Billy Budd

Phelan’s staging, on Leslie Travers’ clever two-level set that is as much decaying building as late 18th century man-o-war, brilliantly conveys the pecking order on the quarter-deck as well as the cramped conditions of the men, and the superb chorus is kept very busy all night.

– Keith Bruce, The Herald, Scotland ★★★★★

 

It’s impressive to behold, both realistic and fantastical, with curved surfaces sweeping down onto the stage and crooked edges creating ominous shadows. Seriously, kudos to Set and Costume Designer, Leslie Travers, he outdid himself here.

– Ali Turner, The Leeds List

 

The Marraige of Figaro, Opera North

The net result is a Figaro of exceptional ensemble, rich in charm, humour and vitality: beautifully sung, sensitively staged. For pure enjoyment, what more can opera offer?

– Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph ★★★★★

 

The Marriage of Figaro, Opera Philadelphia/Lyric Opera of Kansas City

With an innovative creative team and agile, legitimately funny cast, this production, directed by Stephen Lawless, meshed an 18th-century aesthetic with modern sensibilities, delivered with excellent staging, a natural flow to the action, and some stunning visual effects. Comedic capers and innuendo, too, were handled well, though there was far more spanking than would otherwise be anticipated. Laughter, even guffaws, rippling through the audience with frequency.

 

Major kudos go to Leslie Travers, whose richly detailed, character-defining costume designs were sumptuous, his regal set design crafty and versatile.

– Libby Hanssen, The Kansas City Star

 

Rebecca, Kneehigh

The real star of the show is Leslie Travers’ design, offering a space where house and beach meet and where past, present and future coil around each other like the smoke that eventually engulfs the house. Rice uses the space brilliantly, offering an image of Rebecca like a drowned mermaid, and turning Manderley into a rocky obstacle course and a place where the louche and the elegant, popular culture and snobbery, freedom and imprisonment, all co-exist.

– Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

 

Leslie Travers’s extraordinary set expresses a world where nothing is quite what it seems.

– Dominic Cavendish, The Telegraph

 

I Puritani, Welsh National Opera

The scene goes from austere meeting hall to dark interior space and back; both are full of shadows, portending a shocking final twist.

– Steph Powers, The Independent ★★★★★

 

Designer Leslie Travers has also done an excellent job. At one point the walls literally close in on Elvira, suggesting the feeling of claustrophobia that is often a part of madness.

– Peter Collins, Wales Online ★★★★★

 

Elvira, much earlier in proceedings than Bellini or Pepoli envisaged, is prone to psychotic episodes. And she’s stopped taking her tablets, so by the time designer Leslie Travers unleashes his brilliantly simple coup de théâtre she’s in a bit of a state.

 

As a company achievement I Puritani will take some beating.

– Mark Valencia, Whats On Stage ★★★★★

 

Salome, Santa Fe Opera

Set in the early 20th century, the production is a headily, effectively Freudian take on the piece. Several scenes suggest spaces in the mind, like becca cistern, here a creepily arid, crumbling attic where he sits at a table, scribbling.

 

Here was opera with vividness equal to the stunning landscape surrounding it.

– Zachary Wolfe, New York Times