(La Nueva España, Feb 7th, 2011)
However, it was remarkable, and one more proof for the quality of this performance, that the musical miscast of the true leading part was not exaggeratedly disturbing. This might, among other reasons, probably and above all be due to the extraordinarily subtle presentation of Verdi’s opus rich in melodies, and to the elaborate instrumentation by the orchestra of the Vienna State Opera. Contrary to initial worries about a possibly brutal sound volume, knowing that the orchestra pit is traditionally placed in a high position, and that most performances of “Macbeth” are characterized by martial eruptions of sound, one could enjoy from the first note on a dynamic tour de force of the musicians, guided by the attentive hands of Guillermo García Calvo. The music flowed so smoothly and delicately, revealing almost every single nuance of the score, in a way rarely heard at Verdi premieres at the Vienna State Opera during the last two decades. Even under the direction of more prominent names, hyped or not. The atmosphere was dominated by cohesion and interpenetration, and interplay of triumphing and softening, as if everyone knew about the importance of this evening. Apart from one single moment of slight imprecision, due to the exuberant motivation or maybe to an irritation caused by the tenor, this premiere was characterized by a well-studied choir (by Thomas Lang) and pure splendour emanating from the orchestra pit.
(Opernglas, „Macbeth“, Wiener Staatsoper, 07.12.2009)
Guillermo García Calvo conducts firmly and dynamically at the same time. He is an attentive accompanist to the singers, a precise guide to the orchestra of the Deutsche Oper. Without exception, he manages Rossini’s musical winks with excellence, and to say the least, there are quite a lot of them. Also, the choir of this German opera house leaves a long lasting excellent impression under his conducting.
(Berliner Morgenpost, „La Cenerentola“, Deutsche Oper Berlin, 20.05.2009)
Guillermo García Calvo conducted the orchestra of the Vienna State Opera exhibiting an exemplary manner of conducting, vitality and good taste while respecting the dancers’ needs.
(Kronen Zeitung, „Coppélia“, Wiener Staatsoper, 31.10.2007)
The young Spanish conductor Guillermo García Calvo surprised in his debut. He revealed a profound knowledge of the two works performed, firm control over the orchestra and a lucid interpretation of every score. A discovery.
(La Nueva España, Teatro Campoamor de Oviedo, 17.08.2006)
Guillermo García Calvo’s direction of the OSPA started impeccably, maybe a bit moderate in the dynamics, to turn out sublime. Variety of elastic and contrasted tempi, fluidity and mobility even in the slower parts, and an exquisite colour, standing out above all the soloist parts of the English horn and of the woodwinds in general, in the third act.
(El Comercio Digital, 29.01.2011)
This was achieved in the last “Tristan” in Oviedo, with an outstanding Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias, devoted to the drama, always “in crescendo”, with a brilliant section of woodwind players. At the conductor’s stand, Guillermo García Calvo submerged himself in the score in a masterly manner, taking the orchestra to paroxysm, using the “tempi” to create sonorous spaces, with density and intensity of sound, always well balanced and moderate.
(La Nueva España, 29.01.2011)
Leaving the staging aside, the production offered a luxurious lyrical cast and Guillermo García Calvo at the conductor’s stand, a young 32-year-old native from Madrid who conducted this work for the first time and gave a true lesson in how to conduct one of the most complex operas of the German Romantic period. He was the main reason for the success of this performance that captivated the audience in spite of the somewhat unfortunate staging. The result is a great musical version of this Wagner classic which largely surpasses the success of the previous Tristan [performed in Oviedo in 2007]. From the beginning on there was no doubt about who held the reins in this production when García Calvo, just before the first note and against the usual habits, paused on the rostrum and took his time to wait for the silence and atmosphere necessary to begin the performance. That was a gesture of authority and character which not only created an intense expectation among the public, but also clearly emphasized the general atmosphere of an evening full of seriousness, clear criteria and a profound style. His version was full of exquisite nuances which he unfolded within a rich range of dynamics that, nevertheless, could have offered more contrast and sound volume. In only 6 orchestra rehearsals García Calvo profoundly changed the sound of the Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias, which reached a great artistic level.
(La Voz de Asturias, Jan 29th, 2011)
The marvellous moment came about with the long ‘Adagio’, interpreted by the strings of the Orquesta Filarmónica de Málaga under concert master Andrea Sestakova with grace, perfect balance and a warm sound. Emotion and passion, intensive moments that gently died away. Seconds of silence in the hall – silence, too, is music – before a thunderous applause, spontaneously and sincerely, spreads among the audience. Finally, success without reservation.
(Diario SUR / Teatro Cervantes, 03.12.2010)
García Calvo offers a versatile and thought-out version of the score, without the least damage to the romantic intensity and extreme sensitivity that Mahler’s composition exhales. A concert that can only be described as extraordinary.
(Málaga Hoy / Teatro Cervantes, 03. 12. 2010)
Having seen the BOHÈME yesterday one cannot but wonder: How is this world class quality possible? A cheering crowd and frenetic applause for an extraordinary orchestra and an ensemble of soloists second to none. […] Naturally, the Essen Philharmonic Orchestra once again took a great part in the success of this fantastic evening. The conduction by the extraordinary Spanish conductor Guillermo García Calvo made the orchestra pit unfold a Puccini in a way that is seldom heard and is said to be interpreted only by Italians: full of power, phrasing and exuberant colours with all its proper rubato, the latter being the key to the audience’s heart. Italianità as if performed by the Academia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome itself.
(Der Neue Merker, “La Bohème”, Aalto Theater Essen, 05.11.2010)
Surprising passion emanated from the orchestra pit which usually does not attract much attention during ballet performances: with flexibility and verve, the young conductor Guillermo García Calvo conducted “Onegin” for the first time at the Vienna State Opera.
(Wiener Zeitung, „Onegin“, Wiener Staatsoper, 13.09.2010)
The Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera is conducted by Guillermo García Calvo, a great conductor for ballet performances who makes the Tchaikovsky melodies oscillate between dark melancholy and floating lightness.
(www.tanz.at, „Onegin“, Wiener Staatsoper, 13.09.2010)
One has to say that the most positive aspect of this evening was the Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera conducted by Guillermo García Calvo. Nothing sounded banal or trivial. One perceived a refined way of making music. This was an inspired and soulful interpretation of an opera so frequently performed, and so it was the best of the whole performance.
(Der Neue Merker, „La Traviata“, Wiener Staatsoper, 26.05.2010)
Cutting like knives, then darkly shining like velvet and breathing, this is how the orchestra of the Vienna State Opera sounded during the overture conducted by the young “in-house” conductor Guillermo García Calvo. He accentuated the dark colours and sharp attacks, conferring apparently harmless details in a latently vibrant shade. Sharp like knives and exciting was the fugato guided by the trumpet in the final battle scene.
(Neues Deutschland, „Macbeth“, Wiener Staatsoper, 16.12.2009)
Conductor Guillermo García Calvo and the brilliant orchestra of the Vienna State Opera enthused by their dramatic explosiveness, virtuosic predilection for details and instrumental colourfulness. García Calvo’s motivating energy made the ballet fans submerge in a stimulating and fascinating bath of alternating emotions. This is exactly how all ballet performances should be!
(Kronen Zeitung, „Schwanensee“, Wiener Staatsoper, 26.10.2009)
With the Spanish conductor Guillermo García Calvo the orchestra of the Vienna State Opera is guided by a ballet conductor who knows, in contrast to many of his predecessors, how to stimulate the musicians and make them play with passion. The audience cannot but rejoice in such a bright and dynamic way of music making.
(Kronen Zeitung, „Mayerling“, Wiener Staatsoper, 25.09.2009)
Conductor Guillermo García Calvo conducted with great success and knowledge. He literally had the best hand for Mozart and conducted the highly dedicated orchestra of the Vienna State Opera with sovereignty. Altogether, they provided the ideal fundament for the performance.
(Der Neue Merker, „Die Zauberflöte“, Wiener Staatsoper, 11.09.2009)
When the orchestra plays the first piano notes under the brilliant and precise conducting of Guillermo García Calvo, it then throws itself at those incredibly long crescendi that make you long for a climax. However you hope at the same time it will not yet arrive, as every note sounds transparent and perfectly edged. When has the orchestra of the Deutsche Oper, the winds above all, ever been heard play so marvellously? Pure energy expands from the pit to the audience.
(Neues Deutschland, „La Cenerentola“, Deutsche Oper Berlin, 20.05.2009)
Such moments also need to be highlighted on a musical level. The 31-year-old Spanish conductor Guillermo García Calvo, who was engaged at short notice, not only dominates the musical dramaturgy, but also the orchestra of the Deutsche Oper impressively well. His Rossini sounds light, bright and yet never rigid; his rhythm is precise and impetuous. He sovereignly contrasts pushing and slowing parts, such as the beginning of the sextet just mentioned.
(Berliner Zeitung, „La Cenerentola“, Deutsche Oper Berlin, 20.05.2009)
The dramatic power of the Nutcracker series just started at the Vienna State Opera originates in the orchestra pit, where Guillermo García Calvo conducts Tchaikovsky with interest in suspense, nuances and interpretation. This is not always the case when it comes to ballet performances.
(Kurier, „Der Nussknacker“, Wiener Staatsoper, 23.12.2008)