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Concert Reviews

Concert with Juan Diego Florez and Baden-Baden Philharmonie at the Alte Oper in Frankfurt

December, 2022

Read full review at Merker Online here (German), excerpt below:

"Nicht nur vortrefflich untermalt wurde der Sänger von der Philharmonie Baden-Baden sondern der vortrefflich akkurat aufspielende Klangkörper glänzte in prächtiger Instrumental-Disposition unter der temperamentvollen  Stabführung von Christopher Franklin solistisch mit der Ouvertüre zu „La Cenerentola“, spritzig wie Champagner erklangen die Ouvertüren zu „Don Pasquale“ und elegant mit Esprit „Un giorno di regno“ und leiteten so zu zwei Arien aus Werken von Giuseppe Verdi über….”

Symphonic Concert with the Orchestra of the Arena in Verona

November, 2022

Read the full review in GB Opera Magazine (Italian), excerpt below:

"Tutte caratteristiche ben evidenziate da Christopher Franklin la cui lettura tesa alla ricerca di suggestioni sonore ha avuto una piena risposta dall’orchestra della fondazione, sempre attenta e simbioticamente unita al gesto del maestro per un risultato davvero mirabile…."

Adler Fellows Concert with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra

“Helping things along was the superb musical leadership of conductor Christopher Franklin, an American working in Europe who debuted with the company last year in Puccini’s Turandot.  The conducting for these events can sometimes be faceless at best, but Franklin established his presence out of the gate leading the Opera Orchestra in a magnificent reading of the ouverture to Verdi’s Un Giorno di Regno, and made vivid contributions to the proceedings throughout.  Let’s hope we get to hear more from him…” — Joshua Kosman in SF Gate, December 2019

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Festspielhaus, Philharmonie Baden-Baden

"...the orchestra from Baden Baden, under the precise conducting of american conductor Christopher Franklin…drove the concert forward, and left us with some of the most memorable moments in the concert."
- Michael Schmittt, Schwartzwalder Bote, November 2013

"...the Baden Baden Philharmonic proved itself to be an excellent Belcanto orchestra....conductor Christopher Franklin animated the musicians to precision and energetic interpretations.....the famed Rossini- crescendo was most clearly evident in the jubilant Cenerentola ouverture.."
- Nike Luber, BTage, November 2013

"...the Baden Baden Philharmonic led with passion by Christopher Franklin, charmed with the vivacity of each execution...throughout the strings, each stand elicited a notable energy, well-balanced between the various sections....we particularly cherished the Overture to Semiramide, brilliantly the end of the concert, only one encore was presented, but a very long and beautiful scene...the final trio from Le Comte Ory....full of delectable humour, lightness and sensuality, clearly enjoyed by the thunderous applause at the end of the evening..."
- Catherine Jordy,, November 2013

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Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Paris

"...accompanying tenor Juan Diego Florez was Christopher Franklin at the helm of the Deutsche Kammerakademie. He does so with extreme attention to the needs of his soloist, but bringing out the exuberant spirit in his orchestral pieces - especially in the Ouverture to Zampa by Ferdinand Herold - showing him to be a conductor of fiery temperament..."
- Alessandro Mormile, Operaclick, March 2013

" the head of an ensemble full of rich colors- the strings especially- Christopher Franklin gave us a precise direction, at ease among the multiple styles of the many composers offered. Much appreciated was the original choice of his orchestral pieces - notably the Zampa ouverture by Herold..."
- Christian Peter, Forum Opera

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Debut Concertgebouw Amsterdam

"The singers were supported excellently by the young American conductor Christopher Franklin and a fluidly playing Gelders Orkest."
- Thiemo Wind, Telegraaf, 22 May 2015

"Conductor Christopher Franklin gently brought out the finer nuances from the Gelders Orkest, resulting in a celebration that ended only after a generous amount of encores were performed."
* * * * * (5 out of 5 stars)
- Biëlla Luttmer, De Volkskrant, 22 May 2015

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Sydney Symphony Orchestra

"Christopher Franklin was an effective, tastefully flamboyant maestro for an orchestra which needed little encouragement, particularly in the boisterous moments- trumpet melody in the Tchaikovsky. There was also plenty of subtlety, especially in the delicate accompaniments and interwoven string and wind solos…showed off the orchestra’s great agility and color in this most romantic of repertoire."
- Sydney Morning Herald, 18 March 2003

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Filarmonica Toscanini, Parma

"... Much applause for the conductor Christopher Franklin, who opened the program with the Overture from Freischutz, and closed with Schumann's Fourth Symphony... Franklin demonstrated a tight control of symphonic form, with much attention to detail, but without losing sight of the overall architechture of the work...with sweeping gestures, and precise cues to his forces, he was able to dig deep to evoke the Dionysian fervor that governs the Weber ouverture, and to master the complexity of thought and form, which Schumann develops in a long, single arch of this grand symphony. Lengthy and heartfelt applause after the Schumann... "
- Gazzetta di Parma, 14 March 2010

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Sinfonieorchester Theater St. Gallen (Switzerland)

"...Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra...executed with a rich-textured overall Gesamtklang. Christopher Franklin demonstrated an admirable control over Bartok’s large orchestration- here encouraging his musicians to an overwhelming interpretation- especially during the fast presto blur of sound in the Finale. This was a thoroughly thought-out interpretation on the part of this dynamic young conductor, and a challenge successfully overcome on the part of the orchestra."
- St. Galler Nachrichten, 13 January 2005

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Concert Tours with Juan Diego Flórez

Wolfsburger Theater

"Stilsicher begleitete ihn die NDR-Radiophilharmonie unter Christopher Franklin, die nicht nur klar und präzise die „Zauberflöten“-
Ouvertüre auffächerte, sondern auch die farbenprächtigen Ballettsätze aus Gounods „Faust“ temperamentvoll hinlegte. Und auch keine Berührungsängste mit dem perkussionsgesättigten Tschingderassabum in Géronimo Giménez’ Zarzuela-Intermedio
hatte. In Wolfsburgs feierlichem Haus feierte man eine eindrucksvolle Star-Gala."
- Andreas Berger, Wolfsburger Nachrichten, 15 Februar 2016

Vienna, Konzerthaus

"... on the bill were highlights from Bellini, Rossini, and Donizetti, as well as two delightful excerpts from Spanish Zarzuelas...accompanied in great style by Christopher Franklin at the helm of the Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz. No less than four difficult Ouvertures preceeded each of the arias in question….in these orchestral masterpieces, Franklin drew the maximum in precision and rhythmic vitality… added bonus to a much-praised evening!"
- Gerhard Kramer, Wiener Zeitung, 2 December 2008

Paris, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées

"... The Symphony Orchestra of Navarra, conducted by Christopher Franklin, was especially effective, not only in their orchestral excerpts, but also accompanying the various arias. In particular...the ouverture from Rossini’s Turco in Italia, was executed in a technically and musically irreproachable manner..."
- Gerard Mannoni,, 24 November 2008

Baden-Baden, Festspielhaus

"... at the helm of this Gala evening was the singer-friendly conductor Christopher Franklin, who is still fresh in our memory from his several recent "Rossini in Wildbad" productions here in Germany. Not only was he an attentive partner for Mr. Florez, but showed himself a master in his own right with wonderful readings of ouvertures by Bellini, Rossini, and Donizetti"
- Thomas Weiss, Pforzheimer Zeitung, 1 December 2008

"...under the direction of conductor Christopher Franklin, this Gala evening in the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden was surely a highlight of this season….much applauded by the public were the various Ouvertures, which gave the Staatsphilharmonie under the masterful direction of Franklin, the opportunity to portray the spirit and atmosphere of each work."
- Claus-Dieter Hanauer, 30 November 2008

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra / Cadogan Hall, London

"... Florez was accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Christopher Franklin. There was an obvious rapport between singer and conductor. Nowhere was this more noticeable than during the encores, when the orchestra gave no opportunity for the singer to break into Lara's Granada, and a good-humoured Florez feigned surprise when he was finally given the cue for his vocals..."
- Kevin Brown, The Independent, 9 October 2007

Pamplona, Teatro Baluarte

"...Florez was accompanied by Christopher Franklin, who left a most positive impression…he played several Rossini overtures, where he showed a perfect understanding of the music and also a very good Pas de Six (Guillaume Tell). The Orchestra de Navarra showed once again that they are comfortable and familiar with stage and pit..."
- José M. Irurun/ Musicweb International Worldwide Concert and Opera Reviews

Miami, Carneval Center

"...Flórez's bel canto program, backed by conductor Christopher Franklin and Orchestra Miami, drew much material from his prime repertoire of Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti...Franklin elicited alert, rhythmically incisive playing from Orchestra Miami….the young conductor was clearly trying to keep the orchestra down when supporting his star soloist but drew playing of more dramatic weight and punch in various preludes and overtures by Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti..."
- Lawrence A. Johnson, The Miami Herald, 18 October 2007

"...Miami’s Carnival Center celebrated its first anniversary in a grand manner on October 17...the main event was a spectacular concert by Juan Diego Florez...Christopher Franklin, a gifted American conductor with a strong European operatic resume, offered skillfully gauged accompaniments and had Orchestra Miami (an ensemble of former Florida Philharmonic players and University of Miami Frost School of Music faculty members) stepping light and lively in a series of overtures by Rossini and Bellini. Fine wind articulation in the Overture to La Cenerentola and incisive strings in the Sinfonia from Norma were particularly distinguished."
- Lawrence Budmen

"Florez, considered by the late Luciano Pavarotti as his successor, was accompanied on his performance by the Miami Orchestra, conducted by Christopher Franklin ….an amicable rapport between conductor and singer left room for jokes between them, as would be seen in one of the encores .... The orchestral pieces taken from various operas… were well received by the public . Among these especially the ouverture to The Barber of Seville .... A wonderful evening."
- Daniel Fernandez, El Nuevo Herald, 19 October 2007

"...Florez was accompanied by Orchestra Miami, conducted in great style by young Christopher Franklin, in the beginnings of a brilliant carrier. He executed several ouvertures from the operas La Cenerentola, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Norma and La Favorite. His conducting style and manner is delightful, but also passionate in the appropriate musical moments..."
- Ariel Remos, Diario Las Americas, 19 October 2007

Frankfurt, Alte Oper

"...the SWR-Sinfonieorchester...under the direction of Christopher Franklin, surprised with ouvertures by Mozart, Rossini, and Donizetti...the young American maestro drew enticing details and brilliant playing.."
- Frankfurter Rundschau, 17 October 2005