Review: UW Opera Scores with “Transformations”

University Opera’s “Transformations” called “breathtaking” by critic

News bulletin: Isthmus reviewer Jay Rath has called University Opera’s new show, Transformations, an “astonishing success,” and we wanted to let you know!

“Ronis’s direction (he also serves as visiting director of the opera program) is richly inventive, with snippets of choreography throughout, including a conga line and a parody of the Supremes. The staging is delightful, using the full height of the set to frame and reframe action,” Rath writes. “This entire production would easily compare well to any professional opera company.”

Read story here: http://isthmus.com/arts/stage/university-opera-transformations/

Transformations is a chamber opera based on poetry by Pulitzer Prize winner Anne Sexton, set to music by Conrad Susa. Sexton’s writing was confessional and often confrontational, and she drew on themes present in her own life, mental illness being just one. She took her own life in 1974, shortly after the Minnesota Opera premiered Transformations.

Despite the grim theme, the opera is often quite hilarious, and the cast is not only talented but enacts the humor with perfect timing.

The opera is directed by interim opera director David Ronis, with a chamber orchestra conducted by Kyle Knox (featured last February in this newsletter). Performers are sopranos Erin Bryan, Nicole Heinen and Cayla Rosché, mezzo-soprano Rebecca Buechel, tenors Dennis Gotkowski, Michael Hoke and William Ottow, baritone Brian Schneider and guest bass-baritone Benjamin Schultz. The design team includes David Gipson, lighting; Hyewon Park and Sydney Krieger, costumes; and Greg Silver, technical director. The production stage manager will be Delaney Egan and additional student staff includes Thomas Stone, master electrician, and James Dewhurst, assistant master electrician.

Don’t miss your chance to see Transformations! Tickets may be purchased at the Memorial Union Box Office, or at the door day of show. General Admission: $25; Seniors: $20; Students: $10.

Read our original news release here.

Performances:

Sunday, March 13, 3:00 PM, Music Hall.

Tuesday, March 15, 7:30 PM, Music Hall.

Above: Nicole Heinen as Rapunzel in Transformations. Photograph by Michael R. Anderson.

 

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