Manchester Theatre Awards – Review by Philip Radcliffe

“… the inventive Clonter take on this mighty work, led by Michael McCaffery and conductor Clive Timms, turns out to be bold, breathtaking and, in the end, brilliant … The singing overall is first-rate. In the central role of Marguerite, soprano Anna Gillingham is altogether captivating and sings, gloriously … Mephistopheles, a boo-able figure … is reminiscent of MC in Cabaret, swaggering woul-be amusing, threatening. Javier Borda, a big man, fills the part splendidly …”

Manchester Evening News – Review by Robert Beale

“Music Director Clive Timms and director Michael McCaffery have taken Faust back to its roots as an ‘opéra comique’, with spoken dialogue, and presenting it in English effectively captures its satirical aspect … with choruses turned into quartets, everyone worked hard, the ‘supporting roles such as Siebel (Katherine Aitken – a young singer with a beautiful tone) and Martha (Heather Ireson – a star in the Royal Northern College of Music opera and a gifted actress) as vital as the main protagonists, as were Thomas Hopkinson, another excellent performer from the RNCM, as Wagner and Dominick Felix as Brander. Paul Curievici (Faust) has the kind of tenor that would fill a much bigger house than Clonter’s and high notes that should take him a long way in the opera world. Javier Borda was excellent as Mephistopheles, with dark, lugubrious tone and a real gift for comedy.”

Opera Magazine – Review by Margaret Davies

“Clonter’s dedication to furthering the careers of graduates from the leading music academies brought together a well-rehearsed cast. Paul Curievici, who has made his mark in contemporary works, revealed a well-nourished tenor untaxed by the higher reaches of the title role. Anna Gillingham convincingly developed the character of Marguerite from the untroubled transports of her first encounter with Faust to the grief of her desertion … Katherine Aitken was touchingly intense as Siebel. Christopher Cull offered some of the evening’s best singing in Valentine’s final scene, and Thomas Hopkinson and Dominick Felix made characterful Wagner and Brander. Timms presided over a meticulously balanced ensemble.”