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  Basses: Stephen Richardson - Reviews

Katya Kabanova‚ Opera North (February 2019)

'As the rich and elderly Dikoy‚ Stephen Richardson’s abusive bluster was as potent as Shipp’s machine-gun rattle of demands‚ Richardson’s voice with a powerful swoop that reminded me of John Tomlinson.


Le nozze di Figaro‚ Nevill Holt Opera
Opera Magazine (August 2018)

'Marcellina and Bartolo were in the experienced hands of Joan Rodgers and Stephen Richardson‚ now suitably mature and in faultless command of their stagecraft; Richardson’s stentorian delivery of ‘La vendetta’ was not only powerfully sung but cleverly stage too. '

Powder Her Face‚ Nevill Holt Opera
The Guardian (July 2018)

'The other three members of the cast‚ all playing multiple roles‚ are also exceptional – Stephen Richardson turns the divorce-court judge’s hysterical summing-up into a tour de force...'

Le nozze di Figaro‚ Nevill Holt Opera
The Sunday Times (June 2018)

'...there’s hardly a weak link in the cast. The veterans Joan Rodgers (Marcellina) and Stephen Richardson (Bartolo) bring the ballast of experience to this predominantly youthful ensemble...'

Billy Budd‚ Rome Opera
L’Ape Musicale (May 2018)

Fra i comprimari‚ un plauso particolare mi sento di tributare al Dansker di Stephen Richardson‚ non solo per la tenuta vocale ma anche per la bravura nel recitare il personaggio./// Among the supporting actors‚ I particularly applaud the Dansker of Stephen Richardson‚ not only for voice but also for the skill in playing the character.

Billy Budd‚ Rome Opera
Opera Wire (May 2018)

'With 20 soloists‚ it is impossible detail all the individual performances‚ and although all performed well‚ a number deserve mention. The role of Dansker‚ essayed by Stephen Richardson‚ exemplified the camaraderie that existed amongst the crew below decks. As an old hand‚ he had the confidence of the men and befriended Billy. His bass has a pleasing timbre‚ which he used with intelligence to produce a sympathetic reading.'

Billy Budd‚ Rome Opera
Seen & Heard International (May 2018)

'Stephen Richardson’s Dansker was the most humane character on the ship; the one who nicknamed the young man Baby on account of his innocence. Their scenes together were touching‚ with warmth and kindness emanating from his solid form and warm bass voice.'

Powder Her Face‚ Irish National Opera (March 2018)

'A fetishist romp between the Duke‚ sung by the superb British bass Stephen Richardson‚ and a maid/call-girl portrayed by the clear-voiced Irish soprano Daire Halpin‚ ends with her dressing him in an enormous nappy and sticking a gigantic bottle in his mouth. Richardson’s star turn comes as a divorce-court judge straight out of Gilbert and Sullivan‚ who says he’s seen a lot in his life but nothing like the Duchess‚ whom he denounces as "a Don Juan among women".'

Powder Her Face‚ Irish National Opera
The Journal of Music (March 2018)

'Every member of the cast rose admirably to the task of combining these directions with the formidable challenge of singing Adès’s demanding vocal lines... there are few basses able to bring off the hilariously grotesque figures of the Duke and Judge better than Stephen Richardson. Indeed Adès’s musical characterisation of the Judge bears more than a passing resemblance to another operatic upholder of the law‚ the ghastly magistrate Sir Joshua Cramer from Gerald Barry’s The Intelligence Park which Richardson has also sung. '

Powder Her Face‚ Irish National Opera
Irish Times (February 2018)

'The supporting characters‚ a riotous medley entrusted to just three singers‚ soprano Daire Halpin‚ tenor Adrian Dwyer and bass Stephen Richardson‚ range from hotel staff and media to her husband and the judge. Their energy and adaptability‚ and the riot of colour exploding from the INO Orchestra under Timothy Redmond‚ are unflagging.'

Le nozze di Figaro‚ Garsington Opera
Classique News (July 2017)

'Très nombreux ainsi‚ les moments remarquables pour la distribution‚ que ce soit « La Vendetta » je n’en peux plus bouffe d’un superbe Stephen Richardson en Bartolo...'

Le nozze di Figaro‚ Garsington Opera
MusichOMH (June 2017)

'...and they form the perfect trio with Stephen Richardson’s sonorous Bartolo. '

Le nozze di Figaro‚ Garsington Opera
Olyxix (June 2017)

'Stephen Richardson prête sa belle voix de basse au personnage de Bartolo. /// Stephen Richardson lends his beautiful bass voice to the character of Bartolo.'

Powder Her Face‚ Northern Ireland Opera
Opera Magazine (April 2017)

'Vivid‚ well characterized thumbnail portraits were also provided by a trio of singers playing multiple parts... Stephen Richardson offered especially solid support as a haughty hotel manager‚ apoplectic judge and aggrieved husband‚ the moralizing pomposity of whose outrage at his wife’s promiscuity was somewhat pricked by his own predilection for cavorting in nappies.'

Powder Her Face‚ Northern Ireland Opera
Opera Journal (January 2017)

'Adrian Dwyer‚ Stephen Richardson and Daire Halpin throw themselves into the roles‚ always judging the tone perfectly. Richardson is permitted some of the more slapstick moments (and slapping with a stick moments) as Hotel Manager‚ Husband and Judge‚ which he delivers with gusto.'

Powder Her Face‚ Northern Ireland Opera
The Telegraph (January 2017)

'...Stephen Richardson delivers a tour de force as the hysterical divorce court judge. '

Powder Her Face‚ Northern Ireland Opera
The Times (January 2017)

'Around her‚ Adrian Dwyer‚ Stephen Richardson and Daire Halpin were superb. '

Billy Budd‚ Opera North
Opera Magazine (December 2016)

'There were fine cameos‚ too‚ from Adrian Clarke as Mr Flint and Stephen Richardson as Dansker.'

Billy Budd‚ Opera North (October 2016)

'...and Stephen Richardson as Dansker‚ the old salt who comforts Billy‚ was superb‚ reaching down almost to basso profondo at times. '

Billy Budd‚ Opera North
Critics’ Circle (October 2016)

'Stephen Richardson is at his most rewarding as the old sailor Dansker who has seen it all...'

Billy Budd‚ Opera North
The Guardian (October 2016)

'There are some decent cameos dotted among the rest of the cast too – Stephen Richardson’s Dansker is a bit more than that –'

Billy Budd‚ Opera North
The Times (October 2016)

'And apart from Stephen Richardson’s great-hearted old salt Dansker the rest of the Indomitable’s crew make little impact as individuals.'

Barry meets Beethoven‚ Orchid Classics ORC100055
Planet Hugill (September 2016)

'And Stephen Richardson’s performance is a tour de force‚ supported by Paul Hillier and the Crash Ensemble...Stephen Richardson’s performance is outstanding‚ the opening involving a series of scalar passages descending from high falsetto to basso profundo...The performances from Stephen Richardson‚ Chamber Choir Ireland‚ the Crash Ensemble and Paul Hillier are exemplary and invigorating.'

The Mikado‚ Scottish Opera
Seen & Heard International (June 2016)

' Stephen Richardson makes for a majestic Mikado‚ the touch of luxury in his voice making me wish he’d been singing a whole lot more. '

The Mikado‚ Scottish Opera (May 2016)

'Stephen Richardson‚ making his grand entry with Katisha from a bunting strewn battleship‚ was impressive as the Mikado all top-knot and full colourful military costume with daft winged hat and scary make-up. He had a pleasing authoritative voice'

The Mikado‚ Scottish Opera
Opera Britannia (May 2016)

'The Mikado himself‚ Stephen Richardson had a magisterial richness in his singing and when he tried to tell us that the punishment must fit the crime‚ he did so in a stately and very courtly manner.'

The Mikado‚ Scottish Opera
The Stage (May 2016)

'Stephen Richardson revels in Gilbert’s ghoulish humour as the Mikado.'

The Mikado‚ Scottish Opera
The Times (May 2016)

'Stephen Richardson’s fine Mikado makes a spectacular entrance too: disembarking from a flag-bedecked battleship.'

Turandot‚ Northern Ireland Opera
Guardian (November 2015)

'Stephen Richardson’s sonorous Timur'

Turandot‚ Northern Ireland Opera
Opera (November 2015)

'Musically‚ it was given a highly creditable performance by artists who gave absolutely everything of themselves to provide an overwhelming theatrical experience...Stephen Richardson perhaps lacked the ultimate in resonance for Timur but he sang with real feeling and phrased his music with eloquence'

Turandot‚ Northern Ireland Opera (November 2015)

'Stephen Richardson a grave‚ agonised Timur'

Turandot‚ Northern Ireland Opera
Spectator (November 2015)

'Stephen Richardson’s anguished Timur'

Turandot‚ Northern Ireland Opera
The Irish Times (November 2015)

'The leads on Saturday were all strongly taken...There were stalwart contributions from Stephen Richardson as Timur and Christopher Gillett as Emperor Altoum (the latter clad only in a nappy)'

Fidelio‚ BBC Philharmonic‚ Bridgewater Hall Manchester
Opera (July 2015)

'Stephen Richardson the very bourgeois Rocco‚ nicely smug in his Gold aria'

Fidelio‚ BBC Philharmonic‚ Bridgewater Hall Manchester (May 2015)

'The introduction of Stephen Richardson’s Rocco and Detlef Roth’s wicked Don Pizarro were welcome additions to the vocal ensemble‚ both singing very well‚ and with entertainingly characterful interpretations of their arias'

Alice in Wonderland‚ Los Angeles Philharmonic (March 2015)

'...the cast were outstanding...Stephen Richardson sang the dopey King of Hearts with a booming bass voice'

Alice in Wonderland‚BBC Symphony Orchestra at Barbican
Opera Britannia (March 2015)

'Stephen Richardson offered a richly booming comic turn as the King of Hearts'

The Bartered Bride‚ Opera North
Opera (January 2015)

'...fine cameos...Stephen Richardson’s sympathetic Micha'

The Magic Flute‚ Northern Ireland Opera
Opera (November 2014)

'Stephen Richardson’s Sarastro emerged with convincing thoughtfulness and dignity'

The Bartered Bride‚ Opera North
Opera Britannia (October 2014)

'The principals are without exception excellent and impeccably well matched...Stephen Richardson’s wide boy businessman‚ Tobias Micha'

The Bartered Bride‚ Opera North
What’s On (October 2014)

'Stephen Richardson‚ meanwhile‚ exudes wealth as Tobias Micha'

Fidelio‚ Garsington
Opera (August 2014)

'The scene of Florestan’s rescue was excitingly staged and owed much to the louring presence of Stephen Richardson’s well-sung Rocco'

Fidelio‚ Garsington
Classical (June 2014)

'Stephen Richardson’s benign Rocco had in his commanding bass an air of natural authority and rare insight: his pointed remark to Fidelio that he can see the truth in men’s hearts – suggesting that he knew her true identity and intentions – was a standout moment of Act One'

Fidelio‚ Garsington
What’s On (June 2014)

'Stephen Richardson’s bluff‚ sympathetic Rocco catches all the facets of a man struggling to retain his humanity in the face of corrupt forces‚ canny when dealing with Pizarro and endearing in his frequent horseplay with his daughter'

Manon Lescaut‚ Welsh National Opera
Opera (April 2014)

'Stephen Richardson’s Geronte was a chilling presence'

Manon Lescaut‚ Welsh National Opera
Stage Talk Magazine (April 2014)

'Geronte‚ believably and menacingly played by Stephen Richardson‚ is portrayed as a sort of Paul Raymond sleaze merchant surrounded by pole dancers and other scantily clad young ladies'

Manon Lescaut‚ Welsh National Opera
Bach (March 2014)

'Stephen Richardson’s gruff Geronte was creepily effective'

Manon Lescaut‚ Welsh National Opera
Financial Times (February 2014)

'...leaving David Kempster’s wheeler-dealer Lescaut and Stephen Richardson’s drug-lord Geronte as the only realistic characters in Trelinski’s metropolitan maze'

Manon Lescaut‚ Welsh National Opera
Guardian (February 2014)

'David Kempster’s Lescaut and Stephen Richardson’s Geronte are horrible but strong'

Manon Lescaut‚ Welsh National Opera
Independent (February 2014)

'David Kempster and Stephen Richardson were a callous Lescaut and sinister Geronte respectively'

Manon Lescaut‚ Welsh National Opera
The Arts (February 2014)

'Stephen Richardson plays Geronte convincingly if disagreeably as a high-class trafficker in (fallen) women‚ re-emerging unexpectedly in the third act as the ship’s captain'

Manon Lescaut‚ Welsh National Opera
The Spectator (February 2014)

'Musical standards remain high‚ courtesy of Stephen Richardson'

Manon Lescaut‚ Welsh National Opera
Wales (February 2014)

'Stephen Richardson is a chillingly vile sexual deviant Geronte (and also Naval Captain)‚ with David Kempster a warmly sung‚ mercurial Lescaut'

The Importance of being Earnest‚ Northern Ireland Opera
Opera (January 2014)

'The bass Stephen Richardson sang the part with resonant authority‚ and acted it wonderfully'

The Importance of being Earnest‚ Northern Ireland Opera
Golden (November 2013)

'Performances from the singers are all of high quality. Of particular note is Stephen Richardson’s strange and scary turn as the Lady Bracknell (yes – cast as a bass)'

The Importance of being Earnest‚ Northern Ireland Opera
Guardian (November 2013)

'Just as (Gerald) Barry tests everything in his musical and dramatic vocabulary to destruction‚ so (Antony) McDonald pushes his imagery as far as he dares‚ uncovering some surprisingly dark subtexts in the process. Barry casts Lady Bracknell as a bass‚ and weird as that is‚ McDonald goes even further‚ dressing Stephen Richardson up as a baleful chimera‚ half hunting-shooting-fishing Edwardian gentleman‚ half Victorian matriarch‚ and that mix of the manically extreme and the edgily unsettling is typical of the show as a whole...musically it is all delivered with as much deftness and inexhaustible energy...the individual performances are faultlessly precise...Richardson’s sinister Lady Bracknell'

The Importance of being Earnest‚ Northern Ireland Opera
Opera Journal (November 2013)

'...the work is a comic gift for all the cast‚ with Stephen Richardson as a scene-stealing Lady Bracknell'

The Importance of being Earnest‚ Northern Ireland Opera
The Sunday Times (November 2013)

'...a brilliant team of singer-actors at their disposal in Stephen Richardson (Lady Bracknell)'

Peter Grimes (concert) Aldeburgh Festival
Classical (June 2013)

'In a supporting cast with no weak links‚ Catherine Wyn-Rogers and Christopher Gillett both have long associations with this opera and their performances were especially well-defined. Robert Murray (Bob Boles)‚ Henry Waddington (Swallow) and Stephen Richardson (Hobson) were equally assured...'

Peter Grimes (concert) Aldeburgh Festival
Ipswich Star (June 2013)

'The other parts were filled with equal flair and distinction and all deserve mention...Stephen Richardson’s powerful bass gave an added menace to the lugubrious Hobson'

Peter Grimes (concert) Aldeburgh Festival
Musical (June 2013)

'There was scarcely a weak link in the rest of the cast. Boles‚ Swallow‚ Adams‚ Keene and Hobson were all vividly and effectively characterized by Robert Murray‚ Henry Waddington‚ Christopher Gillet‚ Charles Rice and Stephen Richardson respectively‚ and none of them put a foot wrong: conveying‚ without a costume‚ prop or stage effect in sight‚ the foibles of each character and the hierarchy of the Borough that Britten establishes so cleverly. Each showed just how much can be conveyed by a tone of voice‚ a wheedling inflection‚ a hint of being drunk‚ a whiff of conspiracy'

Peter Grimes (concert) Aldeburgh Festival
The Times (June 2013)

'Grimes has been rarely performed in the Maltings‚ but the hall’s relative intimacy seems to intensify its musical and dramatic impact...a vivid gallery of cameo artists seemingly steeped in Grimes tradition...Christopher Gillett (the Rector)‚ Stephen Richardson (Carter Hobson)'

The Flying Dutchman‚ Northern Ireland Opera
Opera (April 2013)

'Dalland‚ cleanly sung by Stephen Richardson'

The Flying Dutchman‚ Northern Ireland Opera
Telegraph (February 2013)

'Stephen Richardson’s avuncular Daland plays up the comic'

The Flying Dutchman‚ Northern Ireland Opera
The Times (February 2013)

'Daland is back — in Stephen Richardson a sturdy‚ upright Balstrode of a figure‚ his voice as well-ballasted as his ship‚ and both physically and musically authoritative. He turns out to be not only Senta’s father‚ but also the founder-patron of a school for good Norwegian seamstresses...'

Der Rosenkavalier‚ Bolshoi Theatre Moscow (April 2012)

'The main pleasure become the premiere voice‚ perhaps‚ dream team Der Rosenkavalier with no footnotes to our habits...masterfully displayed by voice vote on the muzhlansky Baron Ochs - Stephen Richardson'

Peter Grimes‚ Royal Opera House
Opera (September 2011)

'Notably striking...Stephen Richardson’s sturdy Hobson'

La Wally‚ Opera Holland Park
Classical (August 2011)

'One more man in Wally’s life‚ her abusive father Stromminger‚ who wants to force her into marriage with Gellner or she’s no daughter of his and who dies after Act One‚ is balefully recreated in fine Wagnerian style by Stephen Richardson'

La Wally‚ Opera Holland Park
Evening Standard (August 2011)

'There’s exceptional singing and character work...There’s even subtlety to Wally’s short-lived‚ bullying dad - whom Stephen Richardson invests with a pathetic‚ childish pride that is almost likeable'

La Wally‚ Opera Holland Park (August 2011)

'The singing in this production is almost universally excellent. Stephen Richardson exhibited his woody dark bass and first-rate acting in the role of Stromminger (portrayed in this production as an abusive alcoholic who takes most of his anger out on his daughter Wally)'

La Wally‚ Opera Holland Park
Independent (July 2011)

'Stephen Richardson’s short-lived Stromminger was pretty indomitable in act one and director Martin Lloyd-Evans certainly didn’t pull any punches with his brutality'

La Wally‚ Opera Holland Park
Opera (July 2011)

'Stephen Richardson was a fearsome Stromminger‚ dominating the stage during his opening birthday celebrations'

La Wally‚ Opera Holland Park
Whats On (July 2011)

'Stephen Richardson’s Stromminger is particularly vicious‚ lashing out at his daughter at every provocation'

Peter Grimes‚ Royal Opera House (June 2011)

'Stephen Richardson made for an unusually mellifluous Carrier Hobson‚ one who could even bang his drum in strict tempo to boot'

From the House of the Dead‚ Opera North
Stage (May 2011)

'Stephen Richardson’s sadistic Governor'

Francesca da Rimini‚ Opera Holland Park
Opera (August 2010)

'Stephen Richardson was hearty and sonorous as the Jester whose prologue sets the show in motion‚ effectively capturing the colour of the part as written'

Fidelio‚ Opera Holland Park
Classical (July 2010)

'Stephen Richardson was a very strong Rocco‚ portraying him as a more youthful man than is customary. His warm and generous bass sounded well in the part and he too gave a detailed dramatic performance‚ emphasising the jailor’s moral awareness but weakness to act. I liked the flashing display of an Amex Gold card during “hat man nicht auch Gold beineben” – a moment of lightness amidst the gloom. Richardson brought out that this Rocco is also aware of a disconcerting occasional oddness of behaviour in Fidelio at moments'

Fidelio‚ Opera Holland Park
Musicweb International (July 2010)

'Stephen Richardson was unusually credible as the compromised Rocco‚ who manages yet to do the right thing: a truly Beethovenian inspiration. Richardson’s fine command of the vocal text was a significant contributing factor here'

Fidelio‚ Opera Holland Park
Opera Britannia (July 2010)

'Stephen Richardson made a strong Rocco... his Act I aria on the virtues of money‚ ‘Hat man nicht auch Gold beineben’‚ carried off with a strong sense of humour and energy'

Fidelio‚ Opera Holland Park
Stage (July 2010)

'Stephen Richardson presents gaoler Rocco’s moving moral goalposts and instinct for self-preservation'

Fidelio‚ Opera Holland Park
Whats on (July 2010)

'Sarah Redgwick as the self-duping Marzelline and Stephen Richardson as her father Rocco both contribute well delineated characters'

Powder Her Face‚ Barbican
Financial Times (June 2006)

'...and Stephen Richardson delivered a ripe comic scene as the Judge'

Powder Her Face‚ Barbican
Guardian (June 2006)

'...and in the Judge’s monologue Stephen Richardson descended into vicious caricature in a virtuoso lather'

Powder Her Face‚ Barbican
Times (June 2006)

'Stephen Richardson’s stentorian command of the roles of both Duke and Hotel Manager completes this extended Proverb of Hell'

Die Zauberflöte‚ Opera Australia Sydney
Opera (March 2006)

'...Stephen Richardson on the other hand was totally comfortable with Sarastro’s lowest notes‚ and projected the appropriate benevolent authority'

Falstaff‚ Opera Australia Sydney
Sydney Morning Herald (January 2006)

'Stephen Richardson towering with self-importance as Falstaff'

Der Freischütz‚ Opéra de Rennes
Forum Opéra (December 2005)

'Stephen Richardson est un Kaspar méchant à souhait; voix solide‚ sens dramatique‚ cette basse britannique a offert au public rennais une fort bonne prestation'

Der Freischütz‚ Opéra de Rennes (December 2005)

'Stephen Richardson‚ avec sa basse sombre et puissante‚
est un Kaspar démoniaque à souhait'

Der Freischütz‚ Opéra de Rennes (December 2005)

'Stephen Richardson impressionne par son Kaspar très noir‚ au timbre profond‚ scéniquement inquiétant à souhait et vocalement tonnant‚ d’une efficacité à toute épreuve'

Falstaff‚ Opera Australia Sydney
Sydney Morning Herald (January 2005)

'...but of course it’s English bass baritone Stephen Richardson in the role of Falstaff who determines the success of this romp...'

The Enchantress‚ Grange Park Opera
Guardian (June 2004)

'...and Stephen Richardson plays Mamirov with the right mixture of stagey malevolence and introverted menace'

The Tempest‚ Royal Opera House (February 2004)

'The singing was generally excellent‚ with Simon Keenlyside‚ Ian Bostridge‚ Toby Spence‚ Stephen Richardson‚ Christopher Maltman and Christine Rice all highly commendable'

Der Rosenkavalier‚ English National Opera
Evening Standard (March 2003)

'Stephen Richardson has taken over as Baron Ochs and‚ amazingly‚ his marvel-lously leering‚ tongue-out‚ hangdog style is compelling. Richardson’s Ochs is youthful and wicked‚ natural as a comedy king and emotionally truthful'

Der Rosenkavalier‚ English National Opera
The Daily Telegraph (March 2003)

'As Ochs I saw the second cast‚ Stephen Richardson - John Tomlinson was singing Orest in Covent Garden - and I am very glad I did. Finally a fresh and steady voice from top to bottom‚ a singer who can deliver the words and notes with refinement and humour rather than speak‚ shout and bark through the part other more famous singers often do. And played the Baron as rather young and dynamic if not very noble "bonvivant" who as lady-killer is at least more convincing as the jolly old buffo type we are used to seeing in this role.""The cast was headed by Stephen Richardson’s crusty‚ bluff Morosus...
A warm affectionate portrayal of a character who contains elements of Ochs and Falstaff'

Tea‚ De Nederlandse Opera
Die Welt (January 2003)

'...und Stephen Richardson (Kaiser) mit großem Stimmumfang lyrisch und dramatisch überzeugen'

Albert Herring‚ Barbican
Independent (October 2001)

'Stephen Richardson cut a more handsome and sonorous figure than usual as Superintendent Budd'

Der Rosenkavalier‚ English National Opera
Guardian (September 1999)

'...the blundering Baron Ochs‚ sung in a hugely entertaining performance by Stephen Richardson'

Boris Godunov
The Daily Telegraph (January 1997)

'Then followed the coronation from Boris distinguished by the superbly thickly russian commanding Tsar of Stephen Richardson'