"... Michael Spyres’ hero extracts an unqualified triumph – histrionic charisma, tenorial grace and easy musicianship rolled into one."
Andrew Clark, The Financial Times
"... sensational singing of the fiendish title role..." Hugh Canning, Sunday Times
"The title role is notoriously hard to cast; it requires a tenor with power, stamina and a prodigious range, and Michael Spyres does a heroic job in sustaining it right through to the final climactic scene in which the bronze sculpture is cast."
Andrew Clements, The Guardian
"Michael Spyres’ hairy, swaggering Cellini has seductive charm to burn, as well as the tirelessly secure top register to meet Berlioz’s demands with aplomb."
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph
"The American-led cast, with Michael Spyres thrilling and golden-voiced in the fearsome title role and Corinne Winters bright-toned with a light, comedic glint as Teresa, had scarcely a weak link."
Fiona Maddocks, The Observer
„Meanwhile the superb lyric tenor Michael Spyres does lovely things in the title role...“
Michael Church, The Independent
"Michael Spyres brings heft as well as vocal beauty to the title role..."
Barry Millington, London Evening Standard
"... one of the most striking things about it was the way in which both Gilliam and, in the title role, Michael Spyres caught the single-minded determination and libertine egoism of the central character. This was unmistakably the portrait of an artist. (...)
... the cast could hardly have been bettered. As indicated above, Spyres gave a remarkable performance, singing with golden-toned flamboyance and what can only be described as heroic bel canto. Even Berlioz's highest writing seems to hold no fears for this tenor, who sang tirelessly throughout the evening."
John Allison, Opera Magazine UK
"You also need a Cellini for whom Berlioz's fiendishly difficult writing holds no terrors, and in American tenor Michael Spyres the company has struck gold. Not only does he play the part of the dishevelled lovelorn sculptor to perfection, but he sings with a freedom and ease throughout this treacherously written part that took my breath away. Singing of this calibre would grace any of the major opera houses, and ENO should be congratulated for securing his exceptional talents.“
Keith McDonnall, Whatsonstage.com
“While the staging is colourful and dynamic, the evening is also made by the sheer quality of the performances. American tenor Michael Spyres gives a brilliant account as Cellini with the most moving, powerful, expansive and precise sound imaginable.”
Sam Smith, Londonist
"A great cast is headed by the tireless Cellini of Michael Spyres, whose tenor has an astonishing range and timbre, from baritonal heft in his lower notes to thrilling top notes." Mark Pullinger, Bachtrack
"The singing was excellent. Michael Spyres soared through the heights and difficulties of the title role with heroic, ringing abandon. His voice is massive, but his quieter range was no less effective in the aria where he contemplates the joys of a simple life as a shepherd. As the artist-genius against the world, he had the swagger necessary for the part."
Peter Reed, Classical Source
“Spyres (...), so excellent in the Royal Opera’s recent Donna del Lago, vaunts and vaults his way around Berlioz’s extreme writing, lovely even in the highest registers.”
Alexandra Coghlan, Theartsdesk.com
"Michael Spyres performed impressively in the sadistically difficult title role, there being but a single example, quickly enough corrected, of coming vocally unstuck. His stage swagger seemed true to Gilliam’s conception, and his vocal style — insofar as one can tell, in English translation — was keenly attuned to that of Berlioz."
Mark Berry, Opera Today
"Michael Spyres’ Cellini is sung with incredible honesty, charisma and musicality and Spyres soars through the difficult score. He’s one of the most sought-after tenors of his generation with a voice you wish you could bottle and keep for a rainy day."
Camilla Gurtler, A Younger Theatre
“Michael Spyres is magnificent in the title role, singing with huge power and very much looking the role of a dissolute sculptor.”
William Hartston, Express
“American tenor Michael Spyres’s swaggering Cellini has the measure of Berlioz’s demands on the voice.”
Clare Colvin, Express
"The singing is excellent, with American tenor Michael Spyres rising winningly to the high notes in the flamboyant title role."
George Hall, The Stage
"Michael Spyres as Cellini was in tremendous form. The role is impossible, with Berlioz writing in the high heroic style beloved of early 19th century French grand opera, but completely ignoring what is and is not possible. Spyres has sung a number of other French grand opera roles (see my review of him in the Opera Comique's 2012 production of Auber's La muette de Portici). Seemingly tireless, he managed to combine a fine grained, focussed timbre with the sort of high, heroic singing necessary (think Arnold in Rossini's Guillaume Tell but on steroids). Physically, Spyres is a big man and his Cellini was invested with a great physicality which was highly appealing and matched the character. Something of a slob, a drunkard and a teller of tales, Spyres made you understand why Teresa had fallen for Cellini. Gilliam makes Cellini's character clear at the beginning of act two. During the duet for Teresa and Ascanio, we see Cellini in the background having a drink with mates; his subsequent description of his antics for Teresa is clearly a tale! But Spyres made it work, delighting with his musicality and the way he shaped Berlioz's line. His solo in the first scene of act two, describing his 'exploits', was a complete delight. The long scene at the opening of the final scene of the opera, when Cellini is racked with doubts, was simply marvellous as Spyres made Berlioz's long, high lines work. Gilliam paid Spyres the credit of trusting him and here there was little stage business, just a very fine singer allowed to do his job and being completely mesmerising."Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill
"In case you wonder where the music went, it was carrying on all the time under the expert baton of Edward Gardner, with Michael Spyres as an outstanding Cellini. His heroic tone throughout and fine lyricism in the early Act II monologue suited the great élan he showed in his portrayal of the mad sculptor."
Mark Ronan Blog