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Paul Carey Jones - Reviews

Wotan - Die Walküre (Wagner)

"If Act One was absorbing, Act Two was in another league from the word go, thanks to the biting clarity and acting chops of a couple of gods in Paul Carey Jones (Wotan) and Madeleine Shaw (Fricka). This was singing of the highest quality, from the pinpoint accuracy of their intonation to the power and glory of their vocal projection. I could have listened to them all night - and in the case of Carey Jones I practically did, such is the size of his role in this second Ring opera. In less powerful hands his lengthy recap from Das Rheingold can easily sag, but here it became a spellbinding piece of storytelling. The Welsh bass-baritone made clear at every turn that this is Wotan's tragedy above all: a tale of sacrifice born of hubris." - Mark Valencia, Bachtrack
"Here was powerful stuff from a remarkably fine cast of singers brave enough to take the risk of an intense run of performances... The Welsh-Irish bass-baritone's prowess as a Wagner singer has been much heralded. With a sound beefy enough to feel perfectly secure, his intelligent focus on the contradictions implicit in Wotan's character held the attention fast. His Wotan was tyrannical and yet also vulnerable, susceptible to sharp attacks of some unidentified pain of the kind the god is more used to visiting on others. This precarious balance fed into the final scene with Brünnhilde to give the sense of a slightly different, more honest, conciliation between father and daughter, accepting that some things cannot be easily resolved." - Rian Evans, Opera 
"A powerful electricity runs through the evening... Paul Carey Jones is a deeply multi-faceted Wotan who, with his smooth and secure bass-baritone, can reveal real anger but also the sense of world-weariness that runs through the chief god during the opera." - Sam Smith, Music OMH

Scarpia - Tosca (Puccini)

"Scarpia's stand-off with Tosca in Act 2 was one of the most thrilling I have ever encountered in the theatre, thanks to the brilliant psychological acting and splendid singing of Paul Carey Jones' terrifying Scarpia and Giselle Allen's vulnerable yet passionate Tosca... I don't think I've ever been quite as shocked by (Scarpia's death) scene before, and it was done with such conviction that the audience gasped. Carey Jones was perhaps the bigger surprise... the vindictiveness and vocal bite of his Scarpia... secure through all the registers without a hint of wobble. Like many stage psychopaths he smiled a lot, to devastating effect - after the horror of Cavaradossi's torture, his 'La povera mia cena fu interrotta' was chilling in its amiable matter-of-factness.... Great stuff." - Hugh Canning, Opera

"This was a Scarpia for our times, brought to life by Paul Carey Jones with imposing singing and stage presence" - Mark Ronan

"a study in unrestrained menace, cold, icy, vocally unhistrionic - and pretty scarifying" - Opera Today

"This was one of those Toscas in which the villain stole the show. Paul Carey Jones' assumption of the evil Baron Scarpia was reserved rather than overt in the sense of threat he generated. Jones portrayed a man absolutely sure in his use and abuse of power... And his singing was equally sure and communicative, every word conveyed with absolute and often chilling conviction." - The Irish Times

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Wotan - Das Rheingold (Wagner)

"A masterclass in characterisation. His focus never slipped and even when silent he filled every second of Wotan’s stage time with action, reaction and reflection. Who needs surtitles when you can follow the whole plot by watching Wotan’s face? Carey Jones's powerful, grand-operatic voice was everything the role requires" - Bachtrack

 

"Paul Carey Jones’s Wotan is even grander, a huge voice and a commanding, wily presence that you could imagine would take no prisoners in a production with full orchestra." - Classical Source

"Even in this form, the opera remains a big sing, and Paul Carey Jones’s Wotan, cleanly sung and boldly acted, holds everything together." - London Evening Standard

"Das Rheingold was far more rewarding, thanks to Peter Selwyn’s impressive choice of soloists, notably Paul Carey Jones’s nobly sung Wotan, whetting the appetite for his Longborough Ring." - The Sunday Times

"Many of the Rheingold team are already far along the Wagnerian road. Paul Carey Jones, bursting and rigid with cold self-regard, vocally magisterial as Wotan, a Wagner prize winner in 2013. Look out for his forthcoming Wotan at Longborough." - The Observer

 

"Paul Carey Jones will be playing Wotan in the full version of the Ring at Longborough, and on this showing I can't wait to see him in the role. This was a wonderfully complete portrayal of Wotan as egomaniac, truly self-absorbed in his vision. Carey Jones found an inner strength in his voice, and in Wotan's great pronouncements were wonderfully magisterial, yet there was also a sense of his delusion and separation from the realities of what was going on around him. Carey Jones paced himself very well indeed, so that the final 'Folge mir, Frau!' was thrillingly done" - Opera Today

"Seth Carico sang crisply, counterpointing the unashamed expansiveness of Paul Carey Jones'  smooth, alpha-male Wotan. The substantial vocal performances of the entire cast were complemented by detailed physical characterizations that never missed a beat." - Opera

"I have known for some years that Paul Carey Jones is the next big thing in British Wotans, but even so I could not have expected him to be as good as this. He slipped into the role as effortlessly and perfectly as though he'd been playing it all his life, singing with wonderful freedom and authority, bringing out the god's petty vanity and arrogance and foreshadowing his future tragedy. The audience didn't need to be told that he ruled the world: we knew. My mouth waters at the prospect of seeing him in Longborough's newly developing cycle." - Wagner News

Photo: Ali Wright

Dr Schön / Jack the Ripper - Lulu (Berg)

"Una menzione a parte meritano lo straordinario Paul Carey Jones, che da voce e corpo prima ad un Dr Schön sprezzante e disperato, poi ad un gelido Jack the Ripper" - Opera Click

"Ein ausgezeichneter Dr Schön (und dann Jack the Ripper) war Paul Carey Jones mit prägnanter Gestaltung und Stimme." - Der Opernfreund

"(his) performance was a tour de force on all counts. His voice is relatively slim but has such focus and blade that it can slice through anything, and his physical presence invested the character with a lithe menace" - What's On Stage

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David / L'amico Fritz (Mascagni)

"Paul Carey Jones sings the go-between Rabbi David with such firm, Italianate tone and seamless phrasing that I would like to hear him as Verdi's Iago or Falstaff, as much as the big Wagner roles he now sings." - Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times

"Vividly sung and cleverly acted, there's a fine character study from Paul Carey Jones as the benign Rabbi David" - George Hall, The Stage

"Arguably the most rounded character is the genial David, brought to life by Paul Carey Jones with thunderous vocals, affable humour and authentic-looking rabbinical beard." - Neil Fisher, The Times

"Bass-baritone Paul Carey Jones can usually be relied upon to bring a blend of vocal and theatrical excellence; here he seemed to have a terrific time as Rabbi David, bouncing across the stage and barely able to conceal his glee as he trolled his bachelor friend. Carey Jones has a robust and dominating instrument, but it was sensitively deployed and there was a strong sense of singing from the text which rounded his performance." - Dominic Lowe, Bachtrack

"(Rabbi David) is sympathetically and jovially portrayed, engineering the couple's union, and resonantly sung by Paul Carey Jones; no wonder this is Longborough's Wotan of choice." - David Nice, The Arts Desk

OHP Manon Production Shots - Ali Wright-

Lescaut - Manon Lescaut (Puccini)

"Top of the tree for focused characterisation is Paul Carey Jones as Manon's brother: hideously shifty, but sterling fun with his piercing tones and flouncy gestures." - The Times

"Paul Carey Jones as Lescaut sang and acted with flair and theatrical command" - Opera

©Kevin Clifford

Elisha - The Burning Boy (Stephen McNeff - world premiere)

"...the commanding central figure was a seasoned pro, Paul Carey Jones, magnificently sonorous and giving a masterclass in diction as the conflicted Elisha." - Richard Morrison, The Times

Prometheus Symphony (Stuart MacRae - world premiere)

"MacRae's astonishing Prometheus Symphony was a nervy, dramatic exploration of the Greek myth in almost a sequence of semi-operatic scenas, sung with brilliant conviction by Jennifer France and Paul Carey Jones." - The Daily Telegraph

"...excellent singing from the glittering soprano of Jennifer France and Paul Carey Jones' warmly involving baritone" - The Times

"A powerful and muscular work, scored for full orchestra and two soloists (dazzling soprano Jennifer France and magisterial baritone Paul Carey Jones)" - The Scotsman
 

Wotan - Die Walküre (Wagner)

"His magnificent ebony baritone filled the hall, yet he could fine it down to a breathtaking pianissimo... His use of the text was exemplary, and his intense exploration of the tragic god's predicament was deeply moving... The power he radiated was simply amazing. This could become a very great Wotan indeed." - Wagner News

"Leading the way was Paul Carey Jones, a wonderfully authoritative Wotan, and it was his exchanges with Brünnhilde and Fricka that were key to the evening's success" - The Courier

Noye - Noye's Fludde (Britten - Chinese premiere)

"At the heart of the performance was the quietly dignified Noye of Paul Carey Jones... His unwaveringly steady, oaky baritone anchored the production musically, his lingeringly grateful, skyward glances as he lightly held a budding sapling in his fingers at the opera's conclusion providing its most moving moment" - Opera

Dancing Williams - Under Milk Wood  (John Metcalf - world premiere)

"...it was Paul Carey Jones whose flair with the words shone out, along with his impressive range of baritone colour" - Opera

Peter (Father) - Hänsel und Gretel (Humperdinck)

"Paul Carey Jones' Father - a big, bold voice with a performance to match - couldn't be faulted" - Opera

"(he) owned the stage... lively, sparky, and filling the theatre with no-nonsense power... a joy to listen to" - Opera Britannia

Kothner - Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Wagner)

"Paul Carey Jones was a superb Kothner, a fusion of strict assertiveness as the newest mastersinger on the block and of sudden deference to his seniors, expressed in a vocalism which has all the purity and strength of phosphor-bronze." - Wagner News

Pacheco - Ines de Castro (James Macmillan)

"Paul Carey Jones is superb as the puffed-up functionary Pacheco, adviser to the king and hater of all things Spanish... It is in the second act in which the production flexes its emotional muscles... Carey Jones displays eye-watering brutality when Pacheco explains his reasons for hating Ines" - The Stage

"the evil Pacheco, superbly characterised by Paul Carey Jones" - The Times

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