Seance on a Wet Afternoon, September/October 2009, Photo by David Bazemore
Séance on a Wet Afternoon
A New Opera by Stephen Schwartz
Saturday, September 26, 2009, 7:30pm
Friday, October 2, 2009, 7:30pm
Sunday, October 4, 2009, 2:30pm
- "Stephen Schwartz made his first foray into opera with his much-anticipated adaptation of 'Séance on a Wet Afternoon'. Seen October 4, his maiden opera-house voyage yielded a work of admirable clarity and undeniable potency. Schwartz's adaptation is tightly plotted and adroitly scored; the composer strives for - and largely achieves - a psychological thriller of visceral impact. Director Scott Schwartz effectively staged the action on Heidi Ettinger's marvel of a set - a revolving Victorian house of semi-transparent Lucite walls evocatively lit by David Lander with smart costumes by Alejo Vietti. Valéry Ryvkin conducted a well-cast ensemble [that] lavished tremendous dedication on the work. Lauren Flanigan gave a brilliant performance as Myra, blending vocal vibrancy and poignant fragility with luminous results."
– Georgia Rowe / Opera News
- "In crafting his first opera, "Seance on a Wet Afternoon," Stephen Schwartz combines everything he knows about Broadway songwriting and Hollywood scoring with a lyrical streak rarely seen from the composer. Those gifts beautifully serve this quirkily Freudian ghost story. If Schwartz isn't exactly breaking new ground here, his assured, evocative melodies offer an oasis of melody and meaning. Heidi Ettinger's marvelous multilevel representation of the Foster dwelling spins in either direction to afford multiple perspectives, and transparent walls are suitable for ghostly drop-bys. Throughout, David Lander's lights exploit the ominous overlaps between the normal and paranormal, picking up the surrounding floor-to-ceiling silver-beaded curtains simultaneously evoking a gypsy's doorway and the shimmering, saddening rain."
– Bob Verini / Variety
- "Stephen Schwartz and Opera Santa Barbara have pulled off the season's first major coup with this world premiere... Boldly beautiful in its conception and staging, 'Séance on a Wet Afternoon' takes audiences on a wild, suspenseful ride. Maestro Ryvkin and his orchestra gave Schwartz's gorgeous score a splendid reading and all the major roles were sung with gusto. Heidi Ettinger's truly magical sets nearly stole the show. The two-story home was a fantastic mindspace that alternated from opaque to transparent, spun and lit up in a variety of configurations, with enormous beaded curtains suggesting drops of San Francisco rain at one moment, and the hazy boundary between the living and the dead at another... This Séance is a must-see."
- Charles Donelan / SB Independent
Photo and Video Gallery
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The Granada Theatre
1214 State Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Box Office: 805.899.2222
Cast & Credits
Click on bolded names to view artist bios.
- Composer: Stephen Schwartz
- Stage Director: Scott Schwartz
- Conductor: Valéry Ryvkin
- Set Design: Heidi Ettinger
- Lighting Design: David Lander
- Costume Design: Alejo Vietti
- Choreographer: Matt Williams
- Executive Producer: Michael Jackowitz
CastMyra Foster: Lauren Flanigan
- Bill Foster: Kim Josephson
- Mrs. Clayton: Hila Plitmann
- Mr. Clayton: John Kimberling
- Inspector Watts: Craig Hart
- Arthur: Aaron Refvem
- Adriana: Kelsey Lee Smith
- Irish Tenor/Mr. Bennett: Michael Marcotte
- Mrs. Wintry: Jane Shaulis
- Miss Rose: Caroline Worra
- Mr. Cole: Benjamin Brecher
- Policeman: Bray Wilkins