Composed by: Kevin Puts
Libretto by: Mark Campbell
Directed by: Michael Shell
Opera San Jose, CA
*West Coast Premiere
Conducted by: Joseph Marcheso
Set and Projections by: Steven C. Kemp
Lighting by: Pamila Z. Gray
Costumes by: Melissa Nicole Torchia
"It is difficult to know where to begin to praise the stunning achievement of Opera San Jose’s West Coast premiere of Silent Night..Set and projection designer Steven Kemp has wisely chosen to suggest locations, rather than attempting realism. Mr. Kemp’s most beautifully realized effect was to create three large wagons to serve as the bunkers for the Scots, Germans and French. These long but narrow platforms had a skeletal wooden enclosure “box” that was just tall enough to suggest a trench dug in the ground. The succinct look suggested at once a prison and an exposed asylum of emotionally conflicted warriors. This important major playing space was augmented by simple additions, a few period chairs here, a chandelier there, that simply conveyed the necessary place."
"Puts’ well-crafted score, with an excellent libretto by Mark Campbell, draws the audience into the action, and a strong cast, effective staging by director Michael Shell and a shapely orchestral performance led by conductor Joseph Marcheso made Saturday’s performance an engrossing experience....Shell’s fluid production accommodates the opera’s shifts in time and locale. Set designer Steven Kemp has created a blasted landscape, with large bunkers that regroup to suggest trenches and headquarters."
"A highly inventive new set design by Steven Kemp..."
Eric A. Gordon