Press

La Traviata, English National Opera:
'Bernard Haitink, former Music Director of the Royal Opera amongst other things, was in the first night audience. He can take pride in the ENO debut of Leo McFall, his assistant in concerts with the Royal Concertgebouw, Chicago Symphony and Vienna Philharmonic. McFall brought to this Traviata a clarity and beauty of phrasing. The orchestra responded warmly. These players may know this score with their eyes shut, but in their responsive playing they made it fresh.'
Fiona Maddocks, The Observer
'The one shining star is in the pit, where the young British conductor Leo McFall kept the orchestra under firm control without sacrificing sensitivity or grace. The melancholy beauty of the opening prelude was the evening's highlight.'
Rupert Christiensen, The Telegraph
'Leo McFall, another first timer with the company, conducts a lovingly shaped performance from the ENO orchestra, bringing out details in this score you don't often hear.'
Erica Jeal, The Guardian
'Leo McFall's lithe conducting of the excellent orchestra and chorus was the other beacon of light in this ...evening.'
Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times
'McFall drew some ravishing playing from the orchestra, elevating Verdi's often simple orchestration into something far more sublime.'
Kevin Wong, Bachtrack
'Leo McFall drew a fine-grained performance from the orchestra. Highly fluid with plenty of rubato, McFall also kept things moving and Act 2 flew by without ever seeming pushed. This was a very modern take on the piece, clean and lithe, but one which did not eschew tradtion and drew very fine playing from the orchestra.'
Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill
The Snow Maiden, Opera North:
'None of these voices were especially weighty, but that didn't matter, given the luminous sounds rising from the pit, and the all-pervading glow of tenderness and warmth that Leo McFall drew from the Opera North Orchestra.'
Richard Bratby, The Spectator
The Turn of the Screw, Glyndebourne on tour:
'Above all the conducting of Leo McFall signals the arrival of another exceptionally gifted young conductor from the Glyndebourne stable which has contributed so much in this field during the last 80 years. He secured glorious playing of this score from the small ensemble taken from Glyndebourne's fine tour orchestra. But above all he showed theatrical and musical instincts of the highest order, and a natural personal authority which will stand him in very good stead indeed as his career grows naturally in the coming years.'
Brian Dickie, Typepad
Leo McFall is the kind of up-and-coming young conductor whom Glyndebourne has always been keen to encourage, and on this showing he is indeed one to watch... this was a highly evocative reading.'
musicOMH
'There is always a danger that this tautly written work, in which the composer plays his every stylistic trick, can sound like the soundtrack to the picnic of some peculiarly Anglican demons. Here the conductor Leo McFall steers it in a more universal direction, showing a complete grasp of the score's structure while finding desolate lyricism amid Britten's carefully calculated instrumental colours.'
The Daily Telegraph
'Britten's eerie score - for an orchestra of just 13 - inexorably tightens its own harmonic screw and is beautifully played under conductor Leo McFall.' The Daily Mail
The Daily Mail
'Final credit must be given to the Glyndebourne Touring Orchestra under the baton of conductor Leo McFall. He embraces the power of this chamber piece with great musical understanding and highlights the ominous twelve note theme that reoccurs throughout the opera in various formats. I have seen the Turn of the Screw six times in three different productions and I still learnt something new about the piece from his conducting.'
Limelight Magazine