November 26, 2018

RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Dublin National Concert Hall

“Intense and exhilarating [Tchaikovsky Symphony no. 5]”
“One of the things that most impressed me about tonight’s performance was Stutzmann’s dignified restraint of Tchaikovsky’s dynamic excess. Not every fortissimo needed to be hammered out as if it were the climax. Instead Stutzmann shaped each one lovingly, on the principal that less is indeed more.
Stutzmann had the recurring fate-motif firmly in mind in her approach to [Tchaikovsky’s] Symphony no. 5 in E minor as if it cast a shadow over the other glorious melodies of the first movement. Her majestic control of the dynamics meant that the outbursts, when they did occur, gained in effectiveness. The brass was most impressive here providing fiery eruptions. There was a richness to the strings, particularly the cellos that throbbed with sensual passion in the second movement as the music soared gloriously between D major and B minor.
After the drama of the first two movements, we could relax with the third movement waltz with some elegant violins and not a little coquettish charm. In the finale, Stutzmann kept a tight rein on the tension, letting the excitement build inexorably before allowing it to blaze forth in all its glory. It was a truly memorable concert and one which the audience voraciously enjoyed.”

July 5 & 9, 2018

Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France, Chorégies d'Orange / Boito's Mefistofele

“The real “master” of the evening is none other than Nathalie Stutzmann, at the head of a Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra literally carried away by the engagement of her spirited, precise, sensitive and contrasting direction. The contralto (she still sings) who became a conductor with the creation of her orchestra Orfeo 55, also has a beautiful gesture combining flexibility, power and amplitude. Undoubtedly the best asset of this evening which brought the audience to the brink of ovation, reinforcing Jean-Louis Grinda in the legitimacy of his challenge.”
Le Monde

“The revelation of the evening is without any doubt the direction of Nathalie Stutzmann, whom we saw conducting for the first time. (…) the conductor has it all: an appreciable technique in a work where it is necessary to coordinate a Wagnerian orchestra, considerable choirs and fanfares behind the scenes, a fluid and flexible gesture, a true lyricism.”
Le Figaro

“The greatest pleasure of this evening came from the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra, beautifully directed by Nathalie Stutzmann. For her debut in Orange, where the acoustic conditions are not very comfortable, the contralto and conductor became the high priestess of lyric art, maintaining with flexibility the balances between the imposing choral and orchestral masses, working each painting as a masterpiece, carving the details, making sure to accompany the singers by highlighting them (extraordinary love duet of Lontano, lontano by Faust and Marguerite, with voices like jewels set in a luxurious orchestral setting).”

“Successful gamble also for Nathalie Stutzmann (…). At the head of a ductile and disciplined Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra, the contralto who has become conductor mastered all the components of a complex, even heterogeneous score, marked by the influence of composers as different as Verdi, Wagner and Meyerbeer, but especially extraordinarily innovative, announcing the evolution of the Italian opera until the first decades of the twentieth century. And yet, conducting Mefistofele at the Théâtre Antique, with its huge choral forces spread on the vast stage, has nothing of a sinecure!”
Opéra Magazine

“But as we are handing out laurels, let’s wring a crown for Nathalie Stutzmann, whose musical direction has raised enthusiasm. Not a single moment does she relaxe the line of her journey: everything is firm and clear and finds an adequate answer in the musicians’ playing. Not a single nuance has escaped her reading, and the orchestra restores them, revealing Boito as a witness of his time, from Berlioz to Rossini, and forerunner of number of Italians, from Puccini to Mascagni. The sound can become dense, it does not stop being transparent, and crowds of details seize the audience while the movement carries us away. Between finesse and energy, the direction of Nathalie Stutzmann, fruit of a mature meditation and of a deep understanding of the issues, is a work of art!”
Forum Opéra

“But all this is energized, projected, deployed by the superlative direction of Nathalie Stutzmann, at the head of a Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra at its best, and of the combined choirs of the Operas of Avignon, Nice and Monte Carlo. Knowing how to vary the registers, exalt the colors, breathe with singers and choirs but also to use a palette of nuances continually rewoven, she gives to hear the continuity of a work yet often fragmented and releases a permanent agogic which brings to life the score: great art!”
Opéra Online

“Such a work also imposes a gigantic orchestral work where the conductor must have both the meaning of the great fresco, the continuity of the subject, the legibility of the moods of the protagonists while revealing the countless inventions of tones of a score swarming with imagination and ensuring the inexorable dramatic progression of incredible crescendo. This is the whole quality of the enormous work of Nathalie Stutzmann, a remarkable conductor we have known as a wonderful contralto. Her performance will remain the great discovery of this memorable show.”
Le Soir

“In front of such a musical colossus (a hundred or so instrumentalists of the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra in the pit and some backstage, as well as about the same number of choristers on stage), the meticulous direction of Nathalie Stutzmann is a real exploit. Jean-Louis Grinda entrusted her for the first time with the direction of an opera at Monte Carlo (L’Elisir d’Amore); she has now become the first woman to conduct at the Chorégies. Firmness and clarity are the key words of this thorough reading, lively and strong, never devoid of dramatic and lyrical contrasts, as of density and transparency to defend at best this single musical attempt to render the two Faust of Goethe (…)”

“Nathalie Stutzmann, at the helm of the Radio France Philharmonic, is the woman for the job, ensuring the best possible coordination between pit and stage, very precise on small instrumental details and able to release all the power of the orchestra in the more majestic parts.”
Scènes Magazine

“Nathalie Stutzmann directed the orchestra with a firm hand; she accompanied the choruses with a solemn and energetic attitude; gave indications to the soloists with precise movements, but also let herself be carried away by the lyricism. The volume, the intensity and also the strength of the sound of the orchestra always won – or almost – the famous mistral wind that, although it did not blow with great violence this evening, was still present at times.”
Opera Actual

“It was the first time that Nathalie Stutzmann conducted this major score and the result could not have been better. She masterfully directed the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra with a hundred musicians in the pit and trumpets offstage, in addition to the 150 singers of four choirs, one of them being composed of children. With her precise and sure gesture she managed to extract from the orchestra all the beauty of the score. She was undoubtedly the winner of the night. This was acknowledged by the audience who gave her the biggest applause.”
El Periodico

April 11, 2018

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Preston Guild Hall

“A Glowing Range of Orchestral Colours from Stutzmann and RLPO
With the brass in striking form Stutzmann and her players provided a sense of dark foreboding in a rousing performance [of Verdi’s overture from the opera The Force of Destiny] which felt uncommonly stormy and quite ferocious at times. (…) Stutzmann’s experience in singing Wagner and recently conducting Tannhauser showed as she assuredly conducted the Prelude and Liebestod drawing as much passion and sheer drama as she was able from the players who responded quite magnificently. (…) After the interval Stutzmann conducted Brahms’ Symphony No.2 (…). This was an impressively coherent if standard account in which Stutzmann unmistakably lavished considerable care and attention. The results were fresh and invigorating, strongly evocative of rustic Alpine scenes. Convincingly the playing had a heartfelt glow resulting in a performance that felt delightful and uplifting. It would be remiss not to highlight the glowing range of orchestral colours that the players produced.”
Seen and Heard International