Clive Bayley is earning rave reviews for his performance of Ivan the Terrible in David Pountney’s production of Rimsky-Korsakov’s 1872 opera at Grange Park Opera. As the all-powerful ruler re-discovering his long-lost illegitimate daughter, Bayley, “sounding mighty but nuanced, makes his cunningly delayed entrance with a coup de théâtre. (Yehuda Shapiro, The Stage). His is, “a masterly performance that dominated, but which remained part of the ensemble” (Robert Hugill, Opera Today).

Mark Pullinger, in BachTrack, writes, “Clive Bayley’s booming bass resounded in the small Theatre in the Woods as Ivan and his exaggerated acting – very much in the Chaliapin/Boris Christoff eye-rolling mould – suited Pountney’s direction.” “The voice is so bullying in its grainy heaviness, his cynical, watchful manner and sudden violent explosions so dominating of the kneeling, terrified crowds around him,” writes Ivan Hewitt in The Telegraph, and The Arts Desk’s David Nice noting that, “there’s no denying Clive Bayley’s authority when Ivan arrives in Pskov fresh from trashing Novgorod. …He’s truly in his prime vocally now.” Music OHM’s Melanie Eskanazi praises, “Clive Bayley once more proves…he has no equal. His singing was superbly expressive.”

See Clive Bayley as Ivan the Terrible at Grange Park Opera through 14 July. For more information, and to purchase tickets, please visit

Photo credit: Marc Brenner; Clive Bayley as Ivan and Evalina Dobracheva as Olga, the ‘Maid of Pskov’