Ruby Hughes

Ruby Hughes Soprano

London Handel Singing Competition, London, 2009

'”In recent years, the standard of singing has risen consistently with some outstanding young artists emerging to confirm burgeoning careers: Andrew Kennedy, Iestyn Davies and Lucy Crowe to name just three. The winner of both the Adair (First) Prize and the Audience Prize (for once there was no difference of opinion) was clearly not a difficult choice for the jury: young Ruby Hughes, soprano, showed a professionalism and vocal finish in her programme which stood out head and shoulders above her rivals. Her larger instrument, with a warm, bright tone that was even through the range, enabled an expressive delivery that drew every bit of drama from her choices from Theodora, Giulio Cesare, Jephtha and Samson”

Opera Today

 

Awake, sweet love / King’s Place

“Vocal music was represented too, not least by the soprano Ruby Hughes in duo with the guitarist Christoph Denoth. Framed by Dowland and Falla, their programme also paid tribute to Schubert’s use of the guitar in intimate performances of his Lieder. Bringing impeccable diction to the Dowland, Hughes coloured all her lines with musical intelligence.”

The Daily Telegraph

 

“Vocal music was represented too, not least by the soprano Ruby Hughes in duo with the guitarist Christoph Denoth. Framed by Dowland and Falla, their programme also paid tribute to Schubert’s use of the guitar in intimate performances of his Lieder. Bringing impeccable diction to the Dowland, Hughes coloured all her lines with musical intelligence.”

Planet Hugill

 


B Minor Mass / Kammerchor Stuttgart

“The tender, warm-toned soprano Ruby Hughes…the radiantly sensitive young soprano was outstanding…”

Eßlinger Zeitung

 


St Matthew Passion / National Theatre

“Soprano Ruby Hughes is poised…”

Evening Standard

 

“”Ruby Hughes (soprano), Sally Bruce-Payne (mezzo), James Laing (countertenor – his ‘Erbarme dich’, eloquently supported by Matthew Truscott’s solo violin, was the best singing I have yet heard from him), Benjamin Hulett (tenor) and Mark Stone (baritone) all made strong dramatic impressions in their arias.”

Opera

 

“Sally Bruce-Payne and Ruby Hughes delivered forthright solos…”

The Times

 

Lucinda: Don Chischiotte in Sierra Morena / Musikwerkstatt Wien

“…Ruby Hughes (as Lucinda) stood out with her beautifully inflected, well produced voice…”

Kultur

 

Britten: Abraham and Isaac / BBC Proms

"What can never be guaranteed, despite the Proms’ lavish budget, is really inspirational performance. On that level, some of the smaller-scale events linger in my mind as much as the Mahler or Bruckner blockbusters. If I had to name one, it would be tenor James Gilchrist, perfectly blended with soprano Ruby Hughes in Benjamin Britten’s Abraham and Isaac, both floating effortlessly over the luminous piano sound of Imogen Cooper. It’s a tough call for two merely human singers to impersonate the Voice of God, but these two managed it."

The Daily Telegraph

 

Górecki: Symphony of Sorrowful Songs / BBC Proms

“Ruby Hughes, a BBC New Generation Artist, pitched the songs perfectly between drama and detached reverence, her sparing use of portamento and vibrato adding considerably to the music’s impact, and she magically floated her silvery voice out of the orchestra into the audience.:

Classical Source

 

“…with the fine soprano Ruby Hughes capturing the devout Polish timbre of the texts and singing from the heart in the three songs of sorrow that make up the Symphony, this was a rapt occasion.”

The Guardian

 

“He (Osmo Vänskä) was aided by a superb performance from the BBC Symphony Orchestra and from soprano Ruby Hughes, who gave its laments a searing immediacy.”

The Independent

 

“Wisely, soprano Ruby Hughes resisted the temptation to over-emote, shaping Górecki’s doleful lines with radiant elegance.”

Standard

 


Acis and Galatea / English Chamber Orchestra

 

“…a delectable Galatea. Hers is a pure and pearly soprano…”

The Times

 


Atalanta / London Handel Festival

“Ruby Hughes brings Atalanta to palpitating life. She invests her coloratura arias with ravishing beauty.”

The Independent

 

“The singing is generally of a high standard, with a vocally brilliant (and suitably athletic-looking) Atalanta, sung by Ruby Hughes…”

The Stage

 

“...Ruby Hughes’ flutey, radiant Atalanta...”

The Times

 


Judas Maccabaeus / Huddersfield Choral Society

"For example, one of the most beautiful and moving moments in this Judas Maccabaeus was in the air and chorus “Ah! Wretched, wretched Israel!” Scored by Handel with a string accompaniment that lent an almost Purcellian melancholy, this section produced a deeply felt performance from all of the singers and the instrumentalists of the Manchester Camerata, coaxed beautifully by conductor Takuo Yuasa. Solo singer in this air was the soprano Ruby Hughes, who was, I think, the pick of the guest soloists. She skipped lightly over the Handelian rhythms and gave a delightful performance in the delicate air “O liberty, thy choicest treasure”, accompanied by just harpsichord and cello – a nice contrast to the rather contrabass-heavy scorings used almost everywhere else.”

Huddersfield Examiner

 


Cleofide: Poro / London Handel Festival

“…soprano Ruby Hughes (as Poro’s lover Cleofide) brings a melting warmth of tone to her arias.:

Evening Standard

 

“Of the young cast, it’s the expressive soprano Ruby Hughes, as Cleofide, who makes the biggest, brightest        impression.”

The Guardian

 

“Hughes’ powerful, well-rounded soprano shows huge promise.”

The Independent

 

“But on the singing front only counter-tenor Christopher Ainslie (Poro) and soprano Ruby Hughes (Cleofide) possess which might be described as the essential quality of rapture. Individually they shine, together they entwine with touching awareness of the orchestra’s luscious harmonic suspensions.”

The Times

 


Michal: Saul / Buxton Festival

“…Ruby Hughes was a good choice for Saul’s younger daughter Michal.”

Opera

 

“…Ruby Hughes’ bright-toned Michal…”

The Sunday Times

 

 “…the sweet and true Michal of Ruby Hughes...”

The Times

 


 A Handel Celebration / Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

“If Handel's life story was a bit laboured, the playing of 16 baroque trumpets and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under Benedict Hoffnung was not, combining with the voices of the Oriel and St Cecilia Singers to make a cathedral of the Town Hall. More memorable still was the singing of Ruby Hughes, Neal Davies and Iestyn Davies.”

The Guardian

 


Exploring Handel / Ten Tors Orchestra

“But the real jewel in the crown was young soprano, Ruby Hughes, whose agile and well-pointed voice was the ideal vehicle for the many coloratura passages, while possessing the necessary tone and sufficient weight for moments where dramatic expression was required.”

What’s On South West

 


Handel Anniversary Concert / RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra

“She displayed a warm, lithe, bell-like vocal presence in virtuosic arias from Alcina and Giulio Cesare and in “Rejoice Greatly” from Messiah.”

Irish Times

 

Handel 1710: Venice – Hanover – London / Wigmore Hall

“None of the concert’s five other Steffani arias could match it for quality: Handel never stole dross. But each vocal item here was socked out with equal commitment by the gifted young soprano Ruby Hughes, winner of last year’s London Handel Festival Singing Competition. No shrinking violet, this. She squeezed expression from every word. Torment transfigured her face, particularly as Handel’s heroine Agrippina…she’s made for the opera stage because she sings with such ringing belief.”

The Times

 


Narcissa: Philemon und Baucis / Musikfestspiele Potsdam Sanssouci

“…the delectable soprano Ruby Hughes…”

     Potsdamer Neueste Nachrichten

 


Haydn: Nelson Mass / Chantry Singers

“…Ruby Hughes, a resplendent, totally fearless coloratura soprano, filling the abbey with effortless power.”

Bath Chronicle

 


Mahler: Rückert Lieder / BBC Philharmonic

“She sang beautifully, with great expression and a warm tone in the five songs…”

The Arts Desk

 

“…touchingly sung by the young soprano Ruby Hughes.”

The Sunday Times

 


Minerva: The Return of Ulysses / English National Opera

“…the mesmerising Ruby Hughes.”

The Arts Desk

 

“Ruby Hughes is one of several singers who excel in this production.”

Classical Source

 

“The cast certainly has its fair share of gems. Ruby Hughes’ Minerva has a sensuous presence and proud sense of superiority…”

The Londonist

 

“The cast combined experienced ENO regulars, including Diana Montague as the nurse and Nigel Robson as Eumete, with newer talent (notably Thomas Hobbs as Telemaco, Ruby Hughes as Minerva) to gripping and traumatic effect.”

The Observer

 

“One very pleasant surprise in this production is Ruby Hughes, who sings the role of Minerva. This young soprano won the 2009 Handel Singing Competition. She stalked the stage with great poise and elegance and revelled in the plethora of arioso sections which Monteverdi granted her as an immortal. She sings with warmth, superb clarity and control as well as great conviction.”

Opera Britannia

 

“…Ruby Hughes’ ambiguous Minerva, another fine portrayal.”

Seen and Heard

 

“Ruby Hughes shines as the goddess Minerva...”

The Stage

 

“…The most idiomatic singing comes from the larynxes of Thomas Hobbs’s Tele­machus, Diana Montague’s veteran but still vocally supple Ericlea and Ruby Hughes’s feisty Minerva, played as Penelope’s alter ego…”

The  Sunday Times

 

“Mr Andrews has succeeded in casting singers who are particularly skilled actors, especially Mr. Randle, whose baritonal tenor is almost crooner-like, and Pamela Helen Stephen as Penelope, Diana Montagu as his old nurse and Ruby Hughes as Minerva.”

Wall Street Journal

 

“…Ruby Hughes impresses as a striking Minerva.”

What’s On Stage

 


Don Ramiro: La finta giardiniera / Royal College of Music

“…Ruby Hughes was the travesti Ramiro, quite equal to the coloratura, right in character as the tormented seria lover…”

Opera Now

 


Mozart: Requiem / Musikkollegium Winterthur

“The soprano Ruby Hughes made a superb replacement for the indisposed Sibylla Rubens.”

Der Landbote

 


Belinda: Dido and Aeneas / West Green House

“With a glistening clarity that was a joy to hear…”

Opera Now

 

The Indian Queen / Schwetzinger Festival

“Ruby Hughes is a touching Orazia.”

Frankfurter Allgemeine

 

“The singers were outstanding. The soprano Ruby Hughes sang flawlessly with a tender, light and shining timbre.”

Schwäbischer Tagblatt

 


She: King Arthur / Der Lautten Compagney

“But this moving, sexy show was a company effort, and the 10 ensemble singers, most of them German, were its motor, vocally and physically, with Ruby Hughes and Matthias Viewig the pick.”

Opera Now

 


Roggiero: Tancredi / Theater an der Wien

“…Ruby Hughes performed the small role of Tancredi’s Page Roggiero with skill and energy displaying a youthful, clear soprano.”

OMM

 

“Isaura (Liorna Grodnikaite) and Roggiero (Ruby Hughes) completed the cast. The soprano Ruby Hughes appeared very youthful, she impressed with a nicely sung aria.”

Oper in Wien

 

“…Ruby Hughes an engaging Roggiero.”

Opera

 


Argene: L’Olimpiade / Garsington Opera

“The performances are intelligently acted and vividly sung, with Tim Mead’s Licida, Emily Fons’ Megacle and Ruby Hughes’s Argene standing proud of a consistently strong team…”

The Guardian

 

“…Ruby Hughes’ giddy, loveable Argene…”

The Arts Desk

 

“As Argene the soprano Ruby Hughes, who amusingly tended to a stuffed sheep on rollers, sang with bright sound and feistiness.”

New York Times

 

“Also singing and acting to this high standard was Ruby Hughes whose love for Licida was not reciprocated, even though she offered her life to save his. Throughout her involved portrayal and expressive and varied singing I could not help but think that she would make a superb Elvira in Don Giovanni…”

Seen and Heard International

 

“…the glowing soprano Ruby Hughes…”

The Times


Argene: L’Olimpiade / Garsington Opera

“The performances are intelligently acted and vividly sung, with Tim Mead’s Licida, Emily Fons’ Megacle and Ruby Hughes’s Argene standing proud of a consistently strong team…”

The Guardian

 

“…Ruby Hughes’ giddy, loveable Argene…”

The Arts Desk

 

“Also singing and acting to this high standard was Ruby Hughes whose love for Licida was not reciprocated, even though she offered her life to save his. Throughout her involved portrayal and expressive and varied singing I could not help but think that she would make a superb Elvira in Don Giovanni…”

Seen and Heard International

 

“…the glowing soprano Ruby Hughes…”

The Times

 


Rose Maurrant: Street Scene / The Opera Group

“Ruby Hughes as Rose and Adrian Dwyer as Sam hit exactly the right note of thwarted longing.”

The Guardian

 

“Ruby Hughes’ Rose is also touching in her struggle to cling to her dreams, as in the exquisite ‘What Good Would the Moon Be?”

The Independent

 

     “Rose was sung with an open, appealing tone by Ruby Hughes…”

Opera

 


Rose Maurrant: Street Scene / Opéra de Toulon

"One must pick out, in particular, the sweet and sensitive Rose of the English Ruby Hughes."

Le Figaro

 


Handel & Vivaldi / Ten Tors Orchestra

“Soprano, Ruby Hughes, was in fine voice in arias from Handel’s Alcina and Judas Maccabeus, where her powerful delivery was finely matched by some extremely sensitive quieter moments, with coloratura passages sung with real gusto… Ruby Hughes’s deeply-emotional reading of Handel’s With Darkness Deep, and her briskly- despatched Nulla in mundo pax sincera by Vivaldi, brought this satisfying feast of Baroque music to an effective close.”

Plymouth Herald

 


French Cantatas / Göttingen Festival

“…Ruby Hughes utterly bewitched her listeners. She displayed a bright soprano of wonderfully beautiful timbre that carried well even in the lower register.”

Göttinger Tageblatt

 

“But the finest singing of the opening weekend came the next evening, when soprano Ruby Hughes joined McGegan’s successor in Göttingen, Laurence Cummings, and his London Handel Players for a programme of cantatas and instrumental music. The haughty gaze of the Hanoverian Kings (George 11 founded Göttingen university) – whose portraits hang behind the stage in the university’s main hall – and a tremendous thunderstorm provided a dramatic backdrop for Hughes’ sensuous performance of Rameau and Clérambault.”

Gramophone

 

 “The soloist Ruby Hughes emphasised dramatic effects: with strong expression and a resonant, even incisive, soprano, she brought the varied rhetoric of the Rameau Cantata to life. There was deep sadness in the Aria “Amour, amour”, and a cheeky self confidence in the moralizing final aria about the dangers of impatience in love.”

HNA

 


Handel Arias / Wigmore Hall

“None of the concert’s five other Steffani arias could match it for quality: Handel never stole dross. But each vocal item here was socked out with equal commitment by the gifted young soprano Ruby Hughes, winner of last year’s London Handel Festival Singing Competition. No shrinking violet, this. She squeezed expression from every word. Torment transfigured her face, particularly as Handel’s heroine Agrippina… she’s made for the opera stage because she sings with such ringing belief.”

The Times

 


Who’s Hot in Opera

“As usual it was the RCM singers who impressed me the most. Ruby Hughes, a poised singer with a lovely soulful tone and great legato who I've seen in a couple of Handel productions and a Purcell…she has great stage presence too.”

OPERA NOW