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Rave reviews for ENO Iolanthe

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Timothy Henty wins warm praise for conducting the hit new production of Iolanthe for English National Opera.

Images by Robert Workman

Images by Robert Workman

Totally persuasive conducting ****
— David Mellor, Daily Mail, 17th February 2018.
Timothy Henty, conducting, finds in Sullivan’s music a dramatic momentum and a sense of light and shade that you won’t hear on any recording.
— Richard Bratby, The Spectator, 24th February 2018
Iolanthe...adroitly conducted by Timothy Henty with a cast, chorus and orchestra in their element, musically and dramatically ****
— Fiona Maddocks, The Observer, 18th February 2018
Sullivan’s genius is in safe hands, with Timothy Henty leading an effervescent account of one of the composer’s most enchanting and inventive scores – its highlights including the virtuosic first-act finale and the almost Wagnerian music for Iolanthe’s redemption ****
— Rupert Christiansen, Daily Telegraph, 14th February 2018
It is a fine, often subtle score (the latter especially noticeable under the sensitive baton of conductor Timothy Henty)...There is hardly a weak vocal moment all evening, all brought together by the highly intelligent conducting of Timothy Henty. For Henty, this is clearly a labour of love; everything about the production oozes a similar sense of reverence in its very irreverence. Superb.
— Colin Clarke, Seen and Heard International, 16th February 2018
The ENO Orchestra and Chorus, full throttle and marvellously bright under the assured hand of Timothy Henty.
— Dan Cairns, The Sunday Times, 18th February 2018
Conductor Timothy Henty exposes all the wit and bubbly exuberance of the score ****
— Broadway World, 18th February 2018
English National Opera’s orchestra under conductor Timothy Henty plays with verve, and also brings out the subtle aspects of Sullivan’s allusions to Mendelssohn and Wagner in this joyous theatrical evening. ****
— Clare Colvin, Sunday Express, 18th February 2018
Conductor Timothy Henty and a crack ENO Orchestra played [Iolanthe] as real music, neo-classical with bags of charm and astonishing tenderness even in the set pieces.
— Mark Valencia, What's On Stage, 14th February 2018
...the cast is already fine, as is the orchestra and chorus, warmly conducted by G&S specialist Timothy Henty ****
— Erica Jeal, The Guardian, 14th February 2018
Straight away, as Timothy Henty begins the Overture, you know you are in for something special: he has gone back to Sullivan’s original score, the best the composer achieved, and has enabled it to shine with a special clarity. The choral singing is first rate — especially in the Lords’ entrance march; and the orchestra does Sullivan proud.
— Tully Potter, Scottish Daily Mail, 23rd February 2018
There is much to enjoy from the pit too – with Timothy Henty relishing his chance to show Sullivan’s masterful orchestration using a new edition. The scoring is clearer and brighter, and freshly minted as played by the ENO Orchestra. The catchy tunes have the required swagger, and the more restrained moments catch exactly the right pathos, without becoming schmaltzy; the moments where the music points the humour are deftly accentuated.
— Alexander Campbell, Classical Source, 13th February 2018
Cal McCrystal’s new Iolanthe...which allows conductor Timothy Henty to tease out all the beauties of the score
— Michael Church, The Independent, 14th February 2018
Iolanthe is one of Sullivan’s most sophisticated scores, the music references both Mendelssohn’s fairies and Wagner, and the preponderance of lead characters means that there is plenty of material. Conductor Timothy Henty had prepared a new edition of the operetta based on Sullivan’s autograph manuscript (acquired by the British Library in 2015). So whilst there were no major revelations, all the details were as Sullivan intended rather than with the accumulated wealth of traditional changes.

The ENO Orchestra under Henty’s direction really brought out these details with a sense of joy, whilst never overwhelming the singers (always of prime importance). Henty and the orchestra made the accompaniments buoyant, so that the music really did dance and the long strophic songs never became routine.
— Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill, 14th February 2018
...this was hugely musical too under the baton of Gilbert and Sullivan expert Timothy Henty, working from his new version of the score based on Sullivan’s autographed original. Henty’s experience of conducting ballet showed through in the dance sequences, delightfully choreographed by Lizzi Gee, that were always bang on the music.
— Mark Ronan,, 18th February 2018
Timothy Henty keeps the ENO orchestra on a tight leash and they plough through the score giving it just the right amount of earnest smoothness needed with some extra oomph’s when the staging requires it. Sullivan’s careful and beautiful musical parodies are given the gentle sincerity required and the orchestra kept form and energy till the last note.
— Eric Page, GScene , 19th February 2018
Samantha Price’s Iolanthe hold[s] a packed Coliseum spellbound during her moving plea to the Lord Chancellor - music Sullivan wrote in the wake of the death of his own beloved mother. Here conductor Timothy Henty adds fresh laurels to his crown by giving the ballad the breathing space it so richly deserves.
— Richard Osborne, The Oldie, Spring 2018
Verve is certainly what they got, from Timothy Henty, the ENO orchestra and the whole cast ****
— David Karlin, Bachtrack, 14th February 2018
Timothy Henty conducts with obvious enjoyment and sympathy for one of Sullivan’s greatest scores.
— Alex Larman, The Arbiturian, 15th February 2018
Tim Henty conducts with relish. The sound of a full orchestra playing Sir Arthur Sullivan’s music as it was meant to be heard and giving the voices on stage a high platform from which to soar is glorious.
— Eleanor Lewis,, February 2018
Being entirely new to the score of Iolanthe, I enjoyed the conductor Timothy Henty’s upbeat and melodic interpretation. He knows the music of G & S inside and out. The ENO orchestra brought their A game, too.
—, February 2018
The Orchestra of English National Opera unquestioningly obeyed conductor Timothy Henty’s baton...a sparkling, incendiary, clever statement. Very colourful and very English. Life affirming!
— Lyudmila Yablokova, (Russian), 24th February 2018