“Members of the WNO orchestra under James Southall played Le Vin Herbé on-stage with grave beauty, and the WNO chorus sang Martin’s mournful declamatory lines with their wonted urgency and passion…”
Ivan Hewett for The Telegraph, February 2017

“Under the assured baton of James Southall, and rightly without an interval, Vin is 95 minutes of absorption and reflection, giving us something to contemplate rather than to experience.”
Michael Tanner for The Spectator, February 2017

“Merito in questo caso del Maestro James Southall, sensibilissimo nell’avvolgere con gusto e delicatezza.”
Maria Teresa for MTG Lirica, December 2016

“Ampie soddisfazioni sul versante musicale. L’Orchestra Haydn di Bolzano e Trento, sotto la guida di James Southall, si dimostra sempre più versata nel repertorio contemporaneo. Il direttore affronta la partitura con belle dinamiche, colori sempre cangianti, ritmi coinvolgenti, senza mai sopraffare il cantante in scena e mantenendo musica e parola in sinergico dialogo.”
Luca Benvenuti for TeatriOnLine, December 2016

“Young conductor James Southall ensures the production is musically stylish and bristling with energy.”
Mike Allen for Portsmouth News, March 2016

“The excellent WNO orchestra, conducted by James Southall, gave the evening a strong base.”
Eryl Crump for the Daily Post (North Wales), March 2016

“This was aided by a fizzing and sprightly account of the score from James Southall.”
Alexander Campbell for Classical Source, March 2016

“…Rossini’s score executed with perfect precision by the WNO orchestra encouraged by the magic and enthusiasm of débuting conductor James Southall.”
Michael Kelligan for Theatre in Wales, February 2016

“With James Southall conducting, the pace of the music never falters, keeping up well with the onstage mayhem.”
Barbara Michaels for The Reviews Hub, February 2016

“Similarly the direction on stage and approach in the pit from the baton of James Southall was one of blustery fun, full of verve and energy.”
Mike Smith for Art Scene in Wales, February 2016

“There’s barely room to mention a silky, swinging WNO Orchestra under James Southall.”
Richard Bratby for Birmingham Mail, November 2015

“Conductor James Southall joined the company on stage for a well deserved standing ovation at the Friday night performance.”
Carol Deacon for The Nailsea People, November 2015

“The orchestra are on perfect form, impressively conducted by a young James Southall.”
Heather Kincaid for What’s on Birmingham, November 2015

“Conductor James Southall piles on the tension, and gets some startling aggression from the orchestra.”
Helen Reid for Western Daily Press, October 2015

“…performed impeccably by the Welsh National Opera Orchestra led by James Southall.”
Megan Downing for The National Student, December 2014

“The WNO orchestra, led by James Southall, excelled in bringing Bizet’s score to life.”
Matt Merritt, November 2014

“One of the outstanding features was the excellent playing by the Welsh National Opera Orchestra under conductor James Southall.”
Jerald Smith for Native Monster, November 2014

“The orchestra is phenomenal, with one of the most enthusiastic and energetic young conductors you’ll ever see in James Southall.”
Heather Kincaid, November 2014

“The Welsh National Opera under James Southall gets everything out of the opera that a modern audience could want.”
Graham Wyles for StageTalk Magazine, November 2014

“…the orchestra cannot be faulted for impact under the baton of young and vibrant James Southall.”
Alexandra Hamilton-Ayres for, November 2014

“Conductor James Southall gave the impression of being completely intoxicated by the beautiful music and conveyed this to the orchestra and chorus.”
The Bristol Post, November 2014

“The musicians of Welsh National Opera’s orchestra never disappoint and their performance of Bizet’s four act opera, conducted by a very animated James Southall was no exception.”
Vivienne Kennedy, November 2014

“The conductor James Southall and musicians are every bit as much the stars of this production as the singers.”
Carron Garden for The Wells Journal, November 2014

“The WNO orchestra is superb throughout and James Southall conducts with great clarity and vigour.”
Claire Hayes for The Public Reviews, November 2014

“The other outstanding contribution came from the ever-excellent WNO orchestra and their young conductor, who directed with palpable energy and imagination.”
Katherine Cooper for Whats On Stage, October 2014

“James Southall set a fast pace in the overture and never let the drama drag whilst drawing brisk idiomatic tempi from his orchestra.”
Seen and Heard International, October 2014

“The highly energetic conductor James Southall plainly revels in every second of Bizet’s score, and draws some magic detailing from the highly responsive WNO orchestra.”
Giles Woodforde for the Oxford Times, October 2014

“…praise must be given to the orchestra and the exceedingly physical and enthusiastic conductor James Southall.”
Clare Dodd for Daily Info Oxford, October 2014

“The combined forces of Sinfonia Cymru and Camerata Nordica under Southall delivered with breathtaking subtlety yet physical punch.”
Wales Arts Review, October 2014

“Above all, enough space was left to allow the muscular orchestra – energetically guided by the attentive James Southall – through as an excellent vehicle for Mozart’s resplendent score.”
The York Press, April 2014

“With orchestral playing of real finesse under James Southall, this was an outstanding evening.”
Leicester Mercury, April 2014

“Mozart writes music of astonishing variety and subtlety and James Southall drew sharp and elegant playing from the orchestra in addition to maintaining a cohesive pulse to the changing situations.”
Gareth Jones for The Ipswich Star, April 2014

“James Southall drew an admirably crisp account of the score that felt brisk but never pushed.”
John Allison for The Telegraph, March 2014

“English Touring Opera’s musical standards have surely never been higher than on the present tour; under the baton of young conductor James Southall both chorus and orchestra are first-rate.”
George Hall for The Stage, March 2014

“James Southall’s conducting elicited fine orchestral playing, with great clarity and communicativeness.”
Ken Ward for, March 2014

“Much brightness emerged from the pit, as James Southall’s brisk account of the overture heralded a clean, energetic reading that encouraged Mozart’s melodies to sing like Papageno’s birds.”
Mark Valencia for Whats On Stage, March 2014

“Here the composer is very much in evidence, particularly through James Southall’s excellent conducting which beautifully conveyed the light and shade of the music.”
Mark Ronan, March 2014

“After a fine account of the overture, James Southall and the orchestra kept things zipping along nicely.”
Robert Hugill, March 2014

“James Southall’s brisk conducting kept the pit as lively as the stage.”
Intermezzo, March 2014

“Huge credit must be given to the orchestra’s new music director James Southall, whose conducting was dynamic.”
Wales Online, February 2014

“Both choir and soloists benefited from the brilliant accompaniment of James Southall.”
Milford & West Wales Mercury, September 2013

“James Southall coaxed a light and energetic performance from the Orchestre de l’Opéra de Baugé.”, August 2013

“James Southall was excellent as the continuity man, pianist and raconteur.”
The Pyonear, August 2013

“James Southall showed a clear musical vision and management of the orchestral forces whilst keeping pit and stage well co-ordinated.”
Seen and Heard International, November 2011

“The orchestra, conducted by a youthful James Southall, provided the perfect accompaniment to the action on stage.”
Simon Collison, November 2011

“…James Southall a delight on the harpsichord.”
Behind the Arras, June 2011

“…a word about James Southall, the 28-year-old conductor. The orchestra was lively with plenty of colour and zest about it. They played as if they meant it. The pit may have found itself a new star.”
Behind the Arras, November 2010

“James Southall displayed a great range of sensibility and stylistic awareness.”
Classical Source, April 2008

“…the most impressive accompanist of the evening.”
Classical Source, September 2007

“a scintillating performance of Walton’s ever-stirring The Twelve, where the organ is played fearlessly by James Southall.”
Paul Hale, May 2005