Reviews

2022

Die Kathrin

Folks Operetta

"Folks Operetta music director Barrese was the unsung star of this performance, providing first-class advocacy for this big, complex score.... Barrese handled this rhapsodic music with consummate skill, keeping the evening on track with surging momentum without ever allowing the large orchestra to swamp the singers."

LAWRENCE A. JOHNSON, CHICAGO CLASSICAL REVIEW

APRIL 8, 2022

"Throughout the opera, conductor Anthony Barrese, leading an orchestra of over 60 musicians, bathed the singers in a comfortable blanket of sound. Barrese and the orchestra, through Korngold's score, offered the 'folk surroundings' and at all times let us know that we weren't in a fairy tale, and we certainly weren't in a real place at all, but in a special world where love really can overcome all. From elegant harp, to snazzy saxohphones, to earthy vibraphone, the sound from the pit was engaging, fascinating, and full of lush romanticism. It was a North American premiere to be remembered."

M. L. RANTALA, HYDE PARK HERALD

APRIL 13, 2022

Il barbiere di Siviglia

Opera Delaware/Baltimore Concert Opera

"There was familiar applause as awared winning Conductor Anthony Barrese, well known to BCO/Opera Delaware audiences, made his entrance to the podium. When I heard the first notes coming from the Opera Delaware Orchestra, my spirits jumped about fifty points on the spirit scale;"

OPERA GENE
FEBRUARY, 2022

2020

Roméo et Juliette

Sarasota Opera

"Everything was guided by the musical leadership of conductor Anthony Barrese, who kept the melody and passion flowing throughout the evening. He handled the romantic moments with tenderness and the tense ones with gusto, allowing the singers to expand their emotions while keeping everything moving toward the inevitable end. The orchestra played beautifully..."


EWARD ALLEY, LONGBOAT KEY OBSERVER
FEBRUARY 16, 2020

"From the first somber, powerful notes of the Prologue, we know something special is going to happen. Maestro Anthony Barrese brings out surprisingly rich, deep sounds from his precise and resonant orchestra, especially in a four-voice fugue... All evening long, the maestro matched his accurate and expressive orchestra to his voices on stage. It is rare to hear such a terrific blending throughout a long work such as this."


ALBERT H. COHEN, HERALD TRIBUNE
FEBRUARY 16, 2020

2019

Lohengrin

Opera Southwest

"Leading a 38-piece band in line with Lohengrin’s Weimar premiere, Barrese generated an athletic, fast-moving performance. Act 1’s accusations and intrigues had fiery intensity; Act 2’s reversals flew past with surprising speed… the famous Act 3 prelude, mainstay of symphony programs everywhere, had ample power and brilliance."


RICK WALTER, ABQ ARTS
APRIL, 2019

The Merry Widow

Opera Saratoga

"Conductor Antony Barrese consistently coaxes gorgeously seductive strains from his orchestra, along with those stylistically perfect, heart-stopping Viennese rhythmic suspensions."

CHARLES GEYER, LA SCENA MUSICALE

2018

Orfeo ed Euridice

Florida Grand Opera

"Guest conductor Anthony Barrese led the orchestra with a delicacy and true feeling for the music that has been typical every time he has taken the podium for FGO. He is a world-class opera conductor who never disappoints the singers or the audience."

JACK GARDNER, EDGE MEDIA NETWORK

2017

Johnny Johnson

Chicago Folks Operetta

"The 12-piece orchestra, under the expert direction of Anthony Barrese, has a fine feel for Weill’s distinctive mix of pastiche and lush lyricism."

HEDY WEISS, CHICAGO SUN TIMES
JUNE 26, 2017

"Superbly conducted by Anthony Barrese and an unimprovable 12-person orchestra, each of almost 30 songs pulls its weight and engages head and heart."

LAWRENCE BOMMER, STAGE AND CINEMA
JUNE 25, 2017

L’italiana in Algeri

Sarasota Opera

"Embellishing the entire opera and its proficient ensemble is the masterful score presented by the Sarasota Opera Orchestra, under the superlative direction of conductor, Anthony Barrese."

CAROLAN TRBOVICH, BROADWAY WORLD

Semiramide

Opera Delaware

"This is Rossinian opera as it was meant to be experienced… Contributing decisively to the success of the Delaware Semiramide is also the conducting of the young American Rossini specialist, Anthony Barrese. He inspires the orchestra, to play with distinctive Rossinian articulation, phrasing, rhythmic pulse and exuberance."

ANDREW MORAVCSIK, OPERA TODAY
MAY 6, 2017

"From its first dramatic chord, the excellent orchestra under the baton of Anthony Barrese sets an authoritative and nimble musical standard that drives the performance all the way through."

GAIL OBENREDER, THE NEWS JOURNAL
MAY 2, 2017

"Maestro Anthony Barrese kept a firm grip on the long passages allowing excitement to build but never letting the music race out of control."

CHRISTINE FACCIOLO, NEWSWORKS/WHYY
MAY 2, 2017

"Conductor Anthony Barrese, who revived Amleto last year, did an even more impressive job with this more complicated, more demanding piece. He trained an excellent cast and led a remarkably colorful vocal and orchestral performance."

STEVE COHEN, BROAD STREET REVIEW
MAY 2, 2017

2016

Semiramide

Opera Delaware

"Anthony Barrese’s players performed generously. What a pleasure to hear an unstaged overture! Barrese presided judiciously over the complex ensembles."

DAVID SHENGOLD, OPERA NEWS

2016

Il barbiere di Siviglia

Opera Coeur d’Alene

"…Much of the credit for this goes in this case to the musical direction of Anthony Barrese and the orchestra, largely hand-picked from the ranks of the Spokane Symphony. In such a small group, the contribution of each member is completely exposed, especially when, as in this case, no amplification is used. Under Barrese’s baton, the details of Rossini’s brilliant orchestration were meticulously observed, without ever detracting from the impulsive forward movement of the comedy"

LARRY LAPIDUS, THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW
SEPTEMBER 10, 2016

Amleto

Opera Delaware

"Providing a pleasure beyond mere curiosity, Amleto is a genuine discovery…. Conducting the score he rediscovered, Anthony Barrese paints it with a heavy strength, Verdi-like colors and brilliant contrasts."

DAVID SHENGOLD, OPERA NEWS
MAY 14, 2016

"Barrese held his very solid forces together with aplomb."

JEAN-MARC PROUST, OPÉRA MAGAZINE
MAY 14, 2016

"Thanks goes foremost to Maestro Anthony Barrese, who not only conducted both the Albuquerque and Delaware productions, but who also found the lost score in the first place and then, over the course of many years, meticulously sculpted the performing edition used in both productions… At every turn, including scenes with large chorus and elaborate ensembles, Maestro Barrese and his musical forces captured the sheer power – and yes beauty – of the forgotten but compelling score."

RICHARD B. BEAMS, OPERA CON BRIO
FEBRUARY/MAY, 2016

"With only two full-time employees and an operating budget of $1.2 million, Opera Delaware mounted a solid production of “Amleto” (by E. Loren Meeker) with generic medieval costumes and an outstanding cast far better than many I’ve heard from companies with 20 times the funds. Throw in Barrese’s terrific conducting, and “Amleto” is not only a success story but an inspiration to anyone who equates “regional opera” with “yet another mediocre ‘La Bohème.’ ”"

ANNE MIDGETTE, WASHINGTON POST
MAY 15, 2016

"Barrese, who heads Opera Southwest, spent years putting it together, getting people interested, even rewriting it a bit. He conducted it in Albuquerque and in Wilmington (Bregenz has expressed interest); the small but able OperaDelaware orchestra played with enthusiasm and finesse."

JOHN YOHALEM, PARTERRE.COM
MAY 18, 2016

"Credit must go to conductor Anthony Barrese who reconstructed Faccio’s score and led the orchestra in a brilliant performance."

CHRISTINE FACCIOLO, NEWSWORKS
MAY 19, 2016

"Maestro Barrese led the proceedings skillfully and made it all exciting and moving, the work of a lover proudly showing off his beloved."

CHARLES JERNIGAN, OPERAPRONTO
MAY 24, 2016

"The conductor, and the man responsible for putting the long-neglected score in performable shape, was Anthony Barrese, and it is a pleasure to report that the performance he led was in every musical respect of the highest quality. The orchestra did ample justice to a score of considerable sophistication, reminiscent of the quasi-symphonic richness pioneered a couple of generations earlier by Spontini, rather than of the more melody-centered style espoused by Italian opera composers from Rossini to Verdi and beyond."

BERNARD JACOBSON, SEEN AND HEARD INTERNATIONAL
JUNE 3, 2016

2015 & Earlier