Valéry Ryvkin, Conductor
Selected Review Excerpts

Opera News
“Santa Barbara Music Director Valery Ryvkin conducted with a superior ear for balances.”
(Séance on a Wet Afternoon - WORLD PREMIERE, Opera Santa Barbara)
“Conductor Valéry Ryvkin proved an inspired interpreter, conveying the melodic sweetness and innocence in the score and obtaining first-class playing from the excellent Sarasota Opera Orchestra.”
(Hansel & Gretel, Sarasota Opera)
“For Sarasota’s first performance, apparently the U.S. premiere, Valéry Ryvkin paced the score with wit, verve and colloquial nuance.”
(May Night, Sarasota Opera)
“Gately’s innovations were largely subtle and sure, complimenting the equally assured conducting of Valéry Ryvkin.”
(La Traviata, Greensboro Opera)
“Some credit for this must go to the conductor, Valéry Ryvkin, who never let the pace slacken and extracted fine playing from the Greensboro Symphony.”
(Madama Butterfly, Greensboro Opera)
Los Angeles Times
“In the orchestra pit, company conductor (and Music Director) Valery Ryvkin kept a steady, sturdy hand…Valéry Rykin, Opera Santa Barbara’s resourceful Music Director and conductor coaxes the best out of cast and chorus alike.”
(Séance on a Wet Afternoon, Opera Santa Barbara) (Germany)
“…the St. Petersburg born Conductor, who has been considered one of the most important of the current American conductors, has for many years worked at the opera houses of San Francisco, Chicago, Santa Barbara, and the MET in New York. He is one of the world’s leading experts in Tchaikovsky and the Russian repertoire. His “Boris Godunov” in San Diego was a great success, and in Erfurt the congenial Russian demonstrated a profound understanding of “Joan.” Under his direction the Philharmonic Orchestra of Erfurt was in best form from the very first minutes. They played the dramatic score with broad bows and sharp attaches, and provided the singers with a magnificently colored tableau.”
(Maid of Orleans, Theater Erfurt)
European Reviews
“Maestro Valéry Ryvkin drew excellent music making from his cast and orchestra, breathed life and magic into the music, and anchored the performance in authenticity of style.”
(May Night, Sarasota Opera)
“Conductor Valéry Ryvkin’s obvious affection for the piece likewise proved irresistible…the orchestra responded potently to that enthusiasm, often sounding double its size as it reveled in the richness of Rimsky’s scoring… conductor Valéry Ryvkin maintained a good ensemble and led with idiomatic flair.”
 (May Night, Sarasota Opera)
Other Publications and Media
“Under the baton of Valéry Ryvkin, the orchestra was magnificent throughout the evening.”
                                                         San Diego News

“Conducted with polish by Valéry Ryvkin, the orchestra and chorus really hit their strides in Act II; adding richness, gusto and volume.”
                                                         Voice of San Diego

“Maestro Valéry Ryvkin and the San Diego Symphony Orchestra successfully filled the Civic Auditorium with enough exotic musical colors to make me forget I was in San Diego, California, for a while….the singers, the chorus, and the orchestra were kept together remarkably well (this being the first performance of the run, after all).”

“San Diego Opera’s production boasts some 300 on-and-off stage cast and crew – including 16 ballet dancers and the 73-piece San Diego Symphony confidently conducted by Valéry Ryvkin in the pit.”
                                                         North County Times/The Californian

La Traviata
“Conducting was Valéry Alexander Ryvkin, Russian-born, American-educated and Metropolitan Opera-bound. He joins the conducting staff there next season. His handling of the orchestra here makes a listener wonder why he isn’t there already.”
                                                         Greensboro News & Record

“Supporting the principals and excellent chorus prepared by Elizabeth Waterbury was the orchestra (many players from the Santa Barbara Symphony) under the expert guidance of conductor Valéry Ryvkin....Ryvkin brought a firm baton technique and musical interpretation to give the whole production shape, assurance and fine musicianship.”
                                                         Valley Voice, Santa Barbara

“The orchestra did a remarkable job in following the various ebbs and flows of emotion both here and throughout the opera. Blending with every emotional twist and turn, the musicians melded with the characters and events to such a degree that they seemed inseparable. Most effective was the haunting prelude introducing the sad state of Act III.
                                                         Santa Barbara News-Press

“Santa Barbara Grand Opera has brought a high standard of professional performance to the area, with Ryvkin a major catalyst.”
                                                         The Star

La Bohème
“Friday, November 29, Valéry Ryvkin gave the downbeat, and the invigorating opening bars of Bohème filled the Lobero. Maestro Ryvkin established firm control immediately, a control which he would maintain over his instrumentalists and his singers throughout the evening. His practiced hand drew out a Bohème that made its effects almost always tellingly. This he would do despite a smallish orchestra which could not possibly do justice to Puccini’s marvelous scoring. Ryvkin is a man to be cherished.”
                                                         The Independent

“Also returning from Carmen is conductor Valéry Ryvkin, lending a sure and expressive hand to the proceedings. Again it was in the pivotal Act III that an operatic truth was revealed: The elasticity of phrasing indicates that the singers have both trusted in, and learned from, their maestro. Ryvkin is a potent reminder that entire operas can be made or broken by what is happening below the footlights, rather than in the spotlight.”
                                                         Santa Barbara News-Press

“The evening was further enhanced by subtle artistic work in the pit by conductor Valéry Ryvkin.”
                                                         Classical Voice of North Carolina

“Artistic Director Valéry Ryvkin conducted the orchestra superbly while keeping tight co-ordination with the action on the stage.”
                                                         Classical Voice of North Carolina

Don Pasquale
“With an able conductor in the person of Valéry Ryvkin signed on as music director. . . . Ryvkin’s cohesive and fluent conducting and Igesz’s sometimes hyper kinetic staging usually hold the entire project together.”
                                                         Los Angeles Times

L’Elisir d’Amore
“The Greensboro Symphony Orchestra accompanied the opera with great clarity and color. The ensemble was led by Valéry Ryvkin, conductor and artistic director. His fine musicality provided a solid underpinning for the entire opera. He was with the singers every step of the way, breathing with them, and allowing them to sing with freedom and passion. His harpsichord playing during the recitatives was spectacular – perky and energetic – he even incorporated quotes from Wagner’s opera “Tristan und Isolde” as well as the wedding march to provide some cultural depth for those who were listening closely.”
                                                         Greensboro News & Record

“The young performers were expertly guided by Valéry Ryvkin, who brilliantly invigorated rhythms and sensitively controlled dynamics.”
                                                         Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Madama Butterfly
“An especially strong cast of lead characters, superb playing by the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra led Valéry Ryvkin, and evocative sets and costumes culminated in a production that thrilled the sold out crowd at War Memorial Auditorium.”
                                                         Greensboro News & Record

“The orchestra, under maestro Valéry Ryvkin and concertmaster Gilles Apap, was full in sound while allowing the voices of the singers to come through in what was, from where I was sitting, a wonderful balance.”
                                                         The Independent

“A quantum leap towards truly grand opera occurred during last Wednesday’s August 7th dazzling performance of Bizet’s Carmen at the Lobero Theater....A well-drilled professional orchestra of local musicians under the expert direction of Valéry Ryvkin.”
                                                         Valley Voice

“The production has three heroes, truth be told. In addition to Hartman in the title role it had Bodo Igesz and Valéry Ryvkin overseeing all....Ryvkin, the conductor, achieved all kinds of miracles with the cast and the Greensboro Symphony.”
                                                         Winston Salem Journal

“The orchestral component to this opera is fantastic, and the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, led by Valéry Ryvkin, did a superb job of highlighting the action and provided a rich palate of color....Kudos to Maestro Ryvkin, who kept the pace lively and directed the orchestra with great aplomb.”
                                                         Greensboro News & Record

“The blend of voices of Johnson, Locke and Hartman, under the direction of Santa Barbara Grand Opera’s soon-to-be permanent Music Director, Valéry Ryvkin made for a marvelous opera experience. Ryvkin’s conducting made sure that the singers had every opportunity to showcase their voices in the best form”
                                                         Summerland Coastal View

“A stunning performance of Puccini’s ‘Tosca’ opened the Santa Barbara Grand Opera’s 1997 season at the Lobero Saturday night, Expertly conducted by Valéry Ryvkin.”
                                                         Valley Voice

“Fortunately, conductor Valéry Ryvkin continues to make the Lobero special too. His orchestra could have used a touch more finesse from the low brass, but generally, the ensemble was as responsive to Ryvkin’s solicitations as he was to his singer’s needs.”
                                                         Santa Barbara News-Press

“There was good news from the pit. Valéry Ryvkin, the designated music director, did not rush. He brought out contrasts in the score, allowing the orchestra time to explore Puccini’s intricate instrumentation and generate from limited resources impressively full sounds.”
                                                         The Independent

Il Trovatore
“High marks as well to conductor Valéry Ryvkin, who led what was probably the finest sounding orchestra for a Santa Barbara Grand Opera production, in the last four years. The focus and energy began with his baton, palpably transferred to the ensemble, and spilled over to an electric synergy with the principal singers.”
                                                         Santa Barbara News-Press

The Marriage of Figaro
“Valéry Ryvkin, the conductor of this production and Aritistic Director of the Greensboro Opera Company, led a very stylistic performance with supple and elegant gestures, meant for the singers and the orchestra, instead of the audience! He also improvised the witty accompaniments for the recitatives himself…His musicians – a pared-down Greensboro Symphony – responded well and played this immortal music with charm and wit.”
                                                         Classical Voice of North Carolina

“Conductor Valéry Ryvkin has already established a track record of excellence that one doesn’t worry about the orchestra.”
                                                         Santa Barbara News-Press

“Valéry Ryvkin conducted the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra with passion and verve. The orchestra played fabulously throughout...............”
                                                         News & Record


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