The orchestra and choral sound is magnificent: a dazzling blast of brass and muscular strings; a tempest you can feel through the soles of your feet; a sailors’ chorus of brilliant tautness.
Anna Picard, The Times, 30/06/15
The resplendent Chorus of Opera North projected the German text with razor sharp clarity and a spectrum of tonal colour. The power of the Sailors’ lusty cries of “Ho-jo-he! Hal-lo-jo!” gave the impression of twice as many voices as the twenty eight tenors and basses arranged behind the orchestra. The sopranos and mezzos’ Spinning Chorus was wonderfully fresh and airy. Even these marvellous singers must have held something back for the devastating force of the stupendous ghostly finale with the entire stage now bathed in a chilling blood red glow.
Geoffrey Mogridge, Opera Britannia, 29/06/15
The chorus are in fulsome voice.
Alfred Hickling, The Guardian, 22/09/14
The Vassals allow for a chorus in Act II and I do not think I have ever in my life heard a male voice choir deliver with such power and panache.
John Leeman, Seen and Heard International, 16/06/14
The Act lV “Patria oppressa!” chorus is sung here with soul-piercing intensity. Every word from the forty three singers of the Chorus of Opera North emerges with needle-sharp clarity. When they are singing at full tilt, it’s time to hold onto your seats.
Geoffrey Mogridge, Opera Britannia, 11/02/14
Two newcomers to make a huge impact are conductor Jac van Steen and newly appointed Chorus Master Martin Wettges. …The chorus, fresh from its appearance in the acclaimed Grimes on the Beach at Aldeburgh, is at its most exciting vocally and ranges from public house jollity to the menace of the mob.
Ron Simpson, What’s On Stage, 18/09/13
The opening night of Bizet’s opera Les pêcheurs de perles” was enthusiastically praised. Under the direction of guest conductor Martin Wettges, soloists, chorus and orchestra were equally impressive. […] Bizet’s work, often declared thankless from a scenical point of view, developed a virtual whirlpool of emotions under the direction of the young Guest Conductor […] Wettges proved to have an expert knowledge of the score, delivering a sophisticated and emphatic display while ensuring the work’s colourfulness and super-abundance of melody. Carefully and with unyielding impetus, Wettges plumbs the depths of the Pearl Fishers”, finding an abundance of dynamic and expressive contrasts. The Philharmonic Orchestra […] provided a rich variety of sound quality in all registers. At the conclusion, the thrilled audience wildly celebrated the soloists, chorus and orchestra, as well as the spirited and competent guest conductor Martin Wettges.”
Jochen Berger, Coburger Tageblatt, 7.12.10
A preeminently gifted conductor, in a gentle manner both authoritative and assertive.”
Jürgen Kesting, Opernwelt 11/2009
The Cape Philharmonic sounded magnificent under Martin Wettges, playing with clarity and body.”
Jonathan Richmond, Opera, December 2009