"ATHERTON'S MESMERISING PORTRAYAL"

[THE TIMES]

Penderecki's St. Luke Passion, LPO/Jurowski, Royal Festival Hall, London (March 2017)

"Poised, liquid soprano Elizabeth Atherton beautifully underpinned the moments of quiet reflection." Cara Chanteau, The Independent ****

"It was a joy to listen to soprano Elizabeth Atherton’s agile singing.” Hannah Nepil, Financial Times

"The soloists...delivered terrific intensity.” Richard Morrison, The Times *****

"Elizabeth Atherton’s soprano fitted the music superbly, creating an ambience of ethereal distance." Peter Reed, Classical Source

"a soothingly radiant Elizabeth Atherton." David Truslove, Bachtrack

"Elizabeth Atherton admirable as the reflective soprano soloist." Barry Millington, Evening Standard ****

"The soprano Elizabeth Atherton gave us some beautifully wandering lines over this accompaniment; equally enchanting was how the tone of her voice matched the alto flute perfectly in ‘Crux fidelis’." Barry Creasy, MusicOMH *****

“Elizabeth Atherton drew us in with her captivating movements - in "Crux fidelis", Atherton seemed to radiate the hope of redemption with her warm, legato sound." Collin Shay, Schmopera

Handel’s Messiah, RSNO/Cummings, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall (January 2017)

"Soprano Elizabeth Atherton's duet with countertenor Robin Blaze He shall feed his flock was beautifully soothing, with a perfect match of voices... The final third section of the oratorio was where it really sparkled. Atherton's rendition of I know that my redeemer liveth was moving and dignified..." Miranda Heggie, The Herald ****

Handel’s Messiah, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra/McCreesh, Ordway Concert Hall, St. Paul, Minnesota (December 2016)

"Poise and dignity also characterized the contributions of soprano Elizabeth Atherton. I know that my Redeemer liveth was permeated by a calm confidence and vocal purity totally in keeping with the scriptural message, and in Part One Atherton exuded joy and expectancy in the accompagnato section where an angel appears to the shepherds." Terry Blain, Star Tribune

As Merab in Handel’s Saul, Handel & Haydn Society/Christophers, Boston Symphony Hall, Boston, Massachusetts (May 2016)

"For the three other principal roles, Christophers wisely returned to the same singers featured on his recording... Elizabeth Atherton as a limpid Merab... It would be hard to picture a more satisfying conclusion to these seasons of bicentennial programming." Jeremy Eichler, Boston Globe

"Five principal soloists without a weak link or a dull moment... Evenly competent, or more properly, brilliant, describes the soloists, chorus, and orchestra... Elizabeth Atherton sang a very expressive Merab." David Schulenberg, The Boston Musical Intelligencer

As Merab in Handel’s Saul, BBC Singers/McDonnell, Milton Court, London (April 2016)

"Elizabeth Atherton was mesmerising as Merab, capturing the curving lines in her part to perfection." Sam Smith, musicOMH *****

Anderson’s Shir Hashirim and Dutilleux’s Les Temps l’horloge, BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Rophé, Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff (January 2016)

"[Julian Anderson’s Shir Hashirim’s] balancing of the solo soprano’s expansively lyrical outpouring with the brilliant orchestral writing was always finely judged and the dramatic tension of the final part of the work delivered with much flair by Elizabeth Atherton... The serious yet witty playing with the passing of time and ultimately a philosophical depth [in Dutilleux’s Le Temps l’horloge] were realised with much sensitivity by Rophé and BBCNOW, with Atherton again excelling... Here and in the Anderson, we were treated to highly accomplished singing." Rian Evans, The Guardian ****

"These are model compositions, matched here by some wonderful singing by Elizabeth Atherton." Stephen Walsh, The Arts Desk *****

"With the exceptional playing of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales under conductor, Pascal Rophé, together with the lovely musical intelligence of soprano, Elizabeth Atherton, the work glowed with a vigour belying the advanced years of its composer. Not a note is wasted in Le temps l’horloge (2006-9), nor a vocal inflection or colour ill-judged... [In Shir Hashrim], Atherton and musicians were luminous in conveying this seductive score, with its lush colouration and trailing vocal melismas. Now shimmering from within a lake of rippling reflections, now a comet with a fiery, harmonic tail, the soprano was by turns semi-engulfed by and ringing clearly above Anderson’s rich, surging textures. The effect was both magical and strongly rigorous..." Steph Power, Wales Arts Review

As Eurydice and Medea in Birtwistle’s The Corridor & The Cure double-bill, London Sinfonietta/Patterson, Aldeburgh Festival/Linbury Theatre, ROH (June 2015)

"It’s Eurydice, however, who grabs the attention. In Atherton’s mesmerising portrayal she is a sardonic, even embittered woman…" Richard Morrison, The Times

"Atherton seemed to have the perfect luminous instrument for Birtwistle’s expressionistic lines." Paul Driver, The Sunday Times

"Elizabeth Atherton’s singing finds a glinting radiance in both pieces." Richard Fairman, The Financial Times

“…two outstanding central performances… But it is Elizabeth Atherton, here as Euridyce and later as Medea, who dominates… Atherton’s intelligent musicianship is the pathway through Birtwistle’s drama, dense with textural interest.” The Arts Desk

"Elizabeth Atherton is both a wonderfully realistic Euridice and a fine Medea." Andrew Clements, The Guardian

"All praise…to the superb…Elizabeth Atherton (Eurydice and Medea)." Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph

"Each piece, taken from Ovid, has two singers, the equally superb tenor Mark Padmore and soprano Elizabeth Atherton." Fiona Maddocks, The Observer

"Each scena could stand alone, but each benefits from the other, and from the shared thread of commanding performances. The soprano Elizabeth Atherton sings her roles with abandon: knowing and sarcastic as Woman; distant and lonely as Eurydice; a Kundry and a Salome compressed in a cauldron of erotic enchantment as Medea." David Allen, The New York Times

As Young Maiden in Schoenberg's Moses und Aron, Welsh National Opera/Koenigs (June 2014)

"The supporting roles (and few of them have much scope to emerge as individuals) were well sung and sharply characterised; Elizabeth Atherton’s sportswear-clad Young Maiden stood out." Richard Bratby, Birmingham Post ****

Simon Holt's The Yellow Wallpaper, BBCNOW/Fischer, St. David's Hall, Cardiff (October 2013)

"Elizabeth Atherton delivered a performance of instrumental clarity and perfect articulation." Rian Evans, The Guardian ****

Brahms' German Requiem, Royal Northern Sinfonia/Zehetmair, The Sage, Gateshead (September 2013)

"Under Thomas Zehetmair’s conducting, orchestra, chorus and two excellent soloists – bass-baritone Matthew Brook and soprano Elizabeth Atherton – did full justice to a work which betrays a winning lightness of touch." David Whetstone, The Journal

As Micaela in Bizet's Carmen, RPO/Hancock, Royal Albert Hall, London (February 2013)

"Elizabeth Atherton’s pure-voiced and pleading Micaela is a delight." Richard Morrison, The Times

Poulenc's Gloria / Britten's Ballad of the Heroes, Oxford Bach Choir/Cleobury, Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford (December 2012)

"The soprano Elizabeth Atherton deserves special praise for the gravitas she brought to Psalm 130, Ballad of Heroes and especially to the Poulenc." Simon Collings, Oxford Times

Zemlinsky’s Lyric SymphonyBBC National Orchestra of Wales/Van Steen, St. David's Hall, Cardiff (November 2012)

"...but it was Elizabeth Atherton who made her songs come alive, finding colours and tone to match the words' emotional tenor. In the penultimate poem, where the orchestration is at its most spare and telling, she found both ‘intimacy and anguish'." Rian Evans, The Guardian

As Donna Elvira in Mozart's Don Giovanni, Opera North/Ringborg (September 2012)

"Opera North veteran Elizabeth Atherton gives a terrific portrayal of Donna Elvira, from striking condemnations to moving arias." Richard Wilcocks, Bach Track

"Elizabeth Atherton sings Donna Elvira's big, heartfelt arias with admirable clarity and poise." Richard Morrison, The Times

"Making a similar impact is Elizabeth Atherton, whose beautifully-sung Donna Elvira is more human than most." Ron Simpson, WhatsOnStage

"Elizabeth Atherton as Elvira gave a powerful performance." Opera Now

"Elizabeth Atherton’s Donna Elvira rose above the confusion with touching performances of her arias, reminders of the humanity behind the high jinks." Martin Dreyer, Opera Magazine

Britten's On This Island with Malcolm Martineau, Onyx Records (December 2011)

"The soprano Elizabeth Atherton also struck up a wonderful rapport with her audience in Britten’s On this Island. Atherton’s voice is now not just a lush instrument but a superbly communicative one: she caught exactly the subtle moods – bittersweet, ironic or heartfelt – of Auden’s words and Britten’s early unfettered lyricism. Richard Morrison, The Times

"Elizabeth Atherton was lustrous and dramatic in On this Island." Paul Driver, The Sunday Times

"Elizabeth Atherton gives a musically alert and intelligent interpretation of another early work, the enchantingly fresh and youthful On this Island." Rupert Christiansen, Daily Telegraph

"Allan Clayton and Elizabeth Atherton give superb accounts of the declamatory Michelangelo Sonnets and the settings of Auden's On This Island respectively." Andrew Clements, The Guardian

"The bright soprano of Elizabeth Atherton sings out the ‘florid music’ of Britten’s Auden settings in On this Island… Britten’s 15-year-old response to Dans les bois, irresistibly sung by Atherton." BBC Music Magazine ****

As Merab in Handel's Saul, The Sixteen/Christophers, Barbican Centre, London (December 2011)

"Elizabeth Atherton flung herself wholeheartedly into Merab’s music." Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph

"Atherton displayed a nice line in temperament as the haughty Merab." Robert Hugill, Opera Today

"At her best [Elizabeth Atherton’s] coloratura soared, her dexterous high notes even more impressive...than Ms. Harvey’s. She brought genuine hauteur to ‘What abject thought a prince can have’, her snarling demeanor granting her a truly theatrical presence on stage." John E. de Wald, Opera Britannia

As The Governess in Britten’s Turn of the Screw, Opera North/Farnes (October 2010)

“Elizabeth Atherton’s Governess – superbly sung, devastatingly acted – is clearly disintegrating mentally long before she smothers Miles in her final embrace.” Richard Morrison, The Times

“…a cast whose members seem totally possessed by the drama they are enacting. Elizabeth Atherton sings with consummate intelligence as the Governess.” Rupert Christiansen, The Daily Telegraph

“Elizabeth Atherton's Governess was a brilliant display of on-the brink neurosis, sung with versatile expressiveness and purity of tone.” Opera Magazine

“Elizabeth Atherton’s beautifully sung Governess.” The Guardian

“Atherton holds the show.” Anna Picard, The Independent on Sunday

“Doubtless that original cast…was good, but it’s hard to imagine any could improve much on Opera North’s line-up. As the Governess, Elizabeth Atherton sang with restless ardour, in unbearable thrall to her charges and locked into her own battle between reality and the wispy figments of a love-starved imagination.” The Observer

“In a memorable cast, Elizabeth Atherton’s psychological fragility as the Governess is superbly captured.” Yorkshire Post

“Here the Governess, a fantastic performance from Elizabeth Atherton, is both neurotic and rightly scared stiff; clearly besotted with the employer she so briefly met, but soon reduced by the apparitions and the sangfroid of the children to a bag of nerves.” The Spectator