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The Merry Widow

"Francis Griffin's orchestral reduction of Lehar's 'Merry Widow' worked beautifully for our production.  It provided a full realization of Lehar's score while greatly reducing the forces required.  Olwen was also a great collaborative partner throughout the entire process, and the parts were clear and well organized.  We will definitely consider using Reduced Opera Orchestrations - - for future productions, and highly recommend them."

Keith Colclough, Director of the Flora L Thornton Opera Program at Pepperdine University, California, March 2024



"... a reduced orchestra – 13 members of the Philharmonia, playing an arrangement by Francis Griffin... With only a string quintet, mostly single woodwind and brass, and timpani, the orchestra sounded lithe, details not usually heard now audible..." 

Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian Sat 19 Sep 2020

"The reduced Philharmonia – just 13 players – somehow manages to sound like a full orchestra, producing a gloriously rich sound..."

Nicola Lisle,, 19 September 20

"...  the orchestra is reduced to 13 players ... Far from missing the lushness of a full string sound, we could hear every nuance of Beethoven’s ingenuity in constructing melodies, harmonies and rhythmic device. Each time a single note caused a particularly felicitous change in harmony, that note was clearly signposted to us, without orchestral clutter to hide it – a true revelation of the music." 

David Karlin,, 13 September 2020

"Beethoven’s Fidelio... was always going to be something extraordinary. It turned out to be all the more so given the revelations of what you can hear in Beethoven’s score as arranged by Francis Griffin for an ensemble of 13 Philharmonia players." 

David Nice The Arts Desk Saturday, 19 September 2020

"... in the theatre at Rhosllannerchrugog ..., I half shut my eyes, and imagined myself back at the Royal Opera House, the orchestra sounded SO good!"

OPRA Cymru   May 2019   

Die Walkure

"The key to the performance is an extraordinary reduction of the score by Francis Griffin, whose re-creation of Wagner’s textures and sonorities is so astonishingly successful that at times one wonders whether Negus hasn’t got another fifty or sixty players tucked away in the far corners of the pit as well as the woodwind and brass players one can clearly hear. "

The Arts Desk June 2021

"Francis Griffin ... provided a remarkable reduced Die Walküre orchestration which veered from chamber-like intimacy ... to the ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ and ‘Wotan’s Farewell’ when the orchestra sounded like it was three times its actual size.

Seen and Heard International Jun 2021."

"Ich hatte die Freude, beim Lech Classic Festival 2016 eine Aufführung des 1. Akts von Wagners "Walküre" in der Orchesterfassung von Francis Griffin zu erleben. Obwohl es sich, technisch gesehen, um eine "Reduktion" handelt, hatte man nie das Gefühl, weniger zu bekommen. Wagner war da, er sprach vollkommen, in der ganzen Fülle seiner Klangsprache. Das Sängerensemble dieser Aufführung war vom Feinsten, aber auch der Orchesterklang ließ den Eindruck entstehen, das kleine Lech sei der Nachbarort von Bayreuth." 

"I had the pleasure of hearing a performance of Francis Griffin's orchestral arrangement of Act 1 of Wagner's "Die Walküre" at the Lech Classic Festival 2016. Although it was technically a "reduction", I never felt shortchanged. Wagner was there; his voice, all of his musical language. The singers in this performance were of the highest order, but the timbre of the orchestra also contributed to the impression that Lech was up there next to Bayreuth."

Joachim Reiber  Musikverein Vienna  2016

"Our concerts went very well, your arrangement is really great !"
Two concerts given in Paris featuring Die Walkure Act I.   

Onde Plurielles  June 2019

Lucia di Lammermoor

"La réduction orchestrale de Francis Griffin pour 14 instruments est remarquablement efficace, mettant en valeur les talents de chambriste de chaque musicien."

"Francis Griffin's orchestral reduction for 14 instruments is remarkably effective, showcasing the chamber talents of each musician."

Lucia di Lammermoor - Belle-Ile-en-mer    05 August 2019


"Francis Griffin's reduction of the orchestral score calls for just 14 musicians, ..., it proved astonishingly convincing - and not just in the more intimate, transparent moments."

Opera Magazine   January 2016


"Francis Griffin, who made the orchestral reduction, was also the conductor: he shaped and balanced the score persuasively..."

Opera Magazine  May 2016


"Conductor William Conway and a special orchestral arrangement of 14 musicians, by Francis Griffin, gave a ravishing and dramatic performance of Puccini’s score. From the first note to the moments in between arias and scenes, one could tell Puccini was a musical mastermind in exploring drama and tragedy within a piece. Conway and the Reduced Opera Orchestrations brought this pertinent point to the audience’s attention. "

Trendfem  January 2019 

"The hardworking players of the orchestra made the reduced orchestration work. With just 14 players, (using a reduced orchestration by Francis Griffin) we never felt the sound was underpowered or undernourished."  January 2019

"The [reduction of] Tosca was tremendous - congratulations. "

New Jersey Festival Orchestra March 2019

The Flying Dutchman 

"With exceptional playing and good balance between instrumental groups, SCO’s orchestra had surprising impact and produced a fuller sound than might have been expected from a small ensemble."

Sin City Opera  November 2018

Kashchey the Immortal 

"But the chief allure here is the ripeness of his orchestral imagination, which comes through even with a stripped-down ensemble of barely two dozen musicians, and the way he uses a wealth of harmonic modes to characterize the dramatic forces. "

Island City Opera    January 2018

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