Reviews

Britten – Curlew River – Opéra de Dijon

“On se souvient de Johnny Herford, Kuligin de l’extraordinaire Katia Kabanova, donnée à Dijon la saison passée. Il incarne maintenant le Voyageur. Personnage étrange, énigmatique, témoin, curieux, complice ? Ainsi c’est lui, et non pas l’Abbé, qui invite à prier pour l’enfant mort. La voix de baryton, solide, claire est bien projetée.” forumopera.com, Yvan Beuvard

“Le plateau vocal est brillant : tous les protagonistes livrent le texte avec une parfaite élocution et une puissance adaptée à la salle, à la taille de l’ensemble instrumental et au jeu de leurs partenaires. … Le Voyageur de Johnny Herford, en costume cravate déchiré et rapiécé, interprète à merveille la fatigue physique et psychologique d’un homme entraîné dans une course folle pour des raisons restant mystérieuses.” olyrix.com, Damien Dutilleul

“Le Voyageur, personnage énigmatique (on ne sait rien de lui, ni d’où il vient, ni le but qu’il poursuit) est très bien traduit par Johnny Herford, dont on se souvient du Kuligin (Katia Kabanova) donné à l’Auditorium l’an passé.” musicology.org, Eusebius

Bach – Matthäus-Passion – Signum Classics, Yorkshire Baroque Soloists, Peter Seymour

“Young baritone Johnny Herford is a vibrant, solid-voiced presence whether depicting Petrus, Pilatus, or a High Priest” voix-des-arts.com, Joseph Newsome

Glass – The Trial – Theater Magdeburg

“In der Rolle des Josef K. brillierte der britische Bariton Johnny Herford. … Das Sängerensemble wurde vom britischen Bariton Johnny Herford angeführt, der bereits bei der Uraufführung in London die Rolle des Josef K. spielte. Er verkörperte den ratlosen Bankbeamten sowohl stimmlich wie darstellerisch ausgezeichnet, wobei seine erotischen  Begierden für Abwechslung im skurrilen Handlungsablauf sorgten und das Publikum zum Schmunzeln verleiteten. … Das Publikum belohnte alle Mitwirkenden mit starkem Beifall und den Hauptdarsteller Johnny Herford mit Bravorufen.” Udo Pacolt, der-neue-merker.eu

“Der britische Bariton Johnny Herford gestaltete die Titelpartie mit seiner voluminösen, aber äußerst flexiblen Stimme sehr eindrücklich.” Claus Fischer, deutschlandfunk.de

“Nach der fulminanten Uraufführung in London war schnell klar, dass die Hauptrolle des Bankkaufmanns Josef K. von niemand anderem als dem englischen Bariton Johnny Herford gesungen werden sollte. Ihm wurde die Partie von Philip Glass passgenau “auf den Leib geschrieben”, wobei der Sänger seine enorme stimmliche Vielfalt, aber auch sein schauspielerisches Können überzeugend unter Beweis stellte.” Rolf-Dietmar Schmidt, volksstimme.de

Glass – The Trial – Music Theatre Wales

“Johnny Herford is fabulous as K; slim, dapper, dynamic and determined to fight what he initially considers a laughable charge. His creamy baritone tones remain rock solid throughout what must be an exhausting two-and-a-half hour ordeal for him, and an engaging and hypnotic delight for us.” Oxford Times, Tim Hughes *****

“A strong cast, boasting many superb actors, completes this compelling show. Johnny Herford makes a convincing Josef K., commanding our sympathy with his desperate, puppy-dog demeanour.” Financial Times, Hannah Nepil *****

“The performances, led by Johnny Herford as the uncomprehending and finally utterly resigned Josef, are all excellent.”  Gaurdian, Andrew Clements ****

“Johnny Herford plays the hapless hero with an endearing bewildered charm.” Telegraph, Rupert Christiansen “Johnny Herford’s excellent Josef K, gradually disintegrating from assured bank president to terrified wretch. MTW’s cast hurl it all out with relish.” The Times, Richard Morrison

“K, sung by the excellent British baritone Johnny Herford who is on stage almost all the time.”  Daily Mail, Michael Roddy – Reuters              

“At the centre of the madness is Johnny Herford’s Josef K. His is a lovely, flexible baritone… his voice finds enough personality, enough humanity, to persuade us to invest in this luckless everyman.” The Arts Desk,  Alexandra Coghlan

“Baritone Johnny Herford gives a valiant performance as K, the wide-eyed central protagonist struggling to comprehend his arrest on unspecified charges.” The Stage, Graham Rogers

“There’s a morbid fascination in charting [Josef K’s] descent from confident young professional through reversion to childhood to ultimate annihilation, and Johnny Herford interprets the role with as much flair as the music allows, singing and inhabiting the doomed young man with complete conviction.” – What’s On Stage, Mark Valencia

“Johnny Herford gives a superbly engaging performance of the sincere young Josef K, caught in a web within which any control he tries to exert only traps him deeper.” www.markronan.com

“Johnny Herford sings Josef K. It can’t be easy to create a character disintegrating from a rational man into automaton, but Herford is convincing. His voice has a good balance of rugged manliness and plaintive vulnerability.” Opera Today, Anne Ozorio

“The performances from the eight-strong cast were terrific – Johnny Herford’s Joseph K affectingly forlorn in the face of inevitable oblivion.” Birmingham Post, Gareth Ceredig

“The success of this production is in no small part due to its sterling cast of eight singers.. Johnny Herford’s light baritone is compelling in capturing Josef K’s vulnerability and wrong-headed tenacity.” Bachtrack, Peter Reynolds

“Johnny Herford is perfect as Josef, moving from uncomprehending, to challenging, through to acceptance.” Manchester Confidential, Jonathan Payne

“K – as Kafka’s alter-ego, is a complicated man. While a victim from the outset, he is still a fully-rounded, awkward anti-hero – sexually active and successful, stroppy, difficult. I thought it was telling that Glass cast this role as a baritone: a robust, solid sound, rather than a more highly-strung, or fantasy-heroic – but then less ‘everyman’ – tenor. Johnny Herford, in every scene, made a superb K and was able to sing with a great deal of power while still using the vocal outbursts to convey his character’s terror and weakness.” adrianspecs.blogspot.co.uk

“Josef K., excellently sung and acted by Johnny Herford, cannot escape. Herford is ideal as the seemingly normal man who cannot understand or accept the Catch 22 situation he is within.” Theatre in Wales, Mike Smith

“Johnny Herford giving an excellent performance as Josef K.” Daily Express

Weir – A Night at the Chinese Opera – British Youth Opera

“Johnny Herford took the central role of Chao Lin with remarkable assurance.” Hugh Canning, Opera

“There is some fine singing. Herford and the three Actors are excellent.” Tim Ashley, The Guardian

“I registered with pleasure the robust tenor of Samuel Smith (doubling as Marco Polo and a nightwatchman), and the smooth baritone of Johnny Herford (Chao Lin).” Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph

“Outstanding in a committed cast [was] Johnny Herford as the doomed hero, Chao Lin.” Anna Picard, The Independent

“Chao-Lin (Johnny Herford) is the protagonist, perhaps the hero in some senses. But he doesn’t get that much stage time. So it is important that the character engaged our sympathy and interest. This Herford did, creating an appealing and slightly diffident stage figure, who was  expressive even when not singing. This is an opera where each moment counts,  whether you are singing or not. Herford has a lovely lyric baritone voice which he uses intelligently. He was the focus of the opera without blustering or showing off. I look forward to seeing how his career develops.” Robert Hugill, hugill.blogspot.co.uk

Poulenc – Les Mamelles de Tirésias – Britten-Pears Young Artists

“Johnny Herford was excellent as the policeman.” Gareth Jones, East Anglian Daily Times

Mozart – The Magic Flute – Bath Festival

“But the hit in this version is Johnny Herford, a would-be cool Papageno, trying to find a mate via online dating. His easy vocal line and confident sense of comedy  makes him much funnier than the usual panto figure.” thisissomerset.co.uk

“Johnny Herford’s Rhys-Ifans-inspired Welsh Papageno, mellifluous in his longing for a Mrs Papageno and a cottage in the Brecon Beacons.” Paul Riley, venue.co.uk

“In Johnny Herford’s hands he [Papageno] becomes a wonderful tattooed, bandanna wearing Welsh wastrel.” Philip Horton, thisisbath.co.uk

Sibelius – Kuolema – Kings Place

“It was given a beautifully pitched performance by the ECO under Paul Watkins and the  impressive young soloists Lucy Roberts (soprano) and Johnny Herford (baritone)…  I hope to hear it, and the soloists, again soon.” Guy Dammann, The Guardian

“Johnny Herford was no less adept in the virile expression of ‘Paavali’s Song’” Richard Whitehouse, classicalsource.com

Mozart – Die Zauberflöte – Royal Academy of Music

“Johnny Herford’s show-stealing Papageno (cast as a paparazzo) was impressively sung and acted with a sharp sense of comedy.” Peter Reed, classicalsource.com

Britten – Curlew River – Royal Academy of Music “The principal roles – Ferryman, Traveller, Madwoman (Gareth John, Johnny Herford, Thomas Elwin respectively) – were spellbinding.” jonsmalldon.wordpress.com

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies – Kommilitonen! – Royal Academy of Music

“Kommilitonen! is an ensemble piece that prioritises collective singing – which from start to finish was magnificent. But there were also memorable and vivid solo roles from Aoife Miskelly, Jonathan McGovern, Katie Bray, Andrew Dickinson and Johnny Herford among a teeming cast, who all deserve mention.” Michael White, The Telegraph

“The White Roses Aoife Miskelly, Johnny Herford  and Andrew Dickinson stood out” Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph

“Nathalie Chalkley and Johnny Herford were wholly sympathetic as the Scholl siblings” Richard Whitehouse, classicalsource.com

J. S. Bach – St. Matthew Passion, Ardingly College Chapel

“The part of Jesus was sung by Johnny Herford with a steady and  gentle authority.” James King, Mid Sussex Times

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