Opera reviews

La fedeltá premiata

Parade of young voices
University of music and dramatic arts makes a Haydn opera flourish

... Meanwhile the incredible opulent melodic richness of ideas, audibly transferred by the seven-member choir of young voices, fascinates.

In the packed-out Ligeti-Hall at the Mumuth they opposed persistently to any kind of lengthiness during the almost three hours. And brilliantly faced all vocal challenges ... The KUG Orchestra considerately - thoughtfully conducted by Frank Cramer, played splendidly.

Walther Neumann, Kleine Zeitung, 11.06.2019

Happy End in baroque Dome-Show

The Art-University with Joseph Haydn's merry-somber dome-show "La fedeltá premiata" (The awarded faith) at the Mumuth, provides an evening, which allows its students to challenge the whole range of their emotions. And thereby shows the most remarkable standard of their education ...
From the very beginning the KUG-Orchestra under Frank Cramer, let us know, that Haydn, with all the dramatic weakness of his operas, could also compose wonderful music within a theatrical context. Most of all in the first act the strings beautifully phrased and savored every aria. ...

R. Schwarz, Krone, 11.06.2019

Dialogues des Carmélites

Meditations on dying

„With Francis Poulencs Martyr-Opera 'Dialogues des Carmelites', the Art University of Graz is showing a momentous as well as most difficult approachable work. Director Katharina Thoma and the opera orchestra of the KUG under the conducting of Frank Cramer achieve a most excellent transposition over the longest run. Herewith, not only the monasterial dark stage scene provokes goose pimples, also the music is most convincing. Frank Cramer masterly lightens up the meandering silhouettes of the tightly to the lyrics attached, as stringent as sinister, score of Poulenc, in which the chansonesque inserts dominate …"

Felix Jurecek, Krone 14.12.2018

Dramatically expressive

„Conductor Frank Cramer and the KUG-Orchestra let wonderful music come to blossom …."

Martin Grasser, Kleine Zeitung, 12.12. 2018

Cosi fan tutte

Deceive, disguise, love, lie
Juicy boulevard: Mozarts "Cosi fan tutte" at the Mumuth

... Frank Cramer, at the stand of the Opera Orchestra of the KUG, again shows a full, thoughtful Mozart. The tempi are throughout rather slow, still the conducting has something very lively: The careness brings the music to shine. Fine cultural sound in the strings and partly excellent winds result in no modest pleasure of listening. Crisp and young the balanced opening cast. ...

Martin Gasser, Kleine Zeitung, May 28, 2018

.... Next to a critical view on the marriage as an "High-Performance" and a well-made alternative end, Frank Cramer delivered a musical show piece with the KUG Opera Orchestra.

Krone, FJ, May 28 2018

The Satanarchaeoluegenialkohoellische wish punch

... Elisabeth Naske clarifys the different characters of the plot in her composition using a variety of musically styles; there are jazzy elements, revue kind parts, partly the music reminds of an Argentin Tango, then again of the onomatopoeic sound track of a horror movie, and in between you hear hollywood kind of sound effects. At the stand Frank Cramer leads the Grazer Philharmonic Orchestra along the often erratic score and with a great deal of calmness and certainty and provides preciseness throughout all changes of styles and atonality. Thereby he takes a lot of consideration for the singers and, if needed, cautiously throttled the pitch. The orchestra could proof its interpretative range and above all played the jazzy passages thrilling and with a lot of verre.

Isabella Steppan, bachtrack.com, December 19, 2014

Il matrimonio segreto

Elegant sparkling orchestra
Conductor Frank Cramer lets Domenico Cimarosa’s master opera sparkle.

With his rehearsal of the Secret Marriage Frank Cramer states why Domenico Cimarosa’s opera Il matrimonio segreto once delighted a great populartiy all over Europe. With the orchestra of the University of Art in Graz, he set the qualities of the in Vienna premiered most important opera Cimarosa’s in the right spotlight. The director of the Music Theatre Institute led his orchestra with a light, but shaping hand to sparkling livelyness and nimble elegancy, to a slim intonation and pointed rhythems ...

Ernst Naredi-Rainer, Kleine Zeitung, June 11, 2012

Il matrimonio segreto

A sparkling opera jewel
Domenico Cimarosa’s Il matrimonio segreto can be seen in a wonderful KUG-production. Frank Cramer incites orchestra and singers to an excellent performance ...

Frank Cramer, already during the ouverture, gets to the point rapidly with an enjoyable-nervous tension. Sorting the wonderful colors of the brass section decently behind the violins, gives six young, perfectly assigned voices, a lot of space, whom the conductor injected an authentic Italian character...

Matthias Wagner, Krone, June 11, 2012

Hansel and Grethel

Dreaming in the forest

' ... The great KUG-Orchestra is worth a million - Humperdincks, strongly reminding of Richard Wagner's Romantic music, was dipped in exact contours and enjoyable warm colors at the Ligeti-Hall. Frank Cramer seeked and found tonal completion, polishes precisley on dynamic suspense ...'

Matthias Wagner, Krone, January 30, 2012

Le nozze di Figaro

Saved by the music

...'Le nozze di Figaro' at the MUMUTH in Graz / Austria: The scene, almost a flop, the music a wonderful experience thanks to excellent young singers and the conductor Frank Cramer. Cramer conducts lively, but doesn't forget about the tunes of the heart, the poetry of Mozarts language of sounds. The acoustics of the MUMUTH show the power of the KUG-Orchestra. A very strong, dynamic and also colour wise not less differentiated performance! Excellent the way Cramer leads the ensemble ...

Marin Gasser, Krone, June 6, 2011

Suor Angelica

Opening at the KUG at the Grazer MUMUTH

…conductor Frank Cramer understands how to create a wonderful luscious and colourful sounding Puccini orchestra. Just because of this, this Suor Angelica is already a true pearl of the opera. Styrian melomaniacs should not miss the few repetitions taking place...

Martin Grasser, Krone, January 31, 2011


Seoul | Korea National Opera ... The interpretation and intensive musical expression of the conductor Frank Cramer, who was leading the TIMF ensemble, sounded extremely impressing. With his sovereign conducting he held the tension of the music throughout the three hours, which asks for the most various techniques and skills of the orchestra. His imposing interpretation supported the concentration upon the play. This was one of the primary factors that made the opus persuasive and convincing…

June Hee Lim, Chosun Daily, November 27, 2010


Seoul | Korea National Opera ...The conductor Frank Cramer, with the TIMF Ensemble, gave the musical sensuality of Lulu and its direct charm an exquisite vividness. With great empathy he accomplished the balance between singers and orchestra…

Yong Sook Lee, Seoul United News, November 26, 2010

Dafne in Lauro

Italian baroque by styrian pen

On the occasion of the Johann-Fux-Annual the Art University of Graz raised a rare treasure: Frank Cramer conducted solists, choir and orchestra of the University of Music Graz through Fux's chamber opera, 'Daphne in Lauro' which he had composed for Karl VI in 1714. First of all musically an extremely successful production. In his directing Frank Cramer is very captivating and differs in subtle nuances. The slim casted orchestra produces an adequate baroque sound with modern instruments, light strings and rhythmical unity; the spars choir parts succeed magnificently.

M. Wagner, Krone, May 31, 2010

Dafne in Lauro

Graz | Johann Josef Fux

Presently the Institue for Music Theatre is showing 'Daphne in Lauro' at the 'Mumuth' and proves an impressing baroque-competence. Considerable, if you read the names of the orchestra musicians. The dominance of East-European and Far East names is remarkable. How thorough, especially this orchestra, worked itself into the baroque tune, how Frank Cramer (he himself not coming out of the relevant scene) drove these young people to this kind of exactness, accurate phrasing and in general to one common stylistic line: Not at ast this stands for a great stylistic knowledge and for an impressive team work also in the back ground of the Grazer University of Music. The ensemble of the singers also sounded unison with a great stylistic sense.

R. Kriechbaum, DrehPunktKultur, Salzburg, June 2, 2010

Le Rossignol | Gianni Schicchi

With the engagement of the conductor Frank Cramer and directress Barbara Beyer for the music theatre, the Art-University of Graz has made a successful grip.

Within an unusual double evening, the two new professors and their students offer a splendid (Puccini) and an attractive (Strawinsky) performance. For their debut production the team Cramer/Beyer choose the classical peepbox-stage with a broad orchestra pit… The loss of the intimacy of the theatre experience was made up by a wonderful sound… Conductor Frank Cramer in Strawinsky's Rossignol gives the orchestra a leading part. The students perform Strawinsky’s score very colorful and throughout thrilling... Within the legacy-hunter farce Gianni Schicchi the scenic transaction turned out congenial to the music. Cramer elicited a wonderful and also differential Puccini-Sound from the orchestra.

Martin Gasser, Krone, February 1, 2010

A Midsummer Night's Dream

'One can hear the sparkle and rustle of the forest, and the sighs of love and splendour coming from the pit, where Frank Cramer brings out every nuance and distinction of Brittens’ musical language, and together with the Tiroler Symphony Orchestra Innsbruck and its strong and secure soloists, gives colour to the shimmering moods.'

Ursula Strohal, Tiroler Tageszeitung, June 23, 2003

Eugen Onegin

'Cramer, at present in Innsbruck, conducts brilliantly, clear and distinctive, and also was a feast for the eyes of the audience. The singers felt carried, not choked. Under Cramer’s baton, Tchaikovsky's work turned into music of pastel tenderness: Wonderful.'

Wolfram Goertz, Rheinische Post, July 14, 2002


A highly acclaimed Puccini-Premiere at the Tiroler Landestheater: John Dews' und Frank Cramer's Turandot

'The bed, place of death and love, leads the fear of Turandot, but also an orchestra which was, led in a highly flexible manner to explosive moments and sincere tenderness by Frank Cramer. The richness of nuances is performed closeness to the scene: Prima la musica.'

U. Strohal, Tiroler Tageszeitung, April 30 / May 1, 2002


'This was only possible due to the perfect collaboration of the wonderful Tiroler Symphony Orchestra, fantastically conducted by Frank Cramer, the brilliant-flexible Chorus and the breathtaking soloists of the Wiltener Sängerknaben.'

Moni Brüggeller, Krone, October 22, 2001

Tales of Hoffmann

'Cramer knows how to draw out the French character of this music, its elegant lyricism, smartness and rhythmical wit.'

H. Staszak, Nordeutsche Neuste Nachrichten, April 2, 2001

Orpheus in the Underworld

'Thanks to the conductor Frank Cramer, the musical part of this production becomes a great event. With full delight he sets dynamic accents and varies the tempo.The articulations of orchestral detail are full of jesting sparkles. The Symphony Orchestra St. Gallen is lead to great brilliance.'

Th. B. Neue Zürcher Zeitung, October 31, 1995

Dreyfus | The Affair

'Frank Cramer, standing at the podium, clearly motivated the eager Radio Symphony Orchestra. He already made a name for himself with The English Cat by Henze at the Stadttheater Bern and with the direction of a subscription concert. Frank Cramer shows the fire in Meier’s score, and brings out the message of the expressionism in an exemplary manner, as well as the shocking intention of the scenes of despair and the emotional anguish.'

T.T. Der Bund, October 18, 1994

The English Cat

'The conductor Frank Cramer realized the difficult score with the well-balanced cast of soloists, and the challenged Berner Symphony Orchestra in an amazingly secure, vividly shaped, tonally sensitive, and neatly elaborated interpretation. He obviously knows how to stimulate the talents of the vocal soloists as well as the instrumentalists in an optimal manner by leading them softly and purposefully to mutual harmony.'

M. F. Der Bund, November 27, 1990