Ensemble OrQuesta

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Armide (Grimeborn Festival - Arcola Theatre 2017)

Oct. 2017 Opera Magazine

15/08/2017 - Andrew Benson Wilson - 'Early Music Reviews Blog'


- "...this [production] was a brave attempt that, within its restrictions and the remit of Grimeborn, worked well.. it was an effective reduction of Lully’s musical ideas into a compact form, well suited to the space and audience."


12/08/2017 - Peter Barker - Traffic Light Theatre Goer Blog 


- "tempestuous evening of operatic delight"

- "an enchanting revival by the enterprising Ensemble OrQuesta and Brazilian director Márcio da Silva" 

- "Da Silva, as well as directing, displays a fine baritone in the role of La Haine, the demon of Hate invoked by Armide to overcome her feelings of love with vengeance.. As director he also shows resourcefulness on an obviously limited budget." 

- "a memorable musical performance." 

- "The [Ensemble OrQuesta] production is a rare outing for a thrilling opera [which] does justice to this fascinating piece with accomplished instrumentals and vocals. it comes highly recommended and it's a green light for a night of rapture and tragedy." 


4 star review **** 11/08/2017 - Tim Hochstrasser - Live Theatre UK Reviews


 - "This ensemble is certainly one to watch, as indeed are the other operatic and symphonic enterprises for which Márcio da Silva is responsible. Armide deserves to pop-up in many different venues around the country, and dare I say it, in France too!" 

- "Musically there are real riches here which resonate to the full in this acoustic where even the lute and gamba can be heard in detail."

- "...stylish cameos from da Silva himself, dressed wholly in scarlet as Hatred.." 

- "Last but not least there is a truly excellent, absorbing programme which gives all the background one needs to understand the production and the particular character of this genre. If only the long established opera houses were as thorough and well-organised in their research!" 


3 star review *** 11/08/2017 - Owen Davies - Plays To See International Theatre Reviews


- "Lully’s Armide is a brave excursion into French baroque opera... The team assembled for this production at the Arcola by the inventive stage and music director, Marcio da Silva, may be few in number but they make a pretty good job of displaying the musical and dramatic virtues of the piece." 

- "... the main device for dramatizing, what is always in danger of being a very static plot, is the choreographed movement that involves every member of the cast... this is brilliantly devised and serves to bring a powerful sense of ritual to the performance." 

- "The Ensemble OrQuesta, playing period instruments, provided an accomplished reading of the stripped-down score.. The harpsichord and lute combined well with the ensemble under the baton of Matthew Morgan." 

- "The whole enterprise felt like a labour of love. Affection for the work of this neglected genius of French baroque opera shone through.. thanks to Grimeborn for offering us the rare chance to experience this milestone of French opera." 


3 star review *** 10/08/2017 - Charlotte Valori - Theatre Cat Guest Reviewer


- "If you fancy being entertained like a French king, head to Grimeborn for Lully’s Armide." 

- "Directing both stage and music is talented Brazilian baritone Marcio da Silva, who also plays an erotically charged La Haine (the demon of hate, resplendent in a blood-red suit), gives luscious strength to choruses with his sumptuously smooth, tenderly expressive voice, and represents a scattering of other characters, some silent. " 

- "This is a production whose cast all work hard, often doubling roles...even our conductor (Morgan) breaks into song in the final act, standing on the platform above the main Arcola stage with his small band of skilled musicians (harpsichord and baroque guitar adding credible period dimensions to the warm, highly wrought score).." 

- "Da Silva’s vision is ambitious, and ought to work brilliantly; his lean, minimalist concept is ideal for this space, and despite lifting the instrumentalists up high and facing the conductor away from the singers, timing only rarely gets hazy. The music is often beautiful, with magical unaccompanied choruses.." 

- ".. charismatic contributions from da Silva throughout.."

Poppea (Woodhouse Copse - 2015)