“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”
REVIEW OF PREMIERE “ELEKTRA” / MAGDEBURG OPERA. 23 OCT 2015
Michael Balke has the piece not only under control, he realized it as a unified whole – thrilling, precise, well thought out. The Magdeburg Philharmonic plays perfectly and sounds fantastic. The Elektra music has – in the relentlessly modern, yet sweet and sensual reading of Michael Balke – downright drug character.
One is exposed to this drug mercilessly. One and three-quarters of an hour. This is like ecstasy. A very impressive performance of orchestra and conductor.
Dieter David Scholz
REVIEW OF PREMIERE “LA BOHEME” / DANISH NATIONAL OPERA. 3 OCT 2014
“An outstanding conductor.
We have heard the 35-year-old German conductor Michael Balke in Aarhus when he conducted the concert with tenor Lawrence Brownlee and already back then, we wished that he would return. Now the whole country will get the possibility of enjoying him. On the large scale, he shaped the opera clearly and elegantly, in the interior, he managed to make Puccini’s – also technically wonderful score – alive with many details which you had to enjoy even more. He also dared to form ritardandi, changes of tempo in each phrase and “breathing”, which added much to the expression. In the moment that Mimi exhales he kept an unusually long break, so you had to hold your breath. It was just one of several meaningful musical details in the interpretation.”
Highlights: GIANNI SCHICCHI/L’HEURE ESPAGNOL at Opéra national de Lorraine, Gala with Marina Rebeka and Croatian National radio Orchestra in Zagreb, returning to Copenhagen Phil, tour of MADAME BUTTERFLY in Japan, symphony concerts in Tokyo, Brahms REQUIEM with Aalborg Symphony Orchestra
Highlights: ELEKTRA with MAGDEBURG OPERA, returning to Copenhagen Phil, TOSCA in St. Gallen, FLIEGENDER HOLLÄNDER at Opera pa Skäret/Sweden
Highlights: LA BOHEME with DANISH NATIONAL OPERA, MERRY WIDOW in Tokyo, and several productions and concerts (e.g. New Year’s Concert, Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra) at the Magdeburg Opera
Highlights: concerts with Lawrence Brownlee in Aarhus, Ian Bostridge in Palermo, new productions of Le nozze di Figaro, Sacre du printemps, Barbiere di Siviglia and symphony concerts (e.g. with Shostakovich 10th symphony) at the Magdeburg Opera
“Michael Balke conducted the Nationaltheater Mannheim Orchestra with distinct confidence. He formed the ensemble into a sensitive, yet powerful body of sound.”
(Badische Neueste Nachrichten, 2009)
”In the Ouverture of “Le Nozze di Figaro” conductor Michael Balke sparkled with brilliant life: Figaro’s agility, his wit and keenness were depicted by the orchestra with a raving Presto, with the surprising sforzato-strokes into the hasty whispering of violins and woodwinds – a stroke of genius!”
(Mittelbadische Presse, 2008)