Related Reviews
American Record Guide
'The performances and sound of both the opera and the trio are very good.'
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Chemistry World
'By turns witty and sombre, tonal and atonal, the music is engaging in its own right…'
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Julian Wagstaff - Breathe Freely - Gramophone

01 February 2016
Kate Molleson

Breathe Freely is a chamber opera for three singers and three instruments with music and libretto by Scottish composer Julian Wagstaff. Its subject is the chemistry department of the University of Edinburgh during the Second World War - the department commissioned the piece - with a backdrop of Scotland's role supporting the Polish resistance and the ethics of biochemical wartime research. In some ways I admire the clarity of the piece: Wagstaff keeps things simple, keeps the story straight and writes tonal, tuneful pieces with jaunty backing from the piano trio. Laura Margaret Smith is a spirited young mezzo with a full, fearless voice and the ability to inject big character into prosaic lines. She's a name to watch.

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