top of page

Poul Ruders, The Handmaid's Tale, Royal Danish Opera, Copenhagen 

"The Royal Danish Orchestra plays excellently under the direction of Jessica Cottis. Firstly, the balance between singers and the orchestra is finely tuned. Secondly, the many transitions between strongly contrasting sections are compellingly handled: there are both violently affecting fortissimo sections that blew you away, and breathlessly delicate sections with strings in pianissimo, whilst the hollowness of the large ceremonial tableaus is goosebump-inducing – No wonder the composer looked happy when he came on stage to applause."


Ruders, The Handmaid's Tale, Royal Danish Opera, Copenhagen

"It is time to pay tribute to the conductor. Australian Jessica Cottis had a fabulous take on Ruder's score, which can easily run wild if you don't keep a cool head. Cottis, attuned with the Royal Chapel Orchestra, focussed on the atonal dynamics and and ingeniously composed layering, where the balance was always in favour of the singers, with inspired orchestral playing of international class."


Ruders, The Handmaid's Tale, Royal Danish Opera, Copenhagen

"The orchestra pit at Danish Royal Opera overflowed with eccentric, dramatic music at the premiere of Poul Ruders' opera The Handmaid's Tale, brilliantly conducted by Jessica Cottis. One was carried away as though by currents of an underground river."

Peter Johannes Erichsen WEEKENDAVISEN 1 Nov 2022

La Traviata, Opera Australia

"This new La Traviata is a triumph. Conductor Jessica Cottis makes her OA debut in dazzling style with the OA Orchestra and Chorus sounding rich and dynamic. They maintain an excitement throughout when not throttling back to delicate tenderness. Thrilling."

Diana Simmonds STAGENOISE 3 Jan 2024

La Traviata, Opera Australia

"Under Cottis’ empathetic guidance, the orchestra embraced every colour of Violetta’s voice, providing subtle shading I have never heard before in quite this way. When the last note was sung, something spectacular occurred, something I cannot recall happening in many many years... the audience rose in a standing ovation that lasted minutes, showing their appreciation for this outstanding new production."

Irina Dunn CITYHUB 4 Jan 2024

Macbeth (Verdi), Norrlandsoperan, Sweden

"In Umeå, Australian Jessica Cottis is conductor for Macbeth - one of the best musical performances in the house's history." 

Camilla Lundberg NYHETER KULTUR 29 Sept 2021

Macbeth (Verdi), Norrlandsoperan, Sweden

"The Norrlandsoperans symfoniorkester plays stylishly throughout; inspired and passionate under the direction of the Australian conductor Jessica Cottis."

Gunilla Brodrej EXPRESSEN KULTUR 26 Sept 2021

Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Australia

"The concert marked the popular return of Australian-British conductor Jessica Cottis. There are few more stirring ways to start a program than the work she chose, Sibelius’s tried and trusted patriotic tone poem Finlandia. From the opening snarling brass to the noble broad anthem and the final gathering energy racing towards hoped-for independence, it’s a bracing ride and Cottis proved a thrilling driver, tight and concise with expansive gestures and happy to take risks."

Steve Moffat DAILY TELEGRAPH 13 May 2019

Canberra Symphony Orchestra, Australia

"Cottis is a synesthete. She visualises colour when she hears music. This concert was ablaze with it."

Clinton White LIMELIGHT 13 May 2021

Gävle Symphony Orchestra, Sweden

"There are concerts that you leave shaken, easily stunned as if you are still left in the musical bubble: the music has penetrated and does not want to let go. Thursday night's concert with young Russian pianist Arseny Tarasevich-Nikolaev, conductor Jessica Cottis and the Gävle Symphony Orchestra was such a rare occasion. Here we got the power, technical brilliance, empathy, and a super close interaction. I think I've never heard the concerto performed with such vigour and intensity. There was impressive playing by the orchestra with Jessica Cottis who led it all with millimetre precision: the music really flowed, and the interactions between soloist and orchestra were completely seamless, like the emerging waves of an ocean."

Lars Westin ARBETARBLADET 31 January 2020

Norrlandsoperans symfoniorkester, Sweden

"Saturday's magnificent performance of Johannes Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem became for me one of the big musical events of the year. With absolutely the right temperament for this kind of music and a fine conducting technique, Jessica Cottis took care of every note. With authority and the clarity of sunlight, she lifted the orchestra to immense heights."

Bengt Hultman VÄSTERBOTTENS-KURIREN 17 November 2019

Royal Northern Sinfonia, UK

"Buoyant performances bring the Sage back to life: ...the players of the Royal Northern Sinfonia showed their joy in being back through a buoyant performance of Mozart’s Symphony No 39, those super-assertive E-flat chords yielding to elegant string playing, shaped with refinement and poise by the conductor Jessica Cottis."

Simon Thompson THE TIMES 26 Oct 2020 

The Cunning Little Vixen, Opera Holland Park, UK

"The interpretation was exemplary. The Australian conductor Jessica Cottis paid due attention to Janáček's sharp 'sčasovky' (often a stumbling block for conductors who are not sufficiently familiar with his style). There was no trace of unnecessary sentimentality in the lyricism of climactic scenes, and the bacchanale after the foxes' wedding was a real wild, swirling merry-go-round. 

Mirka Zemenová OPERAPLUS CZECH REPUBLIC 2 Sept 2021

Real Filharmonia de Galicia, Spain

"The Australian Jessica Cottis suffers -or enjoys- synaesthesia, the ability to experience sound in the form of colours. Maybe that explains, at least in part, the unbeatable impression she made on her debut with the Real Filharmonia. The other part is of course her abundant musicality. It has been a while since I heard a Beethoven so good, and I can't think of a better way to honour him in this anniversary year. Suddenly, Prometheus became a score that fits as a glove to the Real Filharmonia. 


Cottis conducted the ballet with vigour and clarity: on the one hand, although she does not ignore the historicist teachings, she molds the orchestra with a 'nach dem Schlag' technique that gives warmth and body to the sound where others only see roughness and rickets. She took care of each measure, each line, each phrase, each sound plane. The public appreciated it with all justice. I hope she comes back soon."

Alfredo López-Vivié Palencia MUNDO CLÁSICO 5 February 2020

Los Angeles Philharmonic, USA

"The LA Philharmonic, energetically led by Australian conductor Jessica Cottis, brought life and heft to Kubrick’s inspired mixtape of classical repertoire — from the majesty of Also sprach Zarathustra to the triumphant strains of Beethoven’s Ninth."

Tim Greiving VARIETY 25 November 2018

Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Sweden

"An enlightened performance of the Sibelius, Nordic in tone, transparent in sound, and easy in step. At the same time, the audience were pulled into something quietly profound: it was as though the music was surrounded by a natural yet mystical fog. One clearly recognised the presence of something quite unconventional, as though a spirit was peeking out through the shadowy depths of the forest. Even in Grieg's Holberg Suite, the Australian-English conductor Jessica Cottis brought light and lyricism. The MSO's string section were playful, as though in fine costumes and long dresses, but with all the seams beautifully well hidden."

Matti Edén SYDSVENSKA DAGBLADET 17 Nov 2017 

Royal Opera House, Covent Garden / Music Theatre Wales, UK

"The tirelessly energetic cast are supported by heroic playing from the London Sinfonietta, superbly conducted by Jessica Cottis."

Richard Morrison THE TIMES 26 Sept 2019

Royal Opera House, Covent Garden / Music Theatre Wales, UK

"This witty production of Gerald Barry’s demanding opera about a composer with writer’s block features fine singing and playing. The cast does a fine job with some incredibly demanding music. Jessica Cottis conducts with absolute security, and the London Sinfonietta plays brilliantly."

Erica Jeal THE GUARDIAN 26 Sept 2019

Royal Opera House, Covent Garden / Music Theatre Wales, UK

"Jessica Cottis and members of the London Sinfonietta deserve medals for their conducting and playing."

Hugh Canning THE TIMES 6 October 2019

Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, UK

"Superbly delivered by the Aurora Orchestra under Jessica Cottis’s direction."

Richard Morrison THE TIMES 22 Feb 2019  

Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, UK

“Jessica Cottis conducts the Aurora Orchestra with aplomb.” 

Rupert Christiansen THE TELEGRAPH 22 Feb 2019 

Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, UK

“strikingly brought to life by the Aurora Orchestra conducted by Jessica Cottis”  

Richard Fairman FINANCIAL TIMES 23 Feb 2019

Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, UK

"impressively conducted by Jessica Cottis with the Aurora Orchestra"

Paul Driver THE SUNDAY TIMES 3 March 2019 

Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, UK

“Jessica Cottis directs members of the Aurora Orchestra with incisive clarity, deploying her forces strategically, always mindful of the singers who must project Simon’s text without the help of surtitles. It’s no small praise to say that you hardly lose a word.” 

Alexandra Coghlan THE ARTS DESK 23 Feb 2019 

Västerås Sinfonietta, Sweden

Conductor Jessica Cottis led a performance which was extraordinarily exciting; luminous and full of vitality. Her communication with the Sinfonietta was immediate and worked like a charm. 

Birgit Ahlberg-Hyse VESTMANLANDS LÄNS TIDNING 26th Jan 2018

Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Australia

Conductor Jessica Cottis shaped the striving combative ideas of Carl Nielsen’s Symphony No. 4 The Inextinguishable, with precision, cogency, and, where needed, elegance. This is a work with an indefinable but compelling logic, telling us a narrative that only music can relate. Cottis and the SSO set out its discursive interplay of motives with clear definition and moulded tonal balance. Cottis draws in the listener’s ear through engaged energy and musical intelligence.

Peter McCallum SYDNEY MORNING HERALD 13 May 2019

Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Canada

Cottis’s wholly animated, often visceral approach, seemed to fairly dance on the podium. It instilled both life and colour to its four movements, including a searing interpretation of Grieg's The Death of Aase, with its pathos seeming to grow by the minute, that left listeners in hushed reverie.

Holly Harris WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 8 Feb 2020

Canberra Symphony Orchestra, Australia

Cottis was an inspired choice. The orchestra responded brilliantly to her conducting style, which at one minute was fluid and expressive, and, at another, animated and explosive, and everything in between.

Clinton White LIMELIGHT 20 May 2019

Orchestra of Opera North, UK

The first half was devoted to opera, beginning and ending with two great overtures, Glinka’s exhilarating Ruslan and Lyudmila, and Cottis’ thrilling account of Verdi’s La Forza del Destino, a terrifying explosion of power.

Ron Simpson REVIEWS HUB 2 August 2017

BBC Proms / BBC Concert Orchestra, UK

"The performances themselves were a triumph, Jessica Cottis and the BBC Concert Orchestra tripping chameleon-like through a programme of musical costume-changes. Their pièce de résistance was a showstoppingly controlled and majestic Also sprach Zarathustra. Cottis dived in with equal aplomb to the interaction-with-the-presenters aspect of her job description, displaying a naturalness and confidence worlds away from the usual duck-out-of-water awkwardness we've come to brace ourselves for from conductors at such events."

Charlotte Gardner BACHTRACK 30 August 2016

Chelsea Opera Group, UK

Borodin's Prince Igor: "Conducted with style, clarity and energy by Jessica Cottis."

Anna Picard THE TIMES 24 October 2016 

Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Australia

"Precision, energy and elegance. Most impressive was the finale where Cottis chose a speed that highlighted Mozart's breathtaking plenitude of invention with exhilarating delight. We will hear more of her welcome talent."

Peter McCallum SYDNEY MORNING HERALD 2 Sept 2013

Scottish Opera / Company Chordelia, UK

"Conductor Jessica Cottis nailed the seediness and suavity of Weill's Seven Deadly Sins for Scottish Opera."

Anna Picard THE INDEPENDENT 18 Dec 2011

Scottish Opera / Company Chordelia, UK

"In the pit, Jessica Cottis coaxed a rich, sharp and sleazy sound from the Orchestra of Scottish Opera. Do not miss."

Sarah Urwin Jones THE TIMES 22 Aug 2013

Tucson Symphony, USA

What terrific music Cottis made with the TSO. From the opening Thomas Adés work to Cottis’s spirited take on the Mozart, Friday’s concert was a great way to kick off 2018. Adés's “Three Studies” is a marvelous reimagining of a trio of the Baroque composer’s works. When Cottis brought it all together, the effect was sublime, and beneath the subtle dissonance, Couperin’s original Baroque sound shined.

If there were any American classical music talent managers in the audience, we’re confident her concerts will be the first of many U.S. podium appearances. Cottis turned in a spirited performance. Expressive and energetic, she had the symphony rocking to Mozart’s playful and exuberant Symphony 29. She brought out Mozart’s wonderful colors and emotions and accentuated the composer’s spirit with so much enthusiasm you couldn’t help but get lost in her performance. 

Cathalena E. Burch ARIZONA DAILY STAR 6 Jan 2018

Scottish Opera / Company Chordelia, UK

"Under Jessica Cottis, Scottish Opera's orchestra sounded taut, slippery and glamorous."

Anna Picard THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY 04 Sept 2011

Bit20 Ensemble, Norway

"Under the leadership of Jessica Cottis, Bit20 Ensemble delivered powerful and precise performances of these two contemporary pieces of music. Cottis was fascinating: she combines a cool head with a warm heart; leading us safely through the throes between acoustic and electronic worlds. World-class."

Annabel Guaita BERGENS TIDENDE 15 March 2015

Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Australia

"Cottis certainly got, for instance, a wonderful sound out of the brass, which made the Magic Flute overture shine, as well as a great sense of pace and sizzle from the strings. A good test for an overture is whether you want to see the opera after the concert has finished, and such was the case with this."

Tomas Boot ARTSHUB 2 Sept 2013

bottom of page