San Francisco Classical Voice

“The extra excitement of Merola Opera’s performance of Mozart’s Così fan tutte could be felt on both sides of the metaphorical footlights…Much responsibility for the afternoon’s success lay with conductor Ari Pelto. He was ever alive to the moment. His orchestra consistently highlighted the contrasting instrumental lines that convey how deeply Mozart understood what the…

San Francisco Classical Voice, John Bender

“Conductor Ari Pelto evoked superb vigor and stylish beauty of playing from the thirteen Instrumentalists. Much of the credit for this forceful and surprising evening of musical theater must go to them.”

General Director of Opera Colorado, Denver Journal

“I spent a great deal of time watching Ari work with our artists, director, staff and orchestra during our recent production of Don Giovanni and was so impressed with his ability to bring out the subtleties and nuances of Mozart’s score which contributed so greatly to the overarching drama of the staging.”

Opera News

“Ari Pelto led the orchestra in a voluptuous, emotionally eloquent reading of one of Dvorak’s most beautiful scores…There was alchemy at work in this performance, one that is uncommon in even the greatest houses: the whole became greater than the sum of its parts, revealing something profound and true.” Opera News

New York City Opera – Carmen

“Can the world, particularly New York, use another “Carmen”? Yes, the same way we can use another pepperoni pizza. As long as it’s good . . . And City Opera has a good “Carmen,” as proven Thursday night. Bizet’s opera can’t fail to appeal, if done faithfully, attentively, and full-heartedly…Who is the most important performer…

Boston Lyric Opera – Rusalka

“Ari Pelto led the orchestra in a voluptuous, emotionally eloquent reading of one of Dvorák’s most beautiful scores… There was a special alchemy at work in this performance, one that is uncommon in even the greatest houses: the whole became greater than the sum of its parts, revealing something profound and true.” — Opera News

Atlanta Ballet — Twyla Tharp The Princess and the Goblin, World Premiere

Everyone connected to this production is world-class: Richard Burke, who arranged and orchestrated and wrote original music, to add to the music of Franz Schubert; the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra, lush and large and exquisite, conducted by Ari Pelto … — Manning Harris, Atlanta In Town

San Francisco Opera Center – Così fan tutte

“The extra excitement of Merola Operas performance of Mozart’s Così fan tutte could be felt on both sides of the metaphorical footlights…Much responsibility for the afternoon’s success lay with conductor Ari Pelto. He was ever alive to the moment. His orchestra consistently highlighted the contrasting instrumental lines that convey how deeply Mozart understood what the…

Wolf Trap Opera – Don Giovanni

“Don Giovanni… is shaped and paced with consummate skill by conductor Ari Pelto….” — Joseph McLellan, Washington Post

Portland Opera — Le Nozze di Figaro

“Mr. Pelto is a fine Mozartean.” – Bernard Jacobson, Seen and Heard Internationa

San Francisco Opera, Merola Program – The Rape of Lucretia

“Ari Pelto evoked superb vigor and stylish beauty of playing from the thirteen instrumentalists. Much of the credit for this forceful and surprising evening of musical theater must go to them.” — John Bender, San Francisco Classical Voice

New York City Opera – Madama Butterfly

“City Opera’s performance of Madama Butterfly on Sunday afternoon was conducted by a newcomer, Ari Pelto, who led an extremely well paced realization. The first act was crisp and biting, impressive not just as no-nonsense music making, but also setting the stage for highly romantic slower sections in the midst of the second act and…

Atlanta Ballet – Cinderella

“Under Ari Pelto’s baton, the orchestra has never sounded better, nor the chemistry between pit and stage been quite so palpable.” — Susan Elliot, Atlanta Journal Constitution

Chautauqua — The Cunning Little Vixen

“Conductor Ari Pelto led a taut, rakish, and (at the right times) sentimental reading of this tricky score”–James Sohre, Opera Today

Utah Opera – Carmen

“One of the hottest tickets in town this cold January is Utah Opera’s “Carmen,” a vibrant production that’s a welcome respite from the dreary gray of a Salt Lake City winter. Saturday’s sold-out opener would have been worth attending just for the fiercely committed performances of the two leads; happily, they were surrounded by top-notch…