“Anyone who has heard Beecham or Karajan’s recordings of Bohème will know that, like all great opera, the starting point is an exceptional conductor. Here we get one with Dionysis Grammenos, whose command of Puccini’s idiom is impressive”: Outstanding reviews for Grammenos’ debut at the English Touring Opera

On 26 February, English Touring Opera opened their revival of James Conway’s 2015 production of La bohème at Hackney Empire Theatre. Dionysis Grammenos made his conducting debut with the company, receiving outstanding reviews for his performances:

This is one of the best Bohèmes I have heard in recent years… Anyone who has heard Beecham or Karajan’s recordings of Bohème will know that, like all great opera, the starting point is an exceptional conductor. Here we get one with Dionysis Grammenos, whose command of Puccini’s idiom is impressive.”
David Mellor, The Daily Mail

“… the sparer forces found a more concentrated wiry intensity in the music, spurred on by remarkably crisp conducting from Dionysis Grammenos, who excelled in focusing the rhythmic energies of the score. Seldom in London has that treacherous opening downbeat, with its wafer-thin semiquaver rest, burst forth with such control and promise. Grammenos has thrown a gauntlet down to the other major pit orchestras in London who frequently revive this bread-and-butter work.”
Benjamin Poore, OperaWire

“Really gorgeously conducted by Dionysis Grammenos with acute sensitivity to the emotional flow”
Robert Thicknesse, Opera Magazine

In the pit, conductor Dionysis Grammenos draws animated, richly coloured playing from the 27- strong orchestra, providing plenty of Puccinian perfume and punch, but a welcome clarity and freshness too.
Claire Seymour, The Stage

“Puccini’s way of sweeping the listener straight up with youthful high spirits, wistfulness and the bustle of Bohemian Paris can render much else redundant. Dionysis Grammenos’ firm and flexible conducting establishes that clear enough.
John Allison, The Telegraph

Under conductor Dionysis Grammenos the orchestra achieves a pleasing transparency while not skimping on the occasional blatancy that Puccini demands.
Nick Kimberley, Evening Standard

“In the pit Dionysis Grammenos gave us a lithe and engaging account of the score. Grammenos zipped along, and the dialogue flowed beautifully. This was very much Puccini as heightened dialogue, rather than a series of set pieces arias, and it worked very well indeed.
Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill

“The orchestra is expertly handled by conductor Dionysis Grammenos. The music is truly moving, underscoring the emotion played out on the stage.”
Rebecca Armstrong, Opera for All