Counter-tenor

Iestyn Davies

“Iestyn Davies reigns supreme among countertenors.”
The Independent, 5 December 2015

Introduction

In 2017 Iestyn was awarded an MBE by the Queen for his services to Music.  A former Cambridge choral scholar, he went on to study singing at the Royal Academy of Music.  An esteemed Handelian, he has astounded audiences globally with his vocal agility in roles such as Orlando, Rinaldo, Ottone/Agrippina and David/Saul.  This year he will make his role debut as Giulio Cesare.  His intelligent and considered interpretations have led to fruitful collaborations with Thomas Adès, George Benjamin and Nico Muhly.  An engaging recitalist, with repertoire ranging from Dowland to Clapton, he has twice been awarded the Gramophone Recital Award for his recital recordings.  His outstanding west-end theatre project, Farinelli and the King, with Mark Rylance, was staged on Broadway this season.


Contact



Performance Schedule

From The Green Room

Discography

  • More info  
    Bach, J S: Mass in B minor, BWV232

    Label: Hyperion

    Release Date: 02 Mar 18

    Katherine Watson (soprano), Helen Charlston (mezzo-soprano), Iestyn Davies (countertenor), Gwilym Bowen (tenor), Neal Davies (bass)

    Trinity College Choir Cambridge, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Stephen Layton

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    FAURÉ The Complete Songs collection Vol 3

    Label: Signum Classics

    Release Date: 23 Feb 18

    Lorna Anderson (soprano), Isobel Buchanan (soprano), John Chest (baritone), Sarah Connolly (mezzo-soprano), Iestyn Davies (counter-tenor), William Dazeley (baritone), Janis Kelly (mezzo-soprano), Louise Kemény (soprano), Ann Murray (mezzo-soprano), Thomas Oliemans (baritone)
    Malcolm Martineau (piano)

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    BACH Magnificats

    Label: Hyperion

    Release Date: 02 Feb 18

    Arcangelo, Jonathon Cohen (conductor)

    Joélle Harvey (soprano), Olivia Vermeulen (mezzo-soprano), Iestyn Davies (counter-tenor), Thomas Walker (tenor), Thomaus Bauer (baritone)

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    Lost is My Quiet

    Label: BIS Records

    Release Date: 15 Sep 17

    Carolyn Sampson, Iestyn Davies and Joseph Middleton

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    FAURÉ The Complete Songs collection Vol 2

    Label: Signum Classics

    Release Date: 05 May 17

    Malcolm Martineau, John Chest, Jannis Kelly, Ben Johnson, Lorna Amderson, Nigel Cliffe, Sarah Connolly, Iestyn Davies, Ann Murray, Thomas Oliemans

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    BACH 'St John Passion'

    Label: Kings College Cambridge

    Release Date: 07 Apr 17

    Stephen Cleobury

    Iestyn Davies, Sophie Bevan, Neal Davies, James Gilchrist, Ed Lyons, Roderick Williams

    Academy of Ancient music and Kings College Chorus

     

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    Bach Cantatas

    Label: Hyperion

    Release Date: 30 Dec 16

    J.S BACH: Cantatas Nos. 54, 82 & 170
    Iestyn Davies, Jonathan Cohen and Arcangelo

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    Flow My Tears

    Label: Wigmore Live

    Release Date: 09 Feb 15

    Works by Johnson, Dowland, Danyel, Campion, Muhly and Hume
    Iestyn Davies, Thomas Dunford and Jonathan Mason

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    The Art of Melancholy

    Label: Hyperion

    Release Date: 31 Mar 14

    Works by John Dowland
    Iestyn Davies and Thomas Dunford

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    Arise my muse

    Label: Wigmore Live

    Release Date: 01 Mar 14

    Works by Purcell, Gabrieli, Clarke, Blow and Croft

    Iestyn Davies, Richard Egarr, Pamela Thorby, Tabea Debus, Bojan Čičić, Stephen Pedde, Julia Kuhn, Mark Levy and William Carter

  • More info  
    Your Tuneful Voice

    Label: Vivat

    Release Date: 10 Feb 14

    Handel Oratorio Arias
    Iestyn Davies, Carolyn Sampson, Robert King and The King’s Consort

  • More info  
    Arias for Guadagni

    Label: Hyperion

    Release Date: 28 May 12

    Iestyn Davies, Jonathan Cohen and Arcangelo

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    Wigmore Hall Live - Iestyn Davies

    Label: Wigmore Live

    Release Date: 16 Aug 10

    Works by Handel, Purcell, Buxtehude and Blow
    Iestyn Davies and Ensemble Guadagni

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    20 Oct 18 Marnie Nico Muhly
    Metropolitan Opera

    “Davies puts on a scene-stealing performance”
    David Salazar, Opera Wire, 19 October 2018

    “Countertenor Iestyn Davies was brilliant as Mark’s unscrupulous disfigured brother.”
    Eric C. Simpson, New York Classical Review, 20 October 2018

    “Iestyn Davies is fabulously sweet-voiced and bitter as Rutland’s brother..”
    Justin Davidson, Opera Review, 21 October 2018

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    07 Sep 18 Theodora Handel
    BBC Proms

    “Iestyn Davies’ sweet but effortlessly projecting countertenor is everything Handel could wish for.”
    Gavin Dixon, The Arts Desk, 08 September 2018

    “No introduction is necessary, surely, for counter-tenor Iestyn Davies, whose long melisma at the opening of Didymus’ first air, ‘The raptur’d soul defies the sword’ was positively hypnotic.”
    Colin Clarke, Seen and Heard International, 09 September 2018

    “Three hours passed serenely, thanks to the ever-superb Iestyn Davies.”
    Michael Church, Independent, 09 September 2018

    “In his Airs, Davies projected into the large arena with apparent effortless, and never at the expense of grace of phrasing or purity of tone.”
    Clare Seymour, Opera Today, 10 September 2018

    “Add to that a crack cast led by Louise Alder’s Theodora — vocal fire coolly cased in amber here for Handel’s chilly princess — and Iestyn Davies — all ardent, melting warmth.”
    Alexandra Coghlan, The Spectator, 15 September 2018

     

     

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    19 Jul 18 Saul Handel
    Glyndebourne Festival Opera

    “Unquestionable star of a fine vocal line-up is Iestyn Davies’s David. There isn’t a more exquisite nor, when needed, penetrating countertenor sound to be heard on the operatic stage today, he can do the strange gravitas of the character and, let’s face it, he’s in good shape too (singers these days probably spend as much time down the gym as they do in the rehearsal room).”

    ★★★★ David Nice, The Arts Desk, 20 July 2018

    “Iestyn Davies and Allan Clayton are both in superb voice as David and Jonathan (Davies’s rapturous rendering of the sublime “O God whose mercies numberless” was a musical highlight of the evening)”

    ★★★★★ Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 20 July 2018

    “In this heightened, hysterical world, Iestyn Davies’ bloodstained David arrives as an interloper: everything about him… sets him apart from everyone else on stage. Davies’ mesmeric countertenor, lyrically smooth and supple, similarly proclaims David’s rarefied disconnection… Davies held himself to the highest standards of music making in a rigorously focused performance, the fulcrum of all around him. He delivered “O Lord, whose mercies numberless” with resolute firmness”

    ★★★★ Charlotte Valori, Bachtrack, 20 July 2018

    “As one of only two returning members of the cast, Iestyn Davies is phenomenal as David, his purity of tone matched by expressive acting that exudes a spiritual man caught up in an all-too-human situation.”

    ★★★★★ Nick Breckenfield, Classical Source, 20 July 2018

    “Equally hard to imagine more beautifully sung interpretations of David and Jonathan than those offered by Iestyn Davies and Allan Clayton, and once again the presentation of their relationship as highly physical is sensitively sketched in.”

    ★★★★★ George Hall, The Stage, 20 July 2018

    “Iestyn Davies is again outstanding as David, his pure-toned countertenor easily filling the theatre.”

    ★★★★ Financial Times, 21 July 2018

    “The singing is equally impressive, particularly that of Iestyn Davies as David. His gloriously pure countertenor voice is one of the wonders of the operatic world”

    Express, 26 July 2018

    “counter-tenor extraordinaire Iestyn Davies as David.”

    ★★★★ David Mellor, The Mail on Sunday, 29 July 2018

    “In the First Act, Davies provided moments of genuinely heart-stopping beauty, the lyrical power of his voice evident when the orchestra suddenly cut out, leaving the countertenor sustaining a single note on a crescendo. With masterly awareness of dynamics coupled with a silky upper register, Davies displayed a vocal control few can match”
    Jack Pepper, Opera Today, 23 August 2018

    “Iestyn Davies… gave the most arresting vocal performance, holding the audience rapt through ‘Oh Lord, whose mercies numberless’ and at many other moments… [a] fluid, ample and beguiling tone”

    Erica Jeal, Opera Magazine, October 2018

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    04 Jun 18 Wigmore Hall Recital Carolyn Sampson, Iestyn Davies & Joseph Middleton

    ” There was no doubting the beauty of the performances with Carolyn Sampson and Iestyn Davies providing a finely balanced pairing which seemed to make them ideal for these modern re-interpretations of Purcell; both singers with great period experience as well as more recent repertoire.”

    Songs and duets from Carolyn Sampson and Iestyn Davies at the Wigmore Hall

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    28 May 18 Fretwork Recital Nyman, Purcell
    Milton Court Concert Hall

    “Countertenor Iestyn Davies offered mesmeric reassurance to the capacity audience during this intriguing meeting of the baroque and the modern.”
    Claire Seymour, Opera Today, 29 May 2018

     

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    13 May 18 Orfeo ed Euridice Gluck
    London Baroque Festival

    “Iestyn Davies was magisterial as his sublime countertenor captured Orfeo’s utter sorrow at Euridice’s death, sense of resolve as he goes on his mission, and heart-breaking despair as he hears, but cannot respond to, Euridice’s distressed tones. His performance of ‘Che farò senza Euridice!’ was especially skilful as it epitomised both the strength in his technique, and the beauty of his sound as it reached its ethereal heights.”

    ★★★★★ Sam Smith, Music OMH, 15 May 2018

    “The three principal roles were household names (certainly for this audience) and Iestyn Davies was clearly the star attraction. His voice is even-toned and consistently beautiful, and we were in no doubt of his ability to charm all things animate and inanimate.”
    Ruth Hansford, Planet Hugill, 15 May 2018

    “Countertenor Iestyn Davis took the title role here, singing with the plangency that is his trademark and also impressive authority.”
    Richard Fairman, Financial Times, 15 May 2018

    “Beautifully direct and dignified, in ‘Che farò’ Davies’s powerful, penetrating but also patrician countertenor was imbued with a perfect balance of tonal purity and expressive colour.”
    “Davies was the epitome of effortless meticulousness. ”
    Claire Seymour, Opera Today, 14 May 2018

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    28 Apr 18 Bach Cantata BWV 170 Cleveland Orchestra
    Severance Hall

    ‘Both sentiments Davies drove home with poignant force, evincing genuine anguish and using his beautiful, complex voice to spike even musically cheerful passages with plaintive emotion.’
    Zachary Lewis, Cleveland.com, 30 April 2018 

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    30 Mar 18 St. John Passion Academy of Ancient Music
    Barbican Centre

    “Another attraction was counter-tenor Iestyn Davies. He sang the final heart-broken aria Es ist vollbracht (It is Finished) with daring slowness, but with such perfect control of line that he carried it off.”

    “Davies shaped the elongated descents with stunning technical control and expressiveness.”
    Claire Seymour, Opera today, 01 Apr 2018

     

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    13 Mar 18 Rinaldo Tour English Concert
    Spring 2018

    “Davies is innately musical, and casts a line with perfectly expressed dynamics, from low to high, and soft to piercing. His is a voice for the ages.”
    Susan Hall, Berkshire Fine Arts, 27 March 2018

    “Countertenor Iestyn Davies put on a polished and elegant performance as the eponymous hero.”
    ,Opera Wire, 

    “Davies was exceptional.”
     George Grella,New York Classical,26 March 2018

    “As the eponymous warrior-hero, Iestyn Davies displayed tremendous color, depth and stamina throughout his eight arias and two duets.”
    Susan Stempleski, Classical Source, 25 March 2018

    “He grew increasingly impressive as the afternoon went on.”
    Richard Sasanow, Broadway World, 26 March 2018 

    “Iestyn Davies, the great counter-tenor of the moment, in the title role, as he deserves to be.”
    Michael Tanner, The Spectator, 24 March 2018

    “The title role in this production was sung by Iestyn Davies, whose voice is so versatile and pure that it surely deserves to be counted among the wonders of the operatic world.”
    William Hartston, Express, 20 March 2018

    “Davies has a strong stage personality and this imbued only his arias but his whole performance, lifting the drama above a simple.
    Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill, 15 March 2018

    “The title role here was taken by Iestyn Davies, a countertenor notable for the beauty of his voice, though he also summoned up some swashbuckling coloratura.”
    Richard Fairman, Financial times, 15 march 2018

    “Iestyn Davies displayed his clarity and ardour of tone that embodied effortless control of Handel’s tricky writing.”
    Curtis Rogers, Classical Source, 13 March 2018 

    “From Rinaldo’s first recitative, Davies’ countertenor was imbued with a penetrating dynamism which captured the hero’s impetuousness, passion and conviction.”
    Claire Seymour, Opera Today, 14 March 2018

    “Iestyn Davies as Rinaldo is as combustible a countertenor as any when firing off dazzling coloratura passages, hugely impressive in those “long divisions” for which Grimaldi, the role’s creator, was famous.”
    Roy Westbrook, Bachtrack, 14 March 2018 

    “Quizás el mejor y más completo contratenor de su generación.”
    “Iestyn Davies is perhaps best and most comprehensive countertenor of his generation”
    Luis Gago, El Pais, 12 March 2018

    “Iestyn Davies is a countertenor of refreshing ingenuousness and impeccable musicianship and his Rinaldo was exemplary in all respects. From the first minor third steps in “Ogni indugio d’un amante,” it was clear Davies is a singer with not just a formidable vocal technique and excellent diction, but innate musical sensitivity. In “Cara sposa, amante cara,” Davies displayed superb legato with a peerless evenness of melodic line.”
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    “English countertenor Iestyn Davies gave a commendable performance; his singing agility is excellent.”
    José M. Irurzun, Seen and Heard international, 13 March 2018

    “Perhaps the best and most complete countertenor of his generation…rarely is singing heard with such technical perfection”
    WQXR Staff, WQXR, 13 March 2018 

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    02 Feb 18 BACH Bach, Bach & Bach: Magnificats
    ℗ 2018 Hyperion Records Limited

    “The Soloists are uniformly excellent, with Iestyn Davies truly exceptional in his two solo contributions.”
    “Er verfügt über ein exzellentes Solistenquartett, aus dem der Countertenor Iestyn Davies mit seinem lupenreinen und bewegenden Gesang deutlich heraussticht. ”
    Pizzicato, 2 May 2018

    “Iestyn Davies excels in Qui sedes his voice mellifluous and his phrasing exemplary”
    John Quinn, MusicWeb International, 2018

    “All the soloists are admirable: two ex-Trinity choristers, Katherine Watson (an overlap with the Christie recording) and Gwilym Bowen, together with Neal Davies and Iestyn Davies, whose pure-toned, affecting Agnus Dei is alone worth the price of the disc.”
    Fiona Maddock, The Guardian, 1 April 2018

    “Iestyn Davies’s impeccably poised “Suscepit Israel” reveals just what a gift for the lyrical line C P E Bach had.”
    Marc Rochester, Music Web International, March 2018

     

    “Eloquence oozes from the counter-tenor Iestyn Davies”
    Geoff Brown,The Times today, 9 February 2018

    “But Cohen has a trump card in the shape of Iestyn Davies to sing the aria ‘Suscepit Israel’. He gives an exquisite performance and though there are several reasons to prefer the Cohen recording to the very good Rademann version Davies’ rendition of this aria tops the list.”
    John Quinn, Music Web International, February 2018   

    “But it is Iestyn Davies who serves up this recording’s jewel in his first recorded Agnus Dei, a masterclass in technique, vocal beauty and moving musicality that it is hard to imagine surpassed.”
    Lindsay Kemp, Gramophone, March 2018

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    17 Dec 17 Kampen Farinelli and The King
    Belasco Theatre

    “Superb countertenor Iestyn Davies….Mr. Davies sang with a beguiling mixture of lustrous sound and vulnerable intensity.”
    Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, 26 March 2018 

    “On stage, Farinelli’s angelic voice is provided by the wonderful countertenor Iestyn Davies (lately seen and heard by me in Thomas Ades’s astonishing The Exterminating Angel playing the fastidious aristocrat Francesco at the Metropolitan Opera), who is dressed as Crane’s doppelgänger and delivers a series of exquisite Handel arias exquisitely.”
    Hamish Bowles, Vogue US magazine, 25 January 2018

    “Iestyn Davies colouring his timbre with great subtlety.”
    “Iestyn Davies colorant son timbre avec grande subtilité, de façon à ne jamais apparaître exotique.”
    Christophe Huss, Le Devoir, 19 January 2018

    “Gifted countertenor sings”
    Adam Feldman, Time Out, 17 December 2017

    “Iestyn Davies voice is glorious in the new Broadway show Farinelli and The King. He transports us and we can see why this King craves his heavenly melodic timber. In each of the nine Handel aria’s we are transported to nirvana.”
    Suzanna Bowling, Face To Face, 23 December 2017

    “Iestyn Davies, Broadway’s New Favorite Singer.”…”Davies is something of an operatic superstar.”
    Adam Rathe, Town and Country, 27 December 2017

    “As for emotional power, nothing on stage matches the haunting beauty of the nine arias sung by countertenor Iestyn Davies.”
    Bob Geopfert, WAMC North East Public Radio, 20 December 2017

    “Philippe comes to see art as a healing and redemptive force. And with art given sublime voice here by the British countertenor Iestyn Davies, you are unlikely to argue with the King’s belief in its holy transcendence.”
    Ben Brantley, New York Times, 17 December 2017

    “It also gives audiences a chance to bask for two-and-a-half hours in the dramatic talents of Mr van Kampen and the vocal beauties of Iestyn Davies, one of the world’s finest countertenors.”
    Clive Paget, Lime Light, 18 December 2017 

    “Iestyn Davies providing impeccable vocals”
    David Barbour, Lighting and Sound America, 18 December 2017

    “We were hearing one of the great opera artists of our time.”… “Davies brings down the house singing Handel.”
    Susan Hall, Berkshire Fine Arts, 17 December 2017

    “Iestyn Davies, in the role of Farinelli’s singing voice, is dazzling — mischievous in brief moments and then, when he opens his mouth, angelic.”
    Dana Schwartz, Entertainment, 18 December 2017 

    “Given voice by the glorious the countertenor Iestyn Davies.”
    Wickham Boyle, EDGE Media Network, January 2018

    “Davies uses his extraordinary voice to give a good idea of what Farinelli sounded like”…“Davies and the musicians convey its haunting beauty.”
    Bill Stevenson, Culture Trip, 10 January 2018

     

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    26 Oct 17 Adès The Exterminating Angel
    The Metropolitan Opera

    “In another scene, that same petulant youth, sung by the superb countertenor Iestyn Davies, launches into a bravura complaint about missing coffee spoons. Frivolous sentiment rubs against serious music to create a rapturous friction.”
    Justin Davidson. Vulture, 27 October 2017

    “Iestyn Davies and David Portillo all deserve credit for acquitting themselves with dignity and grace.”
    Patrick Clement James, Parterre, 27 October 2017

    “If you go to a single production this season, make it this one.”
    Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times, 27 October 2017

    “Iestyn Davies, with his cool but pungent countetenor, strikes just the right note of bitchy triviality in this part.”
    James Jorden, The Observer, 30 October 2017

    “‘One character (the vocally and dramatically remarkable countertenor Iestyn Davies) complains that he can’t possible stir his coffee with a teaspoon.”
    Joshua Rosenblum, Zeal NYC, 01 November 2017

    “American premier has gleaming cast.”
    Paul J. Pelkonen, Berkshire Fine Arts, 01 November 2017

    “…countertenor Iestyn Davies put on the most engaging characterization of any single performer.”
    David Salazar, Operawire, 04 November 2017

    “…Iestyn Davies (Francisco de Ávila) laat zien over fenomenale theatrale kwaliteiten te beschikken…”

    “…Iestyn Davies (Francisco de Ávila) shows phenomenal theatrical qualities…”
    Jordi Kooiman, Place de l’Opera, 19 November 2017

    “Iestyn Davies výtečně využívá svého hlasového oboru coby sebestředný snob Francisco.”

    “Iestyn Davies is making excellent use of his voice as a self-centered snob Francisco.”
    Jiří Černý, Hospodářské noviny, 20 November 2017

    “Iestyn Davies characterised the peevish Francisco well at one point bursting into a tantrum about coffee spoons.”
    Robert Beattie, Seen and Heard International, 21 November 2017

     

     

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    15 Oct 17 Purcell, Schubert, Adès, Stravinsky Thomas Adès and Friends
    Carnegie Hall

    “The singer is challenged with irregular rhythms, leaping intervals and melismatic treatment of significant words, all skillfully managed by Davies.”
    David M. Rice, Classical Source, 15 October 2017

    “Like many countertenors, Davies sings with beaming clarity, but he also boasts a warmth and suppleness of tone that are quite rare. His Purcell selections, in realizations by Adès, showed nimble grace, and “Tränenregen,” from Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin, was sublime, the slightest tinge of melancholy discoloring the calm contentment of the song.”
    Eric C. Simpson, New York Classical Review, 16 October 2017

    “Davies is a pure countertenor whose tones are bell-like.”
    Janet Kipling, BBC Radio Devon, 16 October 2017

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    15 Sep 17 Lost is My Quiet (Duets and Solo Songs) Carolyn Sampson, Iestyn Davies & Joseph Middleton

    “Iestyn Davies avoids this trap, choosing slow, reflective solos that display his otherworldly purity of tone and serene legato.”
    Richard Wigmore, Gramophone

    “Davies too is at his peak, cradling Schumann’s radiantly simple Nachtlied with infinite care and swooning with almost indecent abandon through the delicious schmaltz of the Quilter numbers.”
    Alexandra Coghlan Lime Light, 6 March, 2018

    “Davies Shines in Quilter’s perfect setting of Shelley’s Music, when soft voices die and in his in-depth ecploration of Purcell’s Music for a while.”
    ★★★★★ BBC Music, December 2017

    “All but one of the Britten settings are for duet so the pleasure was doubled by the extraordinarily beautifully singing of the counter-tenor Iestyn Davies.”
    Dave Billinge, Music Web International

    “Carolyn Sampson’s soprano sparkles and Iestyn Davies’s countertenor glides through the air in this compilation. They sing together with an enjoyment of the music’s ebb and flow that is clearly shared by their pianist, Joseph Middleton…They shine in the solos, too, which include a dark, almost angry Music for a While from Davies.”
    Erica Jeal, The Guardian, 8 September 2017

    “Singing with the degree of technical flexibility and power that [Davies] brings here to music by Mendelssohn and Schumann, blending in seamless rapport with the shiningly elegant lyric soprano of Carolyn Sampson”
    ★★★★★ Rupert Christiansen, The Daily Telegraph, 16 September 2017

    “The soprano Carolyn Sampson duetting with countertenor Iestyn Davies and pianist Joseph Middleton revelling Benjamin Britten’s harmonically daring and even humorous Purcell realisations … I wish I could pour my love into a single word.”
    Andrew McGregor, BBC Radio 3, 23 September 2017

    “Iestyn Davies löytävät tekstin ja musiikin liiton saumattomasti”

    “Iestyn Davies finds the text and music union seamlessly.”
    Ville Komppa, Yle, 27 October 2017

    “Carolyn Sampson and Iestyn Davies are well matched in vibrancy – an accomplishment they deliver throughout.”
    ★★★★★ George Hall, November 2017

    “Iestyn Davies and Carolyn Sampson’s flawless recital of songs and duets… that transforms this into quite the most engaging (and just a little offbeat) release of the year.”
    Alexandra Coghlan, Gramophone, December 2017

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    22 Aug 17 J.S Bach Cantatas Academy of Ancient Music
    Queen's Hall, Edinburgh

    “His voice is all you could hope for: plangent, expressive, agile and evenly produced throughout. The utter highlight of the morning was an astonishing aria, Stirb in mir from BWV 169. Bach sets a verse longing for freedom from earthly desires to mesmerising, long vocal lines over disarming harmonies, so phrases turn and twist to arrive in unexpected places. Davies’ phrasing, legato – and breath control – were outstanding.”
    ★★★★ Svend McEwan-Brown, The Herald Scotland, 22 August 2017

    “Davies’s voice is renowned for its flawless tone and was consistently bang on form throughout Wiederstehe doch die Sunde and Gott soll allein mein Herze haben. Singing with simple ­conviction, their Lutheran messages to the good people of Leipzig that they’d better steer clear of sinning were conveyed by Davies in perfect diction and apparently effortless, graceful vocal lines.”
    Carol Main, Scotsman, 23 August 2017

    “Davies has no peers among countertenors right now.” The Sunday Times, 27 August 2017

    “It was a performance of astonishing focus and concentration.”…”Davies’s intimate encore of Bach’s ‘Bekennen will ich seinen Namen’ brought an exquisite, enlightening concert to a gently consoling, caressing close.”
    David Kettle, The Arts Desk, 25 August 2017

    “The unblemished clarity of his voice reached into the depths of Christian belief as expressed in Vergnügte Ruh’, beliebte Seelenlust and Geist und Seele wird verwirret, both sung with a humble sincerity entirely fitting to the music and Davies’s smooth tone.”
    Carol Main, Scotsman, 25 August 2017

    “[Iestyn Davies] sang with incredible clarity and warmth”
    Sarah Urwin Jones, Scotsman, 27 August 2017

     

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    11 Aug 17 Handel Giulio Cesare
    Kilkenny Arts Festival

    “English countertenor Iestyn Davies was mesmerising, bringing a poised intensity to his debut in the title role.”
    Cathy Desmond, Irish Examiner, 16 August 2017

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    09 Jun 17 Britten Midsummer night's dream
    Snape Maltings

    “Iestyn Davies makes a haunting Oberon, his immaculate control perfectly matched…Sophie Bevan’s Tytania”

    ★★★★ Rian Evans, The Guardian, 12 June 2017

    “Von den insgesamt hervorragenden Sängern gebührt Iestyn Davies die Krone…”

    Of the total outstanding singers, Iestyn Davies deserves the crown…”

    Jürgen Gahre. KN-Online, 12 June 2017

    “The assembled cast was truly terrific, headed by Davies’ icy-toned, severe Oberon, dazzling with the sheer purity of his countertenor.”

    Mark Pullinger, Bachtrack, 12 June 2017

    “The stellar cast is a Dream-team blend of character and virtuosity you can imagine Britten would have loved. Iestyn Davies’s remote Oberon floods the Maltings with countertenor magic…”

    ★★★★ Peter Reed, Classical Sources, 9 June 2017

    “Bevan and Davies are ideally matched:… his rich, flexible countertenor suggesting a temper barely held in check.”

    ★★★★ Anna Picard, The Times, 12 June 2017

    “Iestyn Davies (Oberon) was master of all he surveyed. His crystal clear countertenor and commanding presence made a fine, noble match for Sophie Bevan’s Tytania.”

    Martyn Harrison, Seen and Heard, 12 June 2017

    “Iestyn Davies (surely the Oberon de nos jours for the time being), Matthew Rose, ditto as Bottom,and Sophie Bevan’s riched voiced Tytania were the leads,as charismatic as any i have seen…”

    Hungh Canning, Opera magazine, August 2017

     

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    24 May 17 Bach Cantatas 54, 82, 170 (CD)
    Hyperion

    “‘Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust’ (BWV 170) opens with one of Bach’s most warm and comforting arias, contemplating the eternal rest that only Heaven can afford; in this, and also in the more tortured music that follows, Iestyn Davies sails serenely on through all vocal obstacle”

    AH, Early Music Today, June- August 2017

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    05 May 17 Fauré Complete songs collection Vol. 2 (CD)
    Signum Classics

    “…Iestyn Davies in Le plus doux chemin stand out among many highlights.”

    ★★★★★ Fiona Mddocks, The Observer, 7 May 2017

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    24 Apr 17 ADÈS The Exterminating Angel
    The Royal Opera House

    “In a parodic Baroque mad aria, Iestyn Davies (as Francisco) becomes wonderfully and woefully unhinged…”

    Claire Seymour, Opera Today, 2017

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    14 Apr 17 BACH St John Passion
    St John’s Smith Square

    “Iestyn Davies injected a sense of loss and pain into ‘Von den Stricken’ and powerful dramatic inflections towards the end of the aria heightened these feelings.  Davies’ performance of ‘Es ist vollbracht’ with its slow sustained lines was one of the highlights of the concert not only for the searing beauty of Davies’ singing but also for Jonathan Rees’ plaintive affecting gamba playing.”

    Robert Beattie, Seen and Heard international, 14 April 2017

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    07 Apr 17 BACH St John Passion (CD)
    Kings College Cambridge

    “…Iestyn Davies’s Sublime ‘Es ist vollbracht!’ (a poignant dialougue with gambist Liam Bryne) and Sophie Bevan’s lithesome ‘Zerfliesse, mein Herze’ (lovely coversetional interplay between the quartet of flutes and oboes da caccia) will be sufficient reasons alone to persuade many of us to pick up a copy.”

    David Vickers, Gramophone, May 2017

    “I should single out countertenor Iestyn Davies”

    Robert Cummings, Classical.net, 2017

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    27 Mar 17 HANDEL Mr. Handel's Scholars; Special Gala Concert
    Cadogan Hall

    “‘Iestyn Davies on stunning form in ‘Venti turbini’ from Handel’s Rinaldo’…’But this was a stunning showpiece which Davies, Cummings and the orchestra performed at a cracking pace with Davies producing apparently effortless passagework’…’Hughes and Davies sang the duet from Esther, ‘Who calls my parting soul’. This was short, yet perfectly formed with two beautifully balanced voices’…’Equally moving, but strikingly different, Iestyn Davies performed David’s air ‘O Lord, whose mercies numberless’ from Handel’s Saul.'”
    ★★★★ Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill, 28 March 2017

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    13 Jan 17 BENJAMIN Written on Skin
    Royal Opera House

    “Davies’ pure tone suggests a figure who is untouchable and celestial but, paradoxically, the beauty of his voice and the directness of its communication are bewitchingly erotic. There was a magical glow to the duets between Agnès and the Boy, which was utterly compelling.”
    Claire Seymour, Opera Today, 15 January 2017

    “Iestyn Davies, sounding glorious, makes the Boy a more overtly roguish, albeit less overworldly figure than Bejun Mehta, who created him”
    Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 16 January 2017

    “Iestyn Davies must be one of the busiest of today’s counter-tenors, yet his magnificence never seems to dip… The strength of his voice plus his clear identification with his characters is a joy to behold.”
    Colin Clarke, Seen and Heard International, 15 January 2017

    “Iestyn Davies supplies some of the most beautiful sounds one will ever hear from his particular voice category in the role of the Boy whose commission to produce an illuminated manuscript leads inevitably to the opera’s gruesome conclusion.”
    George Hall, The Stage, 14 January 2017

    “In this revival, the long-held highs are matched by those of Iestyn Davies as the Boy, who produces just as much beauty, purity and sheer volume.”
    ★★★★ David Karlin, Bachtrack, 14 January 2017

    “This is the role sung by the superb Iestyn Davies, whose wonderful counter-tenor voice seems to improve with each role.”
    Owen Davies, Play to See, 14 January 2017

    “Iestyn Davies as Angel 1/The Boy and Georgia Jarman as Agnès were perfectly matched. … Both were able to focus and sustain the long lines Benjamin gives them, winding around each other, using vibrato or its absence to colour each note.”
    Jonathan Cross, Opera, March 2017

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    31 Dec 16 J.S BACH Cantatas Nos 54, 82 & 170
    Jonathan Cohen & Arcangelo Ensemble

    “… His words are invariably clear and he relishes the interplay with the Arcangelo ensemble’s soloists… Overall, a lovely disc.”
    HC, The Sunday Times, 15 January 2017

    “This exceptional Bach album shows yet again what an outstanding singer Iestyn Davies is.”
    The Mail on Sunday, 29 January 2017

    “jag [tror], redan nu, blir en av årets mest omtalade skivor”

    “I think, already now, that this will be one of the years most talked about albums”
    Sofia Lilly Jönsson, Svenska Dagbladet, 13 January 2017

    “‘Poised elegance from Iestyn Davies in three of Bach’s solo alto cantatas’…’The disc provides a fine opportunity to hear Iestyn Davies on peak form, joining with Cohen and Arcangelo to make engagingly vibrant chamber music with the voice very much part of the ensemble’…’Davies sings with a superb sense of line, with just the right amount of edge to the tone, yet creating a finely contained performance’…’A steady throbbing orchestral accompaniment provides vibrant support for Iestyn Davies lovely and very expressive vocal line, complete with some superbly shaped long held notes.'”
    Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill, 1 January 2017

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    09 Dec 16 Handel The Messiah
    Les Violons du Roy

    “Iestyn Davies breathed a luminous shine”

    “Iestyn Davies insufflait un éclat lumineux”
    Josianne Desloges, La Presse, 9 December 2016

    “[Iestyn Davies] a touching presence, beautiful and intense, all in nuances and subtleties with his beautiful voice.”

    “Le contre-ténor Iestyn Davies s’est illustré par une présence touchante, belle et intense, toute en nuances et subtilités avec sa voix de toute beauté.”
    Jacques Leclerc, Info Culture, 10 December 2016

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    10 Nov 16 Dowland Recital with Thomas Dunford
    Wigmore Hall

    “‘Davies’ delivery was pristine and unassuming: musically stylised but without undue fussiness, the text always clearly defined. His countertenor was finely coloured and firm of weight; the melodic lines had beguiling lyrical grace and directness.’…’‘Come again, sweet love doth now invite’ was the epitome of courtly grace. Davies’ tone was sweet and pure, the phrasing beautifully controlled. The contrast between silky vocal line and vivacious lute was wonderfully expressive.’…’The delicate rendering of Clapton’s gentle musings was spellbinding, concluding a wonderful recital characterised by an unpretentious intensity that was truly magical.'”
    Claire Seymour, Opera Today, 12 November 2016

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    20 Oct 16 Recital with Thomas Dunford
    Dora Stoutzker Hall, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama

    “To my mind, at least, no singer of recent years has been so identified with the songs of John Dowland as Iestyn Davies has. He inhabits and articulates these songs with remarkable intimacy, control and expressiveness. Davies brings a great understanding of how poetry works to his performances of Dowland, as well as utter clarity of diction and a degree and manner of expressiveness well attuned to the ‘mannered’ quality of Dowland’s art. This performance seemed to concentrate and focus the audience’s attention throughout, in a way that not many concerts have ever done in my experience.”
    Glyn Pursglove, Seen and Heard International, 26 October 2016

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    10 Oct 16 Purcell The Fairy Queen
    Academy of Ancient Music, Barbican Centre

    “‘The star attraction was our great counter-tenor Iestyn Davies.’…’Iestyn Davies is an absolute treat'”
    Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 11 October 2016

    “The cast, which included … Iestyn Davies …, also produced some divine singing, as each performer completely embraced the concept and conveyed their enthusiasm to the audience.”
    ★★★★ Sam Smith, Music OMH, 10 October 2016

    “Iestyn Davies was his usual expert self”
    Opera Now, December 2016

    “Davies sounds ravishing in One Charming Night…”
    Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 11 October 2016

    “…there was glamour in the Act IV Overture, smarting with natural trumpets and kettledrums; beguilement in the recorder and baroque guitar accompaniment to Davies’ sinuous One Charming night”
    Anna Picard, The Times, 12 October 2016

    “‘…the evening was a delightful succession of phantasmagoric tableaux’…’Iestyn Davies’s superlative counter-tenor, revealing his acting chops still in very good order in ‘No, no, no, no kissing at all””
    ★★★★ Cara Chanteau, The Independent, 11 October 2016

    “…he [Iestyn Davies] sang with his customary precision and warmth of tone, allied with close attention to the enunciation of the text.”
    Curtis Rogers, Classical Source, 10 October 2016

    “‘Iestyn Davies quite frequently found himself at the lower end of his countertenor range, but evinced grace and nobility as ‘Secrecy’ in Act 2; and later, as Mopsa, his superb vocal control shone through the tomfoolery’…’In the final Act, Davies demonstrated intelligent musicianship and vocal flexibility, modulating the colour of his voice according to the harmonic shifts and implications of the accompaniment in the Chinese Man’s ‘Yes, Daphne, in your looksI find/ The charms by which my heart’s betray’d’.'”
    Claire Seymour, Opera Today, 14 October 2016

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    05 Sep 16 BBC Proms - 5th September 2016
    Cadogan Hall

    “‘Davies’ performance of Scheidend was absolutely stunning:  exquisite legato phrases were sung in an effortless way with Davies investing every word with a rich emotional resonance.’…Davies gave us dazzling, crisply articulated coloratura runs while both singers showed enormous vocal agility in the final section of the song.’…Davies took centre stage for Music for a while which he sang with a rapt beauty of tone and impeccable diction. ‘…’Overall, this was superlative music making of the highest order – bravo to all the performers!'”
    Robert Beattie, Seen and Heard International, 7 September 2016

    “Soprano Carolyn Sampson, countertenor Iestyn Davies, and pianist Joseph Middleton gave a lunchtime Prom at the Cadogan Hall which was chamber music of the highest quality.”
    ★★★★★ Michael Church, The Independent, 8 September 2016

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    28 Jul 16 Adés The Exterminating Angel
    Salzburg Festival

    “Cairns’s staging is as meticulously detailed as Adès’s score, while Hildegard Bechtler’s set, dominated by the giant portal of the room from which there seems no escape, is sensibly spare. And the Salzburg cast is superb, dominated by three generations of British singers, with Thomas Allen and John Tomlinson, Christine Rice, Charles Workman, Sally Matthews, Sophie Bevan, Iestyn Davies, as well as Anne Sofie von Otter, Amanda Echalaz and Audrey Luna. It’s a magnificent piece of ensemble work.”
    ★★★★ Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 29 July 2016

    “Out of noisy, brassy eruptions, exquisite arias float up. Iestyn Davies sings a rapturous ode to coffee spoons”
    ★★★★★ Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian, 31 July 2016

    “Sally Matthews and Iestyn Davies negotiate some merciless music with skill”
    Monika Ritterhaus, The Times, 1 August 2016

    “The vocal writing is tailor-made for the 22 top-drawer soloists…this is athletic, demanding music which is performed with polish and flair”
    Shirley Apthorp, Financial Times, 29 July 2016

    “Two self-absorbed characters, Silvia, the Duchess of Avila, a young widowed mother worried about her boy at home, and her arrogant, idle brother, Francisco, are oddly sympathetic, especially as performed by the sweet-toned soprano Sally Matthews and the dynamic countertenor Iestyn Davies.”
    Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, 29 July 2016

    “Making the most memorable impression are…countertenor Iestyn Davies as the neurotic sibling obsessed aristocrat Francisco de Avila”
    David Nice, The Arts Desk, 3 August 2016

    “Such is the sadism of the vocal score, you don’t immediately realise this is an all-star cast (Christine Rice, Iestyn Davies, Thomas Allen, John Tomlinson…). The work prohibits showing it off”
    Igor Toronyi-Lalic, The Spectator, 4 August 2016

    “Iestyn Davies and British soprano Sophie Bevan grandly intoned the love death.”
    Michael Milenski, Opera Today, 5 August 2016

    “Iestyn Davies’ vocal performance offering in its inflections a strong sense of the conflict in the character’s personality”
    Mark Berry, Seen and Heard International, 9 August 2016

    “The countertenor Iestyn Davies is funny, then disturbing, as a supercilious young socialite.”
    Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, 9 August 2016

    “Iestyn Davies was excellent as the impetuous Francisco de Avila”
    Hugo Shirley, Opera Magazine, October 2016

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    08 Jul 16 Fauré Complete Songs of Fauré, Vol 1
    Signum Classics

    “Countertenor Iestyn Davies brings a beautiful limpidity to Lydia and Tristesse.”
    ★★★★ Erica Jeal, The Guardian, 7 July 2016

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    15 May 16 London Baroque Music Festival Recital
    St John's Smith Square

    “‘Davies’s beautiful arioso line revealed the emotive strength of Humfrey’s melodic voice and a feeling for the accentuations of words to rival that of Humfrey’s pupil, Purcell.’…’This number afforded Davies the opportunity to demonstrate nimbleness and purity of sound as he negotiated the florid melodic line.'”
    Claire Seymour, Opera Today, 17 May 2016

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    15 Apr 16 Handel Saul
    The Barbican, BBC Singers

    “Iestyn Davies gave a superb performance as David”
    ★★★★★ Sam Smith, Music OMH, 17 April 2016

    “‘Iestyn Davies even reprised the role of David with his charismatic musical presence evinced through his suavely seamless singing and directness of expression, whether in the pulsing loveliness of ‘O Lord, whose mercies numberless’ or the more incisive passion of an urgent number such as in the duet ‘At persecution I laugh’.’…’Davies instilled drama into his realisation of David through his ability to characterise a role through intelligent musicianship rather than mannered gesture.'”
    Curtis Rogers, Classical Source, 15 April 2016

    “Countertenor Iestyn Davies is a gentle, quiet and very human David, singing with great beauty and purity of tone…”
    Henson Keys, Parterre, 12 October 2016

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    18 Mar 16 George Benjamin Dream of the Song
    Barbican Centre, BBC Symphony Orchestra

    “Iestyn Davies who, with a potent blend of fluidity and intensity, gave an impressive performance”
    Claire Seymour, Opera Today, 20 March 2016

    “Iestyn Davies’ performance was at once both dreamy and hard-edged”
    Bernard Hughes, The Arts Desk, 19 March 2016

    “Iestyn Davies was as restrained and as ardent as the music requires”
    Richard Whitehouse, Classical Source, 18 March 2016

    “Davies’ sweet, pure, steady voice”
    Anna Picard, The Times, 21 March 2016

    “We hear silken violins, plaintive oboe and a countertenor part ideally suited, in this case, to Iestyn Davies’ translucent voice”
    Hannah Nepil, The Financial Times, 21 March 2016

    “Benjamin’s music deftly reflected the haunting beauty of the verses, and the wistful but muscular countertenor lines found their ideal exponent in Davies.”
    ★★★★ John-Pierre Joyce, Music OMH, 21 March 2016

    “Davies delivered them with a curious mixture of reticence and resplendent tone”
    The Sunday Times, 27 March 2016

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    01 Mar 16 Handel Orlando
    The English Concert

    “Iestyn Davies took the title role with ease and effortless style”
    Rebecca Franks, The Times, 2 March 2016

    “Few countertenors spin a legato line with as much warmth or beauty as Iestyn Davies”
    Alexandra Coghlan, The Arts Desk, 2 March 2016

    “Iestyn Davies in the title role rattled off the rapid triplets of his suicidal frenzy, and was deeply affecting in his mad scene”
    ★★★★ Barry Millington, The Evening Standard, 2 March 2016

    “In terms of voice, he had all the right traits: technical athleticism, moments of startling power, but also of stillness”
    Hannah Nepil, The Financial Times, 2 March 2016

    “Davies’ hallucinating hero traverses a kaleidoscopic series of derangements, each with its own vividly-characterised musical colouring”
    ★★★★★ Michael Church, The Independent, 2 March 2016

    “In the title-role was Iestyn Davies, surely just about supreme today in the castrato repertory. There’s no sense in his technique of the fey falseness of falsetto: the sound is produced with grace and ease, warmly coloured and subtly toned. In Orlando’s derangement, he was darkly melancholy, but elsewhere he was furiously virile too – the fireworks of ‘Fammi combattere’ dazzled. In his artistry, the counter-tenor has truly come of age.”
    ★★★★★ Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 2 March 2016

    “‘Iestyn Davies showed his familiar combination of technical brilliance and bravura in the fast, even passagework and the overall sense of drama with the technical being subservient to the dramatic moment.’…’Davies brought this out with a very musical but intensely personal performance.'”
    Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill, 3 March 2016

    “Iestyn Davies’s performance cultivated a generally studied, lyrical beauty of tone”
    Curtis Rogers, Classical Source, 1 March 2016

    “Iestyn Davies’ Orlando showcases a truly exquisite talent: Davies’ countertenor is so gorgeously legato and fluid that it sounds almost unearthly, yet the smoothness is seasoned with heartstopping, ferociously accurate coloratura which received explosive applause from the Barbican audience.”
    ★★★★ Charlotte Valori, Bachtrack, 2 March 2016

    “Davies launched into the score’s astonishing prestissimo flights with relaxed ease and without any loss of focus. The breath control exhibited in his Act 2 aria, ‘Cielo! se tu il consenti deh! Fà’, was remarkable, and equalled by the fluid passagework of ‘Fammi combattere’; there was continuity of tone throughout the vocal extravagances, and the latter unfailingly served an expressive purpose.”
    Claire Seymour, Opera Today, 3 March 2016

    “‘Davies’ voice was beautifully agile and sprung; indeed, Handel’s remarkable challenges to his singer seemed only to spur Davies on to greater heights’…’Davies was remarkable.'”
    Colin Clarket, Seen and Heard International, 4 March 2016

    “With brilliant vocals Davies brought the lovable anti-hero to life”
    Martin Toet, Place de l’Opera, 9 March 2016

    “Pristine coloratura was in abundant supply all evening, not least from world-class countertenor Iestyn Davies as a guileless Orlando.”
    Jenny Camilleri, Opera Today, 10 March 2016

    “A cast headed by Britain’s finest countertenor, Iestyn Davies, in the title role”
    Opera Magazine, May 2016

    “The singers were superb. In a part written for the castrato Senesino, Iestyn Davies encompassed all Orlando’s hop and despair, his finest moment coming at the end of Act 2, when Orlando goes mad in a scena that includes recitative, a ground bass, and a manic gavotte.”
    Early Music Today, June-August 2016

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    30 Jan 16 Raskatov Green Mass
    London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Festival Hall

    “Iestyn Davies brought clarity of tone and diction”
    David Truslove, Classical Source, 30 January 2016

    “Iestyn Davies’ countertenor was a striking clarion at the top, always melodious as it negotiated the fragmentary melodic gestures of the Blake setting”
    Claire Seymour, Opera Today, 1 February 2016

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    02 Jan 16 Handel Messiah
    Royal Scottish National Orchestra

    “Magic man Davies utterly beguiled this listener with his spellbinding, steel-cored vocal purity.”
    Michael Tumelty, Herald Scotland, 4 January 2016

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    18 Dec 15 Taverner and Tavener Concert with Fretwork Ensemble
    Kings Place

    “Iestyn Davies was similarly apparently effortless, singing with a lovely sense of ease.”
    Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill, 20 December 2015

    “Iestyn Davies brought almost incomprehensible purity to the piece, singing with such clarity that at first his voice was barely distinguishable from the serene sound of the viols.”
    Early Music Today, February 2016

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    15 Dec 15 Handel Messiah
    The Barbican, Britten Sinfonia

    “[Iestyn’s] expressive ‘He was despised’ was one of the evening’s highlights”
    Colin Clarkte, Seen and Heard International, 16 December 2015

    “His da capo embellishments in ‘But who may abide the day of his coming’ had a thought through dramatic emphasis that transcended mere decoration.”
    Mark Valencia, Classical Source, 15 December 2015

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    08 Dec 15 Handel Messiah
    St Davids Hall, BBC National Orchestra of Wales

    “Davies’s countertenor was simply outstanding: the voice impeccably used, the purity of tone heart-stoppingly beautiful. This was consummate Handelian artistry.”
    ★★★★ Rhian Evans, The Guardian, 9 December 2015

    “There was depth and feeling to countertenor Iestyn Davies’ performance”
    ★★★★ Peter Collins, Wales Online, 9 December 2015

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    04 Dec 15 Recital with Allan Clayton
    Wigmore Hall

    “Last night’s Wigmore Hall recital by countertenor Iestyn Davies and tenor Allan Clayton, accompanied by James Baillieu, was an all-round triumph: brilliantly programmed, superbly sung and very thought-provoking.”
    Bernard Hughes, The Arts Desk, 5 December 2015

    “Iestyn Davies reigns supreme among countertenors”
    ★★★★ Michael Church, The Independent, 5 December 2015

    “Davies enchanted in Purcell’s sinuous ‘Music for a While’ and aching ‘Sweeter than Roses'”
    ★★★★★ Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 5 December 2015

    “There was also some of the most sheerly beautiful singing and playing to be heard from this generation of musicians.”
    Anna Picard, The Times, 7 December 2015

    “We were able to appreciate the beauties of line and tone provided by Iestyn Davies, along with a superb attention to the words.”
    Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill, 6 December 2015

    “‘Davies communicated Isaac’s trusting innocence with heart-wringing clarity’…’Davies delivered with astonishing direction and focus, was almost overwhelmingly intense declaration of passion.'”
    Claire Seymour, Opera Today, 6 December 2015

    “‘Davies was highly responsive to the language and he demonstrated tremendous vocal agility towards the end of the song, keeping the lines exceptionally clean and the rhythms incisive.’…’Once again Davies and Clayton blended perfectly to create an aura of religious mysticism and there was some deft interweaving of the vocal lines.’…’Superb performances all round'”
    Robert Beattie, Seen and Heard International, 6 December 2015

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    19 Nov 15 Recital with Andreas Scholl
    Wigmore Hall / English Concert

    “Davies was supreme in clarion tone and impressive agility.”
    ★★★★ Melanie Eskenazi, Music OMH, 21 November 2015

    “Alternating solos with duets, they took it in turns to stun us with beauty; the dark splendour of Purcell’s ‘Ode on the Death of Queen Mary’ was offset by the comic ‘Cold Song’ (Scholl’s calling-card) and ‘Evening Hymn’ (Davies’s ditto); their final encore was a brilliant reprise of ‘Sound the trumpet’ with Scholl ending in baritone mode and Davies embroidering on top. A flawless evening.”
    ★★★★★ Michael Church, The Independent, 21 November 2015

    “The singers provided the Wigmore’s Purcell retrospective with a great and perfectly coordinated double act, imaginatively supported by the English Concert.”
    ★★★★ George Hall, The Guardian, 20 November 2015

    “Davies offers something richer, more expressive and more virtuosic.”
    Anna Picard, The Times, 23 November 2015

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    23 Oct 15 Handel Theodora
    Queen's Hall

    “Iestyn Davies proved himself to be a true master of his craft, singing with a stunningly sublime tone, perfectly suited to the music. The juxtaposition of a full, rich sound from the orchestra, with natural horns cutting through the strings like pealing bells, to the clean simplicity of just continuo and theorbo to accompany Davies’ heavenly singing was particularly effective.”
    Miranda Heggie, Herald Scotland, 23 October 2015

    “Iestyn Davies’ pellucid counter-tenor voice was spellbinding and their duet together ravishing.”
    ★★★★★ Susan Nickalls, The Scotsman, 26 October 2015

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    29 Sep 15 Kampen Farinelli and the King
    The Duke of York's Theatre

    “The music is exquisite, truly to die for.”
    Ann Treneman, The Times, 30 September 2015

    “And, as before, these items – five of the seven by Handel, three from Rinaldo, sung in Italian (no sur-titles) by the great counter-tenor Iestyn Davies”
    ★★★★ Michael Coveney, What’s on Stage, 30 September 2015

    “Davies’ voice [is] extraordinary.”
    ★★★★ Natascha Tripney, The Stage, 29 September 2015

    “Mark Rylance may be the big acting name in Farinelli and the King but the real star – whose talent makes you tingle – is counter-tenor Iestyn Davies”
    ★★★★ Quentin Letts, The Daily Mail, 30 September 2015

    “Graced by the most beautiful countertenor voice of our age with fine musical intelligence to match, Iestyn Davies.”
    The Arts Desk, 30 September 2015

    “The musical interludes, predominantly arias by Handel, are sung exquisitely by countertenor Iestyn Davies.”
    ★★★★ Fiona Mountford, Evening Standard, 30 September 2015

    “Glories of the performance from singer Iestyn Davies”
    Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter, 30 September 2015

    “An undoubted draw too is the involvement (supported by a rotating body of other singers in this transfer) of the noted counter-tenor Iestyn Davies, who gives us a full-throated inkling of the sublime sounds to which Philippe was treated.”
    ★★★★ Dominic Cavendish, The Telegraph, 30 September 2015

    “Iestyn Davies sang them all with so silvery a tone and so virtuosic an execution that there were times when it seemed that some members of the audience were about to stand up and cheer.”
    ★★★★ Melanie Eskenazi, Music OMH, 29 September 2015

    “Counterpointed with the celestial beauty that pours forth from counter-tenor Iestyn Davies in some of the most gorgeous arias of the 18th Century”
    ★★★★★ Paul Taylor, The Independent, 1 October 2015

    “He [Iestyn Davies] seems to sing Handel with as much ease as if he had imbibed it with his mother’s milk both in the long pure notes and in the death-defying thrills and spills of the coloratura”
    David Karlin, Bachtrack, 30 September 2015

    “The combination of the finest actor and the finest countertenor of their respective generations makes this an evening that not theatre or music lover can afford to miss.”
    Michael Arditti, Sunday Express, 5 October 2015

    “The highlight is the part of Farinelli…sung by Iestyn Davies, whose voice is incredible”
    Steve Myall, Sunday Mirror, 4 October 2015

    “Iestyn Davies…is his [Sam Crane’s] superlative, sublime voice”
    ★★★★★ Georgina Brown, Sunday’s Daily Mail, 3 October 2015

    “Davies (performing the night we went) is a world class singer and never puts a foot wrong in his arias as he embellishes them with the type of ornaments that castrati may originally have applied to them.”
    ★★★★ Sam Smith, Londonist, 4 October 2015

    “Singer Iestyn Davies and actor Sam Crane are glorious in their joint role as Farinelli…The arias sung by Davies are hauntingly beautiful and the theatre is silenced in awe of his spectacular talent.”
    Laura Jones, Broadway West End, 4 October 2015

    “(Iestyn Davies) echoes the king’s bipolar condition but also emphasises how music transcends the human and enters into the divine”
    Cath Willcox, The Upcoming, 2 October 2015

    “Sung by the superb countertenor Iestyn Davies”
    Warwick Thompson, Blouin Art Info, 2 October 2015

    “The prime cut is the sensual richness of countertenor Iestyn Davies’ voice…Davies really dazzles.”
    Time Out, 6 October 2015

    “Sublime high entertainment”
    The Times, Critics Choice, 17 October 2015

    “With superb staging and singing from Iestyn Davies, you too will believe music can cure all.”
    Daily Mail, 25 October 2015

    “The role was sung by the glorious countertenor Iestyn Davies”
    Michael Arditti, Express, 5 January 2016

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    12 Sep 15 Handel Recital - 12th April 2015
    Wigmore Hall

    “‘Iestyn Davies on strong form in this generous selection of Handel arias opening the Wigmore Hall new season’…’Iestyn Davies displayed great ease and wonderful evenness in the divisions, and it was characterful too!'”
    ★★★★★ Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill, 13 September 2015

    “‘Is there anything that countertenor Iestyn Davies cannot do with his voice?’…’Davies negotiated the high lying melody, moving lightly through the rapid runs, the phrases expanding naturally and flawlessly.’…’Davies whirled through the semiquavers but never at the expense of musicality and communication’…’Davies used his lower register most expressively, moving smoothly across octave leaps to convey Rinaldo’s despair and confusion.’…’Davies’ vocal flexibility was remarkable'”
    Claire Seymour, Opera Today, 14 September 2015

    “‘Davies is a superb Handelian, one of today’s finest, and there was a real sense of occasion throughout.’…'[he] was on wonderful form'”
    ★★★★ Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 14 September 2015

    “Sublime voice, faultless technique and superb artistry”
    ★★★★★ Keith McDonnel, Music OMH, 14 September 2015

    “Davies performed three arias from the work, which managed to showcase the breadth of his skills. He achieved a magnificent purity of tone in ‘Sento amor’, but what is more remarkable is that as the elongated, high-lying lines of that aria gave way to the intricate, furious semiquaver passages that dominate “Furibondo spira il vento”, the purity of Davies’ tone remained alongside incredible precision.”
    ★★★★ Jack Johnson, Bachtrack, 16 September 2015

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    19 Aug 15 Purcell & Blow Recital - 19th August 2015
    Queen's Hall, Edinburgh Festival

    “The man himself made a predictably beautiful sound: his countertenor is probably the most in-demand in the world at the minute. He was poignant and melancholy in famous Purcell numbers like O Solitude or the famous Evening Hymn, but he wasn’t above having some fun with the song of the Cold Genius in King Arthur, displaying phenomenal technique and breath control in the process…’flawless intonation and beautiful tone'”
    Simon Thompson, Seen and Heard International, 20 August 2015

    “He channelled all his expression through that intensely focused voice, rich in dramatic grit, and his Purcell was as thoughtful as it was beautiful. He never overplayed the composer’s copious word-painting, but his delivery of the unpredictable The Plaint was fluid and expansive, and his What power art thou was scarily intense.”
    ★★★★★ The Scotsman, 20 August 2015

    “Davies himself is on stratospheric form at the moment…the clarity, command and directness of Davies’s singing is phenomenally impressive…Fairest Isle was flawless, full-bodied, arresting.”
    ★★★★ Susan Barr, Herald Scotland, 19 August 2015

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    23 Jul 15 Handel Saul
    Glyndebourne Festival Opera

    “Iestyn Davies sang David with heroic purity, ‘O Lord, Whose Mercies Numberless’ characteristic of his sweetness of tone, graceful ornamentation and nuanced phrasing. David’s music is perhaps not only the most beautiful but most varied in the work, from fast, dramatic arias – ‘Such haughty beauties’ – to solemn recitative – ‘O Jonathan’ and Davies gave it all the most touching eloquence.”
    Melanie Eskenazi, Music OMH, 24 July 2015

    “‘Musically this evening is well-nigh flawless. No praise too high for the singing of Davies, Appleby, and Purves’…’this is a landmark production.'”
    Michael Church, The Independent, 24 July 2015

    “Iestyn Davies is in glorious voice as David — rich in tone yet unaffected — and his account of ‘Oh Lord Whose Mercies Numberless’ is almost heart-stopping.”
    Laura Battle, The Financial Times, 26 July 2015

    “Iestyn Davies’s exquisite David. There’s an unearthly quality to this voice that sets it effectively apart from all around it, but grounded in a muscularity that makes a credible warrior of a figure we first encounter bloodied and bruised from the fight.”
    Alexandra Coghlan, The Arts Desk, 24 July 2015

    “Superb singing from Iestyn Davies.”
    ★★★★ Barry Millington, The Evening Standard, 24 July 2015

    “The star is Iestyn Davies, whose countertenor is unwaveringly lustrous as a David who is far too popular and handsome for Saul’s liking.”
    Richard Morrison, The Times, 25 July 2015.

    “Iestyn Davies just gets better and better: I don’t think I have ever heard a counter-tenor in an opera house sounding more warmly radiant or tonally secure, and his David impressively combines princely dignity with intense melancholy, quite magically so in his great lament ‘Mourn, Israel.'”
    ★★★★★ Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 24 July 2015

    “Iestyn Davies, his countertenor flooding the house with its agile fullness, played David with remote, Hamlet-like detachment.”
    Peter Reed, Classical Source, 23 July 2015

    “‘This was counter-parted by the cool beauty of Davies’ singing and his account of O King, whose mercies are numberless was one of the highlights of the evening.’ ‘But the beauty and intelligence of Iestyn Davies performance helped to bring the role alive in multiple ways.'”
    Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill, 27 July 2015

    “Countertenor Iestyn Davies is an equally charismatic David, and he delivers the hit number ‘O Lord, whose mercies’ with ravishing beauty.”
    Warwick Thompson, Blouin Artinfo, 25 July 2015

    “When Iestyn Davies’ David attributes his victory over Goliath to God (‘O king, your favours with delight, I take, but must refuse your praise’), the strength and purity of the countertenor’s voice were heart-melting.”
    ★★★★★ David Karlin, Bachtrack, 27 July 2015

    “The marvellously rich countertenor voice of Iestyn Davies is one of the most glorious sounds to be heard on the opera stage today, and its purity fits the part of David perfectly.”
    ★★★★★ William Harston, The Express, 28 July 2015

    “The whole cast is enormously impressive but the maddened, bull-like Saul of that exemplary singing actor Christopher Purves, the stoic David of radiant counter-tenor Iestyn Davies and Lucy Crowe and Sophie Bevan as sisters Merab and Michal are outstanding.”
    David Gillard, The Daily Mail, 31 July 2015

    “Amongst a strong cast of singers the other person who requires special mention is Iestyn Davies who sings the counter tenor role of David. The purity of line he produces and the beauty of his tone are ravishing. It is no surprise that Saul’s daughter Michal (Sophie Bevan) and son Jonathon (Paul Appelby) both fall in love with him. A counter tenor does not usually have the longevity of other operatic voices, but here is a singer at his peak and well worth following to future engagements.”
    ★★★★★ Howard Sheperdson, Limelight Magazine, 31 July 2015

    “Sublimely sung by Davies”
    Anna Picard, The Spectator, 1 August 2015

    “Iestyn Davies, as David, is superb; his rich, secure countertenor seems to get better with every new role.”
    Stephen Pritchard, The Guardian, 2 August 2015

    “Iestyn Davies’s alto, who is the vocal star of the show as David, immaculate and sensuous in his singing of the oratorio’s hit number, ‘O Lord, whose mercies numberless’, which I haven’t heard surpassed live. It’s worth the price of the ticket for his singing alone.

    ‘Counter-tenor Iestyn Davies as David will also rarely enjoy better nights than this’…’The cast are first class'”
    The Daily Mail, 2 August 2015

    “All were impressive, none more so than Iestyn Davies in the pivotal role of David. The security, fluency, expressiveness and downright beauty of his performance entirely naturalized the countertenor register…rarely can he have been heard in better voice.”
    Russ McDonald, Opera Magazine, September 2015

    “Iestyn Davies kickstarted the drama and characterisation, both deftly done.”
    Robert Thicknese, Opera Now, August 2015

    DVD Review

    “Of the singers, I was especially impressed by the countertenor Iestyn Davies, who sings David.”
    Hans de Groot, The Whole Note, 29 August 2016

    “Iestyn Davies’ eloquent David is career-defining”
    Opera Now, September 2016

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    13 Jun 15 Lewes Chamber Music Festival Recital
    All Saints Centre, Lewes

    “Davies’ counter-tenor voice was famously sublime of course, and Thomas Dunford’s lute-playing was equally heavenly. As with all great artists, these two played fast and loose with the rules, laying bare the delicate and mobile structures of Dowland’s writing while letting the blues in through a little breath in music’s space/time continuum.

    The quality of quietness is a rare and beautiful thing, the harmony of Iestyn Davies and Thomas Dunford rarer and more beautiful still.”
    ★★★★★ Eleanor Knight, The Argus, 15 June 2015

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    06 Jun 15 Muhly Sentences (World Premiere)
    The Barbican

    “Davies’s artistry: during the work’s course, he sings against a playback loop of his own voice, and the effect – all close Monteverdian harmony – is ravishing.”
    ★★★★ Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 7 June 2015

    “‘In this elegant performance from countertenor Iestyn Davies and the Britten Sinfonia under Muhly himself, no detail was either overcooked or overlooked.’…’showcasing the seamlessness of Davies’s tone and phrasing.'”
    Hannah Nepil, The Financial Times, 8 June 2015

    “The soaring otherworldly voice of countertenor Iestyn Davies”
    Barbara Kiser, Nature Blog, 10 June 2015

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    21 Feb 15 Kampen Farinelli and the King
    Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

    “The great countertenor Iestyn Davies steps in, singing with such an intense beauty that he almost manages to upstage the un-upstageable Rylance. This takes some getting used to and at first I felt sorry for Crane, an actor of keen reserve, as he stood in silence while Davies delivered another showstopper.”
    ★★★★ Ben Lawrence, The Telegraph, 21 February 2015

    “It was a joy to hear the arias sung with such brilliance of execution and flair in interpretation, especially those from Handel’s Rinaldo. Despite its terrifying demands, Iestyn must have found it a breeze (!) to sing Venti, Turbini standing before us in gold brocade, given that the last time some of us heard him perform this aria he was merrily cresting the clouds on a boneshaker in the Glyndebourne production… ‘clear articulation of divisions and quick passages…’ All those qualities are found in abundance in Iestyn Davies’ singing.”
    ★★★★ Melanie Eskenazo, Music OMH, 22 February 2015

    “Farinelli the singer is British countertenor Iestyn Davies (William Purefoy in the later shows in the run), suddenly assured and completely captivating.”
    Alexandra Coghlan, The Arts Desk, 21 February 2015

    “A superb countertenor, Davies captures the piercing expressiveness and introspection of this remarkable figure whose voice proved so restorative for Philip…Davies’ sound is always sophisticated and crisp — and his high notes are ethereal.”
    ★★★★ Henry Hitchings, The Evening Standard, 23 February 2015

    “Crane is shadowed by the counter-tenor Iestyn Davies as the singing Farinelli and the moments when he renders two arias, Cara Sposa and Venti Turbini, from Handel’s Rinaldo, offer a pleasure that verges on the sublime.”
    ★★★★ Michael Billington, The Guardian, 24 February 2015

    “Iestyn Davies sings with rapturous virtuosity and uncanny beauty those Handel arias that give the King temporary release.”
    Paul Taylor, The Independent, 23 February 2015

    “‘the arias are skin-tingling and exquisite'”
    Natasha Tripney, The Stage, 23 February 2015

    “Iestyn Davies stepping forward to trill a rousing aria.”
    Matt Trueman, Variety, 23 February 2015

    “Iestyn Davies was superb as Farinelli the singer, gliding onto the stage when music was required.”
    Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill, 25 February 2015

    “Farinelli is voiced by the brilliant countertenor Iestyn Davies punctuating the action with arias including two from Rinaldo which was the first opera written specifically for the London stage and, in a nice parallel to the plot, by the court musician Handel who was imported by George I, first of the Hanoverian kings.  You don’t have to be an opera lover to wonder at these eerie, ethereal interludes in the play.”
    Johnny Fox, Londonist, 25 February 2015

    “The music (by Porpora, Hasse and Handel), and the singing of countertenor Iestyn Davies, are glorious enough on their own. ”
    The Week, 28 February 2015

    “But the crowning glory is that the role is sung by the peerless counter-tenor Iestyn Davies, whose sublime rendition of several Baroque arias fully justifies Philippe’s description of him as angelic.”
    ★★★★★ Michael Arditti, Sunday Express, 1 March 2015

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    09 Feb 15 Flow My Tears
    Wigmore Hall Live CD

    “Davies, one of the finest of his formidable generation of countertenors, lavishes his delectable artistry on a well-chosen selection of songs by the Elizabethan and Jacobean masters Robert Johnson, John Danyel, Thomas Campion and John Dowland. Nico Muhly’s Old Bones, written in recognition of the rediscovery of Richard III’s resting place, makes for a whimsical contrast.”
    Stephen Pettitt, The Sunday Times, 8 March 2015

    “Iestyn Davies is on peak form, singing with superb control and combining a sense of line with an intense feel for the words. His diction is superb and the beauty of tone stunning.”
    Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill, 23 March 2015

    “Iestyn Davies is ideally suited to this repertoire, his voice ethereal, plangent and effortless, his diction and phrasing responsive to the subtlest poetic nuances…’In short, a treasurable disc.'”
    Kate Bolton, BBC Music Magazine, May 2015

    “I’ve never met a Wigmore Hall recital disc that I didn’t like, and this lovely selection of songs for lute, viol and voice from the countertenor of the hour, Iestyn Davies, is one of the best so far.”
    Amanda Holloway, Sinfini Music, 15 April 2015