Reviews of the best Proms so far: An Excellent Shakespeare Prom
John Allison, The Telegraph, 14 August 2016
The second of this summer's "Proms at …" events, taking the series away from Kensington and matching a handful of significant London buildings to music, alighted at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare's Globe. Featuring the ensemble Arcangelo directed by Jonathan Cohen, this programme of Restoration music worked ideally in the intimate, candlelit space, even if this turned out to be a Shakespeare-themed Prom without much real Shakespeare.
John Blow's Venus and Adonis fitted in tangentially, making it into the programme both on account of being the first surviving English opera (1683) and for sharing its title with Shakespeare's risque poem. Such music as the duet "Adonis will not hunt today", sung here by the freshly glinting soprano of Katherine Watson and warmly resonant baritone of Callum Thorpe, is very sensuous for its time.
"...Katherine Watson, previously deployed to tempt silently the singers in the “‘Celia” duet, now unleashed her pellucid tones as Venus, capturing the playfulness of the goddess and colouring her voice with a pleasing coquettishness, which blended well with Thorpe’s incisive bass...."
Dominic Lowe, Bachtrack, 14th August 2016
dir. Jonathan Cohen
Purcell, Blow, Locke and Draghi
Katherine Watson, soprano
Samuel Boden, tenor
Callum Thorpe, bass