St Kilda, The Island of Birdmen – Reviews Edinburgh International Festival

Seen and Heard UK – Simon Thompson – August 2009

“The real vocal standout, however, was Alyth McCormack as Catriona, more of a symbol than a character. Hailing from the Isle of Lewis, McCormack is a native Gaelic speaker and her vocal contribution consists of singing traditional-sounding Gaelic airs against the unfolding action. She has a real empathetic ability to adjust the tone of her voice so as to meet the mood of whatever situation, be it the carefree brightness of her early songs or the blood-curdling laments which she later turns to. This production would really be unthinkable without her: the audience saw her as the embodiment of the piece and her movement was every bit as well-crafted as her beautiful voice.”

The Guardian: *** – Rowena Smith – Sunday 16TH August 2009

“David P Graham and Jean-Paul Dessy’s score, performed by the Ensemble Musiques Nouvelles and the Choeur des Hainauts, is a dark foundation against which the action unfolds, its heaviness offset by Alyth McCormack’s otherworldly Gaelic singing.”

MusicalCriticism.com **** – Peter Cudmore – August 19th 2009

“Highlight number one is right at the end, a wrenchingly beautiful duet between the Gaelic song of Alyth McCormack‘s character Catriona, and the solo cello of Sigrid Vandenbogaerde. This remarkable synthesis of traditional and contemporary sensibilities is thrillingly suggestive…….. Alyth McCormack’s performance is marvellous throughout.”

The Observer – Fiona Maddocks – 23rd August 2009

Hearing Alyth McCormack, the key voice in St Kilda, Island of the Birdmen, perform her haunting lament for this remote, deserted Western Isle left an impact far more powerful than the rest of this co-production.

The Sunday Times – Hugh Canning – 23rd August 2009

“Multimedia” can often be the excuse for a lot of theatrical faffing about with cameras and intrusive stagehands, but the simplicity of the staging (by Thierry Poquet), the moving story of the young St Kildan couple whose lives are torn apart by the hostile elements, and the beautiful Gaelic folk songs, hauntingly sung by Alyth McCormack — their idioms evoking a sense of timelessness and isolation — made for a gripping 90 minutes.”

The Scotsman **** – 16th August 2009

“Besides music that fuses the haunting freshness of Gaelic song (stunningly sung by Alyth McCormack) with an atmospheric contemporary classical underlay, and a fluid staging that tosses the drama into the side boxes and orchestra pit, the interaction of archive and modern film (projected on two giant screens) and swooping acrobats, it is – as the story gradually gathers impact – a beautifully indulgent assault on all the senses.”

 

Sleeping Beauty – Dundee Rep ****

Review Joyce Mcmillan The Scotsman Online – 30th Dec 2010

“Alyth McCormack and Robert Paterson, as the king and queen, offer a disturbingly vivid portrayal of doting parents whose love somehow misses the mark”