BASS-BARITONE

Prokofiev – WAR AND PEACE – WNO at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

“Simon Bailey’s Kutuzov stole Act Two. Craggy-toned, the old wardog lurched scowling about the stage with crutches and an eyepatch. There’s your Mussorgskian grotesquery right there.”
Richard Bratby, The Spectator

“The fourth major role is that of the one-eyed Field Marshal Kutuzov to which Simon Bailey brings a shambling swagger and pugnacious delivery.”
Michael Johnson, Concertonet

“Simon Bailey’s Kutuzov, too, is astonishing, his soliloquy absolutely gripping vocally, musically and dramatically.”
Colin Clarke, seenandheard-international

“Simon Bailey produced fabulously detailed portrayal of General Kutuzov…..Bailey was superb in the role. His Kutuzov was a one-eyed long-haired eccentric, who hobbled around with the aid of a stick, whose natural authority was unquestionable. He has a warm agile bass-baritone, sings with precision, clearly articulates his words, and phrases with care and intelligence. It was a dominant, magnetic, and powerful performance.”
Alan Neilson, Operawire

Prokofiev – WAR AND PEACE – Welsh National Opera

“Yet War and Peace remains a miracle of compression for all that with only a few scenes that outstay their welcome, for example the council of war that precedes a powerful soliloquy by Field Marshal Kutuzov (an outstanding performance by Simon Bailey)”
Mark Valencia, Bachtrack (July 2019)

“…a magnificently passionate and charismatic Simon Bailey”
Gary Naylor, Broadwayworld (July 2019)

An Evening of Gilbert & Sullivan: Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (John Wilson)

“Simon Bailey and the men of the Choir of the Age of the Enlightenment offered pitch-perfect Verdian pastiche in Ruddigore’s “Painted Emblems of a Race” and “When the Night Wind Howls”, supported with hilarious, icy sobriety from Wilson and the band… There can be no complaint about Simon Bailey’s Counsel for the Plaintiff though, [Trial By Jury] the best voice of the night: luxurious, orotund, totally convincing in its pomposity and self-assurance.”
Benjamin Poore, Bachtrack (April 2019)

Wagner – PARSIFAL, Bochum

“All soloists produced extraordinary performances and enchanted the Bochum audience without exception. Simon Bailey was especially imposing as Gurnemanz. The bass-baritone filled the long monologues of role with limitless expression and excellent textual clarity.”

Peter E.Rytz, Peter E. Rytz Review (April 2019)

Tchaikovsky – WAR AND PEACE – Welsh National Opera

“Simon Bailey produced fabulously detailed portrayal of General Kutozov… Bailey was superb in the role. His Kutuzov was a one-eyed long-haired eccentric, who hobbled around with the aid of a stick, whose natural authority was unquestionable. He has a warm agile bass-baritone, sings with precision, clearly articulates his words, and phrases with care and intelligence. It was a dominant, magnetic, and powerful performance.”

Alan Neilson, Operawire.com (November 2018)

Mayazumi – KINKAKUJI – Opéra National du Rhin, Strasbourg

“The drama is centred on Mizoguchi, as previously mentioned, assumed by the magnificent performance of Simon Bailey. Both complex and confused, violent and powerless, this character requires the contradictory facets of character, and voice, in which the British baritone succeeds admirably.”
Victoria Okada, Toutelaculture.com (March 2018)

“And with Simon Bailey, who until 2015 was in the Frankfurt Opera ensemble, we have a singer actor who commanded the undivided attention of the audience…..Even more admirable is Bailey’s command of the text as if it were his mother tongue”
Lotte Thaler, Frankfurt Allgemeine (March 2018)

´In the overwhelming role of Mizoguchi, Simon Bailey carries the evening on his shoulders, almost constantly on stage, without ever allowing the tortured and conflicted nature of the character to afflict his voice´
Laurent Bury, forumopera.com (March 2018)

“In the role of Mizoguchi, Simon Bailey brings clarity with his sonorous, contoured bass-baritone and his excellent clarity of text is evident: “Kinkakuji must burn!”
nmz.de (March 2018)

Mussorgsky – KHOVANSHCHINA -Welsh National Opera

“In a company debut, Simon Bailey as Shaklovity was both stylishly and authoritatively drawn and his reflection on the fate of the Russian nation was sung with much feeling”
Rian Evans, Opera Magazine  (December 2017)

“On a stage packed with riveting characterisations and eye-catching cameos, Robert Hayward’s ruthless Khovansky is immense, Mark Le Brocq is excellent as the weaselly Golitsyn, and Simon Bailey musters huge emotions in Shaklovity’s anguished lament for Russia’s woes.”
Richard Morrison , The Times (September 2017)

“Robert Hayward’s Ivan is the big vocal presence, but it is the dignified authority of Miklós  Sebestyén’s performance as the believers’ leader, Dosifei, that helps carry the evening, and Simon Bailey is similarly imposing as Shaklovity”

Rian Evans, The Guardian (October 2017)

Janacek – FROM THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD – Welsh National Opera

“Simon Bailey’s Shishkov effortlessly held the attention”
Rian Evans, Opera Magazine (December 17)

“But every singer here pushes themselves to the utmost in portrayals of great force, notably Alan Oke’s Skuratov, Mark Le Brocq’s Luka Kuzmich and Simon Bailey’s Shishkov”
Rian Evans, The Guardian (October 2017)

“…as the murderers Skuratov and Shishkov Alan Oke and Simon Bailey both give gripping accounts of their lengthy narrations”
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph  (October 2017)

David – HERCULANUM – Wexford Festival Opera

“Simon Bailey did a fine job, firstly as the villainous proconsul, Nicanor, and then as Satan, particularly in Act IV as he frees the slaves from their fetters singing the technically fiendish chromatic scales to great effect.”
Bachtrack, Andrew Larkin (October 2016)

 

Mendelssohn – ELIJAH – Stadttheater Giessen

“Particularly noteworthy is the internationally sought after bass-baritone Simon Bailey, who has appeared in the opera houses of Frankfurt, Vienna and Glyndebourne, and at La Scala, Milan, who shone in the role of the jealous Prophet Elijah with a sovereign, gripping interpretation….. As the protagonist Elijah, Simon Bailey fulfilled this task with vocal brilliance and agility. He clearly, concisely and powerfully let the angry prophet rage in ´Is not his word like a fire´, before portraying the prophet´s pain and resignation in the aria “It is enough!” with infinite tenderness.”
Gießener Anzeiger (June 2016)

Weber – DER FREISCHÜTZ – Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (Royal Festival Hall)

“The remainder of the cast was never less than serviceable, and with a few real standout performances. The best of these was Simon Bailey as Kaspar. The dark tone of his voice is ideal for the part, and although he has a tendency to ham up the menacing stage presence, especially the evil laugh, it all served to inject sorely needed drama to the proceedings. The Wolf’s Glen scene was the highlight of the performance, partly because Pountney finally found a way to make his Minimalist conception deliver, but also because it was dominated by Bailey’s Kaspar and Tomlinson’s Samiel”
The Arts Desk, Gavin Dixon (June 2016)

“The outstanding male singing and characterisation came from Simon Bailey in the role of Kaspar. This had a lived-in quality to it from a singer who was completely comfortable with all its demands. The black quality to his voice, Iago-like in its insinuation, was always at the service of the music, and in his key Act I aria the absolute steadiness in his deepest register when he reached “Nichts kann dich retten vom tiefen Fall” was most impressive.”
Bachtrack, Alexander Hall (June 2016)

“I should imagine they could hear Simon Bailey’s quite superb Kaspar on the other side of the river. I’d never heard him before last year, when he sang a gloriously full-bodied and secure Leporello at Covent Garden … He seems to have made his career primarily in Frankfurt thus far; but it’s high time he – like Ventris – came home (ever assuming he wants to, of course) not least because he has the dramatic chops to be as frightening in this as he was funny in the Mozart, and can sing properly too. More, please.”
Opera Britannia, Stephen Jay-Taylor (June 2016)

“Simon Bailey was his [Max’s] nemesis Kaspar and with an OTT demonic laugh he would have chewed the scenery had there been any scenery to chew. In the devilish goings-on of the Wolf’s Glen he was at his best and brought a much needed dramatic frisson to the proceedings.”
Seen and Heard International, Jim Pritchard (June 2016)

“Simon Bailey stood out as an intense and imposing Kaspar, every consonant and sibilant telling – his voice has a striking sinewy quality allowing him to present a more complex and chilling character than the usual inky-black bass-baritones, and he carried ‘Wolf’s Glen’ from a dramatic perspective and with intensity.
Classical Source, Alexander Campbell (June 2016)

Gstaad Festival – Don Giovanni

“Simon Bailey (Leporello) [is a] wonderful actor, the bass-baritone has a phenomenally clear vocal emission and perfect diction. At ease on stage, he relishes cultivating humorous situations. Pushing the limits of his character to caricature, Simon Bailey´s portrayal of the servant is hysterically funny… And, although his “Catalogue aria” remains a moment of vocal and theatrical joy, the scene where he assumes the role of Don Giovanni to seduce Donna Elvira is a small masterpiece of buffoonery . His theatricality is so overwhelming that we almost forget what an admirable singer he is.”
www.resmusica.com, Jacques Schmitt (Sept 2015)