian Evans, Opera Magazine, April 2009
"Mark Stone cut a sharp impression as Belcore, the practiced wooer with all the right gear: motorbike, navy duds, sunglasses."
Geoff Brown, The Times, 16 February 2009
"Mark Stone’s Belcore is stylish."
Rian Evans, The Guardian, 16 February 2009
English National Opera – ‘I Pagliacci’ – September 2008
"Mark Stone (words, words, hurrah!) was a nice bit of rough as Silvio."
Rodney Milnes, Opera Magazine, November 2008
"Mark Stone’s Silvio seduces with the strongest voice."
John Allison, Daily Telegraph, 28 September 2008
"Mark Stone’s Silvio shines."
George Hall, The Stage, 22 September 2008
"Mark Stone cuts an unusually vivid figure as her stagehand boyfriend Silvio."
Rupert Christiansen, The Daily Telegraph, 22 September 2008
"…Special praise going to Mark Stone's richly-etched cameo as Silvio…"
Keith McDonnell, Musical Criticism, 22 September 2008
Royal Opera House, Covent Garden – ‘Eugene Onegin’ – March 2008
"Mark Stone came onto the stage to support the indisposed Gerald Finley in the final scene of the ROH’s Eugene Onegin…Stone was fantastic and sang very beautifully – I’d love to hear him performing the complete role one day. He certainly sings the final scene with great passion, and his many performances at the ENO have shown he certainly has the acting ability to make at least some sense of Onegin….I would say he’s ready to be singing leading roles for the Royal Opera."
Primi Divi, 20 March 2008
English National Opera – ‘Lucia di Lammermoor’ – February 2008
"Firmness of legato and warm baritonal timbre characterized the Enrico of Mark Stone."
Agustin Blanco, Mundo Clasico, 04 March 2008
"Enrico - powerfully sung and acted by Mark Stone…"
George Hall, The Stage, 25 February 2008
"Mark Stone has impressed as a superb Giovanni in the past, and his assumption of the role of Enrico Ashton (Lucia's brother) brought another creditable performance. His swagger and natural confidence suited the role well, and of all the cast it was Stone who had the most stage presence. His diction, too, was exemplary in a line-up that generally made the surtitles a superfluity."
Colin Clarke, Seen and Heard, 19 February 2008
"Mark Stone is a compelling actor and a musical singer, whose eloquent diction is a model for young singers to emulate."
Hugh Canning, Sunday Times, 24 February 2008
"The splendidly dark-toned Mark Stone…"
John Allison, Sunday Telegraph, 24 February 2008
"Mark Stone impressed as a strongly sung Enrico."
Richard Fairman, Financial Times, 19 February 2008
"One of the surest vocal performances came from Mark Stone as Enrico, his strong, focused, red-blooded baritone impressive throughout the evening."
Keith Clarke, Musical America, 18 February 2008
"As Enrico…Mark Stone, who has emerged as one of Britain's finest young baritones, is quite outstanding."
Barry Millington, Evening Standard, 18 February 2008
"Mark Stone’s tremendously sung, repulsively characterised Enrico."
Richard Morrison, The Times, 18 February 2008
Santa Fe Opera – ‘Così fan tutte’ – July / August 2007
"The brisk Guglielmo of Mark Stone set things in motion again; with his expressive, forceful baritone, Stone was the one singer who encompassed all aspects of his role."
Simon Williams, Opera News Online 2007
"Mark Stone’s comely Guglielmo looked his part, whether in military uniform or his ‘Albanian’ disguise. When he managed to win over the other’s fiancée, his grief and anger felt dangerously true. Stone’s strong baritone mixed darkly compelling tone with lambent fire, and he romped through the part with ease - especially a virtuoso first-act aria for Guglielmo that is usually omitted because it’s so hard."
Craig Smith, The New Mexican, 01 July 2007
"Mark Stone's Guglielmo has an appealing baritone at once firm and nicely padded."
Scott Cantrell, Dallas Morning News, 03 August 2007
"Mark Stone's Guglielmo is filled with blustery swagger. ‘Donne mie’ (Ladies, you treat so many thus) enlivens the character in a commanding presence."
D. S. Crafts, Albuquerque Journal, 08 July 2007
"Mark Stone's Guglielmo is a study in swagger."
John Stege, Santa Fe Reporter, 04 July 2007
Philadelphia Opera - 'Falstaff' – May 2007
"Mark Stone made a compelling US debut as a livewire Ford, focus nicely balanced with snarl in his clearly projected tone."
David Shengold, Opera, October 2007
"Baritone Mark Stone created a forceful Ford, his singing robust, shaded and dramatically important throughout."
Daniel Webster, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 04 May 2007
"The finest vocal performance comes from Mark Stone. His firm-toned baritone fills out Ford's music admirably."
Robert Baxter, New Jersey Courier, 11 May 2007
"Stone is an Englishman with impressive talent, whose voice and facial expressions have subtlety and variety."
Steve Cohen, The Opera Critic, 07 May 2007
"U.K. baritone Mark Stone made a compelling U.S. debut as her headstrong husband, focus nicely balanced with snarl in his clearly projected tone."
David Shengold, Philadelphia City Paper, May 2007
MacMillan: ‘St John Passion’ - Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin / Halsey - March 2009
"Mark Stone portrayed a sorrowful, noble Jesus…"
Berliner Zeitung 16 March 2009
"Mark Stone's vigorous baritone…"
Suddeutsche Zeitung 16th March 2009
"The wonderfully fresh Mark Stone..."
Berliner Morgenpost 16 March 2009
Britten: ‘Billy Budd’ – LSO / Harding – December 2007
"There was a fine Bosun from Mark Stone."
Peter Reed, Opera, February 2008
Bellini: ‘La Straniera’ – LPO / Parry – November 2007
"Stone has a beautiful high baritone voice which he uses with care and with style. His phrasing was a joy to listen to. Whilst his experience is far wider than just early 19th century opera, I do hope we get to hear him in more such pieces."
Robert Hugill, Music and Vision, 13 November 2007
"Two of the singers were well worth hearing: Patrizia Ciofi in the title role, and Mark Stone as Valdeburgo…The simple basics of good singing - but how seldom we hear it today ! We heard it from Ciofi and from Mark Stone."
Andrew Porter, Opera, January 2008
"Mark Stone captured perfectly the character of Bellini’s new cantabile baritone in the role of Valdeburgo."
Hilary Finch, The Times, 08 November 2007
"Mark Stone was a superb Valdeburgo."
Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 7 November 2007
"…Fired up was Mark Stone, one of this country's most promising young singers, in the part of Valdeburgo. Much of the role is written around or above middle C and not only did Stone remain firm-toned throughout, he also kept opting for high embellishments at the end of arias, proving his ability in the bel canto. He also expressed affection for his sister and his outrage at Arturo's behaviour very directly, ensuring that although this was a concert performance, we were still witnessing an opera."
Dominic McHugh, Musical Criticism, November 2007
BBC Proms – Parry: ‘Songs of the Sea’ – August 2005
"In the swagger of Drake’s Drum and the sharp-etched words of Devon, O Devon in Wind and Rain, Mark Stone sounded for all the world like a young Thomas Allen, that other great sea-dog of a baritone."
Hilary Finch, The Times, 11 August 2005
"[He] brought fine diction and noble tone to the songs…"
David Fanning, The Telegraph, 10 August 2005
Celebrating English Song Festival - Tardebigge Parish Church - 27 July 2008
"Stone’s performance – sung, as was the whole programme, from memory – led us through the tragic story [The Andreé Expedition] without ever slackening his hold on our attention, taking us on an emotional as well as physical journey from optimism through disaster and hallucinations to oblivion…Quilter’s Love is a Bable prov[ed] the perfect roistering finale to a programme so full of love in all its manifestations."
John Gough, Birmingham Post, 29 July 2008
Hay on Wye Festival – June 2005
"Mark Stone’s recital of songs by Quilter, Butterworth and Finzi was marked by his clarity of articulation and strong instinct for characterisation… The poignancy of Butterworth’s settings of A.E. Housman, as in ‘The Lads in their Hundreds’ came through. The moments when he could unleash the full operatic power of his voice were the most impressive."
Rian Evans, The Guardian, 03 June 2005
‘The Complete Butterworth Songbook’ – Stephen Barlow – Stone Records March 2010
"The label is Mark Stone’s, his the innovative notes, and he is of course also the very good singer: we are much indebted to him.
“Look not in my eyes” suits Mark Stone admirably. Stephen Barlow is his excellent pianist and together they give a particularly fine performance of “On the idle hill of summer”, the masterpiece among the Housman settings. "
John Steane Grammophone, June 2010
'English Love’ – Stephen Barlow (Stone Records, 2009)
"Stone’s fuller richer sound draws out the drama. He employs his deeper tones elsewhere too, to good effect. One fine example is the beginning of Bridge’s Come to me in my dreams. Stone captures the emptiness, almost achingly so, of Butterworth’s setting of Housman’s regret over lost friends in ‘With rue my heart is laden’. Stone introduces so much by way of nuance and colour to make this a very interesting and fulfilling programme, one which is well recorded."
John T. Hughes, International Record Review, March 2009
Bellini: ‘La Straniera’ – LPO / Parry (Opera Rara, 2008)
"Mark Stone is on fine form as Valdeburgo, a properly lyric baritone. His Act I duet [with Arturo] crackles with enough electricity to light up the whole of medieval France."
Christopher Cook, BBC Music Magazine, February 2009