Press for On The Town - BBC Proms

The rest of the cast had no weaknesses … Barnaby Rea boomed dolefully as long-suffering Judge Pitkin.

Richard Fairman, Financial Times ****

A crack ensemble cast brought Broadway to the Royal Albert Hall … a scene-stealing turn from Barnaby Rea as Judge Pitkin.

Alexandra Coghlan, The Independent ****

Barnaby Rea delivered the operatic intensity of the role of Judge Pitkin, and in particular the idée fixe of I understand, with panache

Sebastian Scotney, bachtrack

Barnaby Rea revealed a terrifically focused low bass as the First Workman in the opening moments and was a sympathetic Judge Pitkin.

Claire Seymour, Opera Today

Barnaby Rea’s distinguished bass voice brought more authority to Claire’s middle-aged, cuckolded and indifferent fiancé, Judge Pitkin, than his character, who says he ‘understands’ her predilections, probably deserved. 

Jim Pritchard, Seen and Heard International

Barnaby Rea, as her long-suffering husband Judge Pitkin, drew on his powerful, classically trained bass to deliver a vigorous I Understand and an arresting I Feel Like I’m Not Out of Bed Yet, the work’s opening number.
Barry Millington, Evening Standard

Barnaby Rea, memorable as a black-toned Sparafucile in Jonathan Miller’s ENO Rigoletto, stood out, not implausibly, making a real ‘operatic’ impact at the start of the evening as a Brooklyn naval-yard worker, then doubling up as Pitkin, in full command for his parody aria, ‘I understand’.

David Gutman, Classical Source

Whilst the humour is repetitive at times, it was very well pulled off, with well timed motifs remaining humourous instead of grating, especially the entrances of Pitkin (Barnaby Rea) whilst his fiancé Claire (Celinde Schoenmaker) and Ozzie (Nadim Naaman) were getting closer and closer.

Olivia Mitchell, Rewritethisstory

Barnaby Rea’s operatic bass gave gravitas to a Judge Pitkin who might not be so “understanding” after all. He also made a strong impression as the longshoreman who opens the work with the grave announcement that he feels like he is not out of bed yet.

Paul du Quenoy, The New Criterion

Barnaby Rea filled the RAH with the amplitude of his sonorous bass as dawn broke over the city. He doubled too as Judge Pitkin, a Gilbertian figure, always in the right place at the wrong time.

Adrian Edwards, Musical Theatre Review

Barnaby Rea as Judge Pitkin, a strange and perhaps closeted figure, here done with great comic timing (every time he sings “I Understand” it just made for more laughs). 

The Sprout, Weeping Tudor

A real pleasure comes from the two performers with operatic backgrounds –  in Claire Moore’s increasingly drunken Madam Dilly, and the resonant brazier of Barnaby Rea‘s bass first warming the chill Brooklyn dawn with ‘I Feel Like I’m Not Out of Bed, Yet’ or as Claire’s husband in ‘I Understand’.

Johnny Fox, johnnyfox.co.uk