Press

The Rape of Lucretia

“Britten’s resourcesful and often inventive orchestration, in conjunction with Andrew Altenbach’s supple direction, brought out bold textures and an ample sound…Altenbach navigated the starkly contrasted music of the chorus and the boisterous tavern scene with impressive fluidity.” -The Boston Examiner

Sumeida’s Song

“High praise for an opera company doing remarkable things. Andrew Altenbach was the accomplished conductor who held together Fairouz’s diverse influence – lavish orchestral color and spare atonality, Arabic music, Strauss, and Berg – and emerge with Fairouz’s distinctive musical personality.” -New York Arts

“Music Director Andrew Altenbach led the complex score with confidence. Boston Opera Collaborative deserves enormous credit for bringing this production here to Boston.”  -Boston Globe

 “Sumeida’s Song is an intense and tautly constructed work, and BOC brought excellent singers, polished music direction from Andrew Altenbach, and virtuosic performing from the orchestra. The company mentions that is “proud to be on the cutting edge of an ambitious young opera movement.” Indeed, their pride is justified, and also it is exciting to have performances like this one taking place the town I call home.” -Boston Intelligencer

The Magic Flute

“Conductor Andrew Altenbach and the orchestra set the standard with a neat and lively overture…the cohesion and precision of the singers with the orchestra was impressive; unity was never a problem for the ensemble.” -The Boston Examiner

“Altenbach does a stunning job with the orchestra and the cast is well-rehearsed and riveting in their musicality. It is unsurprising why many consider Boston Conservatory the best of the best for music in Boston, especially for opera.” -My Entertainment World

The Cunning Little Vixen

“From the opening chords of the orchestra, conducted sensitively by Andrew Altenbach, you were brought into a natural world in which life and death coexist.”   -Berkshire Fine Arts

La Cenerentola

It didn’t take long for Grand Harmonie to put its stamp on the three-hour production Thursday night. This local outfit, which has just concluded its first season, plays classical and Romantic music — Mozart to Brahms — on period instruments. Led by BOC artistic director Andrew Altenbach, the 24-piece orchestra gave the Overture a raw, rustic flavor, with piquant winds and horns. And Altenbach built the drama with such point and purpose, it was as if Rossini were creating a new art form.” -Boston Globe

“From August 1st through the 4th, the Strand Theatre in Dorchester is hosting what has to be one of the most pleasant musical surprises of the summer: The Boston Opera Collaborative’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s La Cenerentola…The orchestra was provided by the Boston-and-New York-based period instrument ensemble Grand Harmonie, skillfully and musically led by conductor Andrew Altenbach. If it took a minute or so to get used to the smaller sound—a string ensemble of 11 players is less than what one typically hears these days for this work in a 1500 seat theater—it was all the more impressive that their ensemble balance was so good, even between the 14 brass and winds with the 11 strings. What stood out was their ability to balance with and support the singers, creating a very satisfying overall musical palate.

On a final note: if opera—even grand and large-scale comic opera—is to survive, the modest yet effective approach to it offered by the Boston Opera Collaborative is a very compelling model for that survival. More than that, it can breathe new life into a form of entertainment that, though far from obsolete, is beginning to show its laugh lines.”   -Boston Musical Intelligencer

Minnesota Bach Ensemble

“Under the assured guidance of artistic director Andrew Altenbach, the orchestra played with persuasive fervor and subtly contoured dynamics….This orchestra is young. It played its first concert in January, 2013. But it already draws a good-sized, attentive audience and is making an important contribution to Twin Cities musical life.”   ~Star Tribune

“If something good has come out of the Minnesota Orchestra lockout, it’s the genesis of the Minnesota Bach Ensemble…after hearing its latest program at St. Louis Park’s Westwood Lutheran Church — that this is baroque performance of a very high quality…such fullness emanated from the ensemble..longed-for pianissimos arrived,,,dexterous dancing in the winds…And the strings were strong throughout the evening, inspiring me to feel that a very good Bach band has emerged here. I wish them a long life.”   ~Pioneer Press

Don Giovanni

“The opera’s 1787 premiere in Prague took place in a small theater not much larger than the one at Boston Conservatory. This chance to experience the opera in an intimate setting is rare and welcome. Conductor Andrew Altenbach does an outstanding job, consistently maintaining an appropriate balance between the orchestra pit and the stage.” ~Boston Globe

“The Boston Conservatory’s opera is burgeoning this year.  I reported in these pages in February on the imaginative and well-executed performances of Ravel’s two short but challenging operas, and here I am less than two months later reporting on a delightful Don Giovanni performance. The orchestra, once again under Andrew Altenbach’s able direction, has mastered the lengthy score with professional attention and skill, and the difficult horn parts (this is, after all, an opera in which cuckoldry is important) stood out with bright but never overbearing sound.”  ~Boston Musical Intelligencer

The Marriage of Figaro

“Andrew Altenbach presented a spruce touch of this inimitable score. He attended not only to the detail of the writing – the inner parts and the manifold subtle ties of scoring – but equally to the music’s line and lyricism. And he did yeoman’s service at the harpsichord.” ~IOL South Africa

Suor Angelica & Gianni Schicchi

“Solid singing from those in the casts who count the most, authoritative leadership from the conductor in the pit, and interesting touches in the staging mark current production of two Puccini operas….One must credit the youthful maestro, Andrew Altenbach, who not only extracted true Puccini sounds from the orchestra, but kept a careful eye on the singers, guiding them through a flow of intricacies and entanglements. He seemed to have a beyond-his-years mature sense for the Puccini style and for the musical specifics the composer chose to tell the operas’ stories, the mounting tension in “Angelica,” the wit and chaos in “Schicchi.”   ~Herald Times, Bloomington

La bohème

“La bohème shined with brilliant delivery and grace. Support from the pit was sympathetic. Andrew Altenbach’s conducting of JPO emphasized details and care for the audibility of the text. After it settled down, some superior playing come to the fore. Voices were allowed to soar in melodious arcs.”   ~Praetoria News, South Africa

Cosi fan tutte

“Andrew Altenbach conducted the orchestra with pride. I found myself watching him instead of the opera sometimes. He and the orchestra gave a beautiful reading of Mozart’s score.”   -Stagepartners, Philadelphia

The Messiah

“As the orchestra began the Sinfonia, I knew we were in for a wonderful evening. Their vibrato control and even balance in the opening fugue was evidence of the work put into preparing the piece.”   ~Arts Memphis

Abduction from the Seraglio

“Exquisite Mozart poured from the pit under Maestro Altenbach” ~St.Paul Pioneer Press