"I love to tell stories and I love great music, and I can't imagine a better blend of the two! That I get to do it for a living constantly astonishes me, no exaggeration."
"Treachery, swordfights, murders, wild women in the woods telling the future…what isn't to love? And the way Verdi tells the tale musically, he really makes my job easy – I just have to listen to what the music is asking of us."
"The biggest thing is believing yourself that the character is real, is alive. Then it draws on your own experiences, your own emotions, in order to communicate."
"I hope audiences will walk away inspired, with renewed strength to fight back against the oppression of marginalized communities."
It’s a truly original idea. Two performers (a mezzo soprano and baritone,) portraying two sides of the same coin: a transgender character named Hannah. Born a boy and dressed like a boy in sneakers and a letterman jacket, Hannah (in the baritone phase of their life) secretly wears a blouse underneath because “it feels so right,” as they deliver their newspapers on a paper route.
But even with the small missteps, Odyssey Opera once again hit a home run. La Belle Hélène is that rare Offenbach operetta that doesn’t necessarily run like a clockwork mouse in terms of efficiency, but with the right cast it can still prove to be a fun, lighthearted evening at the opera.
As messy as the plot of Orlando is, this approach worked for this opera just as well as it has in previous seasons, and the result was rather a joy to watch that it became rather easy to turn the brain off and just enjoy the opera as it is.
Opera composers who write their own libretti are rare and with good reason. Musicians train in the land of notes and chords but structuring a good piece of theatre requires a different skill set. In the case of The Impossible She, presented by Rhymes with Opera (as part of the New York Opera Fest) composer Daniel Thomas Davis should have stuck with what he does best.
It is an increasingly rare occasion to feel moved in the way I was watching this performance when I go to the opera now. Perhaps I'm spoiled; too much of a good thing, and all that.
"Tina Fey said 'If you want to be a screenwriter, take an acting class to get a sense of what you’re asking actors to do.' It's another perfect quote from one of my writing idols, and my performance experience definitely informs hypothetical staging."