Julian Gavin press reviews
Jenufa: Opera North
"Perhaps the most complete performance comes from Julian Gavin as Laca: helpless with love, shambling, too honest to dissemble even when provoked to violence, enormously touching. His tenor is basically lyrical but, while declining to force it, he hits the top notes when he needs to."
The Times, October 12 1995
The Tales of Hoffmann: English National Opera
"Gavin's swordfight with Schlemil is equally convincing, in no small part due to the tenor's acting. Gavin encompasses the hero's youthful abandon, his dreamy temperament, his dissolute charm - and his poetic ardour. This is a supremely musical performance: the vocal phrases simply melt at the approach of Gavin's sweet and supple timbre. He is a godsend to the French tenor repertoire - so let's have his Des Grieux."
The Financial Times February 26 1998
"Julian Gavin makes Hoffmann a boyishly energetic aesthete, attacking each aria with relish"
Guardian, February 27 1998
"Julian Gavin brings persuasive sweaty abandon and ringing top notes to his credible portrayal of the title role"
The Evening Standard February 26 1998
Don Carlos: Edinburgh Festival 1998
"Julian Gavin followed Roberto Alagna in the title role at Covent Garden last year, and was heard here in his own right. Young, handsome and a fearlessly from-the-gut actor, he is certainly the most believable Don Carlos I have seen his final duet with Matilla, wonderfully accompanied by Haitink was heartstoppingly beautiful."
The Times, August 19 1998
Don Carlos: Opera North
"Julian Gavin as Carlos believed in every note and word...he invests Carlos with a neurotic instability that is exactly right."
The Sunday Telegraph, October 11 1998
Carmen: Opera Australia
" and in Julian Gavin we finally have the Australian tenor for whom we have waited for so long. His singing is firm, full and with its own character. His immersion in the role is exemplary Gavin movingly integrated Don Jose's famous aria, La fluer que tu m'avais jetee, into the drama, suffusing the music with longing. He also managed the tricky act of making Don Jose believable and pitiable rather than unattractively petulant."
The Australian, January 8 1999
Ernani: English National Opera
"Julian Gavin steals the show, however, as Ernani, vividly realising every emotional and psychological shift"
The Guardian, May 8 2000
"Julian Gavin is becoming the company's guest Verdi tenor par excellence:the title role pushes him to his limits, yet this is in itself exciting as Gavin dares every decibel of the restless, irrational ardour with which Ernani pursues his nemesis"
The Times, May 6 2000
Tosca: Opera Colorado
"Gavin has a natural affinity for the romantic Italian repertoire, which he demostrated to breathtaking effect in Cavaradossi's opening aria. Let's hope Opera Colorado can persuade him to return in a more expanisve role."
The Denver Post May 2002
Carmen: Opernhaus Zurich
"His tenor proceeds from effortless substructure to the heights of effortless radiance"
Neue Zurcher Zeitung, June 24 2002
"The high point of his performance is a radiant strength without forcing"
Tages- Anzeiger, June 24 2002
Manon: Opera North
"the only really satisfying performance comes from Julian Gavin as the agonized abbé, his commanding tenor at its best in his eloquent Act Three struggle with his conscience"
The Observer, October 26 2003
"The focus of the opera is normally on Manon but Julian Gavin gives so strong a performance that Des Grieux becomes the main focus of our sympathy."
The Independent, October 24 2003
Tosca: English National Opera
"Julian Gavin a fresh-faced, decently sung Cavaradossi."
The Observer, Sunday March 14, 2004
Rigoletto: Opera Colorado
"Tenor Julian Gavin could hardly have been better as the duke. He masterfully conveys the character's cocky, pleasure-obsessed nature and turns each of the duke's arias and duets into showpieces with his voluminous, wonderfully pliant voice."
The Denver Post, Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Andrea Chenier: Chelsea Opera Group
"Julian Gavin, in glorious voice, played ChÈnier as a man both heroic and charismatic, yet too naive to survive in a violent world."
Guardian June 8 2004
The Bartered Bride: Glyndebourne Festival Opera
"Leading the cast are the charming Marenka of Solveig Kringelborn, and the Jenik of Julian Gavin, whose voice soars effortlessly up to the top notes and whose smart village lad characterisation is immaculately realised."
The Stage Online, June 2005
The Bartered Bride: Glyndebourne Festival Opera
"Julian Gavin is a fantastic Jenik, at once thrilling, macho and untrustworthy."
Guardian June 14th 2005
Madama Butterfly: State Opera of South Australia
"Julian Gavin, as Pinkerton, has clarion power at the top of the range and seductive pianissimos when demanded. He is entirely, callously and seductively convincing."
Adelaide Advertiser September 4th 2006
Lucia di Lammermoor: Opera Queensland
"Beside her is Julian Gavin, the best Australian tenor going around right now, and heard too infrequently because he is based in London. He has the unenviable task of having to follow Lucia's mad scene with a tour-de-force of his own, bringing it off in grand style with some thrilling high notes."
Brisbane Courier Mail 16th October 2006
Andrea Chenier: Opera Royal de Wallonie
"L'Australie et décidément terre de grandes voix: Melba et Sutherland, elle nous fournit Julian Gavin, ténor convaincant, expressif, a donné son plein d'emotion au rôle titre."
Charles Rosenbaum February 21st 2007
L'amore dei tre re: Opera Holland Park
"A triumphant production. It thunders through like an express train, the tension never letting up for a moment. The cast is terrific. As the lovers, Amanda Echalaz and Julian Gavin are as committed and passionate as Montemezzi's whirlwind score demands."
Simon Thomas, MusicOMH.com July 30th 2007
"here is a febrile intensity to the score that is hard to resist, especially in the fervid central duet for the two lovers, Fiora and Avito... a splendid central couple in the Fiora of Amanda Echalaz, a young South African soprano who gives her all, and the Avito of Julian Gavin, a tenor at once romantic and heroic."
Richard Fairman, Financial Times August 2007
The Tales of Hoffmann: Vienna State Opera
"Julian Gavin – voce ..... cospicua, intonazione e precisione ritmica irreprensibili, ottimo attore – è un Hoffmann di grande spicco scenico e canoro: sarebbe piaciuto a Toscanini, che metteva al primo posto la musicalità e la completezza artistica del cantante, e trovava i suoi tenori preferiti tra le voci sostanziose, ma non edonistiche."
Paolo Patrizi Drammatugia.it March 20th 2008
Madama Butterfly: Opera Australia
"Gavin's singing is refreshingly refined: he delivers a lyrical and dynamically varied performance, full of colour and happily free from bellowing."
The Opera Critic January 3rd 2009
Don Carlos: Opera North 2009
"Carlos is sung by Julian Gavin, a tenor supposedly not good enough for Covent Garden. I’ll hear him any time, anywhere: his open-voiced, open-hearted performance, utterly distinctive in timbre (shades of Verdi’s original French version), is what this opera – and most others – needs"
Andrew Clarke The Financial Times May 5th 2009
"Here, the poster boy for change is the King’s wayward son, Julian Gavin’s agonised Carlos…..Gavin’s virile high notes are a consistent pleasure."
Neil Fisher The Times May 4th 2009
"Julian Gavin took the title role………… he plays everything with sincerity and commitment, and his singing was firm in pitch and line, as well as glowing in tone."
Rupert Christiansen The Daily Telegraph May 5th 2009