Rigoletto: review Opera Australia, Arts Centre Melbourne, May 11, 2019


Opera Australia  Simon Parrison May 12, 2019

Maestro Andrea Licata leads Orchestra Victoria in a traditional performance of Verdi’s celebrated score, utilising sensible tempi and finely calibrated dynamics.


Colin Davison    May 12,2019 British Theatre Guide

The balance between singers, particularly in those wonderful father-daughter duets and the famous closing quartet—possibly the greatest in all opera—and between singers and orchestra were perfect throughout, with conductor Andrea Licata giving the former just enough latitude of tempo to achieve freedom of interpretation without disrupting the dynamic flow, notable especially in the Duke’s ebullient "Questa o quella".


 Gregory Pritchard

Australia continues to draw Italian maestro Andrea Licata, another Verdi specialist whose extensive work in Europe and beyond brings understanding and skills of great benefit to the company as a whole. He drew robust performances from both orchestra and chorus, leading with clarity and precision throughout.


By Patricia Maunder , 13 May 2019

Led by conductor Andrea Licata, Orchestra Victoria were at ease with both the high melodrama of Verdi's score and its passages of delicate restraint.


Kristina Macrae reviewed Opera Australia’s performance of “Rigoletto” given at Arts Centre Melbourne, State Theatre on May 11, 2019.

Orchestra Victoria is first rate and their playing throughout the opera under the baton of Andrea Licata demonstrated excellent contrasts of dynamic and mood, reflecting the events taking place on stage, and there was a good balance between orchestra and singers.




Traviata:  Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House, March 2018



By Peter McCallum    Updated  2 March 2018 — The Sydney Morning Herald


Conductor Andrea Licata established tempi that were often quite measured, which allowed the singers time to shape the line though occasionally at the expense of vitality, momentum and dramatic discipline.




by Jo Litson on March 2, 2018


In the pit, Andrea Licata (who conducted Car in Luisa Miller) leads the orchestra in a very fine account of Verdi’s seductively melodic score, finding all the dramatic and emotional textures in this most powerful and perennially popular of music dramas.




Posted   March 3, 2018 by Irina Dunn  Arts & Entertainment, Theatre & Performance.


Italian conductor Andrea Licata understands instinctively how Verdi should be played, and it was terrific to see more of the orchestra after the completion of the renovations at the end of last year.




Published in ABR Arts  by  Michael Halliwell   Friday, 02 March 2018


The opera was conducted with real italianità and energy by Andrea Licata, far removed from a routine performance as often happens with this well-beloved opera. The performance was a triumph for Opera Australia.




March 2, 2018  by Victor Grynberg   J-Wire


… all played perfectly by the Australian Opera Orchestra under the enthusiastic baton of Andrea Licata.


Cavalleria Rusticana-Pagliacci review Opera Australia, Arts Centre Melbourne, May 11, 2017


By Simon Parris on May 11,2017
Maestro Andrea Licata leads Orchestra Victoria with precision and verve, really optimizing the quality of the beautiful  instrumental  passages. At times, the music threatens to overpower singing that is set in lower registers; the overall balance, however, is of a very pleasing standard.


By  Barney Zwartz  The Sydney Morning Herald


So did the musical direction and dramatic shaping of phrase by conductor Andrea Licata, who built tension skilfully and without excess. Orchestra Victoria achieved its usual excellent standard



Cavalleria Rusticana - Pagliacci review Opera Australia  January 13, 2017  


 By Clive Paget  filed under Classical Music | Opera


The Opera Australia Orchestra is on fine form, perfectly balanced as Licata teases out the prelude to Cav with a chamber music delicacy that belies its sometimes simplistic orchestrations. He proves equally masterful in balancing the verismo with the Wagnerisms in Pag. His sense of rubato never fails, and he takes his soloists with him at every twist and turn. - See more at:


  By David Larkin, 15 January 2017


The experienced Andrea Licata coordinated the many elements with seeming ease, and resisted sentimental wallowing in the intermezzi


   By Larry Turner for SoundsLikeSydney


The orchestra was directed by Andrea Licata in a passionate, full-blooded performance. Tempi were all well-judged and the dramatic climaxes well shaped. There were many fine instrumental solos and a lush, full string tone – especially from the lower strings.



Luisa Miller review Opera Australia, February 11, 2016


Andrea Licata brilliantly led an instrumental ensemble in prime form, each section stepped up to its moments to shine in Verdi’s canvas. The string section in particular achieved the brightness and rhythmicity of Verdi’s signature style.

Shamistha de Soysa for SoundsLikeSydney


Altmedia                   …, but conductor Andrea Licata wrings maximum intensity from the score to make this a truly memorable production.



DAILY REVIEW    by Ben Neutze



Conductor Andrea Licata and the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra find all of the dynamics in Verdi’s score without ever over-egging them, and there’s some gorgeous clarinet work in there.





February 12, 2016 by Clive Paget in Classical Music


Licata is an instinctive Verdian, pacing and shaping the score with great skill. There are lovely contributions from horns – on and offstage – as well as woodwind, and especially the prominent clarinet part –




The Sydney Morning Herald  - Peter McCallum



Conductor Andrea Licata began discreetly, moving the music forward to its next point of dramatic emphasis without delay or diversion, and preserved the major impact for the third act




Don Carlos review Opera Australia, Arts Centre Melbourne, May 21, 2015



"Musically, the night was a ceaseless marvel of strong and lyrical conducting from Andrea Licata, with Orchestra Victoria responding with beauty, brilliance and tireless playing. Some momentum was lost due to some lengthy scene changes, but Licata quickly regained pace and clarity".


"Andrea Licata and the orchestra play with subtlety here and strength elsewhere and with commitment all the way through".


La Boheme review Opera Australia  January 6, 2014


 [The stage director’s] attempt to excoriate the Bohemian lifestyle is also thwarted at every turn by the music, whose sumptuousness ultimately gives every squalid moment a tragic grandeur – just as Puccini intended. Happily, conductor Andrea Licata follows the composer’s instincts rather than the director’s, giving the opera a pace and fizz that avoids longeurs but allows the some of the most heart-aching setpieces in the whole of opera room to breathe.


 Alex Needham, The, Sydney, Australia, January 6, 2014



 La Boheme review Opera Australia January 4, 2014


 The Opera Australia Chorus and Children’s Chorus do not play a large part in this opera, but they sang with their customary power and unanimity. The Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra was conducted by Andrea Licata whose interpretation was a highlight of the performance. What a joy it was to hear such sympathetic and idiomatic Puccini conducting! Licata’s fluid tempi wonderfully underlined the ebb and flow of the drama and his handling of the orchestra’s dynamics ensured that each climax created its maximum effect. Let us continue to hear him often in this repertoire.

 Larry Turner, for SoundsLikeSydney©, Australia, January 4, 2014



 La Boheme review Opera Australia  January 6, 2014


 Andrea Licata holds the baton. Or would, if he used one. Instead, he exacts a lush sound by way of two fine-fingered hands. His index finger is often raised stiffly, as if to physically lift the singers to new vocal attainments. And much of the time, he seems to be making heart-shaped gestures, as if to epitomize his own affections for Puccini, while drawing out all the expressiveness the instrumentalists have in them.


  Lloyd Bradford Syke,, Sydney, Australia, January 6, 2014 - See more at:



 La Forza Del Destino review Opera Australia  July 1, 2013


 This new version is riveting over its three-plus hours; the orchestra and chorus under the baton of Andrea Licata are at their best and most confident. A great way to open Opera Australia's winter season.


 Diana Simmonds, Stage Noise,, July 1, 2013



 La Forza Del Destino review Opera Australia  July 11, 2013


 It almost seems unnecessary now to mention the outstanding quality of the Opera Australia Chorus, as their work has been of the highest possible standard in a run of recent operas. Kudos to Michael Black for his exceptional chorus preparation. The Chorus is especially strong in act three, each performer giving a sharply focused acting performance to match their singing quality. Maestro Andrea Licata leads the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra in a deceptively effortless performance of Verdi’s wonderful score. Dynamics are strong, with piano and pianissimo sections particularly beautiful.


 Simon Parris, Man In Chair,, July 11, 2013


Rossini’s The Barber of Seville: Opera Australia, April - May 2012

“Musically, Andrea Licata obviously loves this score, and Orchestra Victoria, with Jennifer Marten-Smith's matchingly witty fortepiano recitatives, played it with brio and style, with barely a hair out of place.” – Michael Shmith, Brisbane Times 


 Verdi's Il Trovatore: Welsh National Opera, February - March 2011


“...conductor, Andrea Licata, whose natural feel for Verdian line was a great virtue with the orchestra fully responsive to his sweep and beat.” – Robert J Farr, Seen & Heard

“...the tale, if not convincingly enacted, is told with feeling. It‘s a mood bolstered by some full-throated choruses and playing of tension and astringency by the orchestra under Italian maestro Andrea Licata.” – Nigel Jarrett, South Wales Argus

“The real pleasure lies in the glory of Verdi's rich and lyrical score conducted by Andrea Licata.”

– Jenny Longhurst, Western Mail
“Verdi’s Il Trovatore has always been an opera for singers. This production is no exception, with glorious singing from a fine ensemble backed by the majestic chorus and a punchy orchestra...

Fortunately, the orchestra under the baton of a lively Andrea Licata, the spellbinding chorus and the principals swept away the nonsense bringing the show to life.” – Mike Smith,

“...Andrea Licata is plainly in his element...” – Stephen Walsh,

Andrea Licata conducts "Norma" at The Royal Swedish Opera: November 2010 - February 2011


“The Royal Swedish Opera Orchestra conducted by the Italian maestro Andrea Licata, deserves nothing but praise.”

– Mogens Andersen, Kulturbloggen 


La traviata: Teatro de la Maestranza, Seville - June 2010

“La Sinfónica de Sevilla, el Coro del Maestranza y la experta batuta del maestro Andrea Licata contribuyeron decisivamente al éxito.” – David Cuesta, Noticias

“Andrea Licata fue responsable de que los artistas pudiesen cantar a gusto y se escuchase todo, incluso esos matices y contrastes dinámicos que frecuentemente se hurtan. Un gran triunfo

para dos repartos con un título nada fácil.”

“En el foso, al frente de la Real Orquesta Sinfónica de Sevilla, intervino la solvente y precisa batuta del maestro Andrea Licata, buen conocedor de la obra verdiana, de la que resaltó el aspecto más belcantista.” La Voz Libre

Tosca, Opera Australia - January / February 2010

“Maestro Andrea Licata leads the AOBO through a cohesive reading of Puccini's score;... this deliberate approach eventually draws out the tension of the score, with the pulsating Act Two

confrontation between Tosca and Scarpia especially well executed. The chorus makes much of its brief star turn, throwing itself forcefully into the climax of the Te Deum.” 

 – Sarah Noble, The Opera Critic

“With well-balanced and powerful chorus and well-coloured orchestral timbres, the conductor, Andrea Licata, as always, showed sound instincts for pace and dramatic direction.”

Peter McCallum, Sydney Morning Herald

“It was good to have Andrea Licata in the pit, conducting with great authority and substance.”

– Deborah Jones, Opera Magazine


Debut with Welsh National Opera, ‘La traviata’  Sept  2009

“The best work comes from the excellent orchestra and chorus under Andrea Licata’s experienced, idiomatic baton.”

– Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times
“The conductor Andrea Licata led a secure account, with expert contributions from the WNO orchestra and chorus.”

– Fiona Maddocks, The Observer

“Conductor Andrea Licata was a true Verdian who negotiated his way with ease around every subtle aspect of this glorious score. Needless to say their WNO Orchestra, especially the brass, woodwind and magnificent chorus, excelled.
It was, as they say, one of those nights. There are four more performances and you miss them at your peril.”
– Gavin Allen, South Wales Echo

“But Verdi is in good hands here. Andrea Licata conducted a neat, supportive and light-textured reading of the score.”

– Rupert Christiansen, The Daily Telegraph

“...the suave WNO orchestra and the vibrant chorus.” – Geoff Brown, The Times

“But for me the real stars of the show were...the wonderful playing of Verdi’s rich score by the Orchestra of the WNO, conducted with considerable élan by Andrea Licata in his WNO debut. The chorus were equally brilliant, singing with matchless unison and clearly relishing the wonderful opportunities put their way by Verdi’s sumptuous score.” – Antony Lias, Opera Britannia

“As always it is the company’s two vital operatic elements that totally engage our senses and imagination. The orchestra under the skilful and subtle control of Andrea Licata, well equipped to take over the baton from Carlo Rizzi gave us quiet seductive beauty in the opening moments, struck up like a lively brass band at one point, handled the melodrama in the music superbly and provided a bedrock under the tough demands for the soloists. The magnificent WNO chorus was once again in fine voice and in this production they did carry off the air of sophisticated debauchery that this Parisienne society indulges in extremely convincingly.” – Michael Kelligan, Theatre in Wales

“Italian conductor Andrea Licata, in another debut, is particularly helpful when the ever-dependable WNO orchestra is both affirming and giving the lie to what characters are doing and thinking on stage.” – Nigel Jarrett, South Wales Argus

“Andrea Licata conducted with assurance, vitality and intelligent supportiveness... a very satisfying evening in the theatre.”

– Glyn Pursgrove, Seen and Heard

Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci, Sydney Opera House, January/February 2009

“Maestro Andrea Licata's reading of the two scores sweeps broad strokes of colour, opting for a dense sound, soaked in Mediterranean sun, over multifaceted transparency.....Licata's innate understanding of the style and the undeniably evocative 

scores of both operas - along with a healthy dash of muscular orchestral playing - prevent it falling into total torpor.”

– Sarah Noble, The Opera Critic

Aida, Baltimore Opera - October 2008

“...conductor Andrea Licata's red-blooded treatment of the score suits these singers well...Licata draws passion from his performers that serves the drama.” – Joe Banno, Washington Post

“Conductor Andrea Licata, as usual, provided a textbook case of authentic Italian opera conducting - passionate, yet sensible; propulsive, yet always open to possibilities for rubato. The orchestra turned in some exciting work.” – Tim Smith, Baltimore Sun

Tosca, Opera North, September - October 2008

“...the other great gains are conductor Andrea Licata, also making his British debut, and Robert Hayward's Scarpia...”

– Alfred Hickling, The Guardian

“There’s much to admire in the pit, too. The Italian conductor Andrea Licata is no spring chicken – his CV seems to include every opera house in Italy – but he’s new to Britain. On the strength of the forthright orchestral playing, excellent ensemble and pungent sense of theatricality here, he should be invited back quickly and often.” – Richard Morrison, The Times

Il Trittico, Opera Australia Aug 07

 “...conductor Andrea Licata was most effective...” – Peter McCallum, Sydney Morning Herald

Lucia di Lammermoor, New Zealand Opera, July 2007

“For some, however, the conducting of Andrea Licata will clinch the production, for he brings an extraordinary understanding and draws wonderfully taut, yet expressive playing, from the Vector Wellington Orchestra, as he ties all the musical threads together.” – John Button, Dominion Post

“... under musical director Andrea Licata’s guidance, Donizetti’s score came to life with an abundance of dramatic drive and a powerful energy.” – Stephen Fisher, Manwatue Standard

“... under the baton of Andrea Licata [the Vector Wellington Orchestra] underscores the sense of unalloyed excellence.”

– John Smythe, Theatreview
“...conductor Andrea Licata was the second star, drawing fine playing from the Victor Wellington Orchestra.”

– Roger Wilson, New Zealand Listener
“...thanks to the masterly baton of Andrea Licata and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in sonorous form, Lucia di

Lammermoor is, quite simply, not to be missed...” – William Dart, New Zealand Herald

“Donizetti’s music was magnificently served by singers, chorus and orchestra under the sensitive direction of Andrea Licata.”

– Rod Biss, MetroLive 

 “Andrea Licata conducted the Auckland Philharmonia with passion, offering sensitive accompaniment to his singers...”

– Michael Sinclair, The Opera Critic

Tosca, Baltimore Opera, May 2007

“Conductor Andrea Licata focused on the score's drama but also caught the nuances of lighter moments and everyday church music.” – Ronni Reich, Washington Post

Ernani, Messina March 2007

“ direzione di Andrea Licata sostiene con molta saldezza gli slanci corali e da' un'impronta di forte irruenza alla giovanile invenzione verdiana.

Andrea Licata ha coinvoltola ristretta compagine orchestrale di teatro messinese in forti accensioni, sottolineando l'enfasi che pervade non pochi momenti della partitura verdiana ma e' riuscito anche a piegarla a sommesse linee espressive in attanta complicita' con il canto di Carlo e Silva."
– Sara Patera, Giornale di Sicilia

" maestro Licata sa esaltare le potenzialita' dell'orchestra... spontanea direzione orchestrale di Andrea Licata, che non manca di precisi approfondimenti stilistici e che bene rende l'atmosfera cupa delle scene di congiura e ben governa i concertati ed i brani corali piu' accesi..."
Stello Vadala, La Sicilia

Rigoletto, Opera Australia Sydney, September 2006

"In a sense Verdi was the real star of the evening, as maestro Andrea Licata led his forces through a reading of the marvellous score which allowed the illuminating moments to speak (or sing) for themselves." – Ken Healey, Opera Opera

“...and the splendid conducting by Andrea Licata combine to make the Opera Australia revival of Verdi’s potboiling Rigoletto a wholly enjoyable affair.” North Shore Times

“The Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra plays with precision and verve under the baton of Andrea Licata who consistently maintains the kind of tempi necessary to provide dramatic tension.” Words and Music (Radio Programme)



La Boheme, Baltimore Opera, April/May 2006

“The conductor from that 2000 production, Andrea Licata, was back in the pit, once again revealing a keen appreciation for both the subtlety and emotional punch in the score. Licata, a frequent Baltimore Opera guest, proved particularly persuasive in the last two acts, pushing the most heated lyrical phrases to compelling effect. The Italian conductor put an eloquent spin on the opera’s final minutes, helping to give Mimi’s death scene fresh pathos.” – Tim Smith, Baltimore Sun

“Binding it all together was Puccini’s score, lovingly brought to life by conductor Andrea Licata through a solid cast and robust orchestra.” – Grace Jean, Washington Post 


Madama Butterfly, Opera Australia, Sydney Opera House, January 2006

“Puccini’s superb score, conducted splendidly here by Andrea Licata...” – Ross Steel, Wentworth Courier

“Particularly impressive was the conducting of Andrea Licata from Italy, and the orchestra response.”

– Fred Blanks, North Shore Times

“...but the real musical stars of the night were the conductor Andrea Licata and the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra. They maintained a superbly judged balance of drama and lyricism, displaying excellent unison attack and rhythmic bite in the former and unveiling the smoothest of legato lines for the latter.” The Australian

“The conductor, Andrea Licata, energised the orchestra splendidly from the opening fugal entries, through the deceptive peace of the Humming Choous, right to the urgency of the closing scenes, bringing out the work’s vividness even in Puccini’s moments of miscalculation...” – Peter McCallulm, The Sydney Morning Herald – Weekend

Un ballo in maschera, Fondazione Petruzzelli, Bari, November 2005

“Esemplare la direzione di Andrea Licata, che cerca e trova nell’Orchestra della Provincia tutti i colori possibili e immaginabili, dalle sfumature più raffinate alle sonorità più serrate e taglienti... Successo calorosissimo.”

[Trans: “Andrea Licata’s conducting was exemplary, searching for and finding in the Orchestra della Provincia [di Bari] all the colours possible and imaginable, from the most subtle of shades to the tightest, razor sharp sounds...The warmest success.”] – Alessandro Romanelli, Corriere del Mezzogiorno

“Sul podio Andrea Licata... e che ha sin dalle prime battute chiaramente espresso la sua visione dell’opera. Una direzione vigorosa, tesa ad ottenere dall’orchestra una sonorità vivida, ma nel contempo sempre volta a mantenere un fecondo rapporto di equilibrio espressivo con le voci e pronta a sottolineare, con coinvolgente esito, l’intrecciarsi delle tensioni che punteggiano la vicenda.”

[Trans: “On the podium Andrea Licata... clearly expressed his vision of the opera from the first bars. His direction was energetic; using tension to encourage vivid playing from the orchestra, whilst at the same time always maintaining a fertile rapport of expressive balance with the voices, and ready to underline, to involving effect, the tensions that weave their way through the opera and punctuate its events.”] – Nicola Sbisà, La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno

“Impeccabile la direzione dal podio del direttore d’orchestra Andrea Licata.”
“On the podium the direction of conductor Andrea Licata was impeccable.”] Bari Sera

Nabucco, Opera Australia, April 2005

“...driven at an energetic pace by conductor Andrea Licata and a dazzling Orchestra Victoria.” – John Slavin, The Age

“Affectionately remembered for his fine reading of last year's Norma, conductor Andrea Licata delivers another passionate and persuasive reading, alert to the singers' needs and the score's extremities.” – Peter Burch 


Verdi’s Requiem, L’orchestra sinfonica siciliana, Monreale, November 2004

“Contrasti in formidabile rilievo nella direzione di Andrea Licata.

Dal sussuro quasi impercettibile che apre il requiem all’attacco di grandiose veemenza del Dies Irae, Licata ha sottolineato la drammaticità, di quelle tremende pagine, coinvolgendo in un grandioso vertice l’orchestra e i complessi corali. E’ stata

sopratutto la terribilità implacabile del brano a imporre il senso di una visione tumultuosa, come elemento tematico forte e prevalente nella lettura di Licata...”

[Trans: “From the almost imperceptible whisper that opens the requiem to the violently grandiose attack of the Dies Irae, Licata underlines the dramatic aspect of those tremendous pages, drawing the orchestra and choral ensembles together into one almighty peak. Above all it was the implacable terribleness of the piece that instilled the sense of a tumultuous vision, like the strong and prevalent thematic element in Licata’s reading.”] – Sara Patera, Giornale di Sicilia

La fanciulla del West, Baltimore Opera Company, October 2004

“Leading a finely responsive orchestra, conductor Andrea Licata kept the performance fast-paced for the tension-filled action and gave more leeway when the singers needed time for expressive declamations.” – Cecelia Porter, The Washington Post

Norma, Opera Australia, April 2004

“Conductor Andrea Licata hurled himself into the score and maintained a high level of energy from Orchestra Victoria.”

The Australian

“His treatment of the singers showed considerable care, particularly in directing their cadenza passages, and he made sure that Bellini’s often functional accompaniments stayed clear or rum-ti-tum blandness, asking for plenty of input from wind and brass.” – Opera Magazine 












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