Selected press reviews
Tristan und Isolde - Kulturhaus Spandau, Berlin
An unusual journey into the musical drama of Wagner, through a surprising interpretation by Richard Vardigans.
Laughing, crying and understanding Wagner with Richard Vardigans, is not only possible, but also something to look forward to. On November 21st, the English musician arrived at the Kulturhaus Spandau bringing his exceptional, amusing and unmissable „Oper mal anders“ (translates to "opera with a difference") – a spirited, vigorous and sublime interpretation of Richard Wagner's opera, "Tristan and Isolde." The pianist succeeded in connecting with the audience, thanks to his musical talent and to his sensational and incomparable gifts as an orator and entertainer. In just an hour and a half, and with no orchestral accompaniment, he managed to enliven and lighten up the dramaturgical intensity of the 19th century work of the German genius, by weaving a charming, intimate, eloquent and perceptive narration between the musical interludes.
Berlino.Magazine.com 23. November 2019
Die Walküre - Staatstheater Oldenburg
Richard Vardigans is sitting on the main stage of the State Theater, and is explaining Richard Wagner's "Valkyrie".
Vardigans? This is a 63-year-old Englishman - as Generalmusicdirektor and chorus director a theatre practitioner. Above all, he is a brilliant opera clarifier. His own dry humour is his trademark, which he displays with typical british understatement.
If the entire "Ring of the Nibelungen" proclaims that only love can save the world, then Vardigans is an authentic protagonist.
He presents the background information .... with a large portion of love for drama and music alike.
The musical explanations are a trademark in their thoroughness and logic - Vardigans knows every detail.
Northwest Zeitung 5. September 2017
Manon Lescaut -Theater im Pfalzbau, Ludwigshafen
Vardigans distinguished himself as an excellent pianist, a well-informed connoisseur, and a brilliant entertainer.
The most captivating aspect, however, was the manner in which the conductor presented the dramatic effects of Puccini's music, as these sound changes tell the story, unspoken, and become the subtext of the libretto. Vardigans gave a fascinating insight into the workshop of an operatic composer.
Die Rheinpfalz 28. Juni 2014
Richard's Ring in the Coselpalais Dresden
Richard Vardigans conjures up a gripping "Ona-Man-Show" with original British humor out of the "Ring des Nibelungen" ...
"Richards Ring" is opera quite different .... one pair of eyes looking knowingly and humorously into the auditorium, an enormous memory paired with wit and improvational skill, as well as two hands, which are in command of all Wagner’s motives in order to present them at the piano.
Richard Vardigans is an entertainer, who is able to bring his wide range of talents to the public. When Richard Vardigans begins, then always with decency, charm and in-depth musical knowledge. He takes a step up and down from the piano stool, plays while sitting, speaks while standing, snaps back and forth such as even the finest actor would not take upon himself.
Thanks to Vardigans’ explanations, we are able to gain insight into Wagner's background. ... "Richards Ring" explains a Gesamtkunstwerk that one would like to experience in the original - and probably with more knowledge - after this entertaining afternoon.
Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten 16. April 2013
Richard's Ring in the Vogtland Theatre, Plauen
Richard Vardigans, with his very own interpretation of Wagner's RING, succeeded in doing the impossible. Apart from many musical examples and explanations of the motives at the piano, he found the narrow path in order to unite the seriousness of this gigantic complex with a due portion of wit and English dry humour. He combined small, well-placed, seemingly inadvertent jokes and tiny, striking pointers with the action sequence of the four musical dramas. He explained the content and context of the tetralogy as well as the importance of the persons involved - a difficult undertaking, which requires absolute knowledge, in order not to dissipate into platitudes. He adopted a serious expression with a charming, cheerful conversational manner. He not only succeeded, but he also stretched the laughter muscles of the audience, who left the theater in good humourand a no doubt little wiser. Richard Vardigans, a name you should remember!
Vogtland Allgemeine 30.03.2010
Madama Butterfly in the Steinwerk Ledenhof, Osnabrück
Joking aside, Butterfly is a deeply tragic opera and Richard Vardigans is highly impressive in knowing how to convey tragedy with a skilful interplay of words and musical examples at the piano, making one want to see the opera on stage.
Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung: September 2010
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg in the Kiel Opera
Richard Vardigans, pianist and conductor, has his listeners in the Kiel opera house fully under control within the first few bars.
Good ideas should be repeated. Wagner's practice cannot be detrimental to Kiel opera. The synergy effect during the visit to the opera will undoubtedly spread.
Kieler Nachrichten: Januar 2010
Wagner Society Dresden November 2014
Wagner says „Amen“ – when, how and why?
In his inimitable way, very sophisticated and with a deep background knowledge, but also very entertaining and humorous, he understood how to draw the audience into his spell.
The well-informed audience was amazed at the many "hidden" Amen and found the lecture captivating. They reacted with hearty applause at the end.
The Wagner-Society Dresden would like to thank Richard Vardigans for this event and would like to pass on a recommendation to other Wagner Societies.
Klaus Weinhold Chairman RWV-Dresden
Wagner Society Berlin-Brandenburg
2012 Lohengrin and Parsifal / 2013 Das Rheingold and Die Walküre / 2014 Siegfried and Götterdämmerung / 2015 Die Meistersinger / 2017 The Flying Dutchman / 2018 Tannhäuser / Future Dates 2020 Tristan und Isolde
His lectures are mainly characterized by his musicality at the piano, but also combined with his talent to bring the content and facts of the operas brilliantly and not without humour to the point.
With us in Berlin his lectures met with a knowledgeable and enthusiastic audience. The interest of the members was so great that we invited him to the association twice in the same year.
We would be pleased to recommend him to our colleagues in the other Wagner Societies.
Rainer Fineske Chairman RWV Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.
„Götterdämmerung“ Theater im Pfalzbau Ludwigshafen
His put his excellent pianistic ability to the service of Richard Wagner .... and presented the leading motives of the entire RING. His explanations were so entertaining that the time passed by in a flash. Those who did not yet know the RING will surely develop into true Wagnerians.
Report of the Harmonie Gesellschaft 1803 Mannheim November 2012
Haus des Gastes, Waren Regular summer season since 2007
Richard Vardigans gives listeners entertaining and in-depth insights into the world of music, providing an understanding of the compositional intentions and connections, so that even the "connoisseurs" in the audience learn a lot of new things. His virtuoso piano playing inspires the guests as well as his humorous performance.
Sabine Handy – Veranstaltungsleiterin, Haus des Gastes Waren
Carl-Maria-von-Weber-Museum Dresden Education programme since 2007
Mr. Richard Vardigans has been very successful in the museum's educational programme since 2007 with opera introductions for children of all ages.
His success is due to the truly age-appropriate, entertaining and well-founded manner of presentation. We do not want to do without the cooperation with him.
Dorothea Renz Director of the Museum