Press Reviews

'''Jeff Clarke and his cast lean into it, with the malevolent wise men Scaphio and Phantis (Robert Gildon and Giles Davies) throwing some very daft shapes indeed while dressed in outsize breeches and stovepipe hats, while the orchestra and chorus are buoyant and warm.''

The Arts Desk. 'Utopia Limited', Gilbert and Sullivan Festival, Buxton, 2022

 '''I found that the two Wise Men came across better here than in other productions with their more meaningful reading of Gilbert’s book to help a better understanding of the plot. An excellent overture (recently composed by John Owen Edwards) was added since none was ever written by Sullivan. The singing was strong throughout and it would be unfair to single out principals for their excellent contribution.''

Seen and Heard International. 'Utopia Limited', Gilbert and Sullivan Festival, Buxton, 2022

''Jeff Clarke has removed the locale from the “luxuriant and tropical landscape” of the original book to a generally Middle Eastern one, with palms and porticoes. He leaves it to the expertise of performers such as Robert Gildon and Giles Davies (as the Wise Men of pre-reform Utopian society) and Ben McAteer to get the story over in Act One, which they do with excellent diction, and there is a delightful character study from Monica McGhee (as Princess Zara, the daughter of the kingdom, who returns from Girton College, Cambridge, to share all she’s learned of enlightened society). She has absorbed the Queen’s English so much, she sounds like the Queen herself.''

Theatre Reviews North. 'Utopia Limited', Gilbert and Sullivan Festival, Buxton, 2022

''The principal role is shared by baritones Rene Bloice-Sanders and John Openshaw. On the opening night, Rene fully engaged the audience with his shameless stares and smirks, performing very funnily alongside his brilliant, almost unceasingly merry henchman, bass baritone Giles Davies  -  a clear-speaking perfect foil to the evil.''

Mozart 'Don Giovanni', Surrey Opera at the Minack Theatre Cornwall, Summer, 2022.

"It was a nice lesson in how riotous comedy can be full of nuance and detail - and how to do the transition from speech to song: everyone here was right at home in both, and you can't say that too often. They were well supported by Peter Martin as the young Prince Raphael, and Giles Davies as his idiotic tutor Elastoplast. Toby Purser conducted beautifully, milking all Offenbach's sly delight out of his 12 players'.

Opera Now Magazine, February 2022, Offenbach 'The Princess of Trebizonde'. New Sussex Opera. (Five stars).

"It was old school RP for the aristocrats and the Prince's tutor - here Dr Elastoplast rather than Sparadrap, a study in nervous exasperation by Giles Davies." Opera Magazine, February 2022, Offenbach 'The Princess of Trebizonde'. New Sussex Opera
 

''Paul Featherstone’s crazed Casimir and Giles Davies as Raphael’s tutor/minder Dr Elastoplast also provide many moments of sheer lunacy.''

The Stage, Offenbach, 'The Princess of Trebizonde', New Sussex Opera, 2021.

"American Soprano Kelly Glyptis carried the evening. Also impressive were Rosie Clifford as the maid Christina, Giles Davies as the Counsel for the Prosecution and Jon Openshaw as Thuau."
Opera Magazine, December 2021, 'Madeleine' by Jonathan Butcher and David Hackbridge Johnson.

 

‘Prayers Of The Rosary’ is at once meditative and uplifting, spiritual yet psychedelic, introspective yet buoyant. In a world of twenty-second soundbites, social media engagement analytics, and disposable everything, ‘Prayers Of The Rosary’ might just be the antidote we didn’t realise we needed all along.

Mediaeval Baebes, 'Prayers of the Rosary' CD, 2020
 

''I was won over by the Monteverdi 'Coronation of Poppea' by the beautiful playing, wonderful singing, and mostly by the characterisations and story- telling ability of the singers. Giles Davies taking his tie off was as important as his fine singing''.
Online Review. Monteverdi 'Coronation of Poppea', SVF - 2016

''Davies's clear diction and firm baritone gave his scenes strength'' Bachtrack Online, Garine, Arcola Theatre, 2015
''Giles Davies shows true swashbuckling spirit as Markar''

Theatre Full Stop Online, Garine, Arcola Theatre, 2015
 

"The commiment and skill of the production overall makes you want to see the same company offer a fully staged run in a larger venue - and soon"

British Theatre Online, Garine, Arcola Theatre, 2015
 

''Giles Davies stands out as Colonel Calverley who, together with his comrades, won't shy away from any foolishness to win back the heart of his loved one''

UK Theatre Net, Patience, King's Head Theatre, 2014
 

''Hilarious team-work, and perfect patter from the Dragoons, Michael Kerry's Major and especially Giles Davies's spiffing Colonel Calverley''

Remote Goat, Patience, King's Head Theatre, 2014
 

''Together with Giles Davies's excellent Calverley, this was a very funny, believable trio of officers''

Opera Notes, Word Press, Patience, King's Head Theatre, 2014
 

"This is grown up, witty, divinely frivolous entertainment at it's very best'' (Five Stars)

Islington Gazette, Patience, King's Head Theatre 2014
 

''A CD of three Pauline Viardot songs is enclosed, beautifully sung by the author's son, Giles Davies, a noted baritone, accompanied by Nigel Foster''. The Record Collector Magazine, 2013
 

"Her Strephon was Giles Davies, an admirable portrayal with plenty of tone." City Life, News and Reviews, Iolanthe, Buxton Opera House, 2010

"He impressed with his carefully paced dialogue and good diction."
Seen and Heard, Iolanthe, Buxton Opera House, 2010

 

"His rendition of Love Unrequited Robs Me of My Rest is a standout."

Camden New Journal, Iolanthe, 2008
 

"Giles Davies is a wonderful Lord Chancellor with the largest wig in creation and gives his virtuoso arias - like the Nightmare Song - to an enraptured audience. "

Remote Goat Online, Iolanthe, 2008
 

"Giles Davies, on the other hand, showed excellent audience rapport right from the start with his Sentry Song from Iolanthe and he enthused the willing Perth audience into taking part in A Policeman’s Lot from The Pirates of Penzance. His singing was good, accurate and well projected."

Perthshire Advertiser, G and S Gala, 2008
 

"This release represents a labour of love. The accompanying booklet is a mine of information with nine pages devoted to the composer and his music. Annotator Giles Davies often gives perceptive critical comments on the performances – honest even to the extent of including certain reservations about specific items but since some works are presented in more than one version, such comparison is useful and I tend to agree with his assessments.''

Warlock Archive CD's, Divine Art Historic Sound, Classical Source 2009. Gramophone Magazine 'Critics Choice'
 

"It can’t aid anyone’s attempt at verisimilitude to know that as well as being a beautiful Arcadian shepherd who is a fairy down to the waist and who will

suddenly and successfully enter politics and take over Parliament, he’s supposed to be a mere 25. Luckily Giles Davies took Strephon in his stride with just the right edge of self-awareness – it never does to undermine the internal logic of Gilbert’s plots and characters, but there’s a way of being knowing without eroding the innocent fun."
 

British Theatre Guide Reviews, Iolanthe, Newcastle Theatre Royal, 2007

“This recording is a mighty labour of love. Goss is more than a relic rescued from the ‘quaint' world of English music making 80 years ago. In restoring his repertoire and hopefully musical reputation, the baritone Giles Davies and the Goss Male Quartet with pianist Steven Devine illuminate an important tradition in English singing that is almost lost.” – Gossiana CD, 2007
 

International Record Review

"Giles Davies sings impeccably throughout. For Giles Davies, this is obviously a labour of love and he manages to squeeze out all the emotional and musical expressiveness of the repertoire in question. Steven Devine and the Goss Male Quartet lend sympathetic support throughout. This is certainly a fitting tribute to one of Britain's most lovable yet astoundingly neglected artists. (Gossiana CD, 2007)
 

Classical Net

''The ensuing Lieder are also beautifully sung, especially Schubert's Totengrabers Heimweh , in which singer and pianist build up a terrific sense of tension from the beginning, with Davies both meltingly tender and full of passion. It is, however, early twentieth-century English songs that are given the fullest representation on this disc. Davies's love and knowledge of this repertoire shines through clearly in pieces such as Moeran's Dream of Death (in which Davies achieves a particularly beautiful tone), the brilliantly-sung As ever I saw , and the rousing Captain Stratton's Fancy, both by Warlock. The disc closes with five traditional ballads and sea-songs.'' (Gossiana CD, 2007)
 

Albion Magazine

''Throughout, the singing is exemplary, the diction faultless, and a wide range of tone and colour coupled with the wide range of repertoire means that one's mind is always kept captivated. The pianist, Steven Devine, also has a vivid sense of colour and there were moments when I wondered how many different instruments he was playing, the Elizabethan songs are almost lute-like, and the end of Schubert's ‘The grave-diggers longing for home' has the depth and resonance of a real double bass.''

Gossiana CD, 2007, PWS Newsletter
 

"Giles Davies, who fully explores the comic opportunities of Leporello, Giovanni's reluctant sidekick, and whose strong, melodic baritone voice is the most beautiful of the entire cast."
(Oxford Times, "Don Giovanni", 2006)

 

''Giles Davies has a very versatile baritone which is tenor-like in its secure higher reaches, but strong and powerful towards the bottom.''

Internet Review, Wigmore Hall 2005, 'Love's Labyrinth'
 

''The Walton is the stronger piece, and had a really vital Smirnov in Giles Davies, who threw himself into his role as debt-collector/ suitor.''

Opera Magazine, April 2005, The Bear, Minotaur Music Theatre

''As the piano-tuner Edgar Drake, Giles Davies is outstanding.'' The Times 2004, / The Piano Tuner, Music Theatre Wales ''Giles Davies makes a smooth and richly toned Drake.''

The Stage 2004/ The Piano Tuner, Music Theatre Wales
 

''An excellent stab at a difficult role. He manages convincingly to relay the character's innate warmth, humility, sensitivity and openness."

Opera 2004/ The Piano Tuner, Music Theatre Wales

''Commanding central performance from Giles Davies.''
The Independant 2004/ The Piano Tuner, Music Theatre Wales

''Giles Davies was an earnest, pleasing protagonist.''
The Times Literary Supplement 2004/ The Piano Tuner, Music Theatre Wales

''Giles Davies is a sympathetic figure as Edgar Drake.''
The Daily Telegraph/ The Piano Tuner, Music Theatre Wales

''Giles Davies' Drake is very well sung.''
The Observer 2004/ The Piano Tuner, Music Theatre Wales

''All the singers, led by Giles Davies in the title role and Steven Gallop as the

doctor, get the text across with exemplary clarity.''
Evening Standard 2004/ The Piano Tuner, Music Theatre Wales

 

''This work charts the experience of Edgar Drake in a sustained performance by Giles Davies.''
Internet Review (Wales) / The Piano Tuner, Music Theatre Wales

 

''Firstly, Giles Davies was quite the best Pish-Tush I've seen in a long time in what can be a thankless part - superb diction with acting to match - a delight, and a lesson in how it can be done''.

Savoy Net 2003/ The Mikado, Carl Rosa Opera

''Giles Davies gave us a fine, well sung Strephon'' Birmingham Post 2002/ Iolanthe, Carl Rosa Opera

 

''Figaro (Giles Davies) gave a masterful characterisation. In possession of a finely and evenly produced baritone voice his Figaro was expressive both vocally and as an actor. His duets with Count Almaviva were witty and sung with verve.''
 

''The Barber of Seville'', Echo 2000, Malvern Theatre, Newsquest Online
 

''Giles Davies' Schaunard in particular brings a depth and conviction to his role not seen in much grander productions.''

The Times 2002/ La Boheme, Scottish Opera Tour
 

Giles Davies cut a dashing figure as the ardent young lover singing Purcell’s "I came I saw and was undone", with great passion, then gradually declined into an outstanding portrayal of the reeling drunken husband in "Bacchus is a Pow’r Divine", and finally realising the incapacities of old age with real regret in "The Fire of Love'' by Robert King. He performed most convincingly throughout, combining beauty of tone and impeccable vocal technique with remarkable acting skills.’’

Suffolk Festival, ‘Love’s Labyrinth’, Opera Restor’d

“I liked the understated Figaro of Giles Davies.’’
The Telegraph, 2001,The Barber of Seville, Longborough

 

“The very long wait before Giles Davies (baritone) sang in the Benedictus was worth it, and it was only regrettable that this fine voice, which has won so many

accolades already, was heard so little.”
(London Mozart Players - Mozart C Minor Mass, 2001)

“The strongly projected sonorous baritone of Giles Davies.”
Badische Zeitung, 1999, Britten Church Parables, Opera du Rhin, Strasbourg

 

“Giles Davies sang the more reflective roles of the Ferryman, Ananias and Father with conviction.”

Financial Times, 1999, Britten Church Parables, Opera du Rhin, Strasbourg
 

“Giles Davies’ Figaro worried away at the bones of the situational chaos with the strongest of grips, singing off words with firm, unforced tone.’’

Opera Magazine, 1999, The Marriage of Figaro, Holland Park Opera
 

“Giles Davies’ Figaro: a bright naughty spark with a nimble light baritone, perfect for outwitting his master and rattling through yards of recitative.”

The Times, 1999, The Marriage of Figaro, Holland Park Opera
 

“As Kolenaty, Giles Davies sang with colour and force”. Opera, 1998, The Makropoulos Case, Scottish Opera Tour
 

“Giles Davies took the two male roles with excellent acting skills, with a voice that will surely lead to larger roles with larger companies in the future‚”

Opera Now, 1997, I Can’t Stand Wagner, Jigsaw Music Theatre
 

“Giles Davies’ Schaunard added lustre with notable ensemble contribution mixed with splendidly timed and delivered comedy; - Death of a Parrot is hilarious - the trumpet ploy in the Cafe scene a bit of genius, and sardonic wit overlying pragmatic philosophy.”

Belfast Newsletter, 1997, La Boheme, Castleward Opera
 

“The wily and inventive Figaro was sung at short notice by Giles Davies, a highly engaging and appealing performance, expertly shaped both musically and dramatically.”

Caithness Courier, 1997, The Barber of Seville, Scottish Opera Tour
 

"It was good to have for Puck neither an adult dancer, nor an airborne boy, as at Glyndebourne, but young Giles Davies, showing a remarkable stage presence as the keen mischievous boy tumbler Britten really wanted".

Daily Telegraph, 1984, Britten's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', Royal Opera House