. . . . Conductor Jordan de Souza is a 35-year-old Canadian prodigy. He has already moved through career phases as a virtuoso organist and a Baroque choral conductor, and now heads the prestigious Komische Oper Berlin and globetrots as an opera conductor. His crisp cues, rhythmic flow, and ability to create a transparent and delicately balanced soundscape signal remarkable self-assurance in someone conducting this difficult score for the first time. A decade from now, he may well be hailed as one of the greats among modern opera conductors – and I imagine that he will develop a firmer command of this opera’s climactic moments. The orchestra responded splendidly through the night – with the despondent English horn solo in Act III more beautifully phrased than I have ever heard.
By Rose Dodd, 11 September 2022
Walking into the auditorium for Dutch National Opera’s revival of Robert Carsen’s 2009 production of Carmen there was much bustling as people claimed their seats. Glancing towards the stage gave the appearance of ‘theatre in the round’ with a wall of red plastic seating where other audience members seemed to be taking their seats. But this was not so. On closer inspection the staged audience was uniformly dressed in pastel 1950s-style costumes, with men wearing the same cloth caps. They too were waiting as keenly as us for Carmen to begin. This was the first unseating of us as a conventional opera audience attending a conventional performance. Let the game begin.
. . . . Under Jordan de Souza’s baton the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra created sweet and lyrical moments of tenderness. Choreographed direction of both the Dutch National Opera Chorus and New Amsterdam Children’s Choir was both fun and precisely characterised, adding to a wholly persuasive textured rendition – a wondrous spectacle, a starkly innovative approach – of one of the most notorious operas in the repertoire.
Full text of review
. . .Jordan de Souza dashed through the early scenes with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, infusing the horseplay then (and at the top of Act four) with verve, offering a highly responsive, sparkling commentary from the pit. The following scenes were handled with tenderness, with sensuous string playing and remarkable warmth in brass and woodwind; de Souza coordinated the challenging ensembles of Act two with ease and elan, keeping the orchestra’s energies under control. In his hands it is music that strives, like a fervently beating heart, against the forces of death and time, rendered with such power in Visser’s vision.
. . . Canadian conductor Jordan de Souza kept the drama unfolding at a pace with the London Philharmonic Orchestra giving Puccini’s glorious melodies and orchestrations a sense of edge and urgency that can sometimes be subservient to the emotion. The orchestra was matched by the precision of the Glyndebourne Chorus adding a vocal punch to the crowd scenes.
… Here, those in the first few rows could see first-hand conductor Jordan de Souza’s masterly control of the mood and pacing in the crucial final passages. Even if you didn’t buy the butterfly bit (we’ll keep it vague, though scenic designer Peter J. Davison certainly doesn’t) you could hear the magic.