Adès' Totentanz
Deutsche Grammophon, 2020

Representing Death, Mark Stone’s imperious baritone quickly grabs our attention, while Christianne Stotijn’s flexible mezzo imaginatively portrays everyone else. Not short of its own musical echoes (Berg, Mahler), Totentanz has a virility and emotional resonance that suggests a work with a long life ahead. (The Times)

Baritone Mark Stone impersonates Death brilliantly. **** (The Daily Telegraph)

The orchestral song cycle Totentanz from 2013, a setting of texts from a 14th-century German frieze showing Death inviting everyone from a pope to a young child to dance with him, seems more original than ever – a series of vivid, sometimes grotesque scenes, with baritone Mark Stone in superb form as Death and mezzo Christianne Stotijn portraying his successive victims. (The Guardian)


The singing of Mark Stone and Christianne Stotijn is incredible, each fully meeting the demands of what must be particularly exhausting music to sing. (The Classic Review)

There is not much mercy on offer, either in the poem or from the infernal power of Adès’s orchestra. Mezzo Christianne Stotijn and baritone Mark Stone hold their own and are rewarded when the music sinks into a Mahlerian balm at the end. **** (Financial Times)

Adès has a baritone (here, the suitably grim-toned Mark Stone) as Death, alternating with a mezzo-soprano (Christianne Stotijn, who sang in the work’s first performances) who portrays all the other characters. The two-voice pairing with vast orchestra brings to mind Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, but the continuous music, divided into clear sections as Death and his subjects (some resigned, others more resistant) alternate, is more reminiscent of the Second Viennese School, and Berg in particular. As befits the subject, this is music of uncompromising toughness, but Adès uses the orchestra to bring distinct character to each of the exchanges with, for example, a metallic clangour to the sound suggesting the knights armour. Towards the end of this imposing, 35-minute work (Adès’s longest single piece so far for the concert hall), the music softens, as first the welcoming peasant, then a gentle maiden and finally the helpless child seem to soften even Death’s heart. As the pace becomes slower, distinct tonal centres emerge, and there’s an almost Straussian radiance to the final exchanges before the work ends with a Mahlerian growl from contrabassoons, piano and percussion. Adès skilfully weaves into the music the inevitability of the subject matter, and the result is a work of extraordinary power, even by his standards. Less immediately appealing than the concerto, it handsomely repays repeated listening, and this performance, with soloists and orchestra all in tremendous form, has the stamp of true greatness on it. An overwhelming end to an exceptionally rewarding release. (Europadisc).


The score – in which Mark Stone’s death lures Christianne Stotijn’s procession of 16 characters from pope to infant into the grave – has had something of a renaissance in the past few years, Adès conducting those soloists (as here) in performances around the world. But it can hardly have sounded as focused or as forensically brilliant as in Boston, with the same structural nous, sustained tension (tempos and volume are expertly ratcheted) and pronounced undertow. The latter comes surely from Adès’s understanding of his own use of cyclic structures, passacaglia and chord sequencing (a favourite one pops up in ‘Der Tod zum Kardinal’) but also from vivid characterisation and potent orchestral playing; the ferocity at the end of ‘Der Tod zum König’ is overwhelming. Christianne Stotijn dials down the lighting but not the intensity in ‘Der Küster’ and ‘Das Mädchen’, and even Mark Stone’s splendidly Mephistophelean Death offers her a warm hand in ‘Das Kind’, for which Adès invokes the ghost of a strophic song somewhere between Schubert and Mahler in lineage. (Gramophone)

Totentanz (Dance of Death) sets an anonymous fifteenth-century German text “from drinking song to the inevitably of death” and mirrors Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde in its journey; two singers further aid such a comparison, here Mark Stone (baritone) & Christianne Stotijn (mezzo), both impressive. Totentanz is terrific, notable, gripping throughout its thirty-five-minute continuous span, intense and dramatic, singers, orchestra and listeners allowed no respite until a communicative and ethereal beauty settles on the score halfway through, if without quashing the already-evident passion until things become skeletal in texture and accepting in outlook; musically rapturous. Great to have Totentanz recorded. (Classical Source)

Die Vokalsolisten Mark Stone und Christianne Stotijn stellen die poetisch schrecklichen Worte mittels eindringlich deklamatorischem Gesang und mahnender Intensität wie unter Starkstrom in den Raum. Die vorbildliche Diktion brauchen sie nicht zuletzt, um sich wiederum gegen das lautmalerisch eingesetzte, gigantisch dicht und mächtig aufspielende Orchester behaupten zu können. „Ach weh, was wird mit mir geschehen? Übles ist mir vorgesehen. Nachlässig war ich, unbedacht, und auch mein Handwerk schlecht gemacht. Muss ich dich beten, lieber Herr, all meine Sünden zu vergeben: o führe mich ins ew‘ge Leben!“ endet der Handwerker die fünfzehnte Beschwörung. Der Tod bescheinigt dem Schurken Handwerker, dass es die Seele schwer haben wird. Der Zyklus geht wie ein in Klang gegossenes Jüngstes Gericht wahrlich unter die Haut. Das BSO unter der Leitung des Komponisten ist Garant eines üppigen Orchesterluxusklangs und von spannungsvollen, hochdramatischen Wiedergaben. / The vocal soloists Mark Stone and Christianne Stotijn present the poetically terrible text in the hall by means of hauntingly declamatory singing and cautionary intensity as if electrified. They need exemplary diction not least to be able to assert themselves over the onomatopoeic, gigantic, dense and powerful orchestra. “Oh woe, what will happen to me? Evil is destined for me. I was careless, thoughtless, and did my work badly. Must I pray to you, dear Lord, to forgive all my sins: oh lead me into eternal life!” the artisan ends the fifteenth appeal. Death assures the villainous artisan that his soul will have a hard time. The cycle really gets under your skin like a last judgment poured into sound. The BSO under the direction of the composer guarantees a luscious, luxuriant orchestral sound in an exciting, highly dramatic rendition. (Online Merker)

Alberich in Wagner's Das Rheingold
Longborough Festival Opera, 2019

The production was distinguished by singers of international quality. In the opening moments – when the dwarf Alberich comes lecherously across the Rhinemaidens – this becomes immediately obvious through the exceptional performance of baritone Mark Stone, who has a perfect voice for the part, and acting skills of the highest order. (The Daily Telegraph).


Some of the singing was absolutely first class, especially from Mark Stone, a revelation as Alberich (more Wagner from him please). (Mail on Sunday).


Darren Jeffrey is a physically imposing Wotan, outperformed by Mark Stone’s tremendous Alberich, in a performance worthy of any stage. (The Sunday Times).

Among the cast, Mark Le Brocq’s foppish, sardonic Loge and Mark Stone’s vocally authoritative Alberich stand out, managing to create stage personalities to match the strength of their musical ones. (The Guardian).


However, perhaps the most rounded portrayal was that of the Alberich of Mark Stone, who was outstanding vocally and visually, with his eyes frightening the audience as he cursed all with the loss of the ring. His portrayal with his deep baritonal quality is undoubtedly destined for a bigger stage. (Opera Spy).

Mark Stone, with his powerful baritone, arguably produces the strongest singing of the evening as Alberich. (Music OMH).


The singing is led by Mark Stone’s Alberich and Mark Le Brocq’s Loge. Both performances set a very high standard, Stone embracing Alberich’s dark soul with total conviction. (Classical Source).

Mark Stone … has moments of real vocal splendour. (The Arts Desk).

The roles are well cast, some portrayals more charismatic than others, and those which particularly caught my attention were Mark Stone's Alberich, twisted both physically and emotionally, Mark le Brocq's Loge, as louche as the MC in Cabaret, and Mae Heydorn's Erda, an arresting Arthur Rackham-ish vision. (Midlands Classical Music Making).


The standouts are Marc Le Brocq, vocally and visually on top form as a dandyish Loge, and Mark Stone, a scruffy but determined Alberich. (The Stage).

In a strong cast Mark Stone (Alberich), Mark Le Brocq (Loge) and Madeleine Shaw (Fricka) stood out. (The Article).

His curse on the ring was the highlight of Mark Stone’s roughhewn Alberich. (Seen and Heard).


More convincing was the nimble and dishevelled Mark Stone as Alberich, utterly persuasive in voice and single-minded ambition. (Opera Today).

The interpretation of Amy Lane puts the conflict between the god, Wotan, played by Darren Jeffery, and the Lord of the Nibelungs, Alberich (Mark Stone) at the core of the whole structure, especially clarified by their confrontations in the third and fourth scenes. Their acting and interpretation as character were as strong as their splendid vocal contributions. (Plays To See).

We have some particularly likeable baddies with Mark Stone’s mesmerising Alberich. (Arts Scene in Wales).

Gunther in Wagner's Götterdämmerung
Grand Théâtre de Genève, 2019

Mark Stone, impeccable baryton, est un Gunther dont la présence scénique et les qualités de timbre et de projection expriment davantage la noblesse du personnage qu’une veulerie à laquelle on a du mal à croire – et qui réussit à se faire entendre à la fin de l’acte II. / Mark Stone, the flawless baritone, is a Gunther whose stage presence and qualities of timbre and projection express more the nobility of the character than a malice that is hard to believe – and who manages to be heard in the end of Act II. (Forum Opera).


El barítono Mark Stone fue un fantástico Gunther, con un sólido instrumento y una entrega escénica maravillosa. / The baritone Mark Stone was a fantastic Gunther, with a solid instrument and a wonderful stage delivery. (Opera Actual).

Saluons enfin le superbe Gunther de Mark Stone qui offer une très belle voix de baryton à son personnage Lors du trio final du deuxième acte, l’evocation de la vengeance, associée au grondement des cuivres, est admirable. / Finally, let us salute the superb Gunther by Mark Stone who offers a beautiful baritone voice to his character. In the final trio of the second act, the evocation of revenge, associated with the roar of the brass, is admirable. (Bachtrack).


Auf diesem hohen Niveau des Gesangs kann nur noch Mark Stone als Gunther mithalten. Sein kraftvoller, blendend geführter Bariton steht im Widerspruch zu der fast schwächlichen Person, die er verkörpert. / At this high level of singing only Mark Stone can keep up as Gunther. His powerful, dazzling baritone contrasts with the almost feeble character that he plays. (O-Ton)

Le baryton Mark Stone campe un Gunther solide et fort musical / The baritone Mark Stone plays a solid and strongly musical Gunther. (Olyrix).


Mark Stone als Gunther, Tom Fox als Alberich und Jeremy Milner als finsterer Hagen sind exzellent. / Mark Stone as Gunther, Tom Fox as Alberich and Jeremy Milner as the dark Hagen are excellent. (Online Merker).

Ailleurs, et à quelques exceptions près, il faut saluer la caractérisation précise de chaque personnage, fût-il secondaire. Des Nornes aux Ondines, de Gutrune à Gunther (excellents Agneta Eichenholz et Mark Stone), ce Ring se distingue aussi par les détails. / Elsewhere, and with a few exceptions, we must salute the precise characterization of each character, albeit secondary. From the Nornes to the Ondines, from Gutrune to Gunther (excellent Agneta Eichenholz and Mark Stone), this Ring is also distinguished by the details. (Tribune de Genève).

Mark Stone et Agneta Eichenholtz emportent sans peine l'adhésion en Gunther et Gutrune. / Mark Stone and Agneta Eichenholtz easily carry off Gunther and Gutrune. (Le Courrier).


La baryton britannique Mark Stone incarne un Gunther plus altier que veule, à la voix solide et bien projetée / The British baritone Mark Stone embodies a Gunther more haughty than spineless, with a strong and well-projected voice. (Opera Online).


Le Gunther de Mark Stone acquiert la stature tragique de la victime du sort. / Mark Stone's Gunther acquires the tragic stature of the victim of fate. (Crescendo).

Balstrode in Britten's Peter Grimes
Brisbane Festival, 2018

The baritone Mark Stone provided stoic strength as Grimes’s friend Captain Balstrode, a voice of reason in the madness. (The Guardian).

Mark Stone as Captain Balstrode kept the night on an even keel with his rugged baritone. (ArtsHub).

English baritone Mark Stone was a strong vocal and dramatic presence as Captain Balstrode. (The Conversation).

British baritone Mark Stone was a firm yet empathetic Balstrode, his voice rich with emotion in the final act. (Limelight).

Mark Stone had me siding with his Balstrode before I could even gauge his loyalties. (Cut Common).

Wozzeck in Berg's Wozzeck
Grand Théâtre de Genève, 2019

Jennifer Larmore (Marie) et Mark Stone (Wozzeck), extraordinaires interprètes du chef-d’œuvre d’Alban Berg représenté à l’Opéra des Nations … Ainsi, dans les rôles principaux, Mark Stone (Wozzeck) et Jennifer Larmore (Marie) impressionnent par leur aisance technique, par un sans-faute miraculeux. Mais surtout, ils bouleversent par la puissance de l’incarnation des personnages, par la qualité de leur jeu scénique. / Jennifer Larmore (Marie) and Mark Stone (Wozzeck), extraordinary interpreters of Alban Berg's masterpiece at the Opéra des Nations … Mark Stone (Wozzeck) and Jennifer Larmore (Marie) impress with their technical ease, with a miraculous faultlessness. But above all, they overwhelm with the power of the incarnation of the characters, with the quality of their acting. (Tribune de Genève).

Britský barytonista Mark Stone, který má vskutku rozsáhlý repertoár od hlavních rolí v mozartovských nejznámějších operách (Don Giovanni, Figaro i Hrabě Almaviva z Figarovy svatby, Guglielmo a další) až k současným dílům, vkládá do titulní role vedle vokální přesvědčivosti i velkou dávku psychologického herectví a posedlosti (kterou dva kritici dokonce srovnávají s výkonem slavného filmového představitele téže role, Klausem Kinskim). / The British baritone Mark Stone, who has an extensive repertoire of principal roles from Mozart's most famous operas (Don Giovanni, Figaro and Count Almaviva from Le nozze di Figaro, Guglielmo and others) through to contemporary works, gave the title role a vocal charisma and a great deal of psychological and obsessive characterisation (which two critics have even compared with the performance of the same role by Klaus Kinski in the famous film). (Opera Plus).

Mark Stone was making his début in Geneva as Wozzeck. He had all the vocal material for the part, his technique is strong and he gave an intense portrayal. This is a name to look out for, and he received well-deserved applause from the audience. (Seen and Heard).

Le baryton britannique Mark Stone exprime la douleur et la bestialité du rôle-titre sans jamais surjouer / The British baritone Mark Stone expresses the pain and brutality of the title role without ever overplaying. (Les Echos).

Le plateau est très équilibré, avec le Wozzeck sonore et charnu de Mark Stone qui chante son rôle comme on exprimerait une idée fixe, avec une obsession  / The stage is well balanced, with the sonorous and meaty Wozzeck of Mark Stone who sang his role as if expressing an idée fixe, with a quasi-monolithic obsession. (Wanderer).

Es ist freilich auch der Bariton Mark Stone, der mit seiner melancholischen, lange Zeit still duldenden Haltung ein sehr anrührendes Figurenporträt entwirft – ganz anders als das vielfach gebrochene und überformte Rollenbild, das Christian Gerhaher in Zürich zeigte. Stone, auch stimmlich fein disponierend, macht aus diesem geprügelten Hund eine Leidensgestalt, deren als Selbstbefreiung missverstandene Affekttat genauso sinnlos erscheint wie ihr trauriger Tod im Kasernenhoftümpel. / It is of course also due to the baritone Mark Stone, who with his melancholic, long-suffering attitude, paints a very touching portrait – very different from the much-broken and over-shaped portrayal of Christian Gerhaher in Zurich. Stone, also vocally finely tuned, makes a figure of suffering out of this battered dog, whose affectation of misunderstood self-liberation seems just as pointless as his sad death in the barrack courtyard. (Neue Zürcher Zeitung).

Formidable Mark Stone (Wozzeck), halluciné, hallucinant. Il vit ses hallucinations avec une angoisse vocale envahissante puis hurle ses colères avec une puissance incroyable. Noyé dans l’intrigue avec une conviction théâtrale extraordinaire, pris dans les excès sonores de la musique, il épouse dans un crescendo insoutenable la folie qui finalement l’envahit, jusqu’au meurtre. / Wonderful Mark Stone (Wozzeck), hallucinated, hallucinating. He saw his hallucinations with an invasive vocal anguish and then howled his anger with incredible power. Drowned in intrigue with an extraordinary theatrical conviction, caught up in the sonic excesses of music, he marries in an unbearable crescendo the madness that finally invades him, until murder. (Resmusica).

Le plateau, par chance, ne souffre de Mark Stone, beau métal et projection parfaite, moins anti-héros que l’ordinaire et semblant ignorer les difficultés du rôle-titre. / The stage, fortunately, does not suffer in any way from the orchestral explosions, whose trombones blend perfectly with the timbre of Mark Stone’s Wozzeck, beautiful metal and perfect projection, less anti-hero than an ordinary man, and appearing to ignore the difficulties of the title role. (Altamusica).

Entre ces bourreaux, Mark Stone campe un Wozzeck bouleversant. Avec un engagement de chaque instant, mais sans en faire trop, le baryton anglais parvient à tenir l’équilibre difficile entre sens commun et folie, entre victime et bourreau. / Between these executioners, Mark Stone pitches an overwhelming Wozzeck. With commitment in every moment, but without doing too much, the English baritone manages to maintain the difficult balance between common sense and madness, between victim and executioner. (Le Courrier).

Le baryton londonien Mark Stone campe le rôle-titre de touchante façon, tel un homme anéanti par les coups du sort, un homme fondamentalement bon, mais poussé par les circonstances à tuer la seule personne qu’il aime. / London baritone Mark Stone plays the title role in a touching manner, as a man wiped out by the blows of fate, a fundamentally good man, but driven by circumstances to kill the only person he loves. (Opera Online).

Sur scène s’impose en premier lieu le Wozzeck du baryton anglais Mark Stone aux moyens jamais pris en défaut par une tessiture tendue qu’il utilise à des fins dramatiques pour camper un être pitoyable mais pondéré que les hallucinations entraîneront à la déchéance. / First to take the stage is the Wozzeck of the English baritone Mark Stone, who uses a faultless technique throughout his range for dramatic purposes to embody a being who is pitiful but weighed down by the hallucinations that will lead to his decline. (Crescendo).

La distribution vocale est parfaitement homogène et de très haut niveau. Avec sa voix puissante et bien timbrée, Mark Stone incarne un Wozzeck qui essaie tant bien que mal de se battre et de garder un semblant de dignité, ce qui rend sa déchéance encore plus bouleversante. / The vocal distribution is perfectly homogeneous and of very high level. With his powerful voice and good timbre, Mark Stone is a Wozzeck who tries hard to fight and keep a semblance of dignity, making his downfall even more upsetting. (ConcertoNet).

Der Wozzeck (Mark Stone), stammt aus England, ist also wohl Britten-erfahren und weiss die emotionale Seite der sprachlichen Artikulation höchst genau zu treffen. / The Wozzeck (Mark Stone), coming from England, is also well-versed in Britten and knows the emotional side of how to make highly accurate linguistic articulation. (Klassikinfo).

In the title role, Mark Stone commands the stage, a tortured electricity shining in his wide eyes and nervous salutes. There are some real standout moments: his deep growl on ‘Still! Alles still’, his splendid Sprachgesang – ‘Ich seh’ nichts’. (Bachtrack).

In der Titelrolle glänzt der in Genf debütierende Mark Stone, dem sich im Kopf immer alles schneller dreht, sich die Fragen häufen, ohne in der Umwelt Antworten oder auch nur Verständnis zu finden. Stone spielt das sehr unaufgeregt, legt die Rolle nicht als die des Wahnsinnigen an, wie sie so oft interpretiert wurde. Gerade die Selbstverständlichkeit seiner Persönlichkeitsentwicklung, die schließlich in Mord und eigenem Unfalltod mündet, hinterlässt einen starken Eindruck. / In the title role, Mark Stone, who debuts in Geneva, is always quicker in his head, the questions are piling up without finding answers or even understanding the environment. Stone plays this very subtly, does not act the role as a madman, as it is so often interpreted. The self-evident nature of his personality’s development, which ultimately results in murder and his own accident death, leaves a strong impression. (O-Ton).

Harnaché comme une bête de somme à une carriole agricole, Mark Stone en Wozzeck déploie le large spectre de sa voix dans son cri de désespoir humilié ‘Wir arme Leut’ mais cette complainte n'a plus son caractère de résistance face au capitaine, celui-ci étant parti s'habiller. La prononciation de l'interprète du rôle-titre est intelligible et éloquente, faisant claquer les consonnes dentales et palatales, allongeant les sifflantes et chuintantes, arrondissant les voyelles. / Harnessed like a beast of burden to an agricultural cart, Mark Stone in Wozzeck deploys the broad spectrum of his voice in his humiliated cry of despair ‘Wir arme Leut’, but this lament no longer has its character of resistance to the captain, who has left to get dressed. The pronunciation of the title role’s interpretation is intelligible and eloquent, snapping the dental and palatal consonants, lengthening the sibilant and hissing, rounding the vowels. (Olyrix).

Mark Stone est un Wozzeck puissant, souple, la voix sait se faire humble, mais aussi incisive, projetée, volontaire. / Mark Stone is a powerful, flexible Wozzeck, the voice knows how to be humble, but also incisive, projected, voluntary. (Forum Opera).