Orpheus and Eurydice, April 2012, Photo by David Bazemore
Orpheus and Eurydice
[Orphée et Eurydice]
Christoph Willibald Gluck
Supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts
Friday, April 27, 2012, 7:30pm
Sunday, April 29, 2012, 2:30pm
- "Opera Santa Barbara's delightful production at the Lobero Theatre was especially strong in establishing the unified aesthetic that Gluck was striving for, giving music, song, story, and dance equal status. As sung by soprano Marnie Breckenridge, Eurydice was unquestionably worth going to hell - or Hades - for. The chorus and marvelous troupe of dancers consistently gave the audience the right amount to look at and to hear. Still, the real star of any Gluck Orpheus and Eurydice is inevitably the singer who portrays Orpheus; Layna Chianakas was outstanding; she gave the piece a strong anchor and captured the imagination of the audience, sending waves of excitement through the hall. "
– Charles Donelan / SB Independent
- "Opera Santa Barbara's "Orpheus and Eurydice," in another strong display of José Maria Condemi's vision, presented a fresh - and sometimes fizzy - take on a Baroque treat. Jean-Francois Revon's stage set was admirably resourceful and effective, enhanced by light designer Lucas Benjamin Krech's deft work. Elaborate dance passages were beautifully designed by choreographer Yannis Adoniou. At the core, of course, the production's attributes would be for naught without a strong Orpheus; Ms. Chianakas sang with a strength of feeling and technical command. Ms. Breckenridge's Eurydice made the most of the late-breaking vocal foray; Ms. Cadelago's appearances as L'Amour perked up and modernized the spirit with its giddy flair."
– Josef Woodard / SB News–Press
- "Mezzo-soprano Layna Chainakas poignantly sang the title role in this adventurous, lively production of Orphée et Eurydice, provocatively directed by Jose Maria Condemi. The lighting and set projections by Lucas Benjaminh Krech and Jean-Francois Revon were a highlight. Jose Luis Moscovich conducted the multi-faceted orchestra with expert style. Soprano Marnie Breckenridge sang Eurydice with tender fragility. The dancers, choreographed stylishly by Yannis Adoniou, performed with fluid grace. The versatile chorus was consistently engaging, a credit to chorus master Brent Wilson and the talented singers. The 2011-2012 Season ended on a high artistic note, setting the stage for next season's ambitious productions. "
– Robert F Adams / Casa Magazine
- "Opera Santa Barbara staged a delightful version of Gluck's "Orpheus and Eurydice." Mezzo-soprano Layna Chianakas acquitted herself superbly as Orpheus; Eurydice was equally well played by soprano Marnie Breckenridge. Soprano Angela Cadelago, as L'Amour, injected some humor into the proceedings with her wings, gold bike and Betsey Johnson-like funky outfits. With a wonderful chorus and troupe of dancers, the Jose Maria Condemi- directed show, with conductor Jose Luis Moscovich and scenic design by Jean-Francois Revon, was a high note from beginning to end. It was Baroque opera to savor..."
– Richard Mineards / Montecito Miscellany
- "Orphée et Eurydice has much to offer a 21st century audience, particularly the abundance of melody. Layna Chianakas was dramatically and visually effective in the role of Orphée. Eurydice was nicely sung and acted by Marnie Breckenridge. Condemi is a stage director concerned with the motivations and actions of each individual on stage; dance sequences were organized in a succession that moves the action forward. The costuming of the choristers representing the forces of Hades were cleverly constructed. The historic Lobero was a very nice setting for Condemi's presentation of Gluck's wonderful score in its felicitous French version."
– William Burnett / Opera Warhorses
- "The originality of Opera Santa Barbara and its artistic director Jose Maria Condemi's production was clear. The work of set designer Jean-François Revon and lighting director Lucas Benjamin Krech equally contributed to Elysium's utopian feel; the rather minimalistic set design highlighted the complex plot line of the opera while keeping with the stage action's surprising simplicity. The two-fold effect of costuming and choreography (the collaborative work of San Francisco-based choreographer Yannis Adoniou and costumer Miller James) was elegantly dark. The role of Orpheus is a difficult one; Chianakas' rich mezzo never faltered. The production of an opera that dates back to 1762 based on a myth that dates back to ancient Greece, is something to celebrate when it involves this amount of innovation, creativity and delicious darkness."
– Emily Hunt / Daily Nexus
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