OPERA

selection of press & reviews

ROSSINI Otello

Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona


“A Splendid Concert Version of Rossini’s Rarely Performed Otello”
“The musical direction was in the hands of Christopher Franklin, who offered a compelling reading of the opera. He’s a conductor who is very familiar with Rossini, and he showed a great knowledge of this score. His reading was attentive to the orchestra and to the singers, whom he supported with great care. The orchestra performed well, as did the chorus.”
– Seen and Heard International, 9 February 2016

“Allen ein wohlgesonnener Begleiter ist Christopher Franklin. Nicht nur seine wilde Mähne scheint er mit Gel geglättet zu haben, sondern auch sein Dirigat. Frisch und lebhaft im Tempo, nuancenreich im Volumen klebt er den Sängern an den Fersen. Besonders gelungen bleiben die intimen Momente der solistischen Begleitung durch Harfe oder Horn. So gelingt ein packender, musikalisch berückend schöner Abend, der in keinster Weise in der Spannung die szenische Inszenierung vermissen lässt. Einmal mehr zeigt das zu Unrecht in Vergessenheit geratene Werk Rossinis seine kompositorische Qualität. Das Publikum bringt offenherzig seine Begeisterung zum Ausdruck und applaudiert laut und eifrig.”
– Opernnetz, 6 Februar 2016

“La dirección musical ha estado en manos del americano Christopher Franklin, que nos ha ofrecido una convincente lectura de la obra de Rossini. Estamos ante un director muy familiarizado con el compositor de Pésaro y que demostrado un gran conocimiento de la partitura que ahora nos ocupa. Su lectura ha sido buena, muy atento a la orquesta y también a los cantantes, a los que ha apoyado siempre con mucho mimo. Ya desde la obertura las cosas rodaron de manera plenamente satisfactoria y todo funcionó bien. La prestación de laOrquesta Sinfónica del Liceu fue buena, si obviamos las pifias de algunos instrumentos de viento. El Coro del Liceu estuvo bien, aunque eché en falta mayor consistencia en las voces graves.”
– Beckmesser.com, Febrero 2016


OFFENBACH Les contes d’Hoffmann

Piacenza / Modena / Reggio Emilia


“…ma la proposta vale, e l’esecuzione…non fa una grinza. Christopher Franklin…ha concertato con acume, cercando colori levigati e una nitidezza aspra che appagano la raffinata e sarcastica scrittura d’autore…”
– Angelo Foletto, La Repubblica

“…conductor Christopher Franklin, at the helm of the Orchestra Regionale dell’Emilia Romagna, gave us a reading full of brilliant colors, energy, which gave unity and coherence to the evenings performance…”
– Patrizia Monteverdi, Operaclick

“…bravissimo il Maestro Christopher Franklin che ha condotto con maestria l’orchestra regionale dell’Emilia Romagna riuscendo a fondere insieme il suono con le voci sulla palcoscenico…”
– Patrizia Zamboni, Liberta’, 19 January 2015

“…lode anche, ed incondizionata, all’ottima Orchestra Regionale dell’Emilia Romagna che ha trovato nel direttore Christopher Franklin una bacchetta ispirata e sicura, nel garantire un ottimo rapport buca-palcoscenico, con dinamiche misurate ad ottenere sempre il perfetto sostegno alle voci che sono corse sempre in vanti e senza probelmi…straordinario pure il ritmo incalzante e sostenuto nel procedure teatrale, apprezzato specie nell’atto di Antonia, quello piu drammatico. Nostalgico e ed evocante, pero’ nei brani piu lirici e soave, la barcarola tra gli altri…”
– Horacio Castiglione, Operaworld, January 2015


MOZART Die Zauberflöte

Teatro Lirico di Cagliari


“The Mozart of conductor Christopher Franklin, well accompanied by orchestra and chorus of the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari, is decidedly dynamic….Franklin, a Mozart specialist, who returns to Cagliari after the successful Cosi fan tutte of last year, is clearly at ease balancing the various elements of this multi-faceted score to underly the drama….clearly able to caibrate the various styles of this work- popular Lied, strains of opera buffa, hints of opera seria and viennese singspiel…as well as tragedie lyrique of the Marsch der Priester. Fluid and fleet also his ouverture, considered an instrumental synthesis of the entire opera…where Franklin played with the contrapuntal structure of this piece, without losing sight of the fantastical nature of the orchestration….after this auspicious start, the american conductor favoured brisk tempi and brilliant sonorities…..a vital contribution fo the success of the evening…”
– GB Opera, June 2014


VERDI Rigoletto

Boston Lyric Opera


“Christopher Franklin, making his BLO debut, conducted the orchestra in a sparkling account of Verdi’s dramatic score. Franklin led with fleet tempi, but took time to carefully sculpt the phrases for the opera’s arias and duets.”
– Boston Classical Review, 15 March 2014

“…down in the pit, guest conductor Christopher Franklin knew how to draw the passionate lustre from Verdi’s famous score…inspiring the chorus to give Verdi’s masculine anthems a muscular thrust…”
– The Hub Review, 20 March 2014

“…Christopher Franklin played the ouverture slowly and deliberately, holding back until the cymbal crash announced the start of the melodrama….throughout he was always attentive to the happenings on stage- accomodating the needs of his singers….an auspicious company debut.”
– March 2015


MOZART Così fan tutte

Teatro Lirico di Cagliari


“…on the podium was Christopher Franklin, who from the opening chords of the ouverture underlined the natural and transparent lightness that is Mozart’s style…keeping the drama flowing…particular attention was paid by this American conductor to the narrative of the recitativi, authentic backbone of Mozart’s operas, and of special strategic import to the complex plot of Cosi fan tutte. Franklin proved himself to be precise and reactive, in his element in this 18th century repertoire…marshalling the forces of Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari, here in fine form….in the various ensemble numbers and concertati finales, which represent the impeccable geometric mecchanism of Mozart, is where the careful musical preparation and direction of Franklin bear their fruit…”
– Myriam Quaquero, GB Opera, October 2013

“…at the final curtain of Cosi fan tutte, as part of the 2013 Liric Season at the Teatro Comunale di Cagliari…the audience delivered especially intense applause for conductor Christopher Franklin…who maintained fresh pacing and conducted with youthful brio throughout the evening.”
– Unionesarda, 19 October 2013


Teatro Regio di Torino

“…from the very first notes of the ouverture one felt the drive of conductor Christopher Franklin, who brought a fresh sparkle to the score, especially drawing out brilliant solo playing in the winds; the whole orchestra took possission of that lightness and trasparency which is so inherent in Mozart’s style, and has been sadly lacking in recent memory…”
– Giorgio Pestelli, La Stampa, Torino, 12 April 2012

“…in the pit Christopher Franklin embodied the essense of musicality and precision….clearly at home in this 18th century repertoire, able to realize the effervescient transparence of this elegant score, full of bubbling melodies like water from a spring, clearly followed by the Orchestra of the Teatro Regio, here in rare form. Franklin- convinced us from the first notes of the ouverture- also knew how to engage his singers during the recitatives (which is quite rare), to keep the performance flowing with enticing rhythm.”
– Attilio Piovano, Il Corriere Musicale, 16 April 2012

“…the young American conductor Christopher Franklin conducted with a keen theatrical instinct, opting for sustained pacing and brilliant sonorities, but without sacrificing the relishing of cantabile moments, for example the intimate orchestral palette of the Act 2 Duet “Fra gli amplessi in pochi istanti”…”
– Giordano Cavagnino, Operaclick, 15 April 2012


Teatro Piccolo – Accademia alla Scala di Milano

“… the conducting of Christopher Franklin was in perfect harmony with the music of Mozart- Franklin was able to find that special graceful touch which solves the difficult balances in this sublime score….a conductor of great class also for the way in which he accompanied his singers, here also aided by the Orchestra and Chorus of the Accademia della Scala….a special Mozart in honor of Strehler’s last staging…and also an occasion to hear music-making of high caliber…”
– Il Cittadino, 20 December 2007

“…the score is full of freshness- here fully realized by the young forces in orchestra and chorus, and from the podium, led energetically by conductor Christopher Franklin…a success for Milano…”
– Avvenire, 15 December 2007

“…orchestra and chorus conducted by Christopher Franklin….breathed life into this production, creating emotive tension….fresh tempi and original phrasing turned this opera into a thoroughly modern work…”
– Aprile Online, 17 December 2007


Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova

“…the decision to entrust the musical direction of this production of Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte to the american conductor Christopher Franklin this was a fortunate one, especially seeing the particular nature of this piece…..this young conductor, in perfect harmony with his orchestra, knew exactly how to translate this enigmatic work into an essential and balance performance.”
– Il Secolo XIX, 14 November 2005

“…musically a satisfying production, due to the precise and particularly brisk execution of Christopher Franklin, who did a great service to Mozart thanks also to the orchestra… together they gave us moments of intense and sensitive musicality.”
– Il Giornale Genova, 15 November 2005

“….of the operas presented this fall in the Mozart-da Ponte trilogy, Cosi fan tutte convinced us the most, thanks to the presence on the podium of Christopher Franklin, a young conductor already of indisputable artistic personality; his reading was pleasingly organic and controlled, and always in good balance with the action on stage.”
– La Repubblica, 17 November 2005


Minnesota Opera

“…Conductor Christopher Franklin led a shrewdly paced reading of the score, probing emotional depths while encouraging excellent articulation from the orchestra and a strong sense of ensemble from everyone involved, which is the main clue to success in this opera…”
M. Anthony, MinnPost.com, 27 September 2011

“…making light work of the work’s challenges…conductor Christopher Franklin melds romantic expressivity with elements of period style. Orchestra ensemble is tight, even in the breathless finale of Act 1…”
Attilio Piovano, Il Corriere Musicale, 16 April 2012

“…the young American conductor Christopher Franklin conducted with a keen theatrical instinct, opting for sustained pacing and brilliant sonorities, but without sacrificing the relishing of cantabile moments, for example the intimate orchestral palette of the Act 2 Duet “Fra gli amplessi in pochi istanti”…”
L. Fuchsberg, Minnesota Star Tribune, 26 September 2011


THOMAS Hamlet

Minnesota Opera


“…conductor Christopher Franklin and the Minnesota Opera orchestra make a convincing case…with a performance as deeply involving as the rest of this immaginative production…”
– Ron Hubbard, Pioneer Press, 3 March 2013


DOUGLAS J. CUOMO Doubt (world première)

Minnesota Opera


“…Christopher Franklin conducted, drawing excellent performances from the orchestra and the choruses of parishioners and children.”
– James R.Oestreich, New York Times, 3 February 2013

“…conductor Christopher Franklin maintains the evenings theatrical momentum and brings out the subleties of Mr. Cuomo’s restrained orchestration”
– Heidi Waleson, Wall Street Journal, 29 January 2013

“…conductor Christopher Franklin and the Minnesota Opera Orchestra do an outstanding job with Cuomo’s complex music…”
– Ron Hubbard, Pioneer Press, 27 January 2013

“…conductor Christopher Franklin leads the orchestra in a persuasive account of the score…making for a gripping 2 1/2 hours of theater…”
– Mike Silverman, Huffington Post, 27 January 2013


ROSSINI La Cenerentola

Minnesota Opera


“As for the orchestra, the musicians played beautifully Saturday night under the direction of Christopher Franklin, who easily captured Rossini’s special ebullience. The woodwind solos were especially well-shaped.”
– Michael Anthony, Minnesota Post, 1 November 2010

“Conducted by Christopher Franklin, Rossini’s playful score is rousing and rambunctious, a spiraling tribute to the hysterically harried comedy.”
– Brad Richason, Examiner, 1 November 2010


LEHÁR The Merry Widow

Teatro San Carlo di Napoli


“…in tune with this ‘mediterranean’ Lehar production at the Teatro San Carlo di Napoli, was the conductor Christopher Franklin- he was in his element in the exhuberant orchestral moments, and provided a sensuous phrasing, accompanying the captivating melodies and timbres of this refined score…”
– Giovanni Carli Ballola, Il Mattino, 16 May 2010


Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova

“…Conductor Christopher Franklin realized this splendid score with refined elegance, not only in the many orchestral moments, but also in accompanying his singers…”
– La Repubblica, 4 December 2009

“…Bravo Christopher Franklin, leading the Orchestra of the Teatro Carlo Felice with strong orchestral interludes, and refined musical moments…”
– Il Giornale Genova, 1 December 2009

“… of special interest in this production was the musical preparation by conductor Christopher Franklin…”
– Michelangelo Zurletti, La Repubblica, National Edition, 5 December 2009


BRITTEN Death in Venice

Teatro de Belles Artes-Mexico City


“… the musical direction of this new production of Death in Venice, was entrusted to the young north American Christopher Franklin, who drew a precice, irreproachable, yet deeply colourful performance from the orchestra pit…”
– Vladimiro Rivas Iturralde, Milenio Online, 7 July 2009

“… to start with is to be praised the intense rehearsal work realized by the conductor Christopher Franklin…”
– Lázaro Azar Boldo, Reforma.com, 7 July 2009

“…the Chorus and Orchestra of the Palacio de Bellas Artes, prepared and conducted here by the North American maestro Christopher Franklin- an extreme and irreproachable effort, this being the premiere of this opera here…”
– Rogelio Macías Sánchez, Algo de música, 6 July 2009


CHABRIER Une éducation manquée

ROSSINI La cambiale di matrimonio

Wexford Festival


“… Relishing their respective mercurial natures, Christopher Franklin conducts both with engaging momentum in streams of stylish phrasing…”
– Pat O’Kelly, Irish Independent, 24 October 2009

“… The main pleasure in both pieces was Christopher Franklin’s stylish relaxed conducting…”
– Tom Sutcliffe, The Spectator, 28 October 2009


VERDI Atilla

Lima, Peru


“… the conducting of Christopher Franklin was impeccable, exhibiting great command over his forces in obtaining a perfect balance between stage and pit, with a unity of sound…”
– José Quezada, El Comercio, 27 April 2009


ROSSINI La gazetta

Wildbad Festival


“…the orchestra sounded like a renewed ensemble….before them stood Christopher Franklin, who delivered an intensely concentrated musical execution….very compact and precise, and full of wit…”
– Opernwelt, September/October 2007

“… Franklin had much empathy for the impulsively romantic communicative qualities of Rossini’s music…..precision and passion became a musical revelation.”
– Opernnetz.de, 25 July 2007

“… this production brought out the many-textured flavors and culinary delights in Rossini’s art…the musical performance, led by conductor Christopher Franklin at the rostrum of the Czech Chamber Soloists Brno, was an animated sweep of musical fireworks, celebrating this little performed belcanto gem…”
– Pforzheimer Zeitung, 16 July 2007


BRITTEN Billy Budd

Teatro Regio di Torino


“…Britten’s masterpiece received an exemplary musical reading on the part of the young conductor Christopher Franklin… from the podium he was able to underline the many ambivalances in this complex score, especially in the winds and brass….Franklin gave us a moment of pure emotion during Billy’s “berceuse”….the flute and melancholy strings achieving a heart-wrenching climax, releaved only by the serenity of the aria which follows…”
– Operaclick, 18 November 2004

“…leading the Orchestra of the Teatro Regio di Torino, which played with beautiful sound and extreme concentration, the sensitive baton of the young American Christopher Franklin, always attentive to the balance between stage and pit, achieving perfect equilibrium in the many transparent harmonies and suggestive passages of the score, presenting a myriad of colors of caleidoscopic effect. At the end of the evening there was a rousing ovation, unheard of for an opening night at our Teatro Regio in Torino, but merited for a production which demonstrated how even with cutbacks one can obtain first rate results.”
– L’Opera, December 2004


VERDI Falstaff

Fondazione Pergolesi-Spontin-Jesi, Treviso, Fermo


“…the Filarmonica Marchigiana under the experienced baton of the young maestro Christopher Franklin rendered justice to this colorful yet thorny score of Verdi’s last opera…”
– Corriere Adriatico, 15 October 2005

“…the musical side of this production was a revelation, under the direction of the young american conductor Christopher Franklin, who underlined the rich Verdian phrasing with sure yet supple gestures…a tense and dynamic reading, without obscuring the more tender moments between the young lovers Nannetta and Fenton, a beam of hope in the otherwise cynical atmosphere which pervades this final masterpiece of Verdi.”
– L’Opera, November 2005


J.S. MAYR L’amor coniugale

Rossini in Wildbad Festival


“…conductor Christopher Franklin, together with his musicians of the Wurttembergischen Philharmonie was able to cut to the heart of this work- at times soft and lyrical, abruptly forceful and dramatic.…all in harmony between stage and pit….also the recitatives were well prepared…”
– Oberbadisches Volksblatt, 19 July 2004

“Conductor Christopher Franklin succeeds with dynamic charisma, to charm the technically adept and sensitive musicians of the Wurttemberg Philharmonie Reutlingen, to bring to life this long-neglected masterpiece of Johann Simon Mayr.”
– Kreisnachrichten Calw, 19 July 2004

“…yesterday evening on the podium stood a conductor, who allowed himself to be swept away by the music and to likewise infect the Wurttemberg Philharmonie Reutlingen to deliver a lively and masterful execution, underlining this curious stylistic blending in Mayr’s music of the German and Italian classical tradition …this proved to be a worthwhile musical excavation of a long neglected score, at a high artistic level, unanimously applauded by the grateful audience…”
– Der Neuer Merer-Redaktion Stuttgart, 30 July 2004

“Mayr’s music is an expressive and eminently dramatic stage work… in Wildbad their Qualitates come through under optimal direction of the young conductor Christopher Franklin.”
– Stuttgarter Zeitung, 23 July 2004

“Christopher Franklin is an eloquent advocate for Mayr’s moving music…between sentiment and drama. He highlights the dynamic contrasts, carves out rhythmic finesse, and keeps the tempi light and fleeting…”
– Festival Report 2004

“…overwhelming applause for the whole cast, above all for the conductor Christopher Franklin…from the podium of the Wurtembergischen Philharmonie was able to breathe life into this ensemble, and let this rarely heard music bloom.”
– Sudkurier Konstanz, 22 July 2004

UPCOMING ENGAGEMENTS

In the coming season Mr. Franklin returns to Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro in a Gala concert featuring Juan Diego Florez, several soloists from this year’s festival and the Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro Comunale di Bologna; he will conduct the opening concerts in the Cesky Krumlow Festival in the Czech Republic with the Prague Radio Orchestra, concerts with Pretty Yende in Prague and Vienna, and symphonic concerts and a new production of Tristan und Isolde at the Teatro Verdi di Trieste. Other upcoming opera engagements include a new production of Il turco in Italia in the Lombardy Theatres and The Turn of the Screw at the Palau de les Arts in Valencia.