Pelleas et Melisande (Claude Debussy), English Touring Opera, Directed by James Conway.  Conducted by Jonathan Berman.  Lighting by Mark Howland.  English Touring Opera.  Autumn 2015.  Photos courtesy Richard Hubert Smith. 

A symbolist dramaturgy of muted understatement. . You can feel the emotional stagnation.  It's a brave, deeply affecting achievement.

****

THE GUARDIAN 

 

A gripping evening in the theatre.

THE SUNDAY TIMES

 

Conway directs with expertise: even with its multiple ambiguities, the narrative maintains focus and the characterisations conviction.  Oliver Townsend's unit set - not much more than a box and a few spotlights, plus a second, recessed inner space and some atmospheric wallpaper - supplies a spare but effective frame.  

****

THE STAGE 

 

The chance to hear a Pelleas this good at venues right across the country is a rare one, and one that should be seized.  

THE ARTS DESK 

 

Oliver Townsend's set, austere yet mysterious with its painted scrims and hidden spaces, is beautifully attuned to what we hear, while Mark Howland's subtle lighting guides the eye and Zakk Hein's discreet video projections shimmer like a fleeting dream.  

WHATS ON STAGE 

 

****

THE TIMES