“This was…a full-bodied account of the first part of Wagner’s Ring Cycle. It conveyed a keen sense of dramatic momentum throughout… but ultimately, it will be the sheer professionalism of the operatic experience that will be remembered.”

Longborough Festival Opera – Das Rheingold

“Magnificently conducted by Alistair Dawes, and superbly played by the orchestra who…had a sonority and power that did full justice to Wagner. This Rheingold totally held its audience and gave enormous pleasure” (LFO – Das Rheingold)

“…Die Walküre…is an admirably clear and well-balanced production. The constantly high professional standard of this production must put Longborough Festival Opera very near the top of any opera lover’s preferred summer venue.” (LFO Die Walküre)

“…a riveting evening with musical standards to satisfy even the most discerning Wagnerians.” (LFO Die Walküre)

“…Cosi Fan Tutte at Covent Garden recently – an evening I enjoyed immensely. I much preferred, above all, Alistair Dawes‘ conducting of the same cast as I had previously seen…he showed a marvellous ability to breathe and phrase with his singers, and to keep Mozart’s momentum going with wit and spirit. I am sorry we get so little opportunity at the Garden to appreciate his work – which I know to be enormously appreciated behind the scenes, and I very much hope that the Royal Opera will make more frequent use of him in the pit in future.”

from David Fingleton, Music Critic of The Daily Express

“The RTÉ Concert Orchestra, conducted with precision and great sensitivity by Alistair Dawes...was a vital element in a night to remember. The orchestra’s Sinfonie from The Force of Destiny was abolutely marvellous and the Manon Lescaut Intermezzo still haunts the mind.”

“With conductor Alistair Dawes firmly in control of the music and the excellent playing of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Cura responded with a stylish bravado……by the excellent playing of the RTÉ Concert orchestra, responding to Dawes fine musicianship. In a number of well known operatic overtures and intermezzi they produced highly imaginative and sensitive playing, becoming the co-stars of the evening.”

“The Virtuosi di Praga, conducted by Alistair Dawes, is clean, precise and beautifully rounded. Alistair Dawesaccompaniment was clear, gentle and flexible.” Westfalenblatt, Bielefeld, November 11, 1997.

“The Virtuosi di Praga under the baton of Alistair Dawes proved itself a colourful and passionate accompaniment.” Münchner Merkur, November 25, 1997.


“Mozart’s opera about the well born young man who can’t keep his hands to himself is brought to life in an enjoyable account from Opera North – the orchestra, under the baton of Alistair Dawes, is in fine form. Well worth the three hour course.”

Don Giovanni, Opera North, Newcastle Theatre Royal

“The performance itself was strong under the direction of Alistair Dawes.” The Blackened Man – Buxton Festival – Rodney Milnes – Opera Magazine

“Opera North’s chorus and orchestra sang, danced and played the sumptuous score with skill, under the expert baton of Alistair Dawes.” Manon – Opera North, Newcastle Theatre Royal

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