PRAISE FOR SPERANZA | INTERVIEWS
(Click quote for full article)
"There were many beautiful details in Scappucci’s conducting that brightened up Puccini’s familiar score. The taut, driving rhythms in the Act I Parisian apartment gave way, at the drop of a baton, to a flowing orchestral melody of great warmth and beauty when the lights dimmed and Mimi entered the scene. And then, there were Scappucci’s expressive arms weaving long wide arcs in the air, as if painting colors with her orchestra. Throughout the evening, Scappucci’s conducting showed a clear, sharp contrast of rhythmic drive vs. lyrical warmth (in Acts I and IV scenes with Mimi and Rodolfo, and the Act III quartet), of exciting ensembles vs. delicate chamber music (in Mimi/Rodolfo’s first meeting and Act II scene with Musetta), that made one sit up and listen as if hearing the opera for the first time."
"The real star of this production, however, is not onstage. She’s on the podium and her name is Speranza Scappucci. And while the company is heavily promoting the last two performances of “Boheme” (June 10 and 12) because they will mark the LA Opera debut for conductor Gustavo Dudamel, it is unlikely Dudamel will bring any more vitality, finesse and emotional connection to the opera than Scappucci did Saturday. Italian by birth, with flowing red hair and dual degrees from Juilliard and Conservatorio di Musica Santa Cecilia, her conducing combined pinpoint accuracy with a finely nuanced sense of dramatic sweep. Scappucci made Puccini’s all-too-familiar music sound as fresh as it was the day the opera had its American premiere — Oct. 14, 1897, in of all places, Los Angeles, less than a mile from where it was performed Saturday."
"Come dirige bene l'orchestra del Teatro Regio di Torino la signora Speranza Scappucci: la sua Cenerentola ha suono leggero e trasparente, ritmo scattante e nervoso, è ben cesellata nei particolari che Rossini incastra in un mosaico fantasmagorico per spirito, arguzia e brillantezza. Tutto scorre alacre e leggero e i cantanti ne hanno un gran beneficio".
LA STAMPA, Paolo Gallarati – Marzo 2016
"Merito del direttore d'orchestra Speranza Scappucci, che sa essere leggera e incalzante che sa tenere il cast entro tempi rapidi ma non forsennati, che sa quando e quanto "allargare" per concedere loro un colore espressivo. entro tali coordinate esecutive, ottenute con naturale autorevolezza, anche il cast già ben assemblato di suo, può rendere al meglio."
CORRIERE DELLA SERA, Enrico Girardi – Marzo 2016
"Speranza Scappucci, an Italian-born Juilliard graduate who is increasingly busy on the international opera circuit.…led an exacting yet stylishly supple account of this work. It’s time for her to conduct across 65th Street at the Met."
New York Times, Anthony Tommasini - February 2016
"Speranza Scappucci’s fluid, singer-friendly conducting brought out the overture’s playfulness; the string ensemble proved impressive, and in general Scappucci kept a balance that allowed the singers to project."
Opera News - February 2016
"On the podium we had the compelling conductor Speranza Scappucci whom we always admire. She is one of those conductors who uses her entire body to elicit what she wants from the orchestra and The Juilliard Orchestra gave her exactly what she wanted."
Voce di meche - February 2016
D Repubblica - February 2016
“A great pleasure of the evening was the conducting of Speranza Scappucci, making her debut at Santa Fe. The orchestra responded to her with enthusiasm, even fire. She invested the substantial overture with surprisingly expansive Romanticism"
Opera News - October 2015
“Maestra Scappucci snapped the proceedings back into focus every time her authoritative baton came down, eliciting a reading of the score that was characterized by audacious spontaneity, effervescence and a keen sense of style...Clearly, the talented Speranza Scappucci is a podium star on the rise."
Opera Today - August 2015
“Greatly assisted by conductor Speranza Scappucci’s brisk tempi and energetic approach, the opera amuses and sparkles from the first notes."
Theater Jones - August 2015
“Conductor Speranza Scappucci, in her company debut, kept the fast tempos crisp and the balances clear..."
The Classic Review - August 2015
Wall Street Journal - August 2015
“The orchestra...offered a colorful, sturdy response to conductor Speranza Scappucci, who kept the score churning and whirling to generally delectable effect."
Opera News - August 2015
“Italian conductor Speranza Scappucci is a find; she brought out the best from the excellent orchestra, and reliably supported her singers, for a fine light evening of music theater."
St. Louis Post-Dispatch - August 2015
“A second hearing also gave me a chance to better appreciate the work of Speranza Scappucci, the conductor, who was absolutely consistent between the two performances and who did a fine job keeping the whole thing together."
The Washington Post - May 2015
"It may be titled “Cinderella,” but there is no question who the star of the production is. When conductor Speranza Scappucci took her place at the podium, her shining face and her curly locks tamed into a golden braid, she seemed so young and fresh that she herself might have played the fairy tale princess. But when she lifted the baton and launched into the overture, there was no mistaking this lady was a conducting pro. There is nothing quite as thrilling as a Rossini overture, and Scappucci took us on the ride of our lives. In the words of opera musicians, Scappucci has a “very clean stick.” She whipped the orchestra through Rossini’s racing score with assurance and clarity, and when occasionally a singer got ahead in the tongue-twisting ensemble numbers on opening night, she strongly but calmly pulled the singer back. She made Rossini as exciting as Ben Hur at the chariot races!"
DC Theatre Scene - May 2015
“Speranza Scappucci elegantly lead this orchestra to one of the most flawless performances I have ever heard. Her command and timing was absolutely flawless."
MD Theatre Guide - May 2015
“Italian conductor Speranza Scappucci and the Washington National Opera Orchestra were on point throughout the performance, delivering very deft orchestral support. They played the overture with nuance and sparkle."
IonArts - May 2015
“I can offer no greater praise for Maestra Scappucci’s pacing of the performance than stating that she conducted the opera precisely as I would do if an opera company were foolish enough to trust me with a baton. Refreshingly, she was never afraid of applying the brakes when the musical and emotional atmosphere warranted doing so. The madcap Rossini prestissimi were there, to be sure, but neither the music nor those performing it were rushed. Also proving an imaginative maestra di cembalo in Luca Agolini’s secco recitatives, she adopted tempi that enabled a rare level of appreciation for the bel in Rossini’s bel canto. Under Maestra Scappucci’s baton, the WNO Orchestra and Chorus performed with the vivacity and unfettered musicality that the score demands.
Voix des Arts - May 2015
“Conductor Speranza Scappucci, the first Italian woman to take the podium for the Washington National Opera, had things in closer control...Scappucci also accompanied the recitatives with inventive flair from a harpsichord mounted on a gigantic stand in front of her."
Classical Voice America - May 2015
“The orchestra is a tightly molded ensemble under the direction of Italian conductor Speranza Scappucci, making her debut with WNO. Under her able baton, the Rossini score works perfectly with the vocal ensemble, drawing in the listener while never overshadowing the singers."
Washington Jewish Week - May 2015
“These fine singers are led by the intricate baton of Speranza Scappucci who keeps the tempi moving, the dynamics strong and brings out the best in both the onstage performers and the essential Washington National Opera Orchestra."
BroadwayWorld - May 2015
“Speranza Scappucci conducts and also plays the cembalo (a type of harpsichord) from the podium. She tackles his musical fireworks with aplomb."
DC Metro Theater Arts - May 2015
“Conductor Speranza Scappucci led a colorful, firm yet flexible performance in which every phrase had a beginning, middle and end - and sometimes an extra fillip.”
Opera News - Jan 2015
“Ms. Scappucci, the Italian conductor, whose education includes some years at Juilliard, drew energetic, stylish playing from the Juilliard Orchestra and excelled at performing on the harpsichord during the recitatives. Her accompaniments were a delightful mix of brusque chords and sly arpeggios. At 41, she seems on the cusp of a big international career.”
Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times - Nov 2014
"The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic has something of a track record when it comes to finding conductors destined for great heights...The latest RLPO concert, following that great tradition, included a new face. And what an impact she made. The audience evidently loved her – a partial standing ovation, which is something of a rarity on Hope Street – and plenty of whoops and whistles (in the best possible taste) surely mean that she’ll soon be beating a return path to the Liverpool podium."
Glyn Môn Hughes, The Arts Desk - Feb 2015
Catherine Jones, The Liverpool Echo - Feb 2015
Il Messaggero - Mar 2014
“A great performance was led from the pit by the outstanding young italian conductor Speranza Scappucci. Her pacing of the overture and handling of the singers throughout were brilliant, producing the appropriate colours from the orchestra, forceful when required and lyrical at just the right moments, she is a protégé of Riccardo Muti and certainly the company will be doing well to hold onto her for future productions.”
Gregor Tassie – Musical Opinion UK - Jan 2014
“Speranza Scappucci conducts the orchestra in a very refined and precise accompaniment: especially impressive is the precision with which she follows and transforms into sound the words and text of the recitativi accompagnati.”
Jordi Kooiman, Opera Magazine - Dec 2013
“…The company´s excellent orchestra, conducted by Speranza Scappucci, rises to the challenge of Mozart´s formidable score.”
Andy Beaven - Scottish Daily Mail - Oct 2013
“It was a great production, made so by an incredible cast and orchestra (conducted by a brilliant woman, Speranza Scappucci).”
Margaret Curran – Huffington Post - Oct 2013
“Speranza Scappucci’s stately tempi (are) worlds away from the period style in which Scottish Opera’s orchestra was until recently versed. But the mentoring which this up-and-coming Italian conductor received at the hands of Riccardo Muti and James Levine has an upside in her technical control and impeccable schooling of the singers. Every note has space to resonate.”
Andrew Clark – Financial Times - Oct 2013
“In her Scottish Opera debut, conductor Speranza Scappucci allows space for Mozart's vocal lines to blossom while astutely conveying the internal richness of the orchestral drama.”
George Hall – The Guardian - Oct 2013
“The sensitivity which conductor Speranza Scappucci managed to inspire from the orchestra was never more apparent than during her “Vedrai, carino” which was the most delightful way of banishing any memories of previous Musical Director Francis Corti’s domineering heavy-handed conducting which dogged the company right up until his departure earlier this year.”
Opera Britannia - Oct 2013
“The orchestra under Speranza Scappucci gives a rich, vivid, crisply articulated account”
David Kettle - The Scotsman - Oct 2013
“The Pergolesi Stabat Mater…."brilliantly personified by the soprano Nadine Sierra and the countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, complemented by Mr. McCullough’s deft stage illumination and Speranza Scappucci’s eloquent conducting.”
Steve Smith, New York Times - Jul 2013
“The music of the Pergolesi sounded lovely with Speranza Scappucci’s lissome conducting.”
Anne Midgette, Washington Post - Aug 2013
“...conductor Speranza Scappucci make every inflection, every gesture, every dynamic variation contribute to the overall impact of the production.”
Syracuse Post-Standard - Jul 2013