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  Conductors: Dane Lam - Reviews

Cosi fan Tutte‚ Opera Holland Park (June 2018)

'What makes for a memorable summer evening is the uniform vocal strength of the cast‚ and the lithe rhythmically alert playing of the City of London Sinfonia under Dane Lam. He maintains a tight hold but with the flexibility to support the soloists in their demanding arias and ensembles. '

Cosi fan Tutte‚ Opera Holland Park
Opera Today (June 2018)

'Dane Lam’s tempi began on the quick side‚ never unreasonably so‚ yet indicative of an approach one might too readily have taken to be partial. For‚ as the drama progressed‚ as the characters achieved greater delineation‚ so did temporal differentiation. Lam’s was a reading that knew where it was going‚ and thus could afford to take time on the way – in‚ for instance‚ a heartrending ‘Un aura amoroso’.

Cosi fan Tutte‚ Opera Holland Park
Planet Hugill (June 2018)

'In the pit‚ Dane Lam encouraged the City of London Sinfonia’s litheness of sound‚ with lively speeds and a sense of purpose. He kept this lively pulse throughout the opera‚ though never veering into the hard driven and I enjoyed the way he kept the music flowing‚ with some lovely individual instrumental moments from the orchestra. The comic ensembles really fizzed‚ whilst the serious elements had great poignancy.'

Cosi fan Tutte‚ Opera Holland Park
The Arts Desk (June 2018)

'Brisk and sharp‚ Dane Lam’s conducting steered the City of London Sinfonia away from the romantic yearning that can smother some performances. He grasps that Mozart layers this uniquely bittersweet sound-world – how does he do it? – with so much pathos‚ melancholy‚ anguish even‚ that it needs no bossy over-emphasis. '

Cosi fan Tutte‚ Opera Holland Park
The Stage (June 2018)

'Equally impressive is the playing of the City of London Sinfonia – having a great season thus far – under Dane Lam‚ whose way with Mozart is unerringly sound and who encourages the cast to indulge in some delicious vocal decoration.'

Cosi fan Tutte‚ Opera Holland Park
What’s on Stage (June 2018)

'Lam‚ one of two talented new generation conductors to whom OHP has entrusted its early-season offerings (La traviata’s Matthew Kofi Waldren is the other) brings spark and sparkle to his beautifully shaped account...his handling of Mozart’s elaborate first-act finale was thrilling. He and Eleanor Dennis‚ in glorious voice‚ ensured that "Come scoglio"‚ Fiordiligi’s aching aria of constancy‚ was the evening’s high point. '

Cosi fan Tutte‚ Opera Holland Park
Classical Source (May 2018)

'Of course‚ Mozart’s music is top-notch and continues to enthral and dazzle. Dane Lam and the City of London Sinfonia present this with crisp textures and vital playing and tempos. '

Cosi fan Tutte‚ Opera Holland Park
MusicOMH (May 2018)

' By the time we have added in Dane Lam’s intricate conducting of the City of London Sinfonia‚ it is clear that Opera Holland Park‚ following hot on the heels of its success with La traviata‚ has another hit on its hands. '

Giulio Cesare‚ Bury Court Opera
What’s on Stage (March 2018)

'…musically it’s remarkable‚ cast from strength and conducted by Eldridge’s compatriot Dane Lam with dynamic elegance. His orchestra‚ the Camerata Alma Viva‚ is a crack 21-strong multi-national band; between them they coloured Handel’s rich score with verve‚ imagination and confident aplomb.'

La Traviata‚ Scottish Opera
Seen & Heard International (November 2017)

'If the staging tells the story well then so‚ too‚ do Scottish Opera’s orchestra‚ on fantastic form tonight for conductor Dane Lam. The divided strings sounded clean as well as desperately poignant in the two preludes‚ but the party scenes crackled with life‚ and the instrumental solos were all exceptionally well-taken. '

Don Giovanni‚ Opera Holland Park
Classical Source (June 2017)

' Dane Lam leads a very fleet account of the score‚ full of light and shade‚ with a beguiling propulsive quality about it; and there were many moments where the transitions between the orchestra and Stuart Wild’s admirable continuo (on piano) were seamless. The arrival of Zerlina and Masetto and their friends had a very jolly lilt to it and instrumentalists were given their moment to shine. The more-dramatic episodes also got their full due.'

Don Giovanni‚ Opera Holland Park
Limelight Magazine (June 2017)

'It is hard for any creative team to approach such a central work as Don Giovanni and make it their own. Director Oliver Platt and Australian conductor Dane Lam‚ supported by a fine cast‚ aim for freshness and originality without betraying the demands of the libretto and score of this much-loved piece...
Lam‚ who appeared last year at Opera Holland Park conducting Rossini’s Cenerentola‚ once again demonstrated a great deal of musical panache. Like many in the audience‚ I have heard countless performances of Don Giovanni so the bar was set high. Lam is highly skilled as a conductor who understands the limitation of short rehearsal times and the often difficult acoustics at Holland Park. The City of London Sinfonia obviously enjoy working with him and respond eagerly to his musical direction. There may have been the odd tempo here and there that I disagreed with‚ but Lam gives an excellent interpretation of the score and is entirely at home with the demands of a Mozart opera. He is sensitive to his singers’ needs and every change of tone and mood in the score. I hope it is not long before audiences at Opera Holland Park get to see him again.'

Don Giovanni‚ Opera Holland Park
Seen and Heard International (June 2017)

'Dane Lam and the City of London Sinfonia were firing on all cylinders throughout the performance. I was struck by the cleanness of the entries in the Overture and the tempi seemed spot on. Lam was highly attentive to texture and balance throughout and he was highly flexible and responsive to the needs of the singers. The instrumental entries sounded fresh and the timbres were constantly shifting to reflect the wide panoply of emotions in this opera.'

La Cenerentola‚ Opera Holland Park
Opera (September 2016)

'The musical performance was a cut above OHP’s usual standard in Rossini‚ thanks to Dane Lam’s spirited conducting. He was able to get the kind of precision in the complex ensembles that one expects of a top Italian maestro in this repertoire...Thanks to Lam’s witty and precise conducting‚ the ensembles went with an authentically madcap Rossinian zing.'

La Cenerentola‚ Opera Holland Park (July 2016)

'Playing from the City of London Sinfonia under Dane Lam fulfilled the three Ps of good Rossini comedy: pert‚ perky and playful.'

La Cenerentola‚ Opera Holland Park
Classical Source (July 2016)

'Dane Lam led the City of London Sinfonia in a lively account of the score‚ eschewing an over-romantic rendition in favour of a leaner‚ commendably precise reading.'

La Cenerentola‚ Opera Holland Park
Limelight (July 2016)

'As with comedy and farce in theatre‚ real skill and timing are required. The score for Cenerentola is no push over with its hectic speeds‚ complex ensembles and coloratura show pieces. Australian conductor Dane Lam sails through them all with aplomb‚ achieving high standards of musicianship from the City of London Sinfonia‚ Opera Holland Park '

La Cenerentola‚ Opera Holland Park
Mark (July 2016)

'And bringing all this together with a careful eye for the singers was Dane Lam‚ who conducted with a splendidly light touch.'

La Cenerentola‚ Opera Holland Park
Opera Today (July 2016)

'Director and designers are superbly partnered by conductor Dane Lam‚ who exhibits an intuitive feeling for the Rossinian idiom matched by a confident baton technique. Though Rossini and his librettist Jacopo Ferretti cannot avoid some musical and dramatic longeurs as they go through the dramma giocoso motions‚ Lam keeps the musical momentum swinging. The Rossinian accelerandos are perfectly geared up‚ the crescendos expertly flared. The left-handed Lam’s confidence gave punch and brilliance to the score and he was well-served by his woodwind players who bubbled along with a sensitive ear open to what was going on behind them. All the details were pin-pointed‚ but there was never any hint of fussiness‚ or bombast.'

La Cenerentola‚ Opera Holland Park
The Express (July 2016)

'The City of London Sinfonia gives an inspired performance under the young Australian conductor Dane Lam. '

La Cenerentola‚ Opera Holland Park
The Guardian (July 2016)

'As ringleader in the OHP big top‚ Dane Lam was endlessly energetic and uncompromising on rhythmic detail.'

La Cenerentola‚ Opera Holland Park
The Stage (July 2016)

'The young Australian Dane Lam’s conducting is precise and spirited‚ encouraging the company’s lively chorus to give of their best and the City of London Sinfonia to convey Rossini’s score with clarity and focus.'

La Cenerentola‚ Opera Holland Park
What’ (July 2016)

'With a City of London Sinfonia on top form‚ the youthful conductor Dane Lam takes no prisoners with his brisk tempo choices. He puts Rossini first‚ quite rightly‚ and from the sparkling overture onwards the evening fizzes by.'