||July & August 1999|
Mozart · Idomeneo
Santa Fe Opera
The impassioned but highly lyrical conducting of Kenneth Montgomery and the emotionally intense singing of American tenor Jerry Hadley and the rest of the cast showed why some people consider Idomeneo the great culmination of the opera seria tradition.
Charles Ward, Houston Chronicle, 06/08/99
Conductor Kenneth Montgomery led Mozart's score as if it were a precursor to Magic Flute - which, in a strange way, it is - with plenty of colour and variety.
Kenneth LaFave, Arizona Republic, 08/08/99
Conductor Kenneth Montgomery led the orchestra in a brisk, clear reading with perfect pacing. His control yielded a perfect balance of sound between voices and instruments, aided by the clever acoustics of the theatre, which has a roof but no sides.
M.L. Rantala, Hyde Park Herald, 18/08/99
Kenneth Montgomery conducted elegantly.
Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times, 09/08/99
Propelled by a masterful performance from tenor Jerry Hadley in the title role and vivid orchestral playing under conductor Kenneth Montgomery, the artistically unified production reflected the SFO at its best.
Throughout the evening conductor Montgomery's vibrant response to the score drew finely varied playing from the orchestra and gave sensitive support to the singers.
Joanne Sheehy Hoover, Albuquerque Journal
Working without a baton, conductor Kenneth Montgomery shaped a supple reading full of light and shade. He accommodated the singers but within definite artistic bounds, so the performance was always balanced.
Not easy, given the piece's opera seria format. Its formulaic placement of arias, duets and choruses unfolds like slow clockwork. Montgomery's tempos were almost always perfectly gauged for each scene or encounter, and he made some sensible cuts, especially in the last act.
The overture was an attention-getter - one knew at once something important was going to happen. The prominent woodwind and brass parts were airy or powerful as needed, the strings impetuous or delicate at command. The continuo section, with fortepiano rather than harpsichord, was excellent.
Craig Smith, The New Mexican