La fanciulla del West, 2012 (Nashville Opera)

“Conductor Dean Williamson’s graceful baton leads Nashville Symphony’s superb musicians through the soaring score; they play with great skill and warmth.”     Evans Donnell,  ArtNowNashville

“With its beautiful staging of The Girl of the Golden West, Nashville Opera makes the case for one of Giacomo Puccini’s lesser-known works… And the Nashville Symphony, conducted by Dean Williamson, brings Puccini’s glorious music to life with characteristic passion and precision.”  Amy Stumpfl , The Tennessean

La Boheme, 2011 (Opera Santa Barbara)

This “Bohème” fared so persuasively because it understood that the opera is grand opera on a human scale. In the pit, conductor Dean Williamson led a game and reliable orchestral force, and the singing talent delivered their goods with admirable power and confident, supple voice. What better way to cap off such a stellar opera year?“  Josef Woodard, Santa Barbara News-Press

The Barber of Seville, 2011 (Seattle Opera)

“Brownlee has plenty of company at the top in this speedy show, which flies by under the deft leadership of conductor Dean Williamson. Williamson knows how to apply the accelerator and how to channel the musical energy to maximum effect, whether it’s with the orchestra, the soloists, or the enthusiastic chorus. The score is cannily knit together by Williamson’s continuo work on a period-replica fortepiano, an instrument with a light, plangent sound just right for this music. “  Melinda Bargreen, The Classical Review

The Pearl Fishers, 2010 (Opera Cleveland)

“The production attains much of its fervor from the shapely conducting of artistic director Dean Williamson, sophisticated playing of the orchestra and contributions of three singers who treat Bizet’s writing with elegant ardor.” – Don Rosenberg, Cleveland Plain Dealer

Lucia di Lammermoor, 2010 (Opera Cleveland)

“Dean Williamson led a wonderful account of the score, restoring many passages that are frequently cut and returning “Regnava nel Silenzio,” the Lucia–Enrico duet and the mad scene to their original keys. He allowed Lucia ample time, too, to listen and act in the silences of the mad scene.” – Opera News

“One must admire the frugality and the cleverness with which Opera Cleveland has learned to operate. With a winning cast, beautiful ghost, pistols, and bloody daggers all artfully arranged, director Tomer Zvulun, set designer Erhard Rom, lighting designer Robert Wierzel, and artistic director (and conductor) Dean Williamson created a mighty and entertaining evening of opera.” – Cool Cleveland

“This Lucia was so well conceived, coordinated and executed that I left the theater completely satisfied by what I saw and heard. Bravo, Opera Cleveland. You should franchise this production.  Add to this exemplary levels of singing by the principals and chorus, fine playing from the Opera Cleveland Orchestra with expert pacing from music director Dean Williamson and it’s clear that the company has a real winner in its Lucia.” – Cleveland Classical

Don Giovanni, 2009 (Opera Cleveland)

“As conducted by artistic director Dean Williamson, the score emerges with propulsive energy and ample breathing space…the orchestra at Friday’s opening sounded like an ensemble of seasoned Mozarteans.” – Don Rosenberg, Cleveland Plain-Dealer

Falstaff, 2009

“On both dramatic and musical levels, this is a “Falstaff” of fine imagination, grace and vibrancy. Once artistic director Dean Williamson steps off the stage and into the pit, the jollity in Verdi’s final, gleaming opera comes fast and furious, abetted by nimble orchestral playing.” – Don Rosenberg, Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Absolutely, the Cleveland audience loved Falstaff at Friday night’s opening performance. The orchestra was lush and/or sprightly, as required by the music. Falstaff, one of the greatest ensemble operas in the repertoire received a great ensemble production. Bravo, Opera Cleveland!” – Cool Cleveland

For this occasion, Opera Cleveland has assembled one of the most even casts in memory…The Opera Cleveland Orchestra contributes fine and mellow playing under the baton of Dean WilliamsonThis show was well cast, well rehearsed and well executed. Congratulations to Opera Cleveland.” – Cleveland Classical


Il Barbiere di Siviglia, 2009

[translation]: “On the podium Dean Williamson worked his magic by letting the score sing a dance and breathe.” – Opernwelt, Opera Now

“Conductor Dean Williamson kept everything moving along nicely, accompanying the recitatives on the harpsichord, deftly coordinating stage and pit and drawing stylish playing from the orchestra. The audience — a fascinating mix of people wearing everything from tuxedos to jeans — responded with a long ovation.” –

“Dean Williamson conducted a fine, flexible performance that illuminated the score’s wondrous spectrum of ironic colors. The vocal ensembles clicked, the orchestra sounded light and lean, and the recitatives received vivid impetus as played on harpsichord by Williamson.” – Don Rosenberg, Cleveland Plain Dealer

Hansel and Gretel, 2008

“As conducted by artistic director Dean Williamson, the music was the magical feast it has the potential to be when maestro and players share artistic goals. Williamson gave expansive space to the rapturous lines, while emphasizing rhythmic buoyancy when the going gets mischievous or maniacal. The company’s orchestra has rarely sounded more cohesive, alert or colorful. The horns and bassoons made special work of the Act I prelude, and the Wagnerian warmth that hovers over the score received loving, balanced treatment.” – Don Rosenberg, Cleveland Plain Dealer


Le Nozze di Figaro, 2008

“It is a “Figaro” to admire, if not to love. Artistic director Dean Williamson conducts a largely propulsive account of the score, and he’s alert to period style, notably in the recitatives, which he accompanies from the keyboard.” – Don Rosenberg, Cleveland Plain Dealer


La Bohème, 2008

“Dean Williamson…conducted a quick-paced performance that still left room for the expansive emotions. He was also willing to allow quiet times for dramatic moments, and this helped the singers immensely.” – Opera News


“Dean Williamson…appears to know every wondrous nook and cranny in Puccini’s “La Boheme.” At the opening of the company’s second season Friday at the State Theatre, he conducted a flesh-and-blood performance that placed romantic yearning and buoyant spirits in exceptional balance… The heart of the production is Williamson’s idiomatic shaping of Puccini’s score, which allows the music (and singers) ample space to breathe or send the Bohemians on their raucous way…instrumental detail could be heard in sublime focus. The company’s orchestra has never sounded better.

Don Rosenberg – Cleveland Plain-Dealer