Skip Navigation Links
  Basses: Conal Coad - Reviews
ResuméReviewsDiscographyRepertoireMultimedia


Billy Budd‚ Opera North at Snape Maltings
Opera Magazine (September 2017)


'Conal Coad was a more than usually moving Dansker - heavy with weariness and resignation‚ he was the one tocheer Billy in his final hour. '

Katya Kabanova‚ New Zealand Opera
The Opera Critic (September 2017)


'...and Conal Coad gave us‚ as usual‚ a characterful turn as Dikoj.'

A Midsummer Night’s Dream‚ Palau de Les Arts Valencia
BachTrack.com (June 2016)


' Conal Coad’s booming Bottom was a faultless piece of buffoonery‚ equally risible and endearing.'

L’elisir d’Amore‚ Opera Australia
Concertnet.com (November 2015)


'As in Don Pasquale‚ Rachelle Durkin is paired with Conal Coad‚ a veteran of this company and an accomplished artist with an enviable career locally and abroad. Mr Coad is the perfect bel canto comedy bad guy. His Dulcamara is the sleaziest snake oil salesman‚ the smoothest operator and a dab foot at a tricky little dance routine. The duet from the second act was a show-stopper and despite all his pantomime villain antics‚ Mr Coad ensures that his character remains endearing throughout'

L’elisir d’Amore‚ Opera Australia
Herald Sun (November 2015)


'Conal Coad might have lost some vocal puff after the overland journey as Dulcamara‚ but his dexterous jowly bass still dazzled to boot'

L’elisir d’Amore‚ Opera Australia
J-Wire (November 2015)


'Conal Coad as the conman Dulcamara and Christopher Hillier as Belcore were a delightful comic duo‚ with Coad’s energetic and gusty performance stealing the show'

Don Pasquale‚ Opera Australia‚ Melbourne
BachTrack.com (November 2014)


'...it’s the charicaturized grandeur of Conal Coad’s rotund‚ eponymous Don Pasquale that fills the performance with fodder for the heart and soul'

Don Pasquale‚ Opera Australia‚ Melbourne
Concerto.net (November 2014)


'New Zealand basso Conal Coad is a master of the buffo and Australian soprano Rachelle Durkin is a wily and confident Norina. Together‚ they are completely hilarious; playing the action for every joke including designer Richard Roberts’ allocation of a toupee to the Don which he convinces himself makes him look younger. Needless to say‚ it slides off‚ is rearranged back-to-front‚ lands in the lap of Norina who regards it as some kind of noxious vermin‚ and is eventually hidden down the back of the sofa. All this supplements the inherently silly plot and makes it all the more ridiculous. Together these protagonists are a delight with the audience roaring in laughter throughout. As the Don‚ Mr Coad’s voice is ideal. Rich and hearty‚ it plumbs impossible depths and yet remains flexible enough to deliver the Act 3 patter song with Malatesta at a rapidfire pace never once losing clarity of diction or pitch. He is a brilliant comic without overstating the buffo elements of the role. Quite the opposite‚ his interpretation is such that we see elements of pathos as the old man endeavours to stave off the loneliness of old age. There are moments of poignancy in this production which speak of another side to the laughing buffoon; sometimes quite sad and always endearing'

Don Pasquale‚ Opera Australia‚ Melbourne
Herald Sun.com.au (November 2014)


'...the music is gorgeous‚ and the performances are strong...Conal Coad was at his hilarious best as the silly old goat Pasquale'

Don Pasquale‚ Opera Australia‚ Melbourne
The Age.com.au (November 2014)


'Musically‚ this new production of Donizetti’s enchanting comedy of manners could hardly be bettered...Conal Coad’s Don Pasquale‚ although a bit too buffo at times‚ was nevertheless sung with impressive beauty and‚ indeed‚ with a sense of dignity always coming through his wounded pride'

L’elisir d’amore‚ Opera Australia Sydney Opera House
Sounds Like Sydney.com (August 2014)


'Opera Australia has retained its winning formula from Don Pasquale including conductor Guillaume Tourniaire‚ Rachelle Durkin‚ (Adina/Norina in Dona Pasquale)‚ Conal Coad (Dulcmara/title role in Don Pasquale) and Samuel Dundas (Belcore/Dr Malatesta in Don Pasquale). Durkin‚ Coad and Dundas are singers who can entertain not just with excellent singing but with innate comic talent as well...and Conal Coad was perfection as the conniving quack'

L’elisir d’amore‚ Opera Australia Sydney Opera House
The Age (August 2014)


'In the rapid passages of the ensembles‚ Conal Coad‚ as the ageing snake oil salesman Dulcamara‚ spattered out the text with rapid-fire articulation and comic conman persistence'

The Magic Flute‚ Opera Australia on the beach (Melbourne)
Australian Stage (May 2014)


'Sarastro (Conal Coad)‚ whose deep bass sounded utterly fabulous...'

Il Turco in Italia‚ Opera Australia Sydney Opera House
Arts Hub.com (January 2014)


'The king in the building during this 50’s opera buffa emerges through Conal Coad’s portrayal of husband Don Geronio. In all states of mind‚ dress‚ undress‚ fancy dress‚ muttered duet and ensemble‚ he inimitably shapes many scenes'

Il Turco in Italia‚ Opera Australia Sydney Opera House
Bach Track.com (January 2014)


'Conal Coad‚ who played her cuckolded husband Geronio‚ was in fine fettle in a role that was a gift to one of his comic talents‚ and his patter singing was fluent and funny. The charismatic Paolo Bordogna had a scene-stealing turn as Selim‚ and his Act II duet with Coad was perhaps the comic high-point of the evening'

Il Turco in Italia‚ Opera Australia Sydney Opera House
City News (January 2014)


'I’ve left the best for last. Conal Coad as Geronio and Emma Matthews as his fickle wife Fiorilla hold the centre of the stage throughout the evening. Whether bickering or making up‚ their vocal splendour is equalled by their fine voices. You could argue that Matthews takes the limelight in her insincere repentance aria towards the end of the Opera‚ but it is Coad as the long-suffering husband who makes us laugh‚ shows he is no fool and ultimately tugs at the heartstrings'

Il Turco in Italia‚ Opera Australia Sydney Opera House
Crikey.com (January 2014)


'Conal Coad is much-loved and it’s easy to see why. He has a face for comedy: pliable and infinitely expressive‚ in the way of a Rowan Atkinson'

Il Turco in Italia‚ Opera Australia Sydney Opera House
Limelight Magazine.com (January 2014)


'Conal Coad is the luckless spouse‚ Geronio‚ capturing that blend of middle-aged pomposity underneath an unconvincing ginger dye-job. Coad is a master of buffo style‚ his gruff bass always at the service of the text and capable of some pretty nifty patter. The duet for Geronio and the Turk‚ where the latter attempts unsuccessfully to purchase the former’s wife‚ is comic genius – a duel that incorporates each protagonist’s national beverage‚ lemons as hand weapons‚ ice down the pants and a soda siphon that ends up all over the hapless cocktail waiter'

Il Turco in Italia‚ Opera Australia Sydney Opera House
Sounds Like Sydney.com (January 2014)


'Conal Coad’s portrayal of Don Geronio‚ the discarded husband‚ rolls humour‚ humiliation and anguish into one. His rendition of the Act 2 aria Oh‚ guardate che accidente in which he seeks the disguised Fiorilla as she cavorts with Selim‚ is as poignant as they come'

Don Pasquale‚ Opera Australia‚ Sydney Opera House
Opera (December 2013)


'Conal Coad’s blend of self-regard and vulnerability was perfect for Pasquale'

Albert Herring‚ Opera Australia‚ Sydney Opera House
Crikey.com.au (August 2013)


'Superintendent Budd is charged with the task of recovering his body and‚ along with everyone else‚ is mightily peeved when Albert resurfaces‚ alive and well. Conal Coad is consummately cast. This is a role gives full licence to his disposition to comedy and he exploits it. His blustering bass is just the ticket too‚ making Budd like a waddling sousaphone; a kind of countrified Keystone cop'

Albert Herring‚ Opera Australia‚ Sydney Opera House
Limelight Magazine.com (August 2013)


'Superintendent Budd...a delightful revelation and handled with style by Conal Coad...well matched by Conal Coad’s bumbling Superintendent‚ all bluster and lack of imagination. Both actors possess the ability to fill the silences as well as the musical moments'

Don Pasquale‚ Opera Australia‚ Sydney Opera House
Crikey.com.au (July 2013)


'Conal Coad becomes the portly‚ old Don and‚ apart from his creditable‚ colourful bass baritone and surety in wrapping his tongue around comical staccato passages‚ we’re made well-aware of his acting prowess: all at once‚ we can find ourselves laughing at the buffoonish Pasquale‚ then feeling immediately guilty for being complicit in poking fun at a sensitive‚ vulnerable‚ essentially loveable septuagenarian; next thing we know‚ we want to give him a hug. In short‚ his performance is definitively charismatic'

Don Pasquale‚ Opera Australia‚ Sydney Opera House
Limelight Magazine (July 2013)


'Opera Australia veteran Conal Coad makes a highly sympathetic case for poor old Pasquale. This mild-mannered traditional gent is touchingly concerned that he will prove too elderly to go a-wooing and conveys with tasteful subtlety a comical fear that his potency might be in doubt. His fluttering hands‚ forever trying to tame his ludicrous toupée‚ and his hangdog weariness in the second half captures the full pathos of the wannabe roué. Vocally he is on the money too displaying a firm buffo bass that belies the quivering jowls'

Don Pasquale‚ Opera Australia‚ Sydney Opera House
Sounds Like Sydney.com.au (July 2013)


'A superb cast has been assembled. Conal Coad sings the title role with a natural flair for comedy. His rich bass voice is ideal for the role and his physical appearance and relaxed stage presence present the buffo character as humorous but sympathetic. One of the delights of the production is the spontaneous interaction between Coad and Rachelle Durkin’s Norina'

Don Pasquale‚ Opera Australia‚ Sydney Opera House
Sydney Morning Herald (July 2013)


'As Don Pasquale‚ Conal Coad presents a character both delightfully ridiculous yet painfully vulnerable as he begins to comprehend his folly. It is the Don’s capacity to forgive that elevates the action beyond mere commedia-style buffoonery. The Act 3 scene in which Norina slaps Don Pasquale is the turning point at which the humanity of these characters emerges from the stereotypes of the earlier scenes. Coad’s consummate artistry was evident as much in his delivery of rapid patter songs as it was in his ability to find the exact vocal colour to match the emotional roller-coaster of the Don’s hapless ambition'

Don Pasquale‚ Opera Australia‚ Sydney Opera House
The Australian (July 2013)


'As the blustering Don Pasquale‚ bass Conal Coad was superb. He maintained a focused‚ dark-hued timbre‚ but his voice was nimble and flexible enough to capture his exasperation in being outwitted at every turn'

The Bartered Bride‚ New Zealand Opera
Opera (January 2013)


'Kecal‚ now a bullying mayor with two enforcers‚ was the ever-reliable but ever-fresh Conal Coad'

The Bartered Bride‚ New Zealand Opera
Dominion Post (October 2012)


'Conal Coad revels in his role as the scheming mayor'

The Bartered Bride‚ New Zealand Opera
NZ Listener (October 2012)


'Conal Coad is comic‚ pompous and vocally a delight'

The Bartered Bride‚ New Zealand Opera
LiveNews.co.nz (September 2012)


'The local power is personified in the marriage broker‚ Kecal – played by New Zealand bass Conal Coad. The character is a pivotal piece in The Bartered Bride and Conal Coad plays it wonderfully‚ commanding centre-stage with his delivery of deep brooding bass notes‚ and connecting to the audience with his comic-timing'

The Bartered Bride‚ New Zealand Opera
National Business Review (September 2012)


'Conal Coad made a marvelous Kecal‚ looking and sounding the part to perfection‚ with his jowl-wobbling deep notes and rapid-fire repetitions'

The Bartered Bride‚ New Zealand Opera
New Zealand Herald (September 2012)


'Conal Coad is a wily Kecal‚ a sinister marriage broker for new times. A master of canny characterisation‚ he is the dramatic kingpin of the evening...'

The Bartered Bride‚ New Zealand Opera
Opera Critic.com (September 2012)


'Conal Coad is a rather likeable rogue as the mayor and marriage broker Kecal. This updated production perhaps demands a more authoritarian portrayal‚ but Coad nevertheless uses all his vocal and acting abilities to create a thoroughly enjoyable character'

The Bartered Bride‚ New Zealand Opera
Theatreview.org.nz (September 2012)


'The real treat for me though is watching Conal Coad as Kecal‚ the marriage broker‚ as he struts about with all the self assurance of a character who you just know is going to get his comeuppance. Coad is hilarious‚ and extremely charismatic with an incredible sense of comedic timing‚ making it hard to watch anyone else while he is on stage. He and his glorious voice could not have been better cast'

The Bartered Bride‚ New Zealand Opera
Times.co.nz (September 2012)


'Conal Coad‚ on the other hand‚ gives a masterful portrayal of the manipulating mayor Kecal‚ who is eventually outwitted'

Don Giovanni‚ Opera Australia DVD
SuperConductor (July 2012)


'Leporello remains the most interesting role in this opera. Here‚ Conal Coad plays the faithful servant as much older and more experienced than his master‚ as the weary caretaker instead of an eager apprentice. His baritone is much crisper than Mr. Rhodes‚ with razor-sharp diction that makes the "Catalogue Song" a first-act highlight'

A Midsummer Night’s Dream‚ Opera Australia
Theatre People.com.au (June 2012)


'A stand out performance is delivered from the "rustics" lead by a powerhouse and stupendous performance by the larger than life Conal Coad as Bottom‚ the weaver. It was his towering ego and titanic performance that was a stand out for the opera and an instant crowd hit‚ the stand out scenes being both the rustics "play within the play" (or "opera within the opera" as your tastes dictate) which was a bombastic and hilarious satire of the art form of opera itself. The other stand out scene was Coad’s ?Bottom ?being transformed into an ’anatomically correct’ mule. This was a hilarious and beautifully imagined segment‚ brought to full fruition by Coad who was crude‚ rude‚ monstrous and utterly brilliant'

Le Nozze di Figaro‚ Opera Australia‚ Sydney Opera House
Opera (May 2012)


'Dr Bartolo and Marcellina were in the safest of safe hands - Conal Coad and Jacqueline Dark'

The Barber of Seville‚ Opera Australia
Arts Hub (May 2012)


'...The doctor’s sometime accomplice‚ Don Basilio‚ is played with deliciously bumbling self-interest by Conal Coad...'

The Barber of Seville‚ Opera Australia
The Age.com.au (May 2012)


'The singers were uniformly good...Conal Coad’s splenetic Don Basilio'

Le Nozze di Figaro‚ Opera Australia‚ Sydney Opera House
Limelight (February 2012)


'The performers dive in with tremendous enthusiasm...a magnificent supporting cast. Conal Coad’s ailing curmudgeon of a Dr Bartolo is a masterpiece replete with wheeled walking frame and portable oxygen cylinder‚ great gulps of which are required to complete the da capo of his vengeance aria'

Le Nozze di Figaro‚ Opera Australia‚ Sydney Opera House
The Australia (February 2012)


'...stand-out performance from Conal Coad’s Bartolo'

Don Giovanni‚ Opera Australia‚ Sydney Opera House
Canberra Critics Circle (October 2011)


'...Conal Coad brings dignity‚ warmth and a very fine voice to his impeccable interpretation to the Don’s long-suffering manservant‚ Leporello...'

Don Giovanni‚ Opera Australia‚ Sydney Opera House
Curtain Call (October 2011)


'...Conal Coad picks up on the comic promise of the situation immediately and instinctively; we’re primed for laughing and nary a word has been sung. There he is‚ an operatic clown‚ the stage equivalent of Oliver Hardy or some such. And when he opens his mouth‚ out pours this thundering bass‚ very much in keeping with the drama written into the score. His Leporello is lovable rotund teddy bear‚ horribly exploited by his master‚ but no less worthy of affection for his pathetic loyalty. A kind of Sergeant Schultz...Moreover‚ Coad and Rhodes are such an inspired double-act‚ as master and servant‚ it’s hard for anyone else to command attention'

Don Giovanni‚ Opera Australia‚ Sydney Opera House
Hills Shire Times (October 2011)


'Another Kiwi‚ bass Conal Coad‚ plays Leporello‚ Don Giovanni’s reluctant and disapproving servant. He too was in fine voice and provided much of the work’s humour with wry observations on the drama being played out on stage and the moral ambiguities of some of the events'

Don Giovanni‚ Opera Australia‚ Sydney Opera House
Opera Insider Australia (October 2011)


'...his side-kick in his sexual misdemeanours‚ Leporello was sung by Conal Coad‚ now a veteran of buffo roles who delivered as fine as a Leporello as you will hear or see'

Capriccio‚ Opera Australia
Crikey.com (July 2011)


'Conal Coad is factory-fitted with the fulsome ebullience one imagines of La Roche‚ the self-aggrandising impresario‚ producer and director. Here‚ in prophetic‚ living colour is the Cam Mackintosh of the day'

Capriccio‚ Opera Australia
Opera Insider Australia (July 2011)


'Enter stage left‚ the rambuctious theatre impresario‚ La Roche‚ superbly characterised by Australian international bass Conal Coad. Portraying his boisterous character with exuberance'

Capriccio‚ Opera Australia
Stage Whispers.com (July 2011)


'Also in contention for premier status (operatically speaking‚ that is) is bombastic producer/director La Roche (Conal Coad)‚ who brings some much needed comedy'

Capriccio‚ Opera Australia
Sydney Morning Herald (July 2011)


'Conal Coad balanced the bluff pragmatics‚ the humanising generosity and the all-conquering hubris of the Impresario/Director‚ La Roche‚ with droll urbanity'

A Midsummer Night’s Dream‚ Opera Australia Melbourne
Curtain Call (December 2010)


'And Conal Coad‚ as the buxom Bottom‚ steals the show along with his merry band of Rustics (those scenes are really funny)'

A Midsummer Night’s Dream‚ Opera Australia Melbourne
Herald Sun (December 2010)


'Top performances‚ particularly from Conal Coad as Bottom‚ Tobias Cole as the fairy king Oberon‚ and Lorina Gore as his queen Tytania‚ give this show real magic'

A Midsummer Night’s Dream‚ Opera Australia Melbourne
The Age.com.au (December 2010)


'Conal Coad as Bottom and Graeme Macfarlane as Flute were inspired'

Le Nozze di Figaro‚ Garsington Opera
MusicalCriticism.com (July 2010)


'Conal Coad as Dr Bartolo‚ who relished his showpiece aria ’La Vendetta’‚ and who underpinned all his ensemble pieces with a sonorous bass line'

Le Nozze di Figaro‚ Garsington Opera
Stage (June 2010)


'Jean Rigby and Conal Coad bring a whiff of (classy) pantomime to the roles of Marcellina and Dr Bartolo'

Le Nozze di Figaro‚ Garsington Opera
The Arts Desk.com (June 2010)


'Conal Coad’s Doctor Bartolo delivered some lovely low sounds‚ full and clean‚ through passages of pianissimo and forte'

A Midsummer Night’s Dream‚ Opera Australia‚ Sydney Opera House
Opera Critic.com (February 2010)


'Conal Coad leads the Rustics as a preening Bottom‚ relishing the character’s asinine antics with resounding vocal flamboyance...The men save their best tricks for the Pyramus and Thisbe scene‚ where Andrew Moran’s mincing Moonshine‚ Coad’s wayward wig and Smith’s clumsy pirouettes and lace knickers conspire to form the evening’s comic climax'

A Midsummer Night’s Dream‚ Opera Australia‚ Sydney Opera House
Sydney Morning Herald (February 2010)


'Leading the mechanicals‚ Conal Coad is artfully unsubtle as Bottom and in the play within a play‚ which Britten turns into a parody of Italian opera‚ he sings the impassioned bell canto satire so well‚ one almost forgets it is a send-up'

A Midsummer Night’s Dream‚ Opera Australia‚ Sydney Opera House
Sydney Sun Herald (February 2010)


'Conal Coad is hilarious as Bottom. He keeps the audience giggling as Tytania falls lustily in love with him after he’s transformed into a donkey with a stupendous member. He excels when Bottom plays the hapless Pyramus‚ bravely trying to woo his Thisbe while struggling to prevent his mini-toga from revealing his whopping underpants'

The Italian Girl in Algiers‚ Opera New Zealand
Opera (October 2009)


'Mustafa was a much more experienced Kiwi‚ Conal Coad‚ enjoying every opportunity Rossini offered'

Fidelio‚ Opera Australia
OperaCritic.com (August 2009)


'Conal Coad brings his characteristic mix of wit‚ warmth and sonorous‚ stylish singing to Rocco‚ the flawed but goodhearted jailer'

The Italian Girl in Algiers‚ Opera New Zealand
OperaCritic.com (June 2009)


'...Conal Coad’s Mustafa‚ who played the bumbling Bey of Algiers‚ or multi-millionaire super yacht owner in this case‚ with convincing geniality and commanding voice'

The Italian Girl in Algiers‚ Opera New Zealand
"Middle C" Electronic Classical Music Reviews (May 2009)


'"...Then (c.1700) there were no Human Rights Commissions to object to stereotyping and ridiculing of a religious community. And‚ so a Muslim Leader could be pilloried for behaviour considered not comme il faut by polite European Society of the time.
The secret of such comedy was fully understood by Conal Coad who took the part of Mustafa‚ the Bey of Algiers (Governor of the Ottoman province). He has shortcomings in Western eyes ‚ and these are mocked by presenting him without the stock gestures of cheap farce. Coad knows that comedy depends on adopting an outwardly serious demeanour‚ with careful limits to stock comedic gestures‚ allowing pomposity and lack of self-awareness to be observed rather than drawn crassly to our attention. Thus his every movement was pregnant with satire or self-evident foolishness; and his very presence on stage caused smiles: he was the essential focus of the comedy‚ and he triumphed...'

The Italian Girl in Algiers‚ Opera New Zealand
National Business Review (May 2009)


'Conal Coad gives a well-crafted performance as Mustafa. The role can be easily overplayed as a buffoon but Coad gives the part a nice mix of self centered‚ randy‚ boor and flashy egoist‚ his voice alternating between the outlandish and the charming'

The Italian Girl in Algiers‚ Opera New Zealand
New Zealand Herald (May 2009)


'Similarly effective was Conal Coad’s raw‚ close-up outburst of fury‚ the singer’s Mustafa had the assurance of experience‚ right down to an impressive catalogue of "sneezes" in the great Quintet'

The Italian Girl in Algiers‚ Opera New Zealand
The Dominion Post‚ NZ (May 2009)


'Rossini could have created the role of Mustafa for Conal Coad‚ the quintessential basso buffo‚ and he plays the part to the hilt'

The Italian Girl in Algiers‚ Opera New Zealand
Theatrereview.org.nz (May 2009)


'Conal Coad is brilliantly blustery in the basso buffo role of Mustafa‚ eliciting many a laugh from the delighted audience'

The Italian Girl in Algiers‚ Opera New Zealand
Wellington Dominion (May 2009)


'...supremely polished endlessly effervescent production. Rossini could have created the role of Mustafa for Conal Coad‚ the quintessential basso buffo‚ and he plays the part to the hilt...'

The Marriage of Figaro‚ West Australian Opera
West Australian.co.au (March 2009)


'Conal Coad‚ the only non-West Australian‚ delivered a full-throated‚ comic Bartolo'

Il Matrimonio Segreto‚ Brooklyn Academy of Music
ConcertoNet.com (May 2008)


'Conal Coad is befuddled‚ portly‚ very much the classical dodderer‚ but has a rich basso buffa when he gets angry (which is often).'

Il Matrimonio Segreto‚ Brooklyn Academy of Music
The New York Times (May 2008)


'The opening duet for Paolino (Chad A. Johnson‚ a boyish and sweet-voiced tenor) and Carolina (the lovely‚ warm-toned soprano Heidi Stober) is tender and lyrically beguiling. Cimarosa’s skill at writing arias free from the conventional strictures of the form comes through in Geronimo’s “Che saltino i dinari‚” which stopped the show at the opera’s premiere. As this wily man (the husky bass Conal Coad‚ excellent at deadpan comedy) fantasizes about the prospect that his Elisetta (the bright soprano Georgia Jarman ) might marry a count‚ he goes through states of glee‚ avarice‚ determination and anxiety. Each mood swing is driven by pronounced shifts in the music’s rhythmic content‚ vocal delivery and melodic turns.'

Il Barbiere di Siviglia‚ Opera Australia
The Opera Critic (July 2007)


'Coad was a brilliantly comic Don Baslilio‚ his bass voice crackling with character.'

Don Pasquale‚ New Zealand Opera
NZ Opera News (October 2006)


'As a director Coad has proved himself with this show and has put his long experience as a singer to masterly use.'

Don Pasquale‚ New Zealand Opera
Opera Opera (October 2006)


'The show really belonged to bass Conal Coad. Not only did he take this role with hilarious aplomb‚ but he also directed.'

Don Pasquale‚ New Zealand Opera
Greymouth Star (September 2006)


'Conal Coad (also director) demonstrated his might in the role of the portly Don Pasquale‚ providing brilliantly times quips and trips to the buffoonery of the old uncle. His voice soared above the orchestra (and audience)‚ anchoring the piece in as tight a performance as could ever be achieved.'

Don Pasquale‚ New Zealand Opera
Hawkes Bay Today (September 2006)


'Conal Coad as Don Pasquale (and also the director) is brilliant. His larger than life singing‚ bubbling humour‚ exemplary diction in the patter recitatives‚ pompous characterisation‚ facial expression and acting‚ revealed an astonishing versatility of talent that captivated the viewer.'

Don Pasquale‚ New Zealand Opera
Manawatu Standard (September 2006)


'Conal Coad‚ fresh from playing the role in Europe is a brilliant Pasquale. He completely fills the stage with magnificent voice and a marvellous character.'

Don Pasquale‚ New Zealand Opera
Taranaki Daily News (September 2006)


'For Conal Coad it was a personal triumph because he worked on the score as well as directing and singing the title role. As the aging‚ would-be lover he has most of the fun lines and is central to the action with the wit‚ acting talent and quite majestic voice to squeeze out each last drop of humour.'

Don Pasquale‚ New Zealand Opera
Wanganui Chronicle (September 2006)


'Conal Coad himself was just magnificent as Don Pasquale in all his moods‚ mean and grasping‚ confident and proud‚ then sad and dispirited as his "bride" began to humiliate him. We even felt sorry for him! He gave us some lovely comic moments.'

Don Pasquale‚ New Zealand Opera
Bay of Plenty Times (August 2006)


'Of course it helps when the guy is played by Conal Coad‚ one of New Zealand’s top opera singers. Coad is superb. His expressions and humour bring a likeability to a character who could in lesser hands be a pain in the backside or pathetic. Such a formidable presence.'

Don Pasquale‚ New Zealand Opera
Daily Post (August 2006)


'Opera director Conal Coad‚ who also performed the title role‚ was excellent with his bold singing and hilarious acting.'

Don Pasquale‚ New Zealand Opera
Dominion Post (August 2006)


'Conal Coad‚ s Don Pasquale‚ is as close to perfection as one could imagine. The part was made for him. With his sonorous voice and his sense of comic timing‚ the character comes alive without more exaggeration than necessary.'

Don Pasquale‚ New Zealand Opera
GayNZ.com (August 2006)


'You can’t miss him‚ because he’s played by the hugely entertaining - and gorgeously costumed - Conal Coad.'

Don Pasquale‚ New Zealand Opera
National Business Review (August 2006)


'His warm rich voice anchored the production in a range of solos‚ duos‚ trios and quartets.'

Don Pasquale‚ New Zealand Opera
New Zealand Herald (August 2006)


'Conal Coad’s singing was one of the prize gems.'

Don Pasquale‚ New Zealand Opera
Northern Advocate (August 2006)


'Throughout the three acts we were treated to superb singing and acting by Conal Coad (bass) as a very believable and eccentric old rascal‚ a figure of fun‚ yes‚ but not a total buffoon.'

Don Pasquale‚ New Zealand Opera
Southland Times (August 2006)


'Coad’s masterful direction.'

Don Pasquale‚ New Zealand Opera
The Opera Critic (August 2006)


'Conal Coad’s simple yet elegant production updates the work to the turn of the 20th century. Coad’s direction ensures that the comedy is well served‚ while never resorting to over the top theatricals and he is certainly helped by an ensemble of singers who throw themselves into the opera wholeheartedly. Heading the cast is Coad himself as the buffoon Don Pasquale. His carefully manicured interpretation makes him a very likeable character‚ and ultimately one feels sorry for the way Norina treats him. It is a role that he sings with feeling and finesse and acts sympathetically without hamming up his performance excessively.'

Don Pasquale‚ New Zealand Opera
The Press (August 2006)


'Coad backed up his horny‚ falstaffish portrayal with brilliant singing as expected from his depth of overseas experience. He can also shift his heavy basso neatly as in the act 3 presto patter duet.'

Don Pasquale‚ New Zealand Opera
Wanganui Chronicle (August 2006)


'The production is absolutely riveting‚ with Conal Coad proving he is not only a brilliant performer‚ but also an opera director. He is an absolute delight to watch and listen to in the role of Don Pasquale.'

Romeo et Juliette‚ Opera Australia
Sydney Morning Herald (October 2005)


'Conal Coad’s tone as Friar Lawrence is unctuously fulsome.'

Don Giovanni‚ New Zealand Opera
National Business Review (July 2005)


'Singing Leporello‚ Conal Coad was masterly in his presentation of Don Giovanni’s bumbling sidekick... his acting and singing were exemplary. Throughout the opera he gave an insight into the complex character‚ torn between a desire to be a gentleman himself and the perverse fascination with documenting his master’s
career as a serial seducer.'

Don Giovanni‚ New Zealand Opera
Dominion Post (June 2005)


'Thankfully‚ this production is blessed with a Leporello of superb vocal ability and a fine balance between the serious and comedic. Conal Coad could steal the show‚ but balances perfectly with his Don. But it is his masterly grasp of Mozart style that is most impressive.'

Don Giovanni‚ Perth
Opera Opera (June 2005)


'Conal Coad seemed tailor made for his role as Leporello. His subtlety of gesture‚ his wonderful ability to move‚ as slippery as a snake‚ his deft control of comic situation all combined to make his one of the most memorable Leporellos I can recall.'

Norma‚ Opera Holland Park
Independent (June 2004)


'Conal Coad’s solid Oroveso sang strongly.'

Norma‚ Opera Holland Park
Observer (June 2004)


'Conal Coad is a commanding Oroveso.'

Fidelio‚ Opera Holland Park
Opera (June 2003)


'Conal Coad’s warmly-sung Rocco convincingly encompassed the serious and comic sides of the character.'

Fidelio‚ Opera Holland Park
Sunday Telegraph (June 2003)


'Conal Coad was a powerful Rocco.'

Der Rosenkavalier‚ Opera North
Musical Opinion (November 2002)


'Conal Coad played a fine Ochs‚ obviously relishing the part’s opportunities for buffoonery.'

Der Rosenkavalier‚ Opera North
Darlington & Stockton Times (October 2002)


'Conal Coad produced a brilliantly bucolic and mannerless Baron Ochs.'

Der Rosenkavalier‚ Opera North
Guardian (October 2002)


'The bluff‚ blundering Ochs‚ sung by Conal Coad‚ is given a good deal of nuance‚ making his awfulness even more cringingly funny.'

Der Rosenkavalier‚ Opera North
Ilkley Gazete (October 2002)


'Australian bass Conal Coad‚ previously a memorable Opera North Falstaff‚makes the role of the coarse‚ philandering Baron Ochs very much his own.'

Der Rosenkavalier‚ Opera North
Sunday Times (October 2002)


'The experienced Australian bass Conal Coad...roguish and funny.'

Der Rosenkavalier‚ Opera North
The Machester Charivari (October 2002)


'The Australian Conal Coad as the superbly sung and acted Baron Ochs.'

Der Rosenkavalier‚ Opera North
The Stage (October 2002)


'Conal Coad’s coarse Baron Ochs is astutely drawn.'

Der Rosenkavalier‚ Opera North
Yorkshire Post (October 2002)


'His acting could not be improved‚ creating the humour of the situation while still remembering that he is a Baron.'

Fidelio‚ Opera Australia
Opera (June 2002)


'There was also fine singing from...Conal Coad (a jovial Rocco).'

Marriage of Figaro‚ Opera Australia
The Bulletin (January 2002)


'So accustomed are OA audiences to Conal Coad’s talents that we are in danger of taking them for granted‚ or of supposing that comedy must be easier than tragedy. The truth is that the company could simplify its auditions by putting this question to their would-be principals; if you cannot match Mr Coad’s vocal and dramatic abilities‚ are you sure that you have chosen the right career?
As Dr Bartolo‚ Coad integrates singing with gestures so that the ludicrous is at once funny and touching. His bass touches bottom as surely as it does our hearts.'

Falstaff‚ New Zealand Opera
Capital Times (November 2001)


'Falstaff is a personal triumph for Conal Coad. He dominates the stage‚ alternately wheedling‚ bullying‚ wooing and blustering‚ and all the while singing with the utmost musicality‚ with a voice which meets every challenge. What more could you ask?'

Falstaff‚ New Zealand Opera
National Business Review (November 2001)


'Conal Coad as Falstaff is magnificent‚ creating a character who dominates the stage through the performance. The part can be played for its buffoonery but Coad has tempered that aspect with other dimensions. His Falstaff is repellent for his treatment of others and his grossness but he is sympathetic for his brazenness and cheerfulness and ultimately his honesty and his acceptance of life. He conveys these qualities as a flawless singing bully‚ comedian and gentleman‚ the roles flowing cleverly together. His voice captured the wit‚ sensuousness and gallantry of the man‚ all tinged with brutality and pomposity. It is his fine acting ability that cements the character. He gives the role dignity at all times even in the scene where he enters Alice Ford’s house slipping and slithering around.'

Falstaff‚ New Zealand Opera
New Zealand Herald (November 2001)


'It is this essentially human quality‚ with an edge of sadness‚ that Conal Coad brings so magnificently to NBR New Zealand Opera’s fast-paced production of Verdi’s final masterpiece. Strutting around the stage like an overconfident cockerel with a very large paunch‚ Coad looked and sounded as if the part was crafted for him. His sense of comic timing was impeccable‚ a leer here (particularly down the front of Dame Quickly’s highly revealing bodice)‚ a snigger there when attempting to woo Alice Ford. And yet his sense of pathos was just as real‚ especially when feeling sorry for himself after being thrown unceremoniously into the Thames in a clothes basket.'

Falstaff‚ New Zealand Opera
New Zealand Herald (November 2001)


'As a bonus they can feast their ears on one of the most beautiful voices New Zealand has produced – Conal Coad. Move over Bryn Terfel‚ this is bass/baritone singing at its very best.'

Falstaff‚ New Zealand Opera
The Listener (November 2001)


'Conal Coad is quite wonderful‚ awake to every nuance and gesture‚ never a mere buffoon but a lovable rogue‚ foolish but still plausible as a lover and unfailingly beautiful of voice.'

L’elisir d’amore‚ Opera Australia
Melbourne Sun Herald (May 2001)


'Such was Conal Coad’s oily bonhomie that in many ways he stole the show. His is a true buffo voice‚ and the demanding ’patter songs’ slipped off his tongue effortlessly.'

L’elisir d’amore‚ Opera Australia
Sunday Age (May 2001)


'Conal Coad brings plenty of vocal and clowning energy to his performance.'

L’elisir d’amore‚ Opera Australia
The Australian (May 2001)


'...and Conal Coad’s wily Dulcamara - sings and acts delightfully...'

L’elisir d’amore‚ Opera Australia
The Bulletin (May 2001)


'... the panache with which the buffo Conal Coad would lift his Act Two realization of the role to a mastery of self-deception...'

Midsummer Nights Dream‚ Napoli
La Republica (February 2001)


'The loveable rogue Bottom of Conal Coad (but what professionalism was displayed behind that roguishness).'

Midsummer Nights Dream‚ Opera Australia
Sydney Morning Herald (July 2000)


'In Conal Coad‚ Opera Australia has found its best‚ most complete interpreter of Bottom ever. He has a natural sense of comedy...and a bass voice that is able to represent in operatic terms his complete domination of the group of amateur actors organised by Quince.'

Capriccio‚ Opera Australia
Australian Financial Review (May 2000)


'...his amiable bass was a delight from go to whoa.'

Capriccio‚ Opera Australia
The Bulletin (May 2000)


'Conal Coad explodes with his fury aria‚ all the more effective because his depiction of the vulgar impresario had been restrained.'

Falstaff‚ Opera North
Spectator (February 2000)


'Conal Coad is as fine a Falstaff as I have seen‚ maintaining a dignity that many performers of the role are eager to eject. He is not too obese either‚ as verdi instructed. Without a big voice‚ he enunciates and projects superbly.'

Falstaff‚ Opera North
Sunday Telegraph (February 2000)


'The title role is now sung by the New Zealand bass Conal Coad‚ and very good he is too...He has all the notes with enough expression (not over-done‚ thank goodness)‚ and his diction and acting are admirable.'

Falstaff‚ Opera North
Yorkshire Post (February 2000)


'Coad’s voice is a very beautiful instrument that is used with the utmost intelligence.'

Falstaff‚ Opera North
Times (January 2000)


'...vocal weight contributes to Conal Coad’s heartwarming impersonation... This loveable creature’s big third-act monologue is hugely touching.'