Olivia Fuchs

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Born in London and educated in West Germany‚ and with dual citizenship (UK and German), Olivia Fuchs went on to study at Westfield College‚ University of London and Berkley University‚ California before completing the Postgraduate Acting course at the Drama Studio‚ London.

Most recent and future productions include Der Rosenkavalier and Faust (Welsh National Opera/Magdeburg)‚ The Cunning Little Vixen (Longborough Festival), Dead Man Walking (Oldenburg)‚ Otello (Magdeburg), Iolanta (nominated for Best Production in the 2019 International Opera Awards)‚ Katya Kabanova‚ Mascagni’s IrisLucia di Lammermoor and Norma (Opera Holland Park)‚ Semele and Alcina (Royal Academy of Music), Debussy, Britten and Ravel, A Triple Bill and Cendrillon Royal Northern College of Music‚ Eight Songs for a Mad King (BBC Proms at Wilton’s Music Hall), Madama Butterfly (Magdeburg and Oviedo)‚ Il Trovatore (Danish National Opera)‚ Die Zauberflöte (Oviedo)‚ Hansel und Gretel (Garsington)‚ Pélleas et Mélisande (Teatro Colón‚ Buenos Aires)‚ and Inês de Castro (Scottish Opera).

Other projects include A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Royal Opera House‚ Covent Garden in the Linbury Theatre)‚ The Marriage of Figaro (English National Opera)‚ Rigoletto and La Traviata (Danish National Opera‚ Aarhus)‚ Rusalka (Opera Australia‚ for which she was awarded Best Director and Best Production in both the Helpmann and the Green Room Awards)‚ CherivichkiMay NightThe Rake’s Progress and The Magic Flute (Garsington)‚ Don GiovanniRusalka and The Pied Piper (Opera North)‚ JenufaMacbethFidelioLuisa MillerKatya Kabanova and Pelléas et Mélisande (Opera Holland Park)‚ Romeo et Juliette (British Youth Opera)‚ The Magic Flute (Oviedo) and Saul at the Buxton Festival.

She has worked extensively in opera‚ theatre and music-theatre. Operatic productions include Osud/Sarka (Garsington)‚ Italian Songbook (ROH‚ Linbury Studio) La Traviata (English Touring Opera)‚ The Turn of the Screw (Brighton Festival)‚ National Opera Studio Showcase (Queen Elizabeth Hall)‚ the World Premiere of The Maids by John Lunn (an ENO‚ Lyric Theatre Hammersmith‚ Theatre Works co-production)‚ Apollo and Hyacinth by Mozart (Classical Opera Company‚ London)‚ Il Trovatore and La Bohéme (Opera South‚ Ireland)‚ Handel’s Arminio (London Handel Society) and Johnny Johnson (Opera Factory Zurich). She devised and created several projects including Burning Mirrors for the ENO studio and Pleasure Palaces‚ a millennium production for the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith. She has been Associate Director on productions at ENO‚ Glyndebourne Festival Opera and Opera Factory. With her own company Olivia’s theatre work includes national tours of YermaThe Madman and the Nun and Ulysses Blooms as well as WoyzeckLe Malade Imaginaire and the British Premieres of Washday and The Round Table‚ in her own translations.
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Iolanta, Opera Holland Park

...Olivia Fuchs’s staging, imaginatively designed by takis, is sensitive to all the libretto’s weird mystical implications without being pretentiously tricksy.

The Telegraph (July 2019)

Over to the world of heightened emotions, then, in Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta. Blindness and isolation are underlined in Olivia Fuchs’ fine production, with its neon-light maze (even the forest is made of light), its use of torches as flowers and blindfolded nursemaids. We suspend disbelief entering into this legend-like realm…

Seen and Heard International (July 2019)

OHP has mounted it before, in 2008, and now there is Olivia Fuchs’s production and takis’s modernist, abstract designs cover all the bases of darkness, light and awakening perfectly well. Fuchs makes it clear that blind Iolanta is the ultimate Daddy’s girl, literally kept in the dark in a remote castle by her father King René, who commands that his daughter must never know she is blind. As with Snow White or the Sleeping Beauty, love is the key to her release. This is high, gothic romance that trembles with Freudian ambiguities and significances, and Fuchs’s detailed direction gets under the opera’s skin...

Classical Source (July 2019)

Olivia Fuchs transposes the play’s and indeed the opera’s world so that the action all takes place in or around a hospital ward; but despite the familiarity of the approach, it is done with directness, passion and commitment.

New Statesman (August 2019)

Add unfussy, stylised direction from Olivia Fuchs and the singing simply took wing. And not just Romaniw and Butt Philip (though they were magnificent), or Mikhail Svetlov’s noble, conflicted King René. Even the chorus soared. I walked out feeling simultaneously harrowed and elated. Damn it all, OHP, why do you have to be so good?

The Spectator (August 2019)

Semele‚ Royal Academy of Music

... Olivia Fuchs’s witty and glamorous production referenced today’s celebrity culture.

Opera Magazine (January 2019)

What impressed most‚ though‚ was the detailed characterisations that Fuchs drew from her young singers. She sets up the different characters’ relationships over the music of the overture‚ including what looks like Semele‚ Jupiter and Juno in the configuration of the ‘distracted boyfriend’ social-media meme of a year or so ago.

BachTrack (November 2018)

Opera Sparks‚ Scottish Opera Connect Company

Olivia Fuch’s fluent staging‚ resourcefully designed by Karen Tennent and lit by Simon Wilkinson‚ sat well ’in the round’ at SWG3‚ an old brick warehouse next to the River CLyde...

Opera Magazine (June 2018)

Cendrillon‚ Royal Northern College of Music

Fuchs and Thavoris have mixed some surreally up-to-date imagery with the 17th century settings (including a Cadillac-style vehicle for Cinders to get to the ball – first presented as a model car and then evoked‚ on the fall of the curtain‚ by a silhouette and light show)...
Working with student performers is always a matter of harnessing their limitless enthusiasm while guarding against the pitfalls of their relative inexperience‚ and in this aspect Olivia Fuchs has triumphed.

Arts Desk (December 2017)

The creative team of Olivia Fuchs (director)‚ Yannis Thavoris (set and costume designer)‚ Matt Haskins (lighting designer) and Bethan Rhys William (choreographer) brought a touch and a tone so perfect to an overpowering performance.

Northern Soul (December 2017)

Swiftly flowing and straightforward the production was a strong one bringing the story to life which came as no surprise given the wide experience of director Olivia Fuchs...Royally entertained by Olivia Fuchs’ Cendrillon the delighted Manchester audience supplied long and enthusiastic applause.

Seen & Heard International (December 2017)

This version of Cinderella‚ directed by Olivia Fuchs is great fun and a classy choice of entertainment for the Christmas month.

Weekend Notes (December 2017)

Eight Songs for a Mad King‚ BBC Proms at Wilton’s Music Hall

With Marcus Farnsworth on the forestage from the outset in a long white nightshirt‚ huddled on a chair beside a shrouded object‚ the audience was immersed for eighty minutes of mesmeric music‚ subtly directed by Olivia Fuchs with‚ from the Saunders piece onwards‚ Sian Edwards conducting.

Classical Source (September 2017)

It’s hard to imagine that Peter Maxwell Davies’ dramatic monologue‚ Eight Songs for a Mad King‚ can bear‚ or needs‚ any further contextualisation or intensification‚ so traumatic is its depiction - part public history‚ part private drama - of the descent into madness of King George III. It is a painful exposure of the fracture which separates the Sovereign King from the human mortal. Full credit‚ then‚ to director Olivia Fuchs‚ conductor Sian Edwards and the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group for this imaginative‚ thoughtfully programmed and highly engaging contextualisation of the work - one which gave us not only eight songs for a mad King‚ but also the songs of the deluded monarch: the music that rings and rages through his mind‚ heart and soul; real or imagined.

Opera Today (September 2017)

Kát’a Kabanová‚ Opera Holland Park

Olivia Fuchs’s 2009 production‚ revived for the first time at Opera Holland Park last night‚ is straightforward‚ to the point and intelligent in its use of the space.

BachTrack (July 2017)

Olivia Fuchs’s production of Janácek’s unflinching portrait of poor Katya Kabanova‚ crushed by her husband Tichon and her awful mother-in-law‚ the Kabanicha‚ and then destroyed by guilt when she finds love elsewhere‚ has not been seen here since 2009‚ but this first revival proves it to be one of Opera Holland Park’s most potent offerings.

Classical Source (July 2017)

This revival of Olivia Fuchs’ 2009 production of Kát’a Kabanová for Opera Holland Park proves extremely effective as it makes good use of the space and the natural light that floods into it. The result is a staging that introduces just enough sense of exaggeration and stylisation to emphasise the repressive nature of the society‚ and yet also retains sufficient realism to make us feel for the protagonists as flesh and blood human beings.

MusicOMH (July 2017)

Creating the right sense of small-town claustrophobia in Opera Holland Park’s wide open spaces is quite tricky. Fuchs and Thavoris solved this by covering the stage with azure blue colour for the Volga River‚ and confining the characters to wooden walkways crossing the water. There were just two acting areas‚ a bed of reeds with a seat stage left‚ and a circular platform stage right. This latter formed the Kabanova’s house in the first half‚ surrounded by a movable mesh half-screen which again brought a feeling of claustrophobia. And within these spaces‚ Fuchs regularly had the chorus spilling across‚ peering‚ prying‚ spying and generally intimidating. In one magical moment‚ during Boris and Kat’a’s Act Two duet Boris (Peter Hoare) walks off the walkway into the ’water’‚ and eventually Kat’a (Julia Sporsen) joins him. This sense of escaping via water created a powerful resonance through the remainder of the opera.

Planet Hugill (July 2017)

This staging‚ a revival of Olivia Fuchs’s 2009 production‚ does the work full justice‚ a straightforward account that doesn’t overcomplicate the clear-cut narrative and morality.

The Arts Desk (July 2017)

Olivia Fuchs’s 2009 production makes a welcome return...

The Express (July 2017)

Der Rosenkavalier‚ Welsh National Opera

Olivia Fuch’s staging of Der Rosenkavalier for WNO was a co-production with Theater Magdeburg‚ who first performed it three years ago. The year of the composer’s death - 1949 - was projected onto a gauze at the outset‚ highlighting Fuch’s principle device‚ namely the introduction of the Marschallin’s often anguished contemplation of the passing of time. Fuch’s weighting of this element‚ together with the philosophizing on the nature of love‚ was a welcome corrective to the frivolous and farcical element in the opera.

Opera Magazine (August 2017)

Fuchs’ sensitive crafting of the sentiment of this opening Act is utterly convincing‚ and it is aided by the characterisation of the central lovers.

Opera Today (July 2017)

In Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier‚ the mix of farce and deeply philosophical musing on the nature of ageing requires an approach that is neither ludicrous nor reverential. Olivia Fuchs’s staging for Welsh National Opera – following a co-production with Theater Magdeburg that premiered there three years ago – strikes a good balance. Fuchs certainly gives a more serious context to the Marschallin’s rumination on time passing by adding the figure of the old Marschallin‚ a ghostly persona revisiting her own story of 38 years before.

The Guardian (June 2017)

The test for director and designer is to find novelty without tiresome exertion. Olivia Fuchs and Niki Turner (with lighting by Ian Jones) have achieved that‚ some reservations aside‚ in a compelling new staging for Welsh National Opera.

The Observer (June 2017)

Not least is the sense of dislocated time which‚ in director Olivia Fuchs’ fin de siecle new production for Welsh National Opera‚ revolves around the Marschallin’s poignant response to growing older.

The Stage (June 2017)

Fuchs devises a clever payoff at the end that is possibly even more touching than Hofmannsthal and Strauss’s closing scene...Fuchs may have no startling revelations about this oft-performed opera‚ but she catches the balance between humour and pathos well.

The Sunday Times (June 2017)

Olivia Fuchs’s staging – set in the early 20th century‚ as is now customary – has no problem rendering the first level in refreshingly simple style‚ allowing the plot to unfold with unexaggerated humour and failing only to indicate the crucial distinction between the Marschallin’s established wealth and the newly acquired millions being splashed around by the arriviste Faninals.

The Telegraph (June 2017)

In Olivia Fuchs’s mixed new Der Rosenkavalier‚ her first production for Welsh National Opera‚ she draws out one of its bittersweet themes — the passing of time. Sometimes the effect of making this metaphor visible was magical‚ sometimes I felt she was underlining Strauss’s score and Hofmannsthal’s libretto with marker pen.

The Times (June 2017)

Alcina‚ Royal Academy Opera

Olivia Fuchs’s production conspicuously avoids the potential dangers of a dramatic presentation in the round – that is‚ having the whole stage exposed without recourse to side wings or a backstage to facilitate scene changes‚ and subjecting the characters to close scrutiny by the audience. The staging is simple but effective...

Classical Source (October 2016)

But Fuchs got some remarkably detailed performances from her young cast and the ensemble really did create some theatrical magic.
This was a lively production‚ full of action; Fuchs is certainly not a director to expect her performers to simply stand and sing. But unlike a number of Handel productions I have seen‚ there was never a sense of the action being used to keep the interest up‚ it always came out of character and illuminated the emotional undercurrent.

Planet Hugill (October 2016)

I can say without any hesitation‚ still less exaggeration‚ that this is the best staging and performance of a Handel opera I have seen. Olivia Fuchs’s production takes us to AMNESIA‚ an S&M club with mind-altering substances – and activities – ready to hand‚ to foot‚ and indeed to any other part of the body so inclined or so compelled.

Seen & Heard International (October 2016)

Iris‚ Opera Holland Park

Olivia Fuchs’s production fully faced up to the plot’s unpleasantness‚ emphasizing poor Iris’s vulnerability and innocence without fetishizing or aestheticizing it‚ underlining the cynical heartlessness of the opera’s male characters and the brutality of the world it engenders.

Opera Magazine (August 2016)

Fuchs explores its dichotomies clear-mindedly and without sensationalism in a staging‚ her finest of recent years‚ that is at its most unbearable when it is most restrained.

The Guardian (June 2016)

Fuchs’ production moved fluidly between the abstract and the concrete...The great virtue of Olivia Fuchs’ production was that it did not try to make the piece into something it wasn’t‚ she embraced the work fully and with Anne Sophie Duprels created a remarkable account of the title role.

Planet Hugill (June 2016)

One can imagine disastrous productions of the piece‚ but there’s a bravery and integrity to Olivia Fuchs’s staging that makes the evening utterly compelling‚ however gut-wrenching it may be along the way.

The Stage (June 2016)

Inés de Castro‚ Scottish Opera

In Scottish Opera’s new production of James MacMillan’s 20-year-old opera‚ directed by Olivia Fuchs‚ there is no flinching from the horror of the events as they unfold

The Opera Critic (February 2015)

Olivia Fuchs’s new production for Scottish Opera‚ updating this (basically true) medieval horror-yarn to a 20th-century military dictatorship in Kai Fischer’s suggestive scaffold set‚ adds amusing extra touches: the execution of the eponymous heroine in an electric chair‚ for instance

The Times (February 2015)

Shocking and unmissable...Director Olivia Fuchs has moved the action to a highly repressed regime in the 1970s‚ possibly Pinochet’s Chile‚ so Kai Fischer’s sets are crumbling concrete lattice‚ dust and votive candles illuminating pictures‚ presumably of the disappeared...With its unrelenting assault on the senses Inés de Castro is not a comfortable evening. It is not supposed to be. Scottish Opera‚ with its welcome bold new foyer development‚ is firing on all cylinders in this powerful and unmissable production‚ the big disappointment being that there are only a total of four performances

BachTrack (January 2015)

This harrowing story of sexual violence and torture is an uncomfortable watch‚ but Scottish Opera’s new production of James MacMillan’s first opera features terrific music and a strong cast...Olivia Fuch’s production is good. Updated to the 20th century – take your pick of brutal regimes; Pinochet’s Chile is suggested in the programme book – it tells the story straight using stark sets and bold lighting

The Guardian (January 2015)

But ultimately it may be most significant that there is a woman‚ Olivia Fuchs‚ in charge of this production. Because what the director has appreciated is that this national tale is ultimately about the dynamic between the two women‚ Prince Pedro’s Spanish mistress (Stephanie Corley) and his wife Blanca (Susannah Glanville)‚ in a way that Madame Butterfly (for example) is not. Both roles are beautifully sung and also impeccably acted‚ in a cast that has no weak links...This Ines de Castro is essential‚ and a work in which Scottish Opera can take real pride

Herald Scotland (January 2015)

Olivia Fuchs’s production‚ in 1970s Chilean dictatorship style‚ all ash and concrete‚ was as minimal as McVicar’s was extravagant. By the end all the key characters are dead‚ the prince has gone mad and the exhumed skeleton of Inés is crowned queen‚ looking like a carnival monkey

Observer on Sunday (January 2015)

Olivia Fuchs’s intelligent staging‚ strikingly well designed by Kai Fischer‚ substitutes a vaguely mid 20th-century Fascistic setting for the medieval original. Although there is no attempt to sugar the pill or minimise the melodrama‚ it keeps things the right side of camp ghoulishness

The Telegraph (January 2015)

Inés de Castro is intense‚ raw and packed with action...an emotional rollercoaster with an explosive finale. There’s only one word for this show and that’s Wow. This is opera in the raw...intense and utterly in your face. An emotional rollercoaster which grabs you by the throat‚ keeps hold and doesn’t let go...you can almost feel the tension crackling...an explosive showdown and one that will live in the memory for a long time

The Daily Record (January 2015)

...intense direction by Olivia Fuchs...Triumphant and bloody new production of James MacMillan’s first opera

The Stage (January 2015)

Norma‚ Opera Holland Park

Olivia Fuch’s staging combined uncomfortable reminders of modern ethnic cleansing in the Bosnian War with a strong element of religious suppression...Fuch’s staging‚ though with its backdrop of military brutality‚ did have the effect of stripping the action back to the basic love triangle of Norma‚ Adalgisa and their feckless enemy Pollione‚ and most of Fuch’s intelligent direction had a plausibility often dissipated by a traditional performance

Opera Magazine (September 2014)

(Olivia) Fuchs gets excellent acting performances...This production excels orchestrally‚ is well acted throughout and has fine vocal performances from its two female leads. All this makes it well worth seeing

BachTrack (July 2014)

All credit then to Opera Holland Park for championing Norma a second time. Director Olivia Fuchs finds a satisfyingly contemporary resonance by setting it a recognisably modern occupation – desert combat soldiers representing Rome‚ marshalling the subdued Gauls into and out of a barbed-wire topped fenced enclosure‚ in which rises the stunted trunk of the sacred oak of Irminsul‚ the spiritual symbol of the oppressed masses. The action during Bellini’s spirited Overture could not be more chilling: soldiers taunting the women folk‚ leading to three brutal sexual assaults. This is opera that wants to tell it how it is...it was great to hear the score presented with such detailed musical preparation and cohesive staging. The Chorus – in its singing and action – was committed and believable

Classical Source (July 2014)

...the scene in which Adalgisa confesses her love for a Roman is stunning‚ thanks to the singing and some intelligent direction

MusicOMH (July 2014)

Overall‚ this was a thoroughly enjoyable and highly imaginative production – much more daring and interesting than some of the rather safe productions which have been emerging from other UK top opera venues

Seen & Heard International (July 2014)

The mystique around Bellini’s Norma evokes antique marmoreal grandeur‚ and a title-role so vocally and histrionically demanding that in living memory only Maria Callas on a good night has mastered it.
But Opera Holland Park’s production commendably refuses to be awed by this penumbra. Grabbing the thing with two hands‚ the director Olivia Fuchs strips it of grand opera flummery - Druidic processions‚ Ancient Gauls‚ trogdolyte priestesses - and treats it as a raw music drama focused on the relationship between a strong woman and a weak two-timing man‚ trapped in a modern war zone...Rarely have I seen a staging of this opera which conveys the principal characters’ conflicted emotions so vividly‚ making Norma’s final reconciliation with the man who has destroyed her unusually plausible… Fuchs excavates the situation’s psychological essence to a depth that a more “authentic” staging in Monty Pythonish beards and hierophantic robes could never hope to reach

Telegraph (July 2014)

The production is a high point of the OHP season

The Oxford Times (July 2014)

Der Rosenkavalier‚ Theater Magdeburg

Regisseurin Olivia Fuchs hat mit bemerkenswertem Feingefühl die Umbruchsituation im Schaffen des Komponisten mit dem Ängsten zur Vergänglichkeit von Jugend und Liebe sowie dem Triumph der Jugendliebe durc Sophie und Octavian verknüpft. Ist es in der eigentlichen fassung ein verlorenes Taschentuch als Symbol des Verlustes und der Vergänglichkeit ‚ so ist es in ihrer Inszenierung eine alte Frau‚ die die Klammer der inhaltlichen Botschaft bildet. Die Zeit hat kein Maß außer der Vergänglichkeit /// Director Olivia Fuchs linked with remarkable sensitivity the transition and upheaval in the work of the composer with the fear of losing youth and love as well as the triumph of young love through Sophie and Octavian. In the original version the lost handkerchief is the symbol of loss and transience‚ however in her production it is an old lady who portrays the content of the message at the beginning and the end. Time is nothing but transience

Magdeburg Volksstimme‚ Kultur (February 2014)

Olivia Fuchs... Sie versteht das Stück also gewis¬sermaßen als Glückssuche im Einst auf den Trümmern des Jetzt. Und sie hat sich eines schönen Regie-Einfalls bedient: Sie zeigt diese Wiener Gesellschafts- Farce als Rückblick der alten Marschallin auf ihre Jugend. Es gibt also neben der singenden Marschallin immer auch ihr stummes Alter Ego ...Eine Marschallin ohne Worte‚ die aber mit kleinsten Gesten und subtiler Mimik ausdrücken ... Regisseurin Olivia Fuchs hat diese Marschallinnenaufspaltung glänzend inszeniert...gerät am Ende durch den Zahn der Zeit‚ wie durch die Ereig-nisse der Geschichte sichtbar aus den Fugen. Ein einleuchtendes Inszenierungskonzept‚ das Olivia Fuchs mit genauer Personenführung‚ mit gutem Timing und netten Einfällen umsetzt‚ auch mit gewagter Deutlichkeit‚ was die Bettszenen und alles Erotische angeht‚ wo sie nicht gerade zimperlich ist. Sie macht das mit großer Professionalität‚ mit diskreter‚ Komö¬diantik‚ ohne alles Chargieren und mit viel Geschmack...Eine sehr charmane‚ logische‚ schöne Inszenierung‚ die das Stück ernst nimmt. Die Aufführung ist wirklich sehr berührend‚ vom ersten bis zum letzten Takt....so subtil und fein wie die ganze Inszenierung

MDR Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (February 2014)

Olivia Fuchs...sees the piece as a search for the happiness of the past in the ruins of the present. And she used a beautiful production idea: she shows this Viennese society farce as the old Marschallin’s reminiscence of her youth. On stage with the singing Marschallin there is always her mute aged alter-ego...a wordless Marschallin who can express more with a tiny gesture and subtle facial expression...Director Olivia Fuchs staged this splitting up of the Marschallin figure splendidly...By the end‚ the space has visibly fallen apart as if ravaged by the cogs of time as well as the events of the story. It is an enlightened concept that Olivia Fuchs transposes to the stage with detailed character portrayals‚ with good timing and nice ideas as well as with a bold clarity regarding the bed scenes and everything erotic where she is not exactly squeamish. She does that with great professionalism‚ with discrete comedy without any overacting and with great taste...It is a very charming‚ logical‚ beautiful production that takes the piece seriously. The performance is very moving‚ from the first to the last bar...subtle and delicate as the whole production

MDR Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (February 2014)

Die Frivolität der Liebesnacht einer verheirateten Fürstin in den Dreißigern mit ihrem 17-jährigen Cousin und die Melancholie einer Philosophie der Zeit; die Überreichung der Silberrose und die wie ein Blitz einschlagende Liebe auf den ersten Blick zwischen Octavian und Sophie; deren Übergang in die Kollision von altem Land- und reichem Neuadel im Hause Faninal; schließlich die Verkleidungsmaskerade im Wirtshaus‚ bei der der Ochs am Ende zwar alt aussieht‚ aber doch auch Noblesse beweist‚ als er das Spiel durchschaut: Das ist in der Inszenierung von Olivia Fuchs alles als präzises Zusammenspiel aus der Musik entwickelt...die britisch-deutsche Regisseurin und ihre Ausstatterin Niki Turner stets das rechte Maß wahren‚ Geschmack haben‚ Eleganz zelebrieren‚ die Komödie deftig werden‚ aber nie zum Klamauk umkippen lassen /// The frivolity of the night of love of a married princess in her thirties with her 17 year old cousin and the melancholy philosophy of time; the presentation of the silver rose and love at first sight between Octavian and Sophie which strikes like lightning; the transition and collision of old aristocracy and new money in the house Faninal; finally the costume farce at the inn‚ where the Ochs at the end is made to look old‚ but also proves his nobility‚ as he realizes the deception: Olivia Fuchs has developed all of this in her staging with great detail and in precise interplay with the music...the British-German director and her designer Niki Turner always maintain the right balance. They have taste‚ celebrate elegance‚ allow the comedy to be earthy‚ but never let it descend into slapstick

Thüringische Landeszeitung (February 2014)

Noye’s Fludde‚ Southbank Centre

The day after the world’s scientists announced their latest findings on climate change proved perfect timing for Olivia Fuchs’s eco-warrior Noye’s Fludde‚ presented as a free promenade event in the South Bank Centre’s Clore Ballroom....This is a great community enterprise‚ just the way Britten intended

What’s On Stage (September 2013)

I arrived a few hours early for Peter Grimes to catch a taste of the atmosphere at the festival‚ and was blown away by the spectacularly high quality of Noye’s Fludde‚ an LPO production featuring beneficiaries of the orchestra’s various education schemes‚ from young schoolchildren all the way up to the young professionals of Foyles Future Firsts. A packed audience on the Clore Ballroom floor were treated to the most professional children’s show I’ve ever seen. This piece and Peter Grimes combined show the impressive scope of Britten’s achievements – if they can all be executed as well as they were here‚ then the more weekends dedicated to him‚ the better

BachTrack (October 2013)

...LPO players joined scores of children in Olivia Fuchs’s climate-change savvy promenade performance of Britten’s Noyes Fludde

The Times (October 2013)

Hänsel und Gretel‚ Garsington Opera

...a production of this opera today that does not amplify its Freudian overtones but treats it as a children’s fairy tale...Fuchs is to be congratulated for avoiding the obvious contemporary references...it was refreshing that she eschewed the psychoanalytical touches that have been a feature of several other recent UK stagings

Opera Magazine (September 2013)

... the final chorus in this year’s third and last production‚ the Hänsel und Gretel of director Olivia Fuchs‚ was simply wonderful – a life-affirming opera moment as children and adults materialised alike in a sudden tableau that‚ as it should do‚ represents real celebration. The audience left on a high

Musical Criticism (July 2013)

Garsington’s outstanding and insightful production‚ directed by Olivia Fuchs‚ proves that Hänsel und Gretel is much more than a fairy-tale – it is a universal story of the transitions we undergo from innocence to experience

BachTrack (June 2013)

Director Olivia Fuchs and designer Niki Turner came up trumps in their approach to this piece which so often provokes unfortunate excesses. Once again Garsington have a creative team which uses the constraints of the space to real advantage‚ as they successfully carried us into the world of the Brothers Grimm

Brian Dickie.com (June 2013)

Olivia Fuchs’s new staging of Humperdinck’s hardy perennial and summer-opera-festival favourite‚ has nothing about greed‚ abandonment or abuse that isn’t already embedded in the work itself. Yet it has an edge that keeps it from being sucked into a folk-tale comfort zone...It was very much in the spirit of ‘once-upon-a-time’ – like the leather-bound volume that magically opens to set the ball rolling in a Disney cartoon – but this is quickly subverted by the five white-faced angels dressed in black who are present throughout...Fuchs has honoured the familiar power of fable and a child’s view of the world‚ realised with brilliant‚ cartoon-like precision by Turner’s designs that directly evoke want or plenty

Classical Source (June 2013)

The contribution of the Old Palace School and Trinity Boys Choirs was completely inspired. Frenzied storyboard freeze-frames that transform the set add excitement and intrigue‚ and as the captives are freed at the end the show becomes truly triumphant. Olivia Fuchs has delivered a classic children’s folk story set to beautiful music that literally leaps straight from the pages. Thrilling and enchanting‚ as a show it is exceptional‚ as an experience‚ unforgettable. Garsington Opera is the sublime and the ridiculous‚ and what an underrated combination that is

Daily Info (June 2013)

...director Olivia Fuchs’s clear-sighted production of Humperdinck’s 1893 opera suggests that love and fellowship are key...All the time providing magic‚ comedy and charm‚ Fuchs never lets these performances trip into slick sentimentality...like the production as a whole‚ this is a fairytale with a pragmatic heart‚ where real magic is found in compassion

Entartetemusik (June 2013)

Olivia Fuchs’s resourceful production

The Guardian (June 2013)

It’s rare to find a production in which the direction‚ sets‚ costumes and lighting work together so intimately to achieve so rounded a final work

MusicOMH (June 2013)

Humperdinck’s deft blend of sophistication and grandeur ensures there is plenty for both connoisseurs and newcomers to appreciate. That is especially true in this engaging new Garsington production by Olivia Fuchs‚ designed by Niki Turner. The tone is just right‚ Fuchs maintaining a sense of childlike wonder as well as presenting some neat touches of her own. Reflecting the story’s origins‚ the action takes place mainly on a vast book of Grimms’ Fairy Tales...an overwhelmingly joyous experience

The Stage (June 2013)

...this engaging new Garsington production by Olivia Fuchs‚ designed by Niki Turner. The tone is just right‚ Fuchs maintaining a sense of childlike wonder as well as presenting some neat touches of her own. Reflecting the story’s origins‚ the action takes place mainly on a vast book of Grimms’ Fairy Tales

The Stage (June 2013)

The woods at the Getty Estate surrounding Garsington’s theatre have never been scarier. First the rain and wind came down exactly when Hansel and Gretel got lost in the forest. Second‚ Olivia Fuchs’s new staging of Humperdinck’s opera features a gang of terrifying extras in black suits and bowler hats...Her central idea is powerful: Hansel and Gretel’s adventure is a rite of passage in which the siblings have to write their own narrative

The Times (June 2013)

A midsummer night’s dream‚ Scottish Opera & Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

The world conjured by music and words is that of the psyche – its way of playing tricks on our emotions‚ relationships and sense of reality... Olivia Fuchs’ deceptively simple staging‚ designed by Niki Turner with video by Jon Driscoll‚ was first mounted eight years ago for the Royal Opera’s Linbury Studio. It still looks fresh – partly because it scales up well in a bigger theatre‚ and partly because its benign veneer suits a young cast. Modern interpreters like to stress the opera’s murky underbelly of manipulation and abuse. Fuchs gives it a more light-hearted‚ though never superficial‚ quality. Forest and fairy world become a playground for the impulses of love‚ frailty and jealousy – as if the audience is having a mirror held up to itself‚ revealing how we humans make such fools of ourselves... the Britten centenary is off to a flying start

Financial Times (January 2013)

The decision to restage Olivier Fuch’s Royal Opera studio production of Benjamin Britten’s opera in the composer’s centenary year for the annual collaboration between the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Scottish Opera was a superb one. Fuch’s staging‚ crisp and modern in a modular‚ neon and sharply-dressed way‚ and brilliantly eloquent‚ gives an ideal platform for the young singers

Herald Scotland (January 2013)

Lucia di Lammermoor‚ Opera Holland Park

Olivia Fuchs’s smart‚ simple staging...the action moved swiftly‚ one scene moving effortlessly into the next...

Opera Magazine (August 2012)

Dark‚ scudding clouds and soughing winds added a chilly‚ Scottish zest to Olivia Fuchs’s admirably straightforward production...The Act Two sextet finale‚ in particular‚ burrowed deep into the opera’s romantic psyche...Highly recommended

Classical Source (June 2012)

...in Olivia Fuchs’s austere production for Opera Holland Park‚ the agony of Lucia’s lover‚ Edgardo‚ is as poignant as that of the bloodstained bride...an elegant and understated staging

Independent on Sunday (June 2012)

In truth‚ the threatening elements provided a rather fitting backdrop for Sir Walter Scott’s dark tale of bloody patriarchal oppression. Olivia Fuchs’s production‚ with Jamie Vartan’s economical designs‚ neatly points up the insidious social forces that conspire to rob Lucia of her happiness and sanity

London Evening Standard (June 2012)

...the opener to OHP’s 2012 season could hardly come more highly recommended

MusicOMH (June 2012)

The 2012 season of Opera Holland Park is off to a splendid start with Olivia Fuchs’s unfussy new production of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor

Oxford Times (June 2012)

Informal and affordable Opera Holland Park opens its festive summer event with Olivia Fuchs’s new production of Donizetti’s double tragedy. It’s among her best work‚ incisive as narrative‚ perceptive in characterisation...a thrilling evening

The Stage (June 2012)

Pelléas and Mélisande‚ Teatro Colón‚ Buenos Aires

Con una fuerte teatralidad que fue valorizada en la minimalista puesta de Olivia Fuchs. Moderna‚ pero a la vez fiel a la letra y espíritu sin abolir tampoco los símbolos

Opera des dehoy (August 2011)

Saul‚ Buxton Festival

...the well-drilled chorus in her highly satisfying Saul at Buxton Festival

Oxford Times (July 2011)

Handel’s masterly oratorio Saul emerged more cogently in Olivia Fuchs’ inventive but ungimmicky staging‚ updated to post-war Washington DC

The Telegraph (July 2011)

The Magic Flute‚ Garsington

The temporary nature of the auditorium‚ flung up for the summer months only‚ may look a little ramshackle‚ but it is comfortable and well-equipped for the various tricks demanded by Olivia Fuchs’ imaginative staging

Express (June 2011)

This new production by Olivia Fuchs‚ updated to an eclectic modernity which embraces leather and chains and a yogic ashram‚ worked hard to offer a fresh interpretion

Observer on Sunday (June 2011)

Olivia Fuchs’ Magic Flute is equally bold in concept‚ brilliantly conceived in visual terms

The Stage (June 2011)

Fidelio‚ Opera Holland Park

Opera Holland Park continues its 2010 season with a revival of Olivia Fuchs’s 2003 production of Beethoven’s “Fidelio”. It remains strong. The contemporary setting with the prisoners in orange jumpsuits reflecting the clothing of images of the inmates of Guantanamo Bay is still a potent one‚ and the evident brutalising and brutalism of both the prisoners and their prison-wardens makes the intended impression

Classical Source (July 2010)

Olivia Fuchs’s production of Fidelio earned plaudits upon its first outing in 2003; though I did not see it then‚ it remains just as relevant and disturbing today. Guantánamo Bay references‚ brought out both in the stage direction and in Jamie Vartan’s excellent designs‚ need to be hammered home just as much as they did then. The United States may have a new administration and this country may have a new government‚ but the camp of infamy remains open for business and the war criminals who led us into Afghanistan and Iraq have never been tried. Even if some resolution had been reached‚ one would not need to look far to find equally urgent cases: Burma‚ Gaza‚ Tibet‚ let alone the domestic prisons of our own countries‚ cynically packed with unfortunate souls who have no reason to be there‚ solely in order to keep the likes of the Daily Mail happy – though when are such organs of poujadisme ever satisfied? This production’s revelation of the prisoners in their orange jumpsuits is shocking enough‚ but the way in which they are cowed‚ in need of the light yet almost unable to cope with it‚ is something to shame not only those who will never see it but those who have voted for or at least tacitly assented to such barbarism‚ even those of us who abhor it and yet have been unsuccessful in bringing it to an end.

Musicweb International (July 2010)

It is‚ of course‚ tiresome to have to confront those who reckon Fidelio a failure; they so spectacularly miss the point that this is a work about freedom‚ and not in any sense that our political overlords would understand. Yet a production such as this might actually accomplish that confrontation for us. Fuchs’s reappraisal of Jacquino transforms a bit part into something truly horrifying: doubtless not an evil person‚ but a stupid one‚ brutalised by the situation‚ who engages in relatively ‘low-level’ abuse‚ or so the politicians would see it‚ of the prisoners. In another setting‚ he would doubtless be chanting ‘harmless’ nationalist slogans at a soccer match. And why should we trust the minister‚ who arrives with sinister bodyguards in shades? Likewise‚ the ‘media’‚ desperate to be let in to snap the first photographs? This souring of the final victory may not have been what Beethoven intended‚ but it works‚ and there is no harm in undercutting the music just a little‚ when it is done so well. It need not be done so every time‚ but is a valid option when confronted with an age of barbarism beyond anything the composer could have imagined.

Musicweb International (July 2010)

Pelléas and Mélisande‚ Opera Holland Park

'Fuchs’ Pelléas is both highly poetic and oddly provocative'

Independent on Sunday (June 2010)

Olivia Fuchs’s production of Fidelio earned plaudits upon its first outing in 2003; though I did not see it then‚ it remains just as relevant and disturbing today. Guantánamo Bay references‚ brought out both in the stage direction and in Jamie Vartan’s excellent designs‚ need to be hammered home just as much as they did then. The United States may have a new administration and this country may have a new government‚ but the camp of infamy remains open for business and the war criminals who led us into Afghanistan and Iraq have never been tried. Even if some resolution had been reached‚ one would not need to look far to find equally urgent cases: Burma‚ Gaza‚ Tibet‚ let alone the domestic prisons of our own countries‚ cynically packed with unfortunate souls who have no reason to be there‚ solely in order to keep the likes of the Daily Mail happy – though when are such organs of poujadisme ever satisfied? This production’s revelation of the prisoners in their orange jumpsuits is shocking enough‚ but the way in which they are cowed‚ in need of the light yet almost unable to cope with it‚ is something to shame not only those who will never see it but those who have voted for or at least tacitly assented to such barbarism‚ even those of us who abhor it and yet have been unsuccessful in bringing it to an end.

Musicweb International (July 2010)

'Olivia Fuchs’s haunting new staging of Pelléas is the better bet. To start with‚ the City of London Sinfonia sound transformed under Brad Cohen’s baton: Debussy’s pellucid score flickers with shimmer‚ seduction and‚ at times‚ dangerous menace. It grounds what can be a wispy psychodrama in a very human context — just as Fuchs’s probing production is zeroing in on the story’s universalities. A Buddhist herself‚ perhaps it’s no surprise to find Fuchs keying into the opera’s recurring patterns and archteypes. Her bold linking device is seven silent women to accompany the orchestral interludes‚ who enact the stages of life that Mélisande gradually and irreversibly traverses‚ from her wide-eyed first encounter with Golaud to her tragic death at his hands. That might sound over-cerebral were it not for Fuchs’s intimate character play and a cunning set (designs by Yannis Thavoris) that neatly straddles naturalism and symbolism'

The Times (June 2010)

Rusalka‚ Opera North

A production to savour

Opera Magazine (July 2010)

Of recent interpretations‚ Opera North’s must rank as one of the best. First seen in 2003‚ it has been to Australia and back‚ and now returns stronger than ever – thanks to a first-class ensemble and a staging by Olivia Fuchs that tickles the imagination while respecting the mysterious simplicity of the tale

Financial Times (June 2010)

Carmen‚ Wandsworth Prison

Pimlico Opera’s trip to prison has now been an annual event for 20 years‚ during which some 50‚000 members of the public have gone ’inside’ and several hundred inmates have tasted the limelight‚ working with young professionals‚ in ways few ever expected. This year was Carmen in HMP Wandsworth‚ cut down to under two hours‚ directed by Olivia Fuchs and surviving gutsily intact.

Only five of the prisoners participating – whose nationalities included Polish‚ Romanian‚ Uzbechi and Turkish – spoke English. Carmen herself was voluptuously and smokily sung by Frances Bourne‚ who gave a fearlessly physical performance despite being seven months pregnant. The cast‚ pros and ams‚ ins and outs‚ worked with a great sense of team spirit. You can pontificate‚ with good reason‚ about the mutual benefits of an enterprise like this. But it’s simpler just to say that in all senses this Carmen was a captivating show.

Observer (March 2010)

Olivia Fuchs’s pacy‚ rough-theatre staging of Carmen inside the forbidding Victorian walls of HMP Wandsworth — Britain’s biggest jail — is no exception. The opera is cut by an hour (time off for good conduct?) and Toby Purser directs an unseen band in a scaled-down orchestration clearly done by someone who wants to help Bizet to release his inner Duke Ellington. But there’s nothing small-scale about the performances

The Times (March 2010)

Kát’a Kabanová‚ Opera Holland Park

But for the closest synthesis of intelligent direction‚ imaginative design‚ uninhibited performance‚ and a devastating realisation of the score‚ Olivia Fuchs’s Opera Holland Park staging of Kat’a Kabanova was the triumph of 2009.

Independent on Sunday (December 2009)

Two years ago‚ Olivia Fuchs directed an acclaimed no-frills production of Jenufa for this increasingly ambitious country-house-opera-for-townies company. Unfortunately I missed it‚ but if it was even half as good as her new Katya it must have been very good indeed…Fuchs and her resourceful designer gave us a Katya pared down to its scenic essentials‚ both handsome to look at and symbolic of a fragmented world which eventually destroys the life of its protagonist…Fuchs is a really sharp director of people‚ drawing brilliantly etched character portraits from all her cast…Any British company would have been proud of this Katya

Opera Magazine (October 2009)

Kát’a Kabanová‚ Janácek’s harrowing examination of sexual guilt‚ has always tended to bring out the best in British opera companies. Few of its recent stagings‚ however‚ have so unflinchingly probed its moral and emotional complexities as Olivia Fuchs’s exceptional new production for Opera Holland Park: this is the company’s greatest achievement‚ and arguably Fuchs’s as well.

The Guardian (August 2009)

Expressionism and verismo collide in Olivia Fuchs’s production of Kat’a Kabanova‚ the last and finest of Opera Holland Park’s 2009 season. As Boris Grigorjevic (Tom Randle) urges unhappily married Kat’a (Anne Sophie Duprels) to take his hand‚ the lovers step out on to the violet waters of the Volga‚ suspended on the pulse of Janácek’s score‚ uninhibited by the laws of nature or man. For this moment alone (lit exquisitely by Colin Grenfell)‚ Fuchs’s Kat’a would be unforgettable. As the centrepiece of a production in which closely observed character-work‚ rigorous attention to historical‚ social and psychological detail‚ fearless musicianship and realism and magic realism cohere‚ it is one of the most piercing and potent images I’ve seen……. There are no weak links. Every characterisation is thorough‚ every note sung with meaning‚ Randle’s ardent Boris and Duprels’s immersion in Kat’a’s guilt‚ longing and terror‚ like her Butterfly and Rusalka‚ sensational. Not simply the highlight of Holland Park’s season‚ this Kat’a Kabanova is the highlight of the summer.

Independent on Sunday (August 2009)

Once more‚ it’s striking how well Fuchs uses the space‚ in spite of its inherent limitations. The Edwardian costumes and designs (it’s updated slightly) by Yannis Thavoris are resourceful‚ giving Fuchs various platforms to use‚ as well as a revolving cage-like room to the left of the stage in the first two acts. If it’s not particularly subtle‚ nor is the opera itself‚ and Fuchs elaborates the drama atmospherically. The Personenregie is noticeably detailed‚ with most of the singers performing like actors and avoiding stock operatic gestures‚ and the oppression of both the people in general and Kát’a specifically. Fuchs also depicts the role of nature in this piece very effectively‚ with spiky cloud-like structures hanging over the stage‚ tall grass growing to the right hand side and the river flowing between walkways. I don’t think OHP could do a better job with their limited resources and shallow stage...In short‚ it’s an excellent production‚ cast and crew‚ and it deserves a bigger audience than it had at the performance I attended. Some tickets remain for the performances on 1‚ 5 and 7 August‚ and with prices from £10‚ it surely makes a bargain alternative to the Proms and the country house opera companies in the regions

Musical Criticism (August 2009)

As so often in the past‚ Opera Holland Park has found its best form when it is at its most ambitious. The season has not included any of the adventurous Italian verismo operas with which the company made its name‚ but its success with Janácek’s Jenufa two years ago has opened up a new avenue of possibilities. For this year’s Kátya Kabanová‚ the company’s second Janácek‚ many of the same team have been re-assembled. Based on Ostrovsky’s The Storm‚ the opera shows what happens when a build-up of tension in a rigid society explodes in a thunderstorm of a climax‚ and Opera Holland Park duly proves that lightning can strike twice in the same place.

Olivia Fuchs’ production acts like a lightning rod to the opera’s frustrated emotions. Although it is an exaggeration to have the townsfolk behaving like puppets‚ the contrast with poor Kátya and her longing for emotional freedom does become even more intense. Cradling her stomach as if sick with desire and singing her heart out‚ Anne Sophie Duprels became truly the eye of the storm – an outstanding portrayal............. Altogether‚ this was one of Opera Holland Park’s finest achievements.

Financial Times (July 2009)

This was a great achievement...the production was in the safe hands of Olivia Fuchs (whose wonderful Fidelio is to be revived there next year)

Musical Pointers (July 2009)

After their trail-blazing production of Jenufa two years’ ago‚ Opera Holland Park now turn their attention to Kat’a Kabanova‚ with director Olivia Fuchs returning to direct...After her success with Jenufa you can see why the management wanted to entrust this production of Kat’a to Olivia Fuchs...All in all this was a thrilling performance of one of the 20th century’s greatest operas

MusicOMH (July 2009)

After its huge success with Jenufa two years ago‚ Holland Park reassembles many of the same team to tackle Leos Janacek’s later masterpiece‚ a tale of a fragile‚ bullied woman who looks outside marriage for love. Once again the cast‚ conductor and orchestra‚ together with the production team‚ hit all the right buttons. This Kat’a Kabanova is a triumph...Director Olivia Fuchs charts Kat’a’s downfall with sensitivity...The principal performances are unimpeachable

The Stage (July 2009)

Kát’a Kabanová‚ Janácek’s harrowing examination of sexual guilt‚ has always tended to bring out the best in British opera companies. Few of its recent stagings‚ however‚ have so unflinchingly probed its moral and emotional complexities as Olivia Fuchs’s exceptional new production for Opera Holland Park: this is the company’s greatest achievement‚ and arguably Fuchs’s as well.

She updates the work from the 1860s to the early years of the 20th century‚ locating Kát’a’s tragedy within the wider context of the hypocrisies of a smugly affluent bourgeoisie. Kabanicha (Anne Mason) terrorises her family‚ but then plays S&M games with Dikoj (Richard Angas) when everyone’s back is turned. The women who stare dismissively at Anne Sophie Duprels’s Kát’a on her way back from church‚ and turn against her after her confession‚ are revealed to be comparably trapped in loveless marriages and yearning for freedom.

Duprels is wonderful in suggesting the depths of feeling beneath Kát’a’s fragility. The emotional ferocity of her singing sometimes seems out of proportion to her slight frame. She cowers in terror before Jeffrey Lloyd Roberts’s dangerous Tichon‚ and yields to Tom Randle’s vulnerable‚ gloriously sung Boris with shy rapture. Fuchs presents their passion as capable of briefly transcending the forces of society and nature that will eventually pull them apart.

Their final catastrophic encounter‚ in which the gestures of desire can only trigger the bitterest of memories‚ have a veracity and emotional nakedness that is disturbing in the extreme. Stuart Stratford’s conducting‚ lyrical yet violent‚ adds immeasurably to the intensity of it all.

The Guardian (July 2009)

Fuchs’ production of Kát’a Kabanová ‚ the last in OHP’s season‚ has a number of strengths: an elegant staging‚ a spectacular performance by the City of London Sinfonia under Stuart Stratford’s baton‚ and an excellent line-up of leads

What's On Stage (July 2009)

The Rake’s Progress‚ Garsington Opera

Garsington‚ too‚ makes amends for its feeble Vivaldi opera with a striking‚ modern-dress staging of The Rake’s Progress by Olivia Fuchs. With her designer‚ Niki Turner‚ Fuchs brings Auden and Kallman’s Hogarth-inspired text closer to the period of the composition (the middle of the 20th century) with sinister bowler-hatted extras playing Nick Shadow’s diabolical helpers as a cross between figures in a Magritte painting and the murderous yobs in Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange. Tom Rakewell’s descent from ambitious rural loafer to acquisitive man about town‚ ruined entrepreneur and madman is unerringly charted in this pitiless staging

Sunday Times (July 2008)

In Olivia Fuchs’s terrific production‚ the tiny stage is dressed like a bucolic parody‚ only to have the roaring boys and whores of London rip it apart and spirit us to punk hell for Tom Rakewell’s arrival in the capital of self-indulgence. Nudging him gently down the slippery slope to ruin was our master of ceremonies‚ Nick Shadow‚ in one of the best performances I’ve seen in the role. His physical and vocal presence made it totally credible that Rakewell should hang on his every word. And his over-familiar tactility towards his charge made the betrayal all the more chilling. The extraordinary lullaby of farewell to Rakewell by Anne Trulove had a chaste beauty heightened by Fuchs’s outstanding chorus work‚ which made something moving and poetic of the harrowing denouement in Bedlam

The Independent (June 2008)

For a more rigorous examination of virtue scorned‚ you should head to the countryside‚ where Olivia Fuchs’s stylish production of The Rake’s Progress....Smartly designed and lit by Niki Turner and Bruno Poet‚ Fuchs’s Rake takes inspiration from surrealist art and 1980s pop culture. The whores and roaring boys are post-punk teens with sullen mouths‚ asymmetrical haircuts and ripped fishnets‚ Mother Goose is a bosomy Zandra Rhodes-Vivienne Westwood hybrid‚ while the three retainers who silently serve Nick Shadow sport ashen faces and Magritte bowler hats.

Independent on Sunday (June 2008)

From the moment that Christopher Purves - dressed in top hat and tails - stepped through the curtains of Garsington’s picture frame proscenium‚ to stand silently for a few moments smiling sardonically at the audience‚ it was obvious that this Rake would be something special. Olivia Fuch’s brilliant production is confident and sure-footed‚ using every inch of the small stage space and nearby gardens in a totally coherent presentation of Tom Rakewell’s downfall. Complete with a fine set of principals and magnificent direction of the large and youthful chorus‚ Tom’s seduction by Nick Shadow and subsequent decline is marvellously portrayed; right from the opening master-stroke through to the epilogue warning that the devil finds work for idle hands. It is pacy‚ very funny and terribly sad by turns‚ a modern morality tale about super-rich celebrity.

Seen & Heard International (June 2008)

Olivia Fuchs’s intelligent production...Fuchs never overplays the caricatures and brings a genuinely light touch to the set pieces...It all fits together seamlessly...The closing moments‚ as Anne says her final farewell to Tom‚ are genuinely touching in a way that the end of this often chilly opera rarely is.

The Guardian (June 2008)

Olivia Fuchs and her designer Niki Turner set the opera within a gilded frame and update with bravado‚ handling the gang of punks and roaring boys with particular flair.

The Telegraph (June 2008)

Hogarth himself might have applauded...Olivia Fuchs’s crisply satirical staging‚ expertly tailored to the semi-outdoors ambience of Garsington‚ ensures that the modern relevance of this dark parable comes across loud and clear...There are many such incidental delights in Fuchs’s staging

The Times (June 2008)

Midsummer’s Night Dream‚ Royal Opera House

Fuchs’s production has translated this uneven opera into a seductive‚ witty‚ touching entertainment.

Independent on Sunday (February 2008)

It’s an evening that builds to an uproarious and ultimately uplifting finish...Fuchs grabs the opportunities given her to end the evening on a crowd and eye-pleasing note

MusicOMH (January 2008)

The Director‚ Olivia Fuchs‚ intuitively grasps the soul of the opera.

Seen & Heard (January 2008)

Jenufa‚ Opera Holland Park

Olivia Fuch‚ the director‚ heroically confined herself to directing an exceptionally fine cast.

Opera Magazine (August 2007)

Olivia Fuch’s production of Jenufa has received well deserved accolades from all sides. On a smaller budget and mounting her Jenufa in OHP’s new tent yields nothing to either of them. (Her OHP Fidelio easily eclpised Covent Garden’s recent production‚ and Macbeth too was one of the best regular operagoers can remember.) She has a dream cast of principals and malleable singer/actors for all the rest of a large cast‚ who have to be moved in and out of Jenufa’s foster-mother’s cramped living quarters across the wide and narrow stage at Holland Park. This is achieved with aplomb‚ and I particularly liked her management of the friends and villagers in the non-realistic scenes with dances...For the main protagonists‚ every gesture and movement was apt and telling. Most reviewers have concentrated on the singers‚ so I stress particularly Olivia Fuchs’ brilliant deployment of them all.

Musical Pointers (June 2007)

Director Olivia Fuchs...without doubt‚ she got to the heart of this grim but uplifting story.

Musical Criticism (June 2007)

Olivia Fuchs’s tightly focused staging of Janacek’s heartbreaker rightly zeroes in on its tensions as a domestic drama‚ played out only in its latter stages as a public scandal

The Guardian (June 2007)

Opera Holland Park’s wonderfully simple production is all the stronger for playing it absolutely straight...All praise to Olivia Fuchs for trusting this tale to do its own work

The Telegraph (June 2007)

When a low-budget enterprise such as Opera Holland Park pulls off a production which has you gripped throughout‚ the achievement is all the more remarkable. This was the case with Olivia Fuchs’s intelligent staging of Janacek’s Jenufa‚ the second new production in the 2007 season.

ThisisLondon.co.uk (June 2007)

Marriage of Figaro‚ English National Opera

Olivia Fuchs is a spirited‚ fastidious and imaginative director‚ skilled at weaving small cruelties into the most calorific fantasies (Mayskaya Noch) and highlighting the tendernesses in otherwise brutal tragedies (Macbeth‚ Rusalka).

Independent on Sunday (November 2006)

Romeo et Juliette‚ British Youth Opera

Throughout Olivia Fuchs’ production is economical and well-motivated.

Stage Online (September 2005)

Macbeth‚ Opera Holland Park

Good that Opera Holland Park entrusted their 2005 opening production to Olivia Fuchs‚ whose Fidelio at Holland Park is etched on our memories.

Musical Pointers (June 2005)

Fuchs’s handling of the witches — often sent up by serious directors embarrassed by Verdi’s jaunty‚ rollicking choruses — is one of the most striking aspects of her staging. They infiltrate Macbeth’s illicit court and celebrate Malcolm’s restoration by reconvening their coven to foment more mischief. Fuchs proposes a Macbeth that glories in the anarchic‚ disturbing power these women represent‚ and the female chorus rises magnificently to the occasion.

Sunday Times (June 2005)

Don Giovanni‚ Opera North

Don Giovanni‚ that late 18th-century expression of female oppression and male come-uppance‚ is an opera that might have been made for a 21st-century revisionist director. Olivia Fuchs has made full use of the opportunity in her production for Opera North. Her trick is that she has encouraged us to view the work as if the Don had been raping his victims only yesterday. We are no longer distanced from the horror of what he does.

Sunday Times (January 2005)

Luisa Miller‚ Opera Holland Park

Fuch’s wonderfully effective new production...suddenly‚ the heightened emotions of Verdi’s score all make sublime sense.

Metro (July 2004)

Olivia Fuch’s overwhelming staging is proof positive that opera is intended for the stage and not CDs. Fuchs unerringly demonstrates how money and power will ruthlessly manipulate and destroy.

The Stage (July 2004)

Cherevichki‚ Garsington

Olivia Fuchs’s inventive staging.

The Observer (June 2004)

Rusalka‚ Opera North

It’s clear that director Olivia Fuchs has considerable talent - she is a gifted storyteller - unafraid to probe beneath the surface charms of Rusalka.

Opernwelt (November 2003)

Opera North’s new production...should not be missed...Olivia Fuchs’s production touched the heart chillingly.

Financial Times (October 2003)

Olivia Fuchs’s new production for Opera North...is one of the most harrowing experiences I could imagine recommending . It’s also one ofthe most fascinating; well directed‚ expertly sung and acted...

Independent on Sunday (October 2003)

This is music theatre at its most powerful and affecting‚ as is Olivia Fuchs’s witty‚ stylish and equally moving new production of Rusalka.

Observer (October 2003)

The new production of Rusalka is also worth travelling a long way to see.

Sunday Times (October 2003)

Fidelio‚ Opera Holland Park

Unforgettable...very highly recommended

The Guardian (June 2003)

A stirring new production of Fidelio..Olivia Fuchs’s modern-day setting catches the sweaty insecurity of tyranny.

Sunday Telegraph (June 2003)

Fuchs’s production‚ triumphantly opening Opera Holland Park’s season‚ also proves this opera’s versatility. Fuchs’s direction... worked only wonders.

The Times (June 2003)

Turn of the Screw‚ Brighton Festival Opera

The remarkable economy of this staging forces us to imagine the real scenes and question the hauntings. A mirror in an Edwardian hanging cupboard becomes a window with a ghost looking through. A school table is Miles’s virtuoso piano keyboard. Chaise longues are beds‚ as if everybody’s camping out at Bligh. But Olivia Fuchs’s hard focus on character and imagination is not in the least camp in this rough and ready‚ emotionally gripping production.

Evening Standard (May 2000)

Unlike Olivia Fuchs and Rae Smith in their economical and intelligent Brighton Festival Opera production‚ Crowley’s designer …. But both stagings share a simplicity and immediacy that are utterly gripping.

Independent on Sunday (May 2000)

The Maids

Olivia Fuchs directs with skill and sensitivity‚ in a set intelligently designed by Rae Smith‚ and the orchestra plays enthusiastically‚ conducted by Dominic Wheeler.

Daily Telegraph (June 1998)

In the premiere at the Lyric Hammersmith by Olivia Fuchs‚ who also wrote the libretto‚ the Robson brothers – countertenor and tenor – certainly fulfilled all the dramatic expectations. They produced performances of compelling concentration in which the smallest gesture speaks volumes.

The Guardian (June 1998)

Like Lunn’s music‚ Fuchs’ direction avoids expressionistic extremes‚ while her skilfully condensed libretto allow the composer to work swiftly.

The Independent (June 1998)

Olivia Fuchs’ direction gets fine performances from the brothers Robson‚ counter-tenor Christopher‚ tenor Nigel‚ observing Genet’s own wishes for male performers…An intriguing 90 minutes.

Time Out (June 1998)

La Boheme

Olivia Fuchs’ direction has a freshness that rouses an audience. In fact‚ it was the best first night I can recall in Cork for some time. Here teamwork is the secret of the company’s success as the four bohemians convey the bleak mood I their shabby Parisian garret.

Sunday Independent (June 1997)

The Turn of the Screw

Olivia Fuchs’s delicate production

The Times (January 1993)

remarkably inventive ... layers of illusion‚ fantasy and dream through which the spectator moves as if spellbound

Financial Times (January 1993)

Johnny Johnson

A dynamic and unusual acting style allows for a constantly surprising interaction between music and drama‚ through flirt‚ counterpoint and confrontation. Vital theatricality and imagery underline the heterogeneity of the piece where dance and comedy are juxtaposed with the brutality of war

Neue Zuricher Zeitung (January 1992)