'The singing throughout is excellent…Yvonne Howard's Nettie Flower releasing all the joy and glee of June is Bustin’ Out All Over as well as the anthemic grandeur of You’ll Never Walk Alone… it’s worth saying that the sound balance at the Barbican is perfect, unaffected by the crude amplification that blights so many musical theatre performances these days… A great evening.'
'Opera North's revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's most operatic musical is richly orchestrated and vibrant…It blazes into life with each well-choreographed chorus number: hearing the music sung by such talented singers and played by a full-strength orchestra is a pleasure. Yvonne Howard's gorgeous rendition of You'll Never Walk Alone rescues it from football stadium banality and will have you choking back tears.'
'Easily the best Carousel since Nicholas Hytner's National Theatre revival nearly 20 years ago.'
'If there is one classic musical that deserves an opera company - strong voices, full orchestra, swarming chorus, James Holmes on the baton - it is this. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s darkest story has as much spoken dialogue as any theatre musical but is essentially made of songs fully operatic in their close, sensitive following of each character’s emotional pulse… Davies and Ward are right to eschew gimmicky updating… The task, therefore, is not to fiddle around, but to serve the material, and this it does. Michael Todd Simpson has a surly bad-boy charm as Billy, and Katherine Manley is a Julie Jordan who from the start lives up to Carrie’s description “quieter ’n’ deeper than a well”… Got me hook, line and sinker, as the fishermen would say.'
'Julie (a lovely, warm performance from Katherine Manley) falls for the roguish Billy Bigelow. Michael Todd Simpson’s Billy, with his hair curling over his collar, has the right touch of sexy danger, but also projects his character’s volatility and vulnerability. All four interpret the songs with great subtlety and, as opera singers, are able to unleash real power.'