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April 7, 2006

"Toby Spence as Paris works the dialogue almost as strenuously as his pecs but sings with a wonderful sense of the French style."--Edward Seckerson for the Independent, reviewing English National Opera's La Belle Hélène

April 6, 2006

"Felicity Lott, one could be forgiven for thinking, has perhaps reached the age when she might not want to make a fool of herself. (She is a Dame, after all...) Wrong: not only does she still look and sound gorgeous, she is a consummate actress in this type of role, and from her overture appearance brushing her teeth to her obvious appreciation of Paris' charms, she steals the show (well, apart from the sheep).

"She has a rival for that honour in Toby Spence as Paris, however - already noted for his secure and wonderfully rounded tenor (including in the première of Thomas Adès' The Tempest) but now adding superb comic acting to his achievements (not to mention the pecs). Surely he has to be one of the finest singers of the new generation: definitely one to treasure."--Helen Wright at musicomh.com, about La Belle Hélène at ENO

 

April 5, 2006

"The show relies on the cult of Lott as much as its story depends on that of Aphrodite - and she delivers, playing to the gallery and using every vocal trick in the book to get her lines across. Her Paris is Toby Spence, who once again gets to earn back his gym membership fee as a plummy but heroically sung toy-boy who whips off his shirt at any opportunity."--from review of La Belle Helene at ENO, by Erica Jeal for The Guardian