Selected Praise

2018 Spring Festival | Reviews


Raves for OperaDelaware’s 2018 Festival, a celebration of Puccini's Il Trittico featuring seven acts over two weekends    

For a comprehensive list of reviews, please see News & Reviews.


"'Il Tabarro' and 'Suor Angelica' opened strongly and movingly on April 28, thanks to Crystal Manich’s probing, cogent direction and Anthony Barrese’s finely rehearsed, judiciously paced orchestral work. (The tough initial Seine music let us know we were in sensitive hands musically.) Stephen Dobay’s clever set was essentially an angled rear wall that enclosed the working lives of the barge (and later convent). Paris’s stylized moon became Italy’s stylized sun; Tláloc López-Watermann lit with atmospheric acuity...All three 'Tabarro' principals acted (and interacted) very credibly. Eleni Calenos (Giorgietta) proved a find, a real verista who delivered the goods..." — David Shengold, Opera News

"Tabarro’s success depends on a baritone with a dramatic range that can believably change (in a literal heartbeat) from sympathetic to a man capable of ultimate revenge. A perfect Verdi baritone with a chocolaty chiaroscuro of both darkness and brilliance, Youngblood delivered everything the work requires in a masterful interpretation... Calenos gave an exceptionally musical and heartfelt interpretation of a woman torn between her desire to be faithful and her need for an independent life. And as her paramour, tenor Vickers has a romantic presence and the ample, bright squillo to ride Puccini’s lush orchestration... Like Tabarro, [Suor Angelica] depends on the musical strength and dramatic gifts of its lead. As before, this operatic necessity is magnificently fulfilled. In her tour-de-force performance, Calenos (a powerful, rich spinto soprano) traces Angelica’s heartbreaking descent from anguish into trancelike despair... Around these leading performers, OperaDelaware has gathered a first-rate company of uniformly excellent singers, well matched and fully invested in their roles. Maestro Anthony Barrese, OperaDelaware’s music director, led his fine orchestra in perfectly calibrated renditions of both great — and greatly different — scores." — Gail ObenrederBroad Street Review

Ms. Calenos... had me at her first aria. She has a lovely, strong soprano voice and sings and acts well, but the remarkable thing about her is a rare quality of her voice; it is a natural for conveying pathos, a little reminiscent of that special quality that Maria Callas possessed... Mr. Youngblood was especially impressive in the role of Michele, conveying his sympathetic softer side and his fearful darker one, and Mr. Vickers stood out on several arias requiring impassioned singing. The supporting cast was excellent...” —


Photos by Joe del Tufo / Moonloop Photography

PRAISE FOR gianni schicchi & buoso's ghost

“ ... Sean Anderson made a splendid, rumbustious and healthy-voiced Schicchi, with keen spoken diction in the epilogue(s).  Kirk Dougherty reveled exuberantly in Rinuccio’s high tessitura.”— David Shengold, Opera News

"OperaDelaware is on a laudable course. What’s more, its productions are musically accomplished... Ching conducts both ends of the double bill, his opera and Puccini’s, with effervescence... Sean Anderson makes a commanding Schicchi... The staging of Duchovnay’s aria, “O mio babbino caro,” is especially clever. – Steve Cohen, The Cultural Critic

The ensemble work here calls for intricate, exacting singing, and the company achieves both, as well as generating an enormous amount of just plain fun... The star of this show is, of course, the wondrous Schicchi. As the foxy title character, Anderson employs every trick in any baritone’s book — musical or comic — with ease and delight... The accomplished singer creates a clever character that never drops into caricature. This is a demanding role in many ways, including a bag of vocal tricks, and watching Anderson romp through the evening with seeming ease was one of the night’s great treats... Conductor Michael Ching — leading a zippy, on-the-money orchestra... continues the nonstop action, inventively citing Puccini themes and various opera tropes. All the characters and company members are back in full and in force, still creating operatic mayhem.”— Gail Obenreder, Broad Street Review


Photos by Joe del Tufo / Moonloop Photography

Rossini's La Cenerentola & Semiramide


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