Simon Butteriss is the complete master of this type of role with a wonderful sense of character, aided by superb comic timing.
Maitre Jean LA COLOMBE Planet Hugill, July 2016
Glorious…a breathlessly convincing performance…pricelessly funny
George Grossmith/I AM THE VERY MODEL OF A MODERN MAJOR GENERAL, BBC Radio 4 /Kate Kellaway, Observer, 27.12.15
Simon Butteriss in scintillating form
George Grossmith/I AM THE VERY MODEL OF A MODERN MAJOR GENERAL, BBC Radio 4 /Fatimah Hasan, Radio Times (Pick of the Day) Christmas edition 2015
…the technical brilliance of Simon Butteriss, whose sly combination of stylish grandee and roguish camp is so perfect for Colonel Pickering.
Colonel Pickering/MY FAIR LADY, Oper Kὅln, 2015, Johnny Fox, Critical Mass, December 2015
This amazing singing actor…everything he does is absolutely riveting …you can hear every word and every word is nuanced.
KoKo THE MIKADO, BBC Radio 3
Simon Butteriss is surely the leading comic baritone of his generation.
KoKo THE MIKADO, Manchester Evening News
Simon Butteriss – favoloso attore, cantante e ballerino.
KoKo THE MIKADO in Rome, Corriere della sera
Simon Butteriss captivated the audience…will remain forever in my memory…beautifully sung...the audience roared its approval.
KoKo THE MIKADO in Sydney, Australian Opera-Opera
The star of the production is unquestionably Simon Butteriss. He brings the house down, generating a kind of theatrical electricity as he romps about the stage. His cavortings and malleable face, which mirrors a comic range of expressions, are frankly inspired; in years I cannot recall enjoying a G&S portrayal as much as this.
KoKo THE MIKADO, Oz Arts Review
Nimble-footed and versatile Simon Butteriss is the best KoKo I've ever seen.
KoKo THE MIKADO, Manchester Evening News
Simon Butteriss’ KoKo was a triumph.
KoKo THE MIKADO, The Times
The indisputable star was Simon Butteriss, a hyperactive KoKo who could do no wrong, imbuing the role with an exhilarating, infectious energy.
KoKo THE MIKADO, Classicalsource.com
There was another virtuoso performance in the servant's roles by Simon Butteriss; he brought off Frantz's number brilliantly, which isn't easy, given the dramatic context. He played Cochenille in smart drag with a fag hanging out of his mouth - simply hilarious.
THE TALES OF HOFFMANN (ENO), Opera Magazine
Simon Butteriss sang the four servant roles with astonishing variety including Cochenille in outrageous drag. Although usually a comic baritone, Butteriss managed the tenor tessitura of the roles with ease.
THE TALES OF HOFFMANN (ENO), Radio 3 Forum
Simon Butteriss is nothing less than virtuoso as Frantz
THE TALES OF HOFFMANN (ENO), Musical Criticism
Simon Butteriss, a baritone, nevertheless makes scene-stealing appearances in the four character tenor roles, especially as the drag, chain-smoking Cochenille - a cameo of genius.
THE TALES OF HOFFMANN (ENO), Sunday Times
The only interpretation of distinction was Simon Butteriss’ Jack Point. A barefoot, pathetically anxious figure, he struck just the right note of pathos and projected both spoken and vocal lines with exemplary clarity. This is the way to do it.
Jack Point THE YEOMEN OF THE GUARD, Rupert Christiansen, The Daily Telegraph
Good to see the brilliant Simon Butteriss on another local stage. After his recent sublime KoKo at Chichester, his Jack Point is another masterpiece. Watching his true love torn from him is to see human pain at its most agonizing.
Jack Point THE YEOMEN OF THE GUARD, The News
Dazzling musical tour de force
George Grossmith in the film A SALARIED WIT, Time Out
That virtuoso of the musical theatre, Simon Butteriss…his verbal and vocal drive turn it into all but a one man show
Pangloss CANDIDE, The Times
Simon Butteriss is touched with comic genius
Basilio LE NOZZE DI FIGARO, The Independent
Wholly irresistible…Simon Butteriss gets his aria di sorbetto and earns it, suggesting that he could make a formidable Lady Macbeth.
Clorinda LA CENERENTOLA, The Times
The amazing Simon Butteriss
Orlofsky DIE FLEDERMAUS, The Times
Simon Butteriss plays the lawyer Dr Blind with an off-the-scale weirdness that I loved, he was deeply odd and disturbingly funny
Dr Blind DIE FLEDERMAUS (ENO) Gscene.com
The physical and comedic skills of Andrew Shore and Simon Butteriss raise standards whenever they appear
Dr Blind DIE FLEDERMAUS (ENO) Whatsonstage.com
The ever-excellent Simon Butteriss
Dr Blind DIE FLEDERMAUS (ENO) Londonist.com
A shining talent in this repertoire
Dr Blind DIE FLEDERMAUS (ENO) Classicalsource.com
The person who really stole the show was Simon Butteriss, and he is really funny, he really glitters
Bobinet LA VIE PARISIENNE D’Oyly Carte, Kaleidoscope, BBC radio 4
Bunthorne PATIENCE, Evening Standard
Bunthorne PATIENCE, Opera Magazine
Simon Butteriss was outstanding: agile, tragic-comic (as he should be) and he delivered his role with an astonishing variety of vocal shades
Bunthorne PATIENCE BBC Proms, Musicalcriticism.com
Butteriss was a revelation as Bunthorne. He brought all the right mannerisms to the role but he sang with remarkable depth of tone
Bunthorne PATIENCE BBC Proms, Planet Hugill Classical Music
Simon Butteriss is some kind of comic genius as Bunthorne, sounding like John Reed but sharper-witted.
Bunthorne PATIENCE BBC Proms, Davidniceblogspot.com
Fully as good as the legendary Martyn Green
Bunthorne PATIENCE BBC Proms, Berkshire Review of the Arts, USA
Butteriss succeeded in acting everyone off the stage, singing marvellously too. Splendid.
Benoit/Alicindoro LA BOHEME, ENO, 2015, The Operatunist
Simon Butteriss made a big impression as Alcindoro and as a greasy Benoit straight out of a 1970’s sitcom. Benoit, however, shouldn’t be the most memorable character in La Boheme…
Benoit/Alicindoro LA BOHEME, ENO, 2015, Erica Jeal, Opera
A fine contribution to the joy came from Simon Butteriss in the double role of the landlord Benoit and Musetta's client Alcindoro. Butteriss's great experience playing old men in Gilbert and Sullivan operetta stood him in excellent stead enabling him to bring a delightfully comic element to the roles.
Benoit/Alcindoro LA BOHEME, ENO 2015, William Hartston , Daily Express
Simon Butteriss’s vignettes as both an estuary-style landlord Benoit and Musetta’s sugar-daddy Alcindoro were fabulous.
Benoit/Alcindoro LA BOHEME, ENO 2015, Jessica Duchen, The Independent
Simon Butteriss deployed his comic talents to the full in the double role of Benoit and Alcindoro.
Benoit/Alcindoro LA BOHEME, ENO 2015, Barry Millington, Evening Standard
The most characterful performances come from Simon Butteriss, playing both the rancid old Benoit (“I’m sixty but sexy!”) and Musetta’s long-suffering sugar-daddy.
Benoit/Alcindoro LA BOHEME, ENO 2015, Richard Morrison The Times
Showing them all up was Simon Butteriss’ masterly doubling of Alcindoro and Benoit. Tiny parts, but etched into the memory by the clarity of characterisation.
Benoit/Alcindoro LA BOHEME, ENO 2015, Lark Review
Simon Butteriss is an excellent Benoît, successfully playing the part as a character role with exaggerated accents, while still revealing the excellent voice that lies beneath. His Alcindoro is equally strong, although the direction of Act II does not allow him to come to the fore as much as would be ideal.
Benoit/Alcindoro LA BOHEME, ENO 2015, Sam Smith, Music OMH
Simon Butteriss, superbly Andrew Shore-ish as the landlord Benoit and Alcindoro
Benoit/Alcindoro LA BOHEME, ENO 2015, Mark Valencia, What’s on Stage
Simon Butteriss almost stole both his scenes as Benoit and Alcindoro.
Benoit/Alcindoro LA BOHEME ENO 2015, Richard Fairman, Financial Times
With baritone Simon Butteriss terrific in the roles of lecherous landlord Benoit (‘I’m 60 but I’m sexy) and sugar-daddy Alcindoro.
Benoit/Alcindoro LA BOHEME ENO 2015, Time Out
The always excellent Simon Butteriss brings all the wit and charm of his unrivalled Gilbert and Sullivan expertise to the joint roles of the landlord Benoit and the rich old fool, Alcindoro.
Benoit/Alcindoro LA BOHEME (ENO), Daily Express
Stealing the first act, however, is the clear baritone of Simon Butteriss
Benoit LA BOHEME ENO, Metro
If only every singer enjoyed the clarity of Simon Butteriss, present too briefly as the landlord Benoit
LA BOHEME ENO, The Times
The most polished performance of the evening comes from Simon Butteriss who offers a beautifully observed old fusspot of Benoit
LA BOHEME, ENO, Daily Telegraph
More arresting was Simon Butteriss, whose amusingly lecherous Benoit is a perfectly conceived caricature. Both he and Richard Angas delivered their lines clearly and directly.
LA BOHEME, ENO, Opera Today, USA
The real stars are the veterans: Simon Butteriss a touchingly Wellesian Benoit
LA BOHEME on DVD, ENO, Gramophone
The sharply enunciated, ripely played Benoit of Simon Butteriss is a delight
LA BOHEME on DVD, ENO, Opera News, USA
The name Simon Butteriss is a joyous guarantee of both musical and comic quality and here he was a delight.
Sir Joseph Porter HMS PINAFORE, The News
Simon Butteriss has Gilbert and Sullivan in his soul and in his portrayal of Sir Joseph Porter not a word was lost, not a joke overlooked; in humour, sensitivity, slapstick, clowning or melancholy, Butteriss raises the level of performance around him whilst still remaining the monarch of the stage. Simply, he is the very model of the modern Gilbert specialist.
Sir Joseph Porter HMS PINAFORE, Bachtrack.com
Matters improve greatly with the entry of Simon Butteriss, a true G&S man bringing joy and humour to every role. His enthusiasm is infectious and with his entrance all seem to relax and enjoy themselves.
Sir Joseph Porter HMS PINAFORE, Daily Express
‘Playing King Gama for the first time, Simon Butteriss gave one of the finest performances I have encountered. Gama delivers many of the choicest lines which Butteriss wrapped in a venomous tongue and spewed with acidic wit and flawless comic timing. Simply put, the performance sparkled.’ Five Stars
King Gama PRINCESS IDA , Andrew H King, Bachtrack.com
G&S veteran Simon Butteriss steals the show from the beginning, though, with the ravishing polish of his patter songs.
Gama, PRINCESS IDA, Mark Shenton, THE STAGE, 2015
Simon Butteriss plays Gama with a crisply camp bitterness, every word enunciated and every possible double entendre driven home. A G&S patter man through and through, his attention to detail and quality of performance is glitteringly good.
Gama, PRINCESS IDA, Musical Theatre Review, 2015
Simon Butteriss is probably the best patter man I’ve ever seen. And yes, I saw Martyn Green, John Reed and many more.
Gama, PRINCESS IDA, Susan Elkin, Twitter, 2015
To cast Simon Butteriss as Gama is just stonking good luck for us in the audience – a damned fine singer with a sharp sense of comic timing.
Gama, PRINCESS IDA, Life in the Cheap Seats, 2015
Willard White demonstrates an unexpected gift for comedy as Bottom, matched dramatically by Simon Butteriss’ mincing delight of a Starveling
Starveling A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, ENO Alexandra Coghlan , New Statesman
No light tenor sparkles more brightly or consistently than Simon Butteriss, helped by his charismatic personality.
Edward Greenfield, in Portrait Gallery: A Life in Classical Music
If we want to imagine what George Grossmith would have been like – how he moved, used his body and created a rapport with his audience – the closest we will get to that experience which the Savoy crowds had in the 1880s would be to watch Simon Butteriss perform the Grossmith roles. Simon directs the works as well, and it is clear from so many of his performances that he pays close attention to every nuance in the actions and words which interweave to create the special humour of a Gilbert and Sullivan opera as it was meant to be.
Stephen Wade, in his biography of George Grossmith, A VICTORIAN SOMEBODY
Tom Stoppard was the first to write an English narration for the piece and his idea rather wittily supposed that Njegus was the man in the know. Simon Butteriss has replicated that idea for John Wilson and the Philharmonia orchestra, and indeed has done so with more wit and a great deal more charm than even Stoppard did.
Butteriss is a Gilbert and Sullivan stalwart whose dapper delivery hits just the right note of satire. The mythical state of Pontevedro is close to bankruptcy as the curtain rises at its embassy in Paris, so you can just imagine the irresistible temptation for jokes on European insolvency. Butteriss lands them all. But my favourite of his interventions was his dubbing of Embassy Wives as ‘diplomatic bags’. Plenty of mileage in that one.
The other cleverness about the narration is that Butteriss has designed it to be played as part of the action so that he is often standing ‘invisibly’ in the midst of quite intimate situations. It proved to be an ingenious device from the man who also directed this semi-staging, and when Butteriss did finally get a number of his own, it came with a lyric from Jeremy Sams which was naughty enough to pass off as the performer’s own. No prizes for guessing where the strategic pause came in ‘a mouthful of coq au vin’.
So it was very much Butteriss’ show.
THE MERRY WIDOW (Philharmonia/John Wilson/Royal Festival Hall), Edward Seckerson, The Arts Desk
Butteriss enhanced every twist of the ludicrous tale with a perfection of verbal wit
THE MERRY WIDOW (Philharmonia/John Wilson/Royal Festival Hall), Hilary Finch, The Times
What made the afternoon slip by so easily was the new narration written and performed by Simon Butteriss. A consummate performer in his own right, his story telling was done in character which provided a bridge between the action and the audience without the constant need to step in and out of character. Added to which, it was witty and pointed without being over contemporary in its allusions. This might have carried the afternoon by itself.
THE MERRY WIDOW (Philharmonia/John Wilson/Royal Festival Hall), The Lark Review
Simon Butteriss’s translation, by all accounts done in about five minutes, is quite brilliant, knowing exactly how risqué to be and then going just a bit further.
FRA DIAVOLO translation, Opera Now
When we say an opera is “funny”, we usually mean “we are very sophisticated people who can appreciate the humour of 200 years ago”, but in a new and very free translation by Simon Butteriss, it really was laugh-out-loud hilarious
FRA DIAVOLO translation, The Guardian
If you wanted your faith in human nature restored, you should have caught Simon Butteriss’s illustrated lecture about Oliver Goldsmith (Sky Arts, Saturday). Butteriss’s talk - interrupted by Butteriss himself, impersonating the doctor/jourmalist/poet/playwright – was brimming with ideas.
A GOOSEBERRY FOOL Sky Arts, The Times
Enchantment may more usually be the province of The Magic Flute, but there were charms at work in the Queen Elizabeth Hall yesterday, conjured principally by Simon Butteriss. Commissioned by the OAE, Butteriss has produced both a new translation and a narration (which he himself performs). The tone is gently and aptly satirical, the pace swift and the effect immediate and deeply comic. This is Jackanory for musically-literate adults and you could hear the pleasure and hush of an audience being willingly bewitched. If a case were to be made then this singspiel could find no more persuasive an advocate than Butteriss. The OAE must be rejoicing in their commission - a work I feel certain will be around long enough to see a turn in the London fortunes of this delightful opera.
DIE ENTFUHRUNG AUS DEM SERAIL Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment, QEH, TheArtsDesk.com
A MOTLEY PAIR Sky Arts, Sunday Times
Simon Butteriss hits us between the eyes in A Motley Pair. He will certainly make you think again about the operas, and if he succeeds in bringing a new audience to see them, then a knighthood should follow! All hail, Sir Simon!
A MOTLEY PAIR Sky Arts, Gilbert and Sullivan News
Simon Butteriss is as good a presenter as I have seen on TV in many years. He is natural, relaxed, enthusiastic, without going over the top and his speech is absolutely clear. Some of today's celebrity TV presenters could learn a lot by studying his approach. Instructive and highly entertaining. You can hardly ask more of a TV documentary.
A MOTLEY PAIR Sky Arts, Sullivan Society magazine
It might be comic opera but The Barber Of Seville usually invites companionable tittering rather than full-on belly laughs. However, Simon Butteriss's English translation gave the rib-cage contingent of Buxton Opera House a healthy work-out. Clever rhymes and witty modernisms drew maximum humour out of the libretto.
THE BARBER OF SEVILLE translation, Opera Now
The English translation by Simon Butteriss - known widely as a genius of the Gilbert and Sullivan comedy roles - is both easy to follow and lively in its adaptation of the story. It certainly makes the opera genuinely funny and the Buxton audience laughed heartily.
BARBER OF SEVILLE translation, Manchester Evening News
With a superb, newly commissioned narration - taut, terse and hard-hitting - written and declaimed by Simon Butteriss, it often felt as though we were experiencing the drama for the very first time.
FIDELIO narration, Brighton Festival/Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, The Times
It succeeded brilliantly
FIDELIO narration, Brighton Festival/OAE, Daily Telegraph
FIDELIO narration, Brighton Festival/OAE, The Guardian
Glorious…breathlessly convincing…pricelessly funny
I AM THE VERY MODEL OF A MODERN MAJOR GENERAL BBC Radio 4 /Kate Kellaway, Observer, 27.12.15
Stage polymath Simon Butteriss’s script was mighty pleasing to the ear
YOUNG PERSON’S GUIDE TO THE ORCHESTRA narration, Philadelphia Orchestra/
Philadelphia Enquirer, 6.3.16
For the first time in my life during a performance of The Merry Widow, I felt a twitching at the corners of the mouth. A very silly smile slowly formed, grew, and remained for the duration. The Philharmonia described their festive show as a semi-staged performance in English. But it was far more than that. The follies of Paris and Pontevedro were conjured not only by the magical, levitating baton of John Wilson, but by Simon Butteriss who, as Njegus, directed, danced, sang – and provided a racy, pacy narration to replace the operetta’s spoken dialogue. Just as Wilson’s baton tickled the fancy, plucked the heartstrings, and whisked Lehar’s waltzes into the lightest of confections, so Butteriss enhanced every twist of the ludicrous tale with a perfection of verbal wit and comic timing, which gave angle and edge to it all. It was, in short, the perfect blend of Viennese Schlagobers and English salt.
The sheer flair and taut professionalism of this wonderful one-off did rather put in perspective what had been going on in St Martins Lane.
THE MERRY WIDOW (Philharmonia/John Wilson/Royal Festival Hall), Hilary Finch, The Times
Director Simon Butteriss, who also plays the Lord High Executioner Ko-Ko, is my nomination for greatest living Englishman. He stands in the great line of George Grossmith, Henry Lytton, Martyn Green and John Reed. His ‘Little List’ was hilarious, his timing is immaculate, his singing is excellent, his instinct for observing tradition while making it relevant is impeccable. His production delights in the way it deploys a chorus and keeps the action moving. When The Mikado is presented with zip and polish, as it is here, it sheds all vestiges of Victorian pomposity to emerge as the masterpiece it is. The audience guffaw and applaud as if each word is new to them. *****
THE MIKADO (International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival, Buxton Opera House) Daily Mail
An outrageously joyous production of THE MIKADO. The reason for this new production being one of the most entertaining you’re ever likely to see is because the irrepressible patter man, Simon Butteriss, is also entrusted with directing it. You know that every ounce of fun will be wrung out of it, whilst maintaining the highest standards of singing and performance. And that is what we get. His KoKo is honed by years of experience, with masterly comic timing and yet spellbinding seriousness, as when it comes to his Tit Willow solo ….this is a production oozing vivacity.
THE MIKADO (International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival, Buxton Opera House) Manchester Theatre Awards
The 19th International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival got off to an excellent start with a rousing production of The Mikado directed by Simon Butteriss, who also played the leading role of Ko-Ko, the Lord High Executioner. Butteriss never missed a chance to contribute extra glee; this production is glorious in its absurdity and added up to a thoroughly entertaining and deliciously over-the-top evening
THE MIKADO (International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival, Buxton Opera House) Daily Express
This Mikado is a production of intense joy. In this new, fresh-faced production directed expertly by Simon Butteriss, who also assumes the role of KoKo, humour, sensitivity, satire, delicacy and simplicity reign abundantly. Simon Butteriss as KoKo excelled on all fronts and to compose a little list of his vocal, directing and acting skills would surely not be missed.
THE MIKADO (International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival, Buxton Opera House) Bachtrack.com
Simon Butteriss has directorial genius.
THE MIKADO (International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival, Buxton Opera House) Savoynet
One was treated to an inspired interpretation, perfectly directed by Simon Butteriss. A treat.
THE YEOMEN OF THE GUARD (Philharmonia/John Wilson/Royal Festival Hall) Paris-Broadway.com
‘The great Simon Butteriss directs with a deft hand. Peerless.’ Five Stars
IOLANTHE (International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival, Buxton Opera House) Tully Potter, Daily Mail
‘It will come as no surprise that both as director and in playing King Gama for the first time, Simon Butteriss was without doubt in his element and gave one of the finest performances I have encountered. Gama delivers many of the choicest lines which Butteriss wrapped in a venomous tongue and spewed with acidic wit and flawless comic timing. Simply put, the performance sparkled.’ Five Stars
PRINCESS IDA (International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival, Buxton Opera House) Andrew H King, Bachtrack.com
‘I loved Simon Butteriss’s treatment of the G&S operetta that seems most up-to-date today. An enormously spirited and enjoyable entertainment. Of all this year’s professional productions, I found it the best – very well cast, with genuinely funny characterisations, excellent diction and some beautiful musical moments.’
PRINCESS IDA (International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival, Buxton Opera House) Manchester Theatre Awards
This madcap, at times maniacal, journey with Orpheus and the amoral Olympian deities to the Underworld, courtesy of Simon Butteriss’ adaptation of Offenbach’s opera bouffe, was a performance of irrepressible vivacity and jollity. Just the thing for a Sunday afternoon in dreary January. Butteriss wore many hats in preparing and performing this production: in addition to directing the young cast, he penned the expeditious spoken dialogue, adapted some of the lyrics, served as a smooth-tongued narrator, sang the role of Jupiter with stylish verve, and imitated a bluebottle. An experienced man of the theatre – director, translator, actor, presenter, singer – he was a relaxed and debonair presence amid the comic antics, swapping evening-dress for silk dressing gown, then sporting black tights and outsized visor to impersonate a buzzing insect; a wicked sense of fun was tempered by the wisdom of experience.
ORPHEUS IN THE UNDERWORLD (Opera Danube), Opera Today, (USA)