“Review: Fun-loving ‘Barber of Seville’ finds the joy in Rossini’s comedy”
“Madison Opera’s lighthearted production of “The Barber of Seville” makes clear why this bright, comic opera has been endlessly adapted for cartoon characters… It’s delightful to see that playfulness echoed in Doug Scholz-Carlson’s capable direction…
“A sense of farce marks Scholz-Carlson’s “Barber of Seville” as one for contemporary audiences, with shades of Gilbert and Sullivan and Monty Python in the mix. The script may not be terribly smart, but Scholz-Carlson is, adding visual tricks and inside jokes.”
“Opera review: ‘Barber of Seville’ is a laugh a minute
“Madison Opera’s presentation of “The Barber of Seville” is one of the funniest stage productions the community has seen in a long, long time. Much of the credit for that has to go to the director, Doug Scholz-Carlson, who managed to make slapstick classic…”In addition, many of these singers have worked together in operas around the country; they have an easy grace about them that precludes competition for the limelight.
“And that’s where Scholz-Carlson comes in.
“An opera that relies on counts disguising themselves as drunken soldiers and fake piano teachers is going to have a fair amount of slapstick comedy involved. But slapstick, when imposed on an opera – where the singers actually have to hit a range of notes – has to be done to perfection or it loses much of its power…
“I’ve been to a fair number of comic operas where the audience laughter seemed forced. Not at this production. The laughter was hearty and, at least where I was sitting, much of it seemed to come from young people.”
Photos: Will Liverman, John Irvin and Emily Fons
“…Douglas Scholz-Carlson would prove to be a gifted director, marrying the elements of reality with the magical beauty of the story everyone knows, bound together with the late French romanticism of Gounod’s lush score….”
“Mr. Scholz-Carlson’s staging of the overture is gorgeous; the two young lovers magically appear, and in a moment perish before our eyes. His talent with fight choreography is equally impressive. ”
–Broadway World Opera
“We did a little non-scientific poll. Christian Rodriguez and Brisa Ponce hung out on the light platform in front of the terrace during the first intermission and called the show “magical.” Phyllis Kung said it was “classic,” while Joseph Herda described it as “rich.” Ken Sanborn and Victoria Alvarez judged their evening at Romeo and Juliet “enchanting!”
“This was a remarkable production. I can’t enumerate the points that was done so brilliantly—there were just too many of them—but the best thing about the production (besides the incredible harmony of the acting pair of Doug Scholz-Carlson and Christopher Gerson) was its pacing. Unlike every other production of the play I’ve seen, this one deals with the material with a light, fast touch. It’s perfect. The audience gets everything—its enunciated clearly and played with dazzlingly—but nothing gets bogged down. As a result, the mix of humor and philosophy comes through much more powerfully.”
“‘Silent Night,’ at the Kauffman; the best of the combined arts”
“…the battle scenes were masterfully choreographed (Doug Scholz-Carlson).”
–Examiner.com on the Kansas City Lyric Opera Production
Pittsburgh Opera’s ‘Lucia’ is riveting production
“…The opera is famous for Lucia’s mad scene in the last act, but Pittsburgh Opera’s production directed by Doug Scholz-Carlson built to that climax with commitment from first note to last…” (Read the full review)
To tell a story in the theater, an actor allows the audience to witness an event that does not take place. If successful, what the audience believes they have seen is not what actually happened. A well choreographed and executed punch compresses this central truth of all good acting into a well-defined action on stage.
A punch that is too much like reality injures an actor. A punch that is too little like reality elicits laughter at a critical dramatic moment. An audience in the theater desires to be fooled but refuses to be deceived.
The art of fight choreography lies in knowing the difference and finding the balance.