Gilbert & Cellier: The Mountebanks, Dutton Epoch CD & SACD (2018) 

“…it is a pleasure to have this rarity so skilfully done. John Andrews shows himself once again the ideal Savoy conductor, directing with a light hand that conjures affectionate results from his BBC forces – not least in the Suite Symphonique, a delectable bonne bouche.” Opera Magazine

“Andrews is a seasoned enthusiast for this lightweight, charming score, as he was in Sullivan’s incidental music to Macbeth and The Tempest for the same label, and the cast is ideal… Delicious!” (Hugh Canning, Sunday Times – Disc of the Week)

Fireworks curtain call
Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor, 2017

John Andrews, jeune mais accoutumé du bel canto, dirige l’orchestre avec une intelligence manifeste et insuffle à ce dernier une remarquable texture. Il prend garde à ne pas recouvrir le chant, dissémine avec minutie ses effets rythmiques et ses traits solistes. Emergent du tout une ligne de hautbois, une harpe en grande forme, des pizzicati savamment disséminés. C’est, à proprement parler, un sans-faute. Bachtrack

Sullivan: Incidental Music to ‘The Tempest’ and ‘Macbeth’, BBC Concert Orchestra, BBC Singers, Mary Bevan, Fflur Wyn (Dutton Epoch)

In his melodic inspiration and sense of atmosphere, Sullivan here shows himself easily the equal of all but the greatest of his continental contemporaries…The BBC Concert Orchestra play with warmth and style, the BBC Singers go at it with spirit and Mary Bevan makes an enchanting Ariel. John Andrews does an excellent job of integrating the orchestra with Simon Callow’s spoken chunks of Shakespeare. Gramophone

This receives a lovely performance from John Andrews and the BBC Concert Orchestra with Andrews bringing out the fine-grained Mendelssohnian cast of Sullivan’s music. They shape each of the movements into a beautiful miniature. The prelude to Act Two, with its two harps, is just one example. Robert Hughill

The Spirit of Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Nights Dream hovers over Arthur Sullivan’s Shakespeare scores… the music is pure delight. Mary Bevan’s Ariel beguiles the Ear (Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times)

Donizetti: Pia de’ Tolomei, English Touring Opera, 2016

In the context it’s hard to imagine how these performances could have been bettered…Who says you need to be at a major opera house to hear singing of this quality?… John Andrews, conducting, swept the whole thing forwards in big, powerful paragraphs, relishing Donizetti’s sombre colours and releasing a raw power that I hadn’t realised the ETO Chorus possessed… If you love bel canto, you should definitely see it. If you don’t, the same applies.
The Arts Desk

John Andrews had a genius for injecting Donizetti’s primary-colour harmonies and melodies with the sort of visceral passion and rhythmic bite that convinced you of the music’s worth, and the orchestra responded with a full range of tints and attitude.

Donizetti screws the tension higher and higher all night, using brazen martial marches and occasional sour harmonies to contrast with soaring ideas of love and duty, which are picked out beautifully by the orchestra, conducted with energy and care by John Andrews.

Andrews built to climaxes in both Acts very effectively, and picked out the more astringent harmonic moments of the score. His players were on good form; there was some fine playing from the two horns, in particular, and the strings took as much care with the repetitive pizzicato accompaniments as they did with the moments of impassioned lyricism. Opera Today

Under John Andrews the orchestra provided just the right combination of character and support. This was a swift, intense and rather dark account of the score but the swiftness did not preclude flexibility or a suppleness of line.

Marvellous stuff, the very soul of Italian opera in the 1830s, sung here in glorious bel canto style by the beautiful Elena Xanthoudakis as Pia … Grant Doyle … and the strongly lyrical tenor of Luciano Botelho … headed a cast of exceptional vocal talent that brought the drama very much to life under the excellent baton of John Andrews. Mark Ronan

James Conway’s production conveys the narrative effectively, while conductor John Andrews maintains momentum throughout what is an increasingly exciting evening. The Guardian

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Mozart: Don Giovanni, English Touring Opera, 2016

“Conductor John Andrews kept it racing along, finding the light, shade and sexiness of Mozart’s score (I’ve never heard an orchestra sound quite so hot-to-trot in Zerlina’s Batti, batti)…” The Birmingham Post

This production is an absolute delight. The cast is flawless, the music wonderful and the setting effective and appropriate… The small orchestra conducted by John Andrews does justice to Mozart’s irresistible music, and the performance is greatly enhanced by the rich tone of the ensemble and choral passages… Don Giovanni enthralled the Sheffield audience and will, I’m sure, delight audiences wherever it is performed. British Theatre Guide

 Sullivan: The Mikado, Co-Opera

It became clear from John Andrews’s sparkling conducting of the overture that we were … in for a musical treat … Unmodified rapture from start to finish. Hugh Canning, Opera

Handel: Tolomeo, English Touring Opera

John Andrews conducted with precision, but also with admirable, rare flexibility, and carried his singers with him… Michael Tanner, The Spectator

The band played with unfailing vigour under… John Andrews, and the audience was most enthusiastic. This is ETO at its best. Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph

Robinson Crusoe, Opera della Luna, Iford

[John Andrews’] conducting had both elan and sensitivity… Rodney Milnes, Opera

Delius, Parry, Warlock and Alwyn, English Symphony Orchestra, English Music Festival

At the final concert the following night Delius’s Seven Danish Songs … were sung with generous ardour by Elena Xanthoudakis, deftly accompanied by the English String Orchestra. They also performed a work by Prince Charles’s favourite composer, Hubert Parry: his rarely heard Symphony No 3, “The English”…. it was cheerfully and enthusiastically played, with a string of big tunes pouring out like a genially puffing locomotive. At the end, the tremendous young conductor, John Andrews, wiped his brow as if he’d just completed a first run through of Götterdämmerung. Prince Charles would have adored it. Fiona Maddocks, The Observer


Mozart: Der Shauspieldirektor/Leoncavallo: Pagliacci, Stanley Hall Opera

…the double bill got off to a sparkling start, with a presto overture full of grace, colour and accomplished, disciplined playing under the baton of John Andrews… the eighteen strong Stanley Hall orchestra played their socks off, excelling in the big melodramatic moments with clean articulation, some great brass and woodwind playing, and a sense of forward momentum that was entirely apt for the piece. Mike Reynolds,

Puccini: La Bohème, Opéra de Baugé

La partition est dirigée avec fougue par John K. Andrews, très jeune chef régulièrement invité à Baugé dont le premier des exploits est de mettre en valeur une formation d’une trentaine de musiciens qui exécutent la musique de Puccini avec la ferveur d’un grand orchestre.
The score was directed with passion by JKA, a regular young guest conductor at Baugé, who trained the 30 musicians to play Puccini’s music with the fervour of a large orchestra.
Catherine Jordy,

Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin, Stanley Hall Opera

The intimate textures that Andrews produced with his band of 18 instruments…fitted nicely with Tchaikovsky’s conception of something of modest scale. This was exactly the right nature of sound for the ineffable wistfulness of those first bars. And there were other good things too in Andrews’ brisk but elegant reading: the chattery quartet at the beginning of Act I came across more cleanly than I’ve heard it, with an easy and clear conversational style among singers and players that extended into the scenes of the couples together, the winding lines of string and woodwind beautifully articulated…working together in a matey kind of way. Robert Thicknesse, Opera Now

Mozart: Don Giovanni, English Touring Opera

The opera is musically one of Mozart’s best and the orchestra under the direction of John Andrews impressed, from the overture onwards with crisp, incisive playing. Eric Dare, This is Cornwall

Opera Now – Who’s hot

John Andrews marshaled his orchestra brilliantly (and they all spoke highly of him, pretty rare) in the company’s Don Pasquale, vivacious, idiomatic to a very unexpected degree and completely unpanicked by hair-raisingly tight schedules.