The Arts Desk: La bohème, Glyndebourne review – a masterpiece in monochrome

“Under the baton of the young Canadian conductor Jordan de Souza, the London Philharmonic Orchestra lent an incredible level of detail to Puccini’s score, with vivid swathes of orchestral colour rising from the pit. Souza’s careful attention to detail and meticulous shaping of the music was deftly done, and a key component to what made this performance really sparkle.”

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Opera Wire–Glyndebourne Festival Opera Review 2022: La Bohème

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“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.”

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Le Devoir: La générosité de coeur de Jordan de Souza

Jordan de Souza with testimonial text

Christophe Huss

Si vous n’avez rien de prévu ce jeudi matin à 10 h 30, allez donc écouter un peu de musique ! Le chef canadien Jordan de Souza a effectué des débuts très convaincants à l’OSM, mercredi soir, dans un programme diversifié et remarquable redonné ce jeudi à la Maison symphonique.

Cela n’a l’air de rien. Mais c’est peu ordinaire. À vrai dire, nous n’aurions jamais imaginé avoir le privilège d’entendre à nouveau un Mozart pareil en concert avant notre mort. Cette 31e Symphonie hors du temps fut littéralement hallucinante, comme si Karl Böhm et Rudolf Kempe revenaient sur terre, se donnaient la main et fusionnaient en un esprit.

Le pire, c’est qu’il faudrait presque se justifier d’aimer cela et, à tout le moins, expliquer que « Karl Böhm » dans Mozart ce n’est pas un concept péjoratif. « Karl Böhm », cela ne veut pas dire lourd. Cela veut dire élégant, distingué. Et Rudolf Kempe ? Lisible, transparent et équilibré. Des trompettes qui s’intègrent parfaitement dans le tissu orchestral (I), les alliances sonores cors et flûtes optimales (II), des contrechants limpides.

La fusion spirituelle de tout cela ? Une sorte de bonheur extatique amoureux de la musique dont le miracle tient au fait que tout est relax alors que l’obsession, depuis plus de 3 décennies, de la « justesse historique » en tendant les tempos et crispant les phrasés a fait de Mozart un stressé à l’image de notre monde.

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‘Florencia en el Amazonas’ review–Chicago Tribune

 “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.”

– Michael Phillips –

The time is the early 20th century; one character, the ship captain’s nephew, dreams of becoming an airplane pilot, so not too too early. Librettist Marcela Fuentes-Berain confines the narrative almost entirely to the steamboat known as El Dorado, heading for the city of Manaus in the Brazilian Amazonas region.

There, after an absence of 20 years, the world-famous operatic soprano Florencia Grimaldi will “unlock a long-silent opera house” with her magical voice. Traveling incognito on the ship, she is one of several passengers yearning for lost love.

Journalist Rosalba hopes to land the first-ever interview with La Grimaldi; meantime, en route to Manaus, she hopes to figure out her feelings regarding the ship captain’s nephew, whose warring impulses are best expressed by one vocal line: “If I ever fall in love, it will be with you.”

Guardian–Der Rosenkavalier review

– glittering 50s update cleverly separates love and lust

Garsington Opera, Wormsley Estate, Stokenchurch
Bruno Ravella’s production has a glamorous staging that allows Miah Persson’s understated refinement to register.

… In order to enable the Philharmonia to observe social distancing in the pit, a reduced orchestration by Eberhard Kloke is used. You miss some of the sensuality of Strauss’s original, but it’s handsomely conducted by Jordan de Souza and quite superbly played.