Coraline reviews - Britten Sinfonia

Coraline reviews

Reviews from Coraline, a new opera adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s book with music by Mark-Anthony Turnage:


"It helps that the score is given with such audible conviction by Britten Sinfonia, increasingly familiar in the opera-pit, and is conducted by Sian Edwards with an appropriate amalgam of incisiveness and dramatic focus."


"opera’s job should be to entertain while addressing the big questions, and Coraline is exactly the kind of show that I’m thrilled to see the Royal Opera producing."


"With a splendid cast such as this – all fine actors as well as fine singers, an ensemble in the very best sense – combined with a fine orchestra and conductor, musical magic will nearly always have opportunity to emerge"

Broadway World

" Sian Edwards' conducting of the Britten Sinfonia is a set of punchy and delicate starts, ends and pauses."

Classical Source

"Sian Edwards directs an energetic Britten Sinfonia, relishing idiosyncratic combinations of trumpet and pizzicatos, with lovely low resonances of viola and bassoon, creating a sinister undertone, which presages events.

Evening Standard

"Britten Sinfonia conducted by Sian Edwards, bubbles away attractively while the vocal lines are engaging and communicative"

Financial Times

"Sian Edwards gets sparkling playing from the Britten Sinfonia and Aletta Collins, the director, has delivered on all the story’s creepy special effects."

The Guardian

"Sian Edwards, meanwhile, conducts the Britten Sinfonia with considerable panache."

The Independent

"The score – given a lovingly detailed reading by the Britten Sinfonia under Sian Edwards’s direction – is full of quirky pleasures: the organum duets for the Thesps, the spooky close-harmony music for the Ghost Children, and the scintillating orchestration for the mice."

London Box Office

"Sian Edwards, conducting the excellent Britten Sinfonia, has a real understanding of this composer's work and teases out all the beauty and the beast in the score."

The Prickle

"To achieve such richness musically with so little speaks volumes to the players and conductor Sian Edwards."

The Observer

"Turnage’s score, for 16 players, coloured by piano, celeste, harp, vibraphone and marimba, emphasised jazzy rhythms, snatched melody and waltz. Short vocal lines were picked up by orchestral response. In the absence of arias or ensembles (amplified offstage voices aside), this created an easy-to-follow musical coherence."

The Stage

"With the Britten Sinfonia in the pit, Sian Edwards conducts a clean and confident performance of a piece that has a good deal going for it, especially in a production as skilful as this one."


"Turnage’s chamber-sized score (Sian Edwards conducted the Britten Sinfonia) is unexpectedly subdued, tending towards cor anglais-tinted lyricism over quietly bustling rhythms, with occasional, improbable flashes of colour"

The Sunday Times

"Directed by Aletta Collins, with a vivid, rotating domestic-interior set by Giles Cadle, and conjuring tricks under the aegis of actual magicians (Richard Wiseman, David Britland), the two-act, two-hour show is admirably contrived and appeared to hold the attention of all around me."

The Telegraph

"the narrative and its personnel present a golden opportunity for music of vivid colours and rich atmosphere."

The Times

"The Chamber scoring,, pungently delivered by 16 musicians from Britten Sinfonia and incisively conducted by Sian Edwards, certainly helps the audibility of Rory Mullarkey's libretto."


"As a sung through piece it creates a heightened and surreal quality that is directly complimentary to this extraordinary story."

What's On Stage

"Delightful passages of aerated orchestration were perfectly rendered by conductor Sian Edwards and 16 virtuosi from the Britten Sinfonia"