Critical Acclaim

Johannes Debus | Orchestra Members | Audio Interviews


Johannes Debus received much attention for his work as the conductor of the COC’s highly acclaimed production of Sergei Prokofiev’s epic opera, War and Peace, in October 2008.

Robert Everett-Green, Globe and Mail


“The orchestra, like the choir, is huge, and includes offstage musicians. The show’s power and eloquence gained a lot from the music direction of Johannes Debus, a very musical young German conductor. Debus, who had never done this opera before, won me over by the end of the first intimate passages of Act I. The suppleness and melodic energy of his direction had so much to reveal about what was really going on in this music, so full of hope yet tinged with tragedy. . . . Based on his overall performance, I think Debus’s name should go straight to the short list of candidates for the job of COC music director.”


John Terauds, Toronto Star 


“It’s hard to imagine anyone doing better justice to the music. The orchestra, led by 34-year-old German conductor Johannes Debus, captures every nuance of Prokofiev’s rich score.”


John Keillor, National Post 


“Conductor Johannes Debus is masterful, loud and clear so that musical subtexts speak immediately to the surtitles.”


Paula Citron, Classical 96, 96.3FM


“German conductor Johannes Debus is a young maestro who is destined for greatness. The way he marshals the forces of the expanded COC orchestra through Prokofiev’s gargantuan score is breathtaking – interpreting for us the drama, both large and small.”


John Coulbourn, Toronto Sun 


“And it sounds even better than it looks, for with Johannes Debus at the reins of the COC Orchestra, performing at its best, and a cast and chorus almost as impressive for its talent as its number, this is a musical treat as well.”


Christopher Hoile, Eye Weekly


“The COC orchestra, under the baton of the young Johannes Debus, brings out all the violence and lyricism of Prokofiev’s score.”


Michael Johnson, Concerto Net


“German conductor Johannes Debus (he is 32[sic], and looks about half that age) makes an auspicious local debut with his finely-modulated handling of the score.”