September 11-29, 2022

Orchestre symphonique de La Monnaie, Bruxelles La Monnaie De Munt / Tchaikovsky's Pikovaya Dama

“The amazingly clear and rigorous work of Nathalie Stutzmann expresses here all its value. Because beyond the (initially somewhat difficult) implacable ordering of the action, it literally explodes in the emotion her orchestra gives off, bringing an irrepressible experience to the protagonists’ emotions. A fascination that culminates sumptuously in the huge final crescendo. To be able to say so much in so little time and after so much action in the preceding hours is a prodigy.”
Le Soir

“The musical direction of Nathalie Stutzmann is superb. Paying close attention to the singers – and for good reason -, she does not forget to make the colors of the orchestration be heard, with notably very beautiful woodwinds that she ideally highlights. Intimate scenes and crowd scenes are treated with the same care, and the action is carried out without dead time.”
La Libre

“Masterful Stutzmann
The great organizer of this perfect musical success is none other than Nathalie Stutzmann. The French contralto now a conductor delivers a dazzling performance at the head of the house orchestra, a brilliant accomplice of this captivating music. This is probably the least we can say as the composer, an outstanding symphonist, has given the orchestra a role as an actor in its own right.
Nonetheless, it took all the mastery of Nathalie Stutzmann to sublimate such a rich and complex score, which the many breaks in rhythm could almost make messy. She manages these three hours of dramatic progression with breathtaking precision, until the final scene, when the elastic band, finally, breaks. Masterful.”

“The French conductor Nathalie Stutzmann makes a dazzling debut at La Monnaie in Brussels in a musically meticulously crafted “Queen of Spades”.
Nathalie Stutzmann combines lightness and depth, dramatizes the instrumental solos, plays with the Mozartian pastiche of the second act, and draws a wide variety of colors and shades from the orchestra. We take our hats off all the more low that the director has complicated his task, by installing on stage a pianist who sometimes plays arrangements not planned by Tchaikovsky.”

“Nathalie Stutzmann electrifies The Queen of Spades
Nathalie Stutzmann shapes a sound of irresistible power, stirs up storms, blows over the three acts the great wind of passions that the staging strives to extinguish. This is undoubtedly the absolute victory of the evening – and a new step in the rise of a conductor that nothing seems to stop.”

“As the perfectionist [Nathalie Stutzmann] stands dancing and laughing on her less-than-square-metre seat, she draws new sounds from the orchestra pit that we have not heard in De Munt for a long time. Including the warm woody sounds peculiar to the Russian repertoire.”

“Under conductor Nathalie Stutzmann (formerly a singer), a chamber-musical finesse curls up from the pit that regularly gives you a thrill; the strings sing and lament. The fatal bedroom scene is orchestrated by the contrast between a mechanical rhythm and a graceful melody. Also perfect: the coordination with the great singing choir. Even the most daring accelerations remain spectacular; an unprecedented treat. Especially for choir and orchestra, this Pique Dame is worth a trip to Brussels.”

“We can only say good things about the musical part, starting with the thorough and energetic (…) direction of Nathalie Stutzmann, a strong conductor who easily dominates a score of great richness and knows how to motivate an orchestra and choirs that constantly give the best of themselves.”

“Highly anticipated, Nathalie Stutzmann’s conducting debut at La Monnaie doesn’t disappoint. From the prelude, she imposes flawless sound control, holding very firmly the reins of an orchestra that deploys a depth worthy of the greatest phalanxes. The scenes linked to the fantastic element are the most striking, but everything should be mentioned, as well as the individualities of the Orchestre symphonique de La Monnaie, which confirms that it is in very good shape for its 250th anniversary.”
Forum Opéra

“The score (and its execution here) presents an extreme richness and sharp contrasts, offering the orchestra a remarkable brilliance and an almost breathing musical line. Each character corresponds to the tempo of a pulsating orchestral force, rhythms and sound colors offering themselves with great accuracy. The formidable musical direction of Nathalie Stutzmann marks each “leitmotif”, punctuating and renewing the score with an ample and supple breath, in a sound interlocking like Russian dolls.”

“French conductor Nathalie Stutzmann performs miracles at the head of a lush La Monnaie Symphony Orchestra, confirming – after her brilliant Tannhaüser at the Monte-Carlo Opera – that her conversion from singer to conductor is more than successful! And the work recovers, thanks to her, its true format: an enormous breath in the dramatic passages, which never find the strings or the low brass of the Belgian phalanx short of resources. But also, in the scene of the death of the Countess, chamber music subtleties, and the enhancement of a modernity of writing already announcing future Stravinskian experiments.”
Opéra Online

“But above all we must underline the incredible quality of Nathalie Stutzmann’s conducting, which is as flexible in terms of agogics as it is highly nuanced in its expressive palette. The French conductor holds her stage with an iron fist while leading the symphony orchestra and the Monnaie chorus in great shape with flexibility, diligence and firmness. Her meticulous work looks both to the past, with the neo-classical, French or Mozartian reminiscences of the score, projected in full light, and mixes in a more raw light on the almost “folklorising” Russian contributions of the score, notably during the scene in the sheepfold. But Nathalie Stutzmann also underlines the modernity of Tchaikovsky’s expressive discoveries, sometimes bitterly dissonant or of an indissoluble darkness, among others in the last two scenes – and notably during Lisa’s suicide – here rendered with a blinding expressionism reminiscent of the most radical (and forthcoming) pages of Sibelius (one thinks of nothing less than Tapiola!). Just for this lesson of style and conducting, this show, which may not quite win its bet, is well worth seeing!”

“But there is Nathalie Stutzmann…
…at the head of the Orchestre symphonique de La Monnaie. Certainly, in the overture, the conducting is intense, even nervous, and one senses a risk in treating Tchaikovsky’s music with a certain grandiloquence, an impression amplified by the excellent acoustics of the theatre. But where Marton has denied them, Stutzmann will reinstill contrasts, those nuances that we miss. She knows how to reduce the orchestra to its minimum or to make it burst forth in the most violent moments. In this respect, the end of Act III, when Hermann and Lisa confront each other while the Countess’s corpse lies (and rises…), is a unique, exacerbated moment, in which the conductor and the orchestra give eruptive colours that announce the dramas to come. The chorus, for its part, moulds itself perfectly into these musical atmospheres shaped by Stutzmann.”

July 15, 2022

The Philadelphia Orchestra, Bravo Vail Festival

“Deluge be damned, Stutzmann turned in one of the most honestly moving Tchaikovsky Sixths that I have heard.”
The New York Times

May 27, 2022

San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Davies Symphony Hall

“A dazzling debut with the San Francisco Symphony
(…) the French artist infused everything she touched with a thrilling combination of emotional intimacy and dramatic power. (…) Melodies emerged in a gently sinuous ripple; rhythms landed with crisp but easy precision. Everything was shaped with an eye to both large-scale formal dimensions and the most intimately drawn detail. It was a splendid display of artistry (…) leaving the audience with a sense of eager anticipation for her quick return.”
San Francisco Chronicle

January 27, 2022

London Symphony Orchestra, London Barbican Centre

“Stutzmann’s conducting is fascinating. As a singer she thinks in long musical phrases and of controlling the breath accordingly and this is replicated in her conducting style – her left hand is extraordinarily expressive in its indications of dynamic precision and minute changes of pace. The Ravel was full of airy textures and all the Baroque and Classical allusions were deftly coloured in by the players.
The same was true of the Tchaikovsky, taken at a brisk lick throughout, with a refreshing lack of over-romanticisation and great subtlety at times. Stunning playing by all the principals. It felt like viewing a beloved painting after a very thorough and precise renovation process – familiar and yet with colours seemingly intensified – and therein lay the emotion.”
Classical Source