The Telegraph (11Jan01): [Mark-Anthony Turnage], perhaps the most gifted of our younger composers, has given birth to a thrilling new work which has legs, as well as a heart and mind. The opera will be shown on BBC2 on April 30, 2000, but I urge anyone with open ears to book for the remaining live performances.
The Times (11Jan01): The premiere of [Mark-Anthony Turnage] s new opera was a resounding, inspiring triumph. Tassie is vibrantly theatrical from first to last, and Turnage acknowledges that tunes are no bad thing in opera: his score is packed full of them. Should there be any doubt that Tassie is highly rewarding to sing, just listen to [Gerald Finley] as Harry. He sings with amazing variety of tone colour and dynamic. There are equally vivid performances from [David Kempster] as Teddy and from [Mary Hegarty], [Sarah Connolly], [Vivian Tierney] and [Anne Howells]. [Paul Daniel], [Bill Bryden] and [William Dudley] (conductor, director and designer) are all at their best, and the choral singing is as overwhelming as Turnage s visionary writing demands. Go, go, go.
Financial Times (11Jan01): In shape and style Tassie is 50 years out of date. The mistake lies not in [Mark-AnthonyTurnage] s music, which is inventive, often radiantly beautiful and extremely well made; nor in [Amanda Holden] s singable libretto. No, the problem is [Sean O Casey] s first world war play, which is too trapped in its own era and two-dimensional idiom.