“Janai Brugger, whose bright clear sound provided lovely contrast with Radvanovsky in the first act, was appropriately nervous and frenetic as she tried to escape this doomed marriage. She reappeared to die a gruesome, skin-melting death in Act III, stretched out on a table in one of the most striking images of the production.”
“One can take pleasure in the music as music, however, and become caught up in the dramatic intensity of the lyrical flights of Yelena Dyachek and Andrew Bidlack as the young lovers, which partially compensated for the libretto’s weakness…Bidlack provided one of the highlights of the afternoon with Paolo’s serenade. He and Dyachek ratcheted up the tension in their crucial scene, building from the innocent reading of an Arthurian tale to a torrent of passion culminating in the chorus’ orgasmic moans.”
“Under the baton of Ari Pelto—returning to Utah Opera after last season’s La Tragedie de Carmen—the Utah Symphony shimmered and buzzed with energy, propelling the nautical adventure forward with a strong rhythmic drive. The strings and brass blended particularly well in the overture, creating a rich full sound…”
“The only one who really convinced was tenor Hubert Francis, who went “all in” in the role of the plump and neurotic Herod. His intense presence on stage gave the show a much-needed dramatic focus…”
About Deborah Sanders
Deborah Sanders has worked in the international world of performing arts for over 30 years. Starting in New Zealand where she was born, she worked her way through all the backstage disciplines—lighting, sound, props and stage mechanics—experience that culminated in the role of Production and Lighting Manager on The Rocky Horror Show with international artists which toured NZ for six months. She became Acting Manager of Wellington’s State Opera House during an ownership transition when the venue hosted some of the biggest names in global entertainment.