"Billy Budd" at the Bolshoi in Moscow, November 2016
Conductor William Lacey built this huge harmonic canvas, which had the internal dynamics, drama and epic sea."
"A Midsummer Night's Dream" at Hawaii Opera Theatre, February 2016
This was nonetheless a very fine, accomplished effort thanks to the inspired conducting of William Lacey. Maestro Lacey is a real find, and I always had the secure feeling that he knew how to confidently draw the very best from his players and his cast. He found just the right arc for each Act (not to mention the entire evening), and while he could certainly whip up a wickedly frenzied mosaic of sound when required, his greatest achievement may have been in allowing just the right amount of serenity to inform the introspective stretches, allowing them to “breathe.” He partnered the singers expertly, wrung every bit of color out of the score, and summoned up the comedic elements with gusto. Mr. Lacey would seem to have a great future and boy, do we need him!
- Opera Today, February 22 2016
"Le Nozze di Figaro" - new production at the Bolshoi, April 2015
"The orchestra conducted by William Lacey, the vocal parts, and especially the ensembles, which are famous in this opera, in sum, the entire musical component of the performance pleased the ear."
"Another remarkable advantage of the new "Figaro" is the work of the conductor William Lacey. The English maestro appeared in Moscow for the first time in the production of "Midsummer Night's Dream" by Britten in the Stanislavsky Music Theatre and became a sensation with his finest command of English style. Then Lacey worked on Mozart ("Don Giovanni" directed by Alexander Titel at the same theater of Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko and a concert version of "Figaro" at the Bolshoi). And these works were also convincing. So Lacey became one of the favorite foreigners in Moscow of those who allow local singers and musicians to take new stylistic heights without stress and pressure. The score of "Figaro" in his hands is unusually dynamic and not lacking in flexibility. Lacey takes a rapid pace, twists the spring, but allows to relax and enjoy the ensembles, carefully aligned, although not successful in all ways. A new Mozart, stylistically not greasy, not ecstatically romantic, but transparent, painted with delicate colors, the one that appears in Moscow more and more often while it did not exist here not so long ago - that is a great success."
"...Pisarev coped with the task perfectly under the musical direction of the brilliant William Lacey"
- Rossiyskaya Gazeta
"Conductor William Lacey sets a pretty fast tempo, dynamics and moving forward are continuous, however, the music has not lost its lightness, ease, flexibility, its power and vitality, so the performance is vivid and true-to-life."
- Nezavisimaya Gazeta
"The conductor William Lacey, starting with the overture, made Mozart sound cheerful and springy, rolling like a joyful wave, with clear accents and vocal climaxes."
- Novie Izvestiya
"The orchestra under the direction of William Lacey sounds wonderful."
- Vash Dosug
"Innovative directing solutions have found their solid and stylistically significant support in the English conductor and music director of the production William Lacey. The Maestro had plenty of time to rehearse with the orchestra and chorus of the Bolshoi Theater, having worked on a semi-staged production last year, so the orchestra pleased the audience with an exceptionally beautiful and psychologically accurate immersion in the extremely difficult and only seemingly simple music of Mozart.
With its energetic, but finely balanced sensitive drive, William Lacey`s orchestral interpretation gave a firm and powerful thrill."
- Bel Canto
"Don Giovanni" in Moscow, June 2014
"The premiere at the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theatre was astonishing, it was perfectly sung and played: with really rare sound accents and polished ensembles with elegant recitativi and an exemplary, detailed delivery of the famous arias. After having made friends with the cast during the infamous production of Benjamin Britten's opera "A Midsummer Night’s Dream" the British conductor William Lacey felt at home here: the strict rules without which you cannot play Mozart dictated by him did not affect the vivid intonation or the actors' freedom. Three soloists: Natalia Petrozhitskaya (Donna Elvira), Dmitriy Zuev (Don Giovanni) and Denis Makarov (Leporello) sung amazingly well and made miracles of voicing happen — interweaving the dryish recitativi of their heroes with the musical outline of their parts by a famous Italian tongue-twisting manner - so that then and there the characters came to life. The whole cast was on the level with them: starting from an opera diva Hibla Gerzmava who joined the premiere performances with her glamorous build and renowned experience of singing Donna Anna at the Covent Garden, up to not such a shy debutant Inna Klochko who has been invited for a part of Zerlina by the director straight from The Russian University of Theatre Arts."
- Kultura, June 20 2014
"Maestro William Lacey (according to the 18th-century tradition he played the cembalo part in the recitativi) on the contrary has a wide experience in performing this opera and a long list of Mozart's operas he has conducted in general. His challenge has been complicated by the fact that the premiere of "Don Giovanni" at the Bolshoi Theatre a few seasons ago has been accompanied by violent controversy not only about the scandalous production of Dmitry Chernyakov but also the ambiguous musical interpretation. The strive for the uniqueness of that experiment with the purchase of the authentic musical instruments, special education of the musicians and everything else that was supposed to initiate the intrigues around the production actually happened to be something disputable. William Lacey's approach didn't suggest anything close of the kind and proved to be a successful strategy. The orchestra conducted by him was very well-handled and obedient. It has played using ordinary instruments but no artificial romantization or theatralization of the music in this case happened. Lacey's classicism is a real classicism. The whole opera has been performed flexibly and compactly whithin Mozart's style, without the slightest hint of excessive emission of the sound but still quite expressive. In general, conductor-wise the production went perfectly.
So as a result after the premiere the only things we can see are the advantages: an amazing cast, a successful work of a European conductor with the orchestra, and a director's decision to find a compromise: a balance between the up-to-dateness and a traditional approach."
- Belcanto.Ru, June, 18, 2014
"After a Mozart premiere at the Bolshoi [of "Cosi fan Tutte"] the same event took place at the second (in terms of its status) Moscow theatre – the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theatre. It was another masterpiece of the trilogy on Da Ponte's libretti -"Don Giovanni". Another intelligent and flawlessly precise young Western pro, both at the conductor’s stand and playing the cembalo, was an Englishman William Lacey, whose successful collaboration with the theatre has started two years ago at the production of Britten's 'A Midsummer Night’s Dream'. "
- Colta (Moscow), June 18 2014
"The famous opera has been musically performed better than it has been staged at the Stanislavsky theatre. After the Bolshoi's premiere of "Cosi fan Tutte", the theatre on Bolshaya Dmitrovka had a premiere of another opera by Mozart but with a different approach: a foreign conductor with the theatre’s soloists. William Lacey, a Brit, also as his Italian colleague at the Bolshoi accompanies the recitativi by himself, and sometimes joins the orchestra which sounds quite fit and well-balanced. "Don Giovanni" is to a lesser extent an ensemble opera than "Cosi" but it cannot do without precise ensembles and here they are flawless. As at the Bolshoi there are two casts here but sometimes they swap: the main part is sung by the premier baritone of the theatre Dmitriy Zuev. The singers of the second cast seem to be on the same level: Donna Anna performed by Maria Makeeva is impulsive, passionate, with a flexible big voice. But Don Giovanni's production here seems quite plain compared to the exuberant one at the Bolshoi."
- Vedomosti, June 17 2014
"The orchestra with Lacey conducting sounds practically perfect and the vocal ensembles surprisingly polished. In general, "Don Giovanni" is a real victory of the Stanislavky's team. One of the most difficult Mozart operas which requires a wild expressivity and at the same time phenomenal technique has been conquered by them. And after the premiere (we are quite sure about that) it will become even better. And any minute now it will be on the international level."
- Vash Dosug, June 16 2014
"Surprisingly enough, but the most complicated performance in terms of structure with its multilayered optics doesn't seem stodgy with Titel, on the contrary quite light and emphatically aesthetic. Every detail in the performance has be presented in a beautiful manner- starting from the mise en scene up to lighting, from the psychology of the characters up to the masks' game, disguising, symbolic dreams. But the most important thing is the fact that there is a connection with the Mozart's music which conducted by William Lacey has developed into a spectacular sound picture with mysterious tremoli and sinister unisons, with roaring timpani and soft cembalo recitativi, with love romances and passionate arias which sounded on a high level among all of the participants in the performance. That's the very case when you want to say: Bravo!"
- Rossiyskaya gazeta, June, 15, 2014
"The event that has taken place on the stage of the Stanislavsky theatre in the evening on the 10 of June can be pompously called a historical one: Mozart's “Don Giovanni" has been performed for the first time for many years in Moscow on an international level.
Mozart in general is a hard nut to crack and a really stern test for the theatres. You cannot succeed here only with expression, you cannot hide the lack of technique with the beauty or power of the sound. "Don Giovanni" is considered to be the most difficult one of all the masterpieces of Mozart. And so eight years after us seeing flawless Mozart in "Cosi fan tutte" on the small stage of the Stanislavsky, we see an almost perfect Don Giovanni appear on the big stage.
The nerve and the tension of the performance was provided by a British conductor William Lacey both at the conductor’s stand and by the cembalo. He managed to achieve a rare sensuality of the orchestra sound and ensembles in their almost sexual interlacing.
The performance being a united musical system is an unapproachable ideal which all opera stages want to achieve but which always melts beyond the horizon and has out of sudden come to life. It will be quite difficult to remain on such a level or performing that is why the things happening on the opening night I would call a miracle. I do really hope that this will happen on a regular basis at this theatre. The audience didn't let the actors go for 15 minutes. I would not part with them at all."
- Rossiyskaya gazeta, June, 11, 2014
"And so finally about the orchestra conducted by William Lacey. It is obvious that a lot of work has been done here. The orchestra has sensitively performed the tasks set by the conductor, the sound was well-orchestrated and meaningful, also in numerous ensembles with the singers. And I would call the interpretation itself emotionally balanced, without extremes in tempi and colours - this can only meet with approval. And a very important comment is the fact that it is such a pleasure to hear Mozart without authentic experiments. You really can achieve a non-heavy, appropriate sound with quite standard orchestral means.
( . . . )
In this instance the result amazes - the interpretation of Mozart has been successful."
- Opera News (Russia), June 16 2014
"Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro" has not been seen at the Bolshoi since a short-lived, but quite effective production of the mid-1990s. It returns April 24 in a staging by Moscow director Yevgeny Pisarev. ( . . . )
In the pit will be British conductor William Lacey, who seems on his way to establishing himself as an important figure on the Moscow operatic scene. Season before last, he drew rave reviews for his leadership of Benjamin Britten's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko. He returns there on June 10 to conduct a new production of Mozart's "Don Giovanni," having just last week led Musica Viva chamber orchestra in an overwhelmingly beautiful concert performance at Tchaikovsky Hall of the French version of Christoph Willibald Gluck's opera "Orpheus and Eurydice."
- The Moscow Times, June 1 2014
Britten's "Curlew River" at the Barbican Centre in London, November 2013
"The Britten Sinfonia's magically perfect rendering of Britten's church opera."
(Rated number two of the top five operatic events of 2013)
- The Daily Telegraph, December 30 2013
"William Lacey leads the Britten Sinfonia musicians in a hypnotically slow, thoughtful performance. For 75 minutes time moves at its own pace. As a centenary offering, this was worth waiting for." (Five stars)
- Financial Times, November 17 2013
"its lean lines played compellingly by members of the Britten Sinfonia under William Lacey" (Five stars)
- The Guardian, November 15 2013
"Britten's richly inventive yet sparsely astringent score was wonderfully handled by William Lacey and the Britten Sinfonia" (Five stars)
- The Observer, November 16 2013
"William Lacey kept a discreet, firm hand on the music's pace, animated the layering of Britten's vocal and instrumental sounds with an easy, natural flow, and left one amazed at the grip this extraordinary musical and spiritual vision exerts."
- Classical Source, November 16 2013
"The Britten Sinfonia - blessings on its name - has got it triumphantly right, with a magnificent cast of musicians and a production by Netia Jones of eloquent simplicity ( . . . ) William Lacey is sensitive to all the score's batsqueak delicacies ( . . . ) Long and warm applause greeted this exceptional performance." (Five stars)
- The Daily Telegraph, November 15 2013
"The hauntingly unhinged music was brilliantly played by the Britten Sinfonia under William Lacey's fine direction and superbly sung"
- The Times, November 18 2013
Mozart's "Die Entfuehrung aus dem Serail" at Garsington Opera, June 2013
"William Lacey, Kapellmeister at Leipzig Opera and infrequently heard in his native country, runs things with an excellent ear for both comic speed and lyrical intensity, followed at every turn by Garsington's lively house band."
- The Times Literary Supplement, June 21 2013
"Each time the music resumes it brings relief from such silliness, especially since it is so well performed under the conductor William Lacey."
- The New York Times, June 18 2013
"The Garsington Opera Orchestra sounded punchy and fresh on the first night of the season. The position of the pit flatters the instruments, and William Lacey, in his Garsington debut, kept them bowling along in tight formation, enjoying the lyrical passages as well as the rustic dance-band numbers."
- Opera magazine, August 2013
"There can be no denying the musical excellence of the production, under conductor William Lacey."
- The Oxford Times, June 13 2013
"The orchestra plays beautifully under William Lacey, who conducts with refinement."
- The Catholic Herald, June 21 2013
"The orchestra was superbly conducted by William Lacey."
- Spear's, June 10 2013
"First among equals on the musical and sung front must be mentioned the conductor William Lacey. Under his direction the orchestra do full justice to the score's rhythmic vitality as well as bringing out its character and and supporting his singers in an exemplary manner."
- Seen and Heard International, June 12 2013
"A feather-light account of the Overture proper (one of Mozart's most irresistible) announced both the superb modern instruments of the Garsington Opera Orchestra and William Lacey, a British conductor whose profile is higher in Leipzig and the USA than it is in his homeland, as ideal musical guides on this improbable journey. ( . . . ) It all adds up to a delightful evening of sublime music and inventive comedy."
- Classical Source, June 18 2013
Mozart's "Le Nozze di Figaro": concert performances with the Bolshoi in Moscow and St Petersburg, January 2013
The Bolshoi theatre entrusted a foreigner, the Englishman William Lacey, with the interpretation of Mozart with the young cast. Nothing but sincere approval can greet his work, as his Mozart was precise, exact, but at the same time not sterile, quite entertaining and memorable. You could feel it from the very first bars of the overture - the music was captivating and convincing - even in the the extremely familiar overture.
- Opera News (Russia)
The peculiarity of the historical moment was that the Bolshoi orchestra was led by a foreigner, William Lacey, a graduate of King's College, Cambridge. Already in the overture he attuned the audience the audience to a stylistically proper mood.
The graceful, elegant, theatrical, diversified sound of the orchestra began to create a musical and poetical system of dramatic framework that throughout the two and a half hours of the show becomes a perfect home for the characters of the virtuosic and didactic musical comedy.
Strauss's "Die Fledermaus" in Leipzig, October 2012
"Musically William Lacey does not emphasise effects, not the unctuous charm of the familiar, but rather structure. Already in the overture he shows where the journey is going. With loving details he illuminates the middle voices, he lets the rhythms bounce exquisitely, the harmonies bloom elegantly, the melodies compete in radiance - but nevertheless always as part of an organic whole. Lacey's symphonic approach makes audible, why this operetta asserts itself so far above the other works of its genre. He subtly balances the sensuously disciplined orchestra, he finely judges effects, he expertly holds the dynamics sometimes so far back, that he can carry the singers on his hands, without overshadowing the richness of the score. The result is a transparent sound, in which the singers are magnificently integrated."
- Leipziger Volkszeitung, October 8 2012
Britten's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in Moscow, June 2012
"There is indeed a sensation: Moscow finally has an excellent performance of one of the most famous, beautiful and mysterious operas by Benjamin Britten, "A Midsummer Night's Dream." The only time the opera was previously staged in Moscow was in 1965 at the Bolshoi, five years after its British premiere. It ran for a short time. Now the Musical Theatre Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko has co-produced an ENO production from last year. And in the mise-en-scene of Christopher Alden, one of the famous twin brothers (both opera directors with an international reputation and radical habits), the singers and the chorus of the Moscow Musical Theatre perform Britten's complex score with full dedication, stylistic virtuosity, precision and gusto. ( . . . )
It is conducted by an Englishman, William Lacey, and to him we owe the fact that Britten sounds so unexpectedly magnificent in Moscow. Subtly, intelligently, he conveys the slightly crazy stylistic palette at a glance and in each phrase, making every passage beautifully distinguished, including caustic Britten-esque irony, and piercing tenderness. It is this musical quality that makes the Moscow version of the opera wholly and unconditionally an event. In these sonic circumstances, one could just stand a pillar on the stage - and it would still be a sensation."
- Moscow News, June 13 2012
"Wonder-conductor William Lacey achieved Britten-esque delicacy and clarity with the orchestra and soloists. The incredible result of his rehearsals was comparable only to that epoch-making work of Marc Minkowski in Debussy's opera "Pelleas et Melisande", performed under his leadership here five years ago."
- Open Space (Moscow), June 13 2012
"Alden trusted the music, and all of the magic is concentrated in the hands of British maestro William Lacey."
- The Russian Gazette (Moscow), June 13 2012
"In short, this is a great success for the Musical Theatre.
British conductor William Lacey conducts a confident performance with tact and British reserve, but experiences the music profoundly, and leads the orchestra on a heightened level of performance. The singing was almost all excellent."
- Gazeta (Moscow), June 13 2012
"Britten's music began to play, performed by the distinctive colours of children's choir and orchestra, sounding fresh and transparent under William Lacey. The conductor and the performers gave an exquisite and fascinating account of Britten - one of the few composers of the twentieth century who knew how to make a gradation of joy and sadness as fine as could Mozart and Rossini."
- Vedomosti (Moscow), June 14 2012
"Even more satifying is the fact that the company is fully equal to the challenges of Britten. The amazing class orchestra is led by a guest from England, William Lacey."
- Kommersant (Moscow), June 14 2012
Jonathan Dove's "Life is a Dream" with Birmingham Opera Company, March 2012
"The orchestra is in the centre, circularly walled in: an expert body of professionals with the unflappable William Lacey in command."
- The Spectator, April 7 2012
"The music, conducted by William Lacey and excellently played by an orchestra sitting in a mini bullring, is burblingly melodic, with some impassioned arias and big-hearted, musical theatre-style lusty choruses."
- The Observer, 26 March 2012
"William Lacey conducts with brio."
- Daily Telegraph, March 22 2012
"Dove's through-composed score is wonderfully lyrical and immediate. Played with verve under the baton of William Lacey, ( . . . ) "
- Birmingham Post, March 30 2012
Weill's "Mahagonny" in Leipzig
"The orchestra is very well conducted, the sound is very round, the rhythm very well accentuated , like a real Berlin revue, and the cast of singers very good."
- Le Monde (Paris) - Le Blog du Wanderer, May 13 2012
Verdi's "Macbeth" in Leipzig
"The Gewandhaus Orchestra sounds at home in the world of repetitive number-music, and the woodcut-style marches receive a noble hue under William Lacey; there is a colourful flickering here in the music, just as there is in the staging of Peter Konwitschny."
- Leipzig Almanach, December 26 2011
Prokofiev's "Cinderella" in Leipzig
"The real star of the evening is in the pit. And the premiere applause made that continually clear. William Lacey stands at the head of a Gewandhausorchester whose playing is phenomenal and well-balanced. One hears such pointed and precise Prokofiev seldom, and as a ballet accompaniment almost never."
- Leipziger Volkszeitung, November 7 2011
"The audience, however, erupts when the musicians of the Gewandhaus Orchestra and the conductor William Lacey come on stage. The true high-flying achievement of this ballet evening takes place in the orchestra pit."
- Tanznetz, November 9 2011
"The dancing is given a heavenly accompaniment by the Gewandhaus Orchestra conducted by William Lacey."
- Prinz, December 2011
"The evening is framed excellently and in a large format by the conductor William Lacey with the Gewandhaus Orchestra."
- Mitteldeutsche Zeitung, November 24 2011
Tamerlano at the Liceu, July 2011
“There was a further miracle, which was that of Lacey, who appeared on this occasion and also conducted the piece with Domingo in Washingon, resulting in the members of the orchestra (in the pit) playing very stylishly and very well.”
- Mundo Clasico (Spain), July 12 2011
“In the pit, the British conductor William Lacey delivered an accurate and precise accompaniment, and got a remarkable response from an effective and well-balanced orchestra, always leading with the sense of style and dramatic character that the score requires.”
- Ara Estiu (Barcelona), July 8 2011
"It was a great night of debuts and performances at the Liceu.
( . . . )
The musical result of the evening was outstanding. In the hands of Lacey the versatile orchestra of the Liceu achieved a considerably Baroque sound and adjusted to the style.
( . . . )
At the end, about a quarter of an hour of applause with the public on their feet, which is something really unusual in the case of a Handel opera."
- El Pais, July 8 2011
“Gluck’s exquisite score emerged in telling detail at the Kennedy Center Opera House (May 9), guided with an elegant, unhurried, yet never sluggish touch by William Lacey, who had the orchestra playing with considerable finesse and feeling.
- Opera magazine (London), August 2011
“The orchestra played stylishly well under the superb conducting of Maestro William Lacey, who presented a performance which favored an elastic accompaniment of the singers. His knowledge of the musical style coupled with a solid baton technique, vividly brought this somewhat unfamiliar score to life (. . . ) There is indeed a great amount of choral singing in this opera, and the chorus responded well to Maestro Lacey’s direction.”
- ConcertoNet, May 2011
“the Gewandhaus Orchestra under William Lacey: music like in heaven.”
- BILD Zeitung, November 3 2010
“The Gewandhaus Orchestra played in a range from perfectly to brilliantly (sadly not always the case in ballet performances) and moved with stylistic security under William Lacey’s expert conducting through a compositional universe from Charlie Chaplin to Richard Wagner.”
- Musik in Dresden, November 2 2010
“William Lacey conducted a performance of extraordinary sweetness, in which the pastoral and lyrical were always to the fore.”
- Opera News, February 2010
“Lacey, who conducted the alert orchestra with an expert’s consideration for the singers, incorporated a few short pieces from other Handel operas.”
- Los Angeles Times, November 22 2009
“Credit ultimately must go to Lacey for such expert musical taste and judgment. He’s clearly a first-rate representative of the English choral tradition, and this meditative “Messiah” became two hours of heaven."
- Orange County Register, December 14 2009”
“William Lacey conducted the precisely reacting Staatsorchester Braunschweig in a very concentrated manner, and developed a Puccini sound that never sank into sentimentality and avoided "avant-gardish" experiments; rather, he cultivated a modern Puccini-tone, and brilliantly used the specific situation's open-air possibilities.”
- Opernnetz, August 26 2009
“All this Frenchness cohered and fused under the baton of an English conductor, William Lacey, who manifestly not only cherishes and understands every delicious twist and surprise, but can translate such knowledge into actual sound, moment to moment and in the long view. (But then no one ever did Berlioz, Bizet, Delibes, and indeed Chabrier, so well as the impeccably English Sir Thomas Beecham.)”
- The Spectator (London), May 27 2009
"Fortunately this "Nabucco" is of great musical class thanks to the emphatic stamp of the conductor William Lacey, who already demonstrated his enormous talent in "Les contes d'Hoffmann" during the previous Reisopera season. The Maestro leads the Gelders Orchestra fantastically through the score with captivating and masterful tempi, and he gives enough space and freedom to the singers by listening to them outstandingly well. In each scene he knows how to create a nuanced atmosphere."
- Theater Centraal (Amsterdam), February 2 2009
"On Saturday night this renewal, a sense of the wet ink of the score, resounded in every measure. With a passionately playing Gelders Orchestra, conductor William Lacey magnificently contrasted the more noisy bombast against the ingenious details; details which Verdi genuinely hid in his score, but which one usually cannot hear in the rush."
- Trouw (Amsterdam), February 2 2009
"It is above all the musical quality that keeps this "Nabucco" intact. The young British conductor William Lacey (previously a guest at the Reisopera for "Les contes d'Hoffmann") displays fine craftsmanship, above all in a strikingly inward and refined-sounding "Va, pensiero". Nowhere does Lacey blunder noisily through the score. In every measure he is searching for nuance, clarity and intimacy."
- Algemeen Dagblad (Rotterdam), January 30 2009
"Verdi's wonderful music receives an explosively powerful vocal and musical portrayal under the direction of William Lacey. The playing of the Gelders Orchestra is lively and martial, but nevertheless even rather chamber-music-like nuances survive."
- NRC Handelsblad (Rotterdam), January 31 2009
"The Gelders Orchestra interprets the exhalted early-Verdi sound with collective discipline, and William Lacey achieves controlled ensemble-playing, gives fluid directions and communicates sensitively with the stage."
- Opernnetz.de (Germany)
"On the podium, conductor William Lacey led the Gelders Orchestra and the singers outstandingly well."
- Friesch Dagblad, February 4 2009
"The pit orchestra is one of the best around, especially as led right now by conductor William Lacey. This is the third Mozart opera presented at the new house, and never has the Austrian master's music sounded so fluid, flexible and vivid."
- Toronto Star, October 6 2008
"Under his assured hand, the orchestra proves to be the wings on which a truly impressive cast of singers soars"
- Toronto Sun, October 6 2008
"the instrumental interludes achieve new vitality under William Lacey's incisive beat"
- Independent on Sunday, August 24 2008
"world-class conductor William Lacey"
- Birmingham Post, July 7 2008
"Maestro William Lacey drew lively, expressive and exquisitely melodic playing from the orchestra"
- Opera Now, July/ August 2008
"William Lacey kept pit and stage firmly connected. His tempos had plenty of momentum but never sounded pushed.The orchestra demonstrated considerable sensitivity and litheness."
- Opera News, July 2008
"Guided by the warm, fluid conducting of William Lacey, Friday’s initial performance at the Wortham Theater Center sped by (. . . ) The grace, elegance, and sharply delineated moods he got from the orchestra propelled the action while giving singers the vocal space to sing naturally. Throughout, the orchestra played with first-rate sound and musicality."
-The Houston Chronicle, January 20 2008
“The Nationale Reisopera presented the best “Les contes d’Hoffmann” I have attended anywhere (November 13th). (. . . ) William Lacey conducted with energy, but never overwhelmed the singers or exaggerated the schmalz. A full audience rapturously greeted this glorious production: opera fantastique indeed.”
- Opera magazine (London), April 2008
" (. . . ) the excellent direction of William Lacey with the excellent Netherlands Symphony Orchestra ( . . . ) This is how “Les contes d'Hoffmann” was meant to be. "
- NRC Handelsblad (Rotterdam), November 5 2007
"In the orchestra pit, the Brit William Lacey made his debut. And how! He had the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra playing like an Italian opera-orchestra, with much schwung and drama."
- Algemeen Dagblad (Rottermdam), November 9 2007
"That is thanks in first place to the British conductor William Lacey, who with a full sound from the orchestra pit lets one hear that he is at this moment one of the most promising opera-conductors in the world."
- Ik Hou Van Theater (Amsterdam), November 13 2007
"Overall success was assured by conductor William Lacey and the eager-sounding SFO orchestra. Lacey’s exuberant yet clear beat drew forth radiant instrumental playing at every turn and confidently guided the singers, who ornamented their arias with exuberance mixed with taste. Tempos were peppy but workable and the pit-stage balance was impeccable. With such music-making at its heart, this Così couldn’t go wrong."
- Santa Fe New Mexican, July 1 2007
"William Lacey generated an impressive unity and vigorous momentum in the ensembles and finales."
- Opera News, November 2007
"William Lacey conducted with strong dramatic power and a good sense of what works and what doesn't, period practice-wise, in a big house."
- Los Angeles Times, April 11 2007
"A main interest of the evening lay in three company debuts, starting with the conductor William Lacey, who led a strong, lithe reading"
- New York Times, April 6 2007
"William Lacey makes a stunning company debut leading the reduced New York City Opera Orchestra"
- Classics Today, April 6 2007
"Conductor William Lacey from the start kept a quick pace with great lightness of texture and deft transitions of mood and colour. The Belfast Philharmonic had no choice but to keep pace which they did admirably and sometimes thrillingly (. . .)"
- News Letter (Belfast), December 18 2007
"Musically the whole evening was satisfying. Under the gifted conductor William Lacey, the usually unrefined GNO orchestra was thoroughly transformed, producing both the multilayered, now harsh now ethereal sound prescribed by Dallapiccola, and the unreservedly Spanish, Romantic signature of de Falla's score."
- Opera magazine (London), February 2007
"Both productions were musically excellent. Firstly, the biggest surprise was the unrecognisable sound of the orchestra in terms of quality under the capable direction of William Lacey."
- Eleftherotypia, November 22 2006
"The GNO orchestra did its job, thanks to the attentive and experienced conductor, William Lacey, who really tamed it."
- Adesmeytos Typos, November 30 2006
"This was Santa Fe operating at the highest international level . . . William Lacey conducted a fleet, quasi-authentic, 'magical' reading which happily banished memories of Daniel Harding's laboured effort in Aix. [...] "
- Opera magazine (London), November 2006
"conducted with authority by William Lacey, who established musical tension from the start and drew a glowing performance from the orchestra."
- The Sunday Telegraph, August 13 2006
"But it was the quality of the ensemble and William Lacey's fleet, airy, stylish conducting that made this Flute worth the detour."
- The Sunday Times, August 13 2006
" ( . . . ) the lithe and fluid playing that William Lacey had drawn from the orchestra the night before in Die Zauberfloete."
- The New York Times, August 5 2006
"William Lacey's charged but flexible leadership."
- Opera magazine (London), August 2006
"Conductor William Lacey gets lovely, lilting playing from a period-instruments continuo group (harpsichord, organ and two theorbos) and modern strings (with minimal vibrato) and rotary-valve trumpets."
- Dallas Morning News, May 1 2006
"From their elevated position in a balcony overlooking the main action-area, the orchestra (reduced to forces probably closer in size to early performances of the score) gave an irresistibly energetic account under William Lacey's spirited direction."
- Opera Now, September 2006
"Musically too, this was a triumph. From the gallery, conductor William Lacey highlighted details I had never noticed before, while maintaining a propulsive journey to the terrible conclusion."
- The Independent on Sunday, March 26 2006
"The orchestra under William Lacey played with verve and real tenderness. ( . . . ) A breathtaking piece of music theatre ( . . . ) Everyone involved with this production can count it a triumph."
- The Birmingham Post, March 20 2006
"Vick is the most musically responsive of directors and he ensured that every note mattered, something confirmed in the line and propulsion of William Lacey's conducting. ( . . . ) I'm sure Mozart would have loved this edgy yet truthful production."
- The Sunday Telegraph, March 26 2006
"This enthralling adaptation of Mozart's Don Giovanni is BOC's best show yet - it is, in fact, a knockout. (. . .) And there's no compromise on musical standards either. William Lacey conducts the vivacious orchestra expertly from one of the balconies."
- The Daily Telegraph, March 24 2006
" . . . Lacey's ability to draw ideal textual, musical, and interpretative balance from his artists."
- Santa Fe New Mexican, December 18 2005
Mahler Symphony No. 5
" a great symphonic event . . . The thunderous applause was fully deserved by the motivated and sensitive precision of the orchestra, and by the sovereign conducting of William Lacey, who led the enormous forces subtly and with clarity in every dynamic level."
- Oberbayerisches Volksblatt and in the Tiroler Wochenzeitung, August 19 and 17 2005 respectively.
"AN INSPIRED MAESTRO IN HANDEL'S OTTONE" (headline)
"The great triumph of the performance was the conducting of William Lacey (b. 1973) - a maestro who we don't identify solely with baroque music, but who belongs to a generation which doesn't ignore the lessons of historically informed performances - and the effective way in which the Remix Orchestra responded to the expressiveness of his gestures and to his elegant phrasings."
- Publico (Lisbon), July 23 2005
"the superb British conductor William Lacey"
- The Toronto Globe and Mail, August 2 2004
"William Lacey conducts a lucid and spirited performance."
- The New York Times, August 3 2004
"The performance was musically flawless. As suggested, conductor William Lacey (. . . ) was scrupulous with the music, leading an energetic, urgent, witty performance"
- Classics Today, July 31 2004
"Saturday's opening performance was marked by the highest quality of music making, both onstage and in the pit…William Lacey's conducting was lively and completely flawless. The musical phrasing that began the last scene was pure inspiration . . ."
- The Ithaca Journal, July 21 2004
"ideally supported by the remarkable young English conductor William Lacey"
- Le Monde de la Musique, July 2003
"William Lacey, who has been on the staff at San Francisco, obtained refined and fluent playing from the accomplished orchestra and seemed master of the score. I liked his no-nonsense interpretation very much."
- Opera magazine (London), June 2003
"William Lacey's conducting is first-rate; double-dotting in the opening bars made me dread an evening of authenticity, but on the whole tempi were traditional and flexible, and in one phrase after another it was clear that Lacey loves this music. "
- The Spectator, May 9 2003
"Full marks to conductor William Lacey; whose account of the distinctly unawkward score to The Magic Flute in Tim Supple's new production was light, fluent, rhythmically acute, textually aware, excellently structured, and confident enough to relax into Mozart's suspensions without wallowing in them."
- The Independent on Sunday, April 27 2003
"Lacey conducted masterfully as one crystalline instrumental passage after another answered the proceedings onstage."
- San Francisco Chronicle, May 2000