The result is a viscerally overwhelming performance of an intimate work, written for eight singers and a 13-piece orchestra. That these college-age singers throw themselves into it with such uninhibited emotion and physicality makes this spare, modern-dress production unsettlingly immediate. - Anthony Tommasini in NY TIMES, The Rape of Lucretia
...Absurdly funny yet genuinely insightful...a vibrant performance of the piece, directed by Mary Birnbaum. - Anthony Tommasini in NY TIMES, The Classical Style
Perfect for the kids and immensely satisfying for any grownup operaphile, Hansel und Gretel is a stunner, perhaps OH's most perfect realization. OH has found a director of real quality in Mary Birnbaum, whose eye for the telling gesture, the perfect comic effect, or visual snap brings the fairy tale into our laps. - D.L. Groover in HOUSTON PRESS, Hänsel und Gretel
Mary Birnbaum's thoughtful direction was rich with imaginative touches. - George Loomis in OPERA MAGAZINE, Eugene Onegin
This is a different kind of Onegin, more personal and rawer. - James Oestreich in NY TIMES, Eugene Onegin
For Hansel and Gretel:
#2 of Houston's Best Operas of the Year List, Houstonia Magazine
For The Classical Style:
San Francisco Gate, by Joshua Kosman, 6/23/2014
"It's not the sort of material that lends itself easily to the stage. Yet Friday's superb performance in Hertz Hall at UC Berkeley - the headline event in a long weekend's worth of music that constituted the Ojai North festival - was a dazzling display of inventiveness and broad comical delight."
Mercury News, by Richard Scheinin, 6/20/14
"The Classical Style: An Opera (of Sorts)" is an opera for real. Friday at the Ojai North Music Festival, it also proved to be an unexpectedly witty, illuminating and all-around delightful 70 minutes of entertainment. The Classical Style" is gorgeous to hear, and filled with laughs. And the opera is deep."
O.C. Register, by Timonthy Mangan, 6/15/14