A dazzling ‘Orfeo’ for John Mark Ainsley



Last month saw John Mark Ainsley give a fabulous performance of the title role in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo. The concert at the Barbican, which celebrated the start of the Academy of Ancient Music‘s 40th anniversary year, also opened John Mark Ainsley’s 2013/14 season with dazzling success and was much acclaimed by the critics.
In the words of Rupert Christiansen writing in the Daily Telegraph, this “prince of English tenors… singing … a role in which he has long been peerless…showed that he has enriched and deepened his interpretation further, both in his rendering of the music’s rhythmic subtleties and his perception of the character’s tragic journey.”
Helen Wallace in the Financial Times commented that the role of Orfeo “has never felt so raw and contemporary” and Michael Church in the Independent felt John Mark brought “consummate artistry and exceptional beauty of tone to the title role”.
The day after this heart-rending performance, John Mark was on a flight to China for concerts of the Britten War Requiem, as part of the Beijing Music Festival. He follows that with performances of the Britten Serenade with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and next month flies off to the States for further performances of the War Requiem, this time with the Boston and Chicago Symphony Orchestras.
This triumphant Orfeo at the Barbican was a fantastic start to the season for John Mark.
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