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1. The Mikado click to go back to menu
The Mikado, English National Opera, 2011
Camden New Journal (March 2011)
Express (March 2011)
'...it is Richard Suart as Ko-Ko, the Lord High Executioner who really holds the whole show together.
Suart has been playing this role for 20 years and has truly made it his own. He even writes his own lyrics each time for the song in which the executioner gives some of the names of the people on his little list for punishment. It has become usual to introduce an element of topicality into that song, but Suart's inclusion of Wayne Rooney, the head of Ryanair, Silvio Berlusconi, the invitees to the Royal Wedding and, best of all, the Speaker of the House of Commons (who can barely reach his seat) and his wife (wearing nothing but a sheet) made for a quite magnificent List. His acting too incorporated bits of Groucho Marx, Arthur Daley, Leslie Phillips and Frankie Howerd to brilliant effect'
Guardian (March 2011)
'No artist is more closely associated with Miller's staging than Richard Suart, whose Ko-Ko remains a masterpiece of comic invention: a crazed, abject creation vainly attempting to control proceedings even as they spiral ever more preposterously beyond his reach. His updated Little List takes swipes at several contemporary figures, from Berlusconi to coalitionists, and even the blamelessly ubiquitous Stephen Fry'
MusicalCriticism.com (March 2011)
'Richard Suart is as mischievous, mordant, and mocking as ever. His updating of the little list proved a highlight, hitting the spot precisely because even easy targets were sent up with wit and generosity'
MusicOMH.com (March 2011)
'Standing out for sheer energy amongst the principals was Richard Suart as Ko-Ko, the Lord High Executioner. Excellent diction in both his dialogue and arias made his character instantly accessible, but even more impressive was his comic timing, which he has down to a fine art. His rendition of 'I've got a little list', rewritten to cover topical issues, was delivered with great energy and panache, leaving the audience just enough time to process the humour before emerging with a new joke. In the original run of this production, the role was taken by Eric Idle, and whilst Suart has drawn some aspects from his interpretation, he injects another level of humour which is all his own'
Opera-Britannia.com (March 2011)
'The Mikado is very much an ensemble piece and fortunately ENO fielded a very strong team of singers who (essentially for G&S) also had a real flair for acting - in particular Richard Suart's brilliantly funny Ko-Ko; a role he has sung in countless revivals of this production over the past 20 years and which he has quite deservedly made his own. Suart's physical acting and witty delivery of Gilbert's text was absolutely spot on; striking just the right balance between over-the-top Monty Python style eccentricity and farce - in fact, as Lord High Executioners go, I've never seen better. Possessing a pleasant light baritone, his diction was exemplary throughout and the leisurely tempo of the "Little List" ensured that none of the new jokes were lost on the enthusiastic audience. Suart himself composed this latest list (the most amusing one I've heard to date) which predictably included Middle Eastern dictators as well as other "society offenders" who "never would be missed" such as Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary, Wayne Rooney, the "Coalitionists" and of course Silvio Berlusconi'
Telegraph (March 2011)
'Richard Suart repeated his familiar Ko-Ko, with new verses to his little list including references to Vince Cable ('his wires are in a twist'), the Royal Wedding and Berlusconian bunga bunga. It's a very adept performance, which emphasises the character's craven cynicism and opportunism, but not a show-stopping one'
Whats On Stage.com (March 2011)
'As Ko-Ko, Lord High Executioner and chief clown, the wonderful Richard Suart mugs and scenery-chews his way through yet another revival. His ever-changing list of society offenders is hilarious; but how could it not be, in these crazy times? First-night targets ranged from Wayne Rooney to Elton John, taking in Ryanair, Jacqui Smith and the Arab uprisings along the way. Who knows who'll be for the chop at the next performance? (Watch out, Ashley Cole...)'
Classical Source.com (February 2011)
'On hand to provide continuity for this ENO stalwart are "Mikado" veterans Richards Suart and Angas as Ko-Ko and the Mikado. Suart's Koko ranges from Groucho Marx, through Max Wall to Monty Python, with a huge range of tics, impersonations and accents. His 'little list' summarily deals with an impressive array of contemporary horrors - the Bercows, Middle-Eastern real-life lord high executioners, Jacqui Smith, bunga-bunga Berlusconi, Elton John and his instant family are all fingered - and he works the audience with manic glee'
Londonist.com (February 2011)
'The old hand Richard Suart is marvellous as the snivelling Ko-Ko, whether he is acting the tennis playing twit, billiard shark buffoon or wretched white suited suitor'
Stage (February 2011)
'Eric Idle and Bill Oddie might seem hard acts to follow, but Richard Suart has been the face of Ko-Ko, Titipu's Lord High Executioner, for more than 20 years in Jonathan Miller's The Mikado for ENO. Despite - or because of - having given more than 150 performances of the role in various productions, Suart's comedy is so naturally bound into the character. Camp but not hammy, physical but not slapstick, he is the dynamo that drives the cast and his dialogue soars into the auditorium, combining the dry irony of Ronnie Corbett with the effortless suaveness of Leslie Phillips; with side-curls constantly flailing, his energy is boundless. His latest 'little list' of those who 'won't be missed' includes swipes at Wayne Rooney, Ryanair's Michael O'Leary and Silvio Berlusconi (in a rhyme deftly pairing 'hunger' with 'bunga bunga')'
The Arts Desk.com (February 2011)
'Richard Suart's Ko-Ko is a creature honed over many years, and pitched just on the right side of hysteria. Doing violence to his vowels with the gusto of a drunken Boris Johnson, his convulsions of body and tongue are outdone solely by the satire of his self-penned Little List. The present incarnation features among its unlucky stars Wayne Rooney, Berlusconi (a rhyme of "hunger" and "bunga bunga" drew cheers), "those hacking journalists", and of course the newly ubiquitous "coalitionists"'
The Mikado, Usher Hall Edinburgh, 2010
Herald Scotland (December 2010)
The Mikado, ENO
The Mikado - 2006 ENO.
'Richard Suart is a joy as Ko-Ko.'
John Amis - The Tablet.
'Suart has developed an entire gymnasium of contorted body language to express his guile, his anguish and his greed.'
Hilary Finch - The Times.
'For me at least Suart with his magnificent comic timing and walk, a combination of Groucho Marx and Max Wall, was the runaway star.'
Peter Gruner - Camden New Journal.
'Suart's Ko-Ko may be approaching the limit of how much hamming-up one role can take, but it's deservedly his show.'
Erica Jeal - The Guardian.
'Since Suart changes the names regularly, they may well be different at the next show. But what won't alter is the sheer quality and panache of his performance, which is a brilliantly sustained comic turn.'
George Hall - The Stage.
'The fineness with which it is all judged is encapsulated in Ko-Ko's famous list, here delivered with consummate panache by Richard Suart. I don't know who compiles the list of dispensables who 'won't be missed', but traditionally it is the singer himself. Suart is wonderful, taking the art of wincing to its limit, but knowing always where that is.'
Michael Tanner - The Spectator.
'As Ko-Ko, baritone Richard Suart is so puke-makingly humble you want him sent for mercy killing! With a face so cheesily smarmy he makes Rowan Atkinson look paralysed; he effortlessly steals the show. You want live self-abasement? Well, this guy has it - in spades! Why, every dominatrix in the audience - male and female - must have been gagging at the prospect of this text-book slave!'
Fraulein Sasha Selavie - Gay Times.
English National Opera at the London Coliseum.
"Suart turns in one of his best performances as Ko-Ko. G&S is his stock-in-trade, we know, but the energy and comic precision of what he does comes so naturally that you are simply not aware of its skill. He's a sharp mime and a sharp mimic (everything from Gordon Brown to Olivier's Richard III)..."
Edward Seckerson: The Independent 7 April 2004
"As for Richard Suart's Ko-Ko, what's left to be said? He must be the most manically inventive G&S exponent of our era. Indeed, his impersonation of Olivier playing Richard III is worth the price of admission by itself. But it was when he added "George W. Bush's poodle, whose name is Tony Blair" to Ko-Ko's wishful list of those "who won't be missed" that he brought the house down."
Richard Morrison: The Times 5 April 2004.
The Mikado for the Nationale Reisopera in Holland
"Richard Suart is de ideale operetteperformer..."
"...is Suart een entertainer van de eerste order."
"Voorop Richard Suart, een van Sullivans voornaamste profeten op aarde..."
de Volkskrant 22 March 2004
New York City Opera and ENO.
Above all there is Richard Suart as Ko-Ko, delivering his long little
list amply; Suart has developed the detail of his impersonation, performing
with irresistible inventiveness, amazing physical contortions, and exact
timing. Definitely an experience to catch".
unusually able comic as Ko-Ko".
was a fine singing comedian, Richard Suart, who moved as well as he patter-sang.
list was artfully delivered by Richard Suart in the role of Ko-Ko. Suart
has made the role something of a speciality, and he frequently stole the
spotlight from the surrounding leads."
the star part as Ko-Ko, guest artist Richard Suart landed his comic moments
with style and wit"
has become a marvellously ornate interpretation, but most remarkable is
the genuine modesty and economy with which Suart performs."
The Sunday Telegraph
D'Oyly Carte at the Savoy 2000, directed by Ian Judge.
Suart plays Ko-Ko in time-honoured fashion, a masterpiece of comic timing
"But it does
have the immeasurable benefit of Richard Suart's presence as Ko-Ko. With
years of Gilbert and Sullivan and opera experience, he gives a masterful,
delightfully detailed performance, timed to perfection..."
2. The Yeomen of the Guard click to go back to menuWelsh National Opera
above all Richard Suart...a marvellously alert, lucid, not too tear-jerking
"At the centre
of the performance stands Richard Suart's Jack Point. The melancholy Jester
might be a gift of a role to a fine singing actor, but that in no way
diminishes the imaginitive artistry lavished on it by Suart, whose interpretation,
both in the larger view, and in the finer detail, is consummate".
Point (Richard Suart) reminding one of a furrow-browed Ronnie Corbett..."
Opera Holland Park
star of the show was Richard Suart, no stranger to the Merryman, 'moping
mum', with beautifully timed comedy and mock pathos, hilariously capering
with the Lieutenant, putting down the squawking peacocks with a gag, and
even winning his race against the conductor's high-speed baton."
3. Iolanthe click to go back to menu
Iolanthe, San Francisco Symphony
London Philharmonic Orchestra and chorus/ Roger Norrington/ Festival Hall
Suart (The Lord Chancellor) has become the sine qua non of G & S in
this country. Beware inferior substitutes".
of the show was Richard Suart's well oiled and disingenuous Lord Chancellor,
making an art form of physical uncoordination ... His virtuosic 'Nightmare'
song - a compendium of every restless night you've ever endured - is Gilbert
at his dazzling best. Suart didn't drop a stitch."
Suart as The Lord Chancellor gave everyone a lesson in articulation and
shaping a Joke".
International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival, Buxton.
helps to have some of the best G & S performers around, and the audience
was clearly hard put to it to award higher honours to Richard Suart for
giving his wonderfully batty Lord Chancellor."
" The evening
was mostly Richard Suart's. His Lord Chancellor was fruity, laid-back,
resourceful and shares with the great John Reed, indefinable charm."
Grange Park 2003
" Most outstanding
of the generally admirable performances was that of
4. The Merry Widow click to go back to menu
Merry Widow, ENO
5. Opera North click to go back to menu
Paradise Moscow, Opera North at Bregenz Festival
6. They'd None of 'em Be Missed click to go back to menu
They'd None of 'em Be Missed, by Richard Suart & ASH Smyth
7. Salad Days click to go back to menu
Salad Days, Tête a Tête
8. After Life click to go back to menu
After Life, Barbican, London
9. Chicago concert click to go back to menu
G&S Concert, Grant Park Music Festival USA
10. The Pirates of Penzance click to go back to menu
D'Oyly Carte at the Queens Theatre
Suart is a splendid, batty Major-General..."
Suart, a natural successor to the great John Reed, patters astoundingly,
and is gleefully funny..."
International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival, Buxton
Suart, who is making comic baritone roles his personal property, brought
his Mr Pastry-ish style to Major-General Stanley ..."
English National Opera, December 2004
"...above all, Richard Suart, the perfect purveyor of patter as the Major-General himself."
David Mellor - The Mail on Sunday
"...and Richard Suart's "modern" Major-General Stanley showed everybody up. He alone gave the old dialogue a lift; he alone filled the stage. And it needed filling, believe me."
Edward Seckerson - The Independent
"The cast needs every G&S pro it can lay its hands on, and it has one in Richard Suart's exemplary Major-General Stanley."
Richard Fairman - The Financial Times
11. Best of Gilbert and Sullivan Concert click to go back to menu
Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Cond. Bramwell Tovey.
" Last night,
Suart was back. And if you're a D'Oyly Carte historian, you needn't feel
uncomfortable placing him in the company of Martyn Green and Sir Henry
Lytton, Suart is that good. With consonants tripping along like a lithe
hammer tapping away, a sly wink exactly placed, unbridled lechery suggested
à la mode, Suart ruled every verse."
12. Patience click to go back to menu
International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival, Buxton.
Suart's Bunthorne is near perfect, in appearance a combination of Walter
Crane.,Whistler, Charles Swinburne and Oscar Wilde. Suart is well aware
that Bunthorne is the chap who tries too hard and fails, but doesn't care
a hoot because he knows that tomorrow, he can begin the charade all over
again. This man is a serial sham."
13. Princess Ida click to go back to menu
International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival, Buxton.
" ...and the cast included Richard Suart as Gama, surely one of the few who could (and did) make an entertainment of the 'most disagreeable man'..."
Manchester Evening News
14. Gwyneth and the Green Knight click to go back to menu
Music Theatre Wales at the Linbury Studio, Covent Garden.
singing actor Richard Suart is in his element with his similarly
15. Die Fledermaus click to go back to menu
Diva Opera at Les Azuriales Festival, Cap Ferrat
by distinguished British baritone Richard Suart, who also played Frank,
was a great success. His staging had the pace and wit that Glyndebourne's
recent dim production conspicuously lacked.."
16. The Parson's Pirates click to go back to menu
Opera della Luna at the Bridewell Theatre
Suart, the leading Savoyard of our day..."
17. The Marriage of Figaro click to go back to menu
cameo performance from Richard Suart"
18. La Vie Parisienne click to go back to menu
The D'Oyly Carte
also a wonderful role for Richard Suart, the ENO's best Ko-Ko - a Brazilian
millionaire throwing himself and money way over the top at passing fancies."
19. HMS Pinafore click to go back to menu
'Among the singers, much the best were....Richard Suart who made a splendidly fatuous Ruler of the Queen's Navee.'
Ivan Hewett - The Daily Telegraph
'Richard Suart as a veteran Sir Joseph Porter sang and acted everyone else off stage as an admirable Admiral.'
Hilary Finch - The Times.
20. The Tell-Tale Heart click to go back to menu
The Tell-Tale Heart, Royal Opera House
The Duenna click to go back to menu
The Duenna, English Touring Opera, 2010
Opera Critic.com (November 2010)
Candide click to go back to menu
Candide, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Hollywood Bowl, 2010
International Review of Music.com (September 2010)
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