Set Design: Phillip Lienau
Costume Design: Candace Frank
Lighting Design: Marnie Cumings
Conductor: Dean Williamson
All photos copyright Alabastro Photography

Fauré, Pénélope
Vespertine Opera Theater
Meany Studio Theater
2015

Vespertine Opera Theater, UW School of Music and Philharmonia Northwest are doing a great service to music in Seattle by presenting a riveting production of Fauré’s rarely performed, only opera Penelope. It’s well executed, well sung, well played and well staged, and relevant in today’s warlike world.

...In Miller’s staging the first act is uncomfortable to watch, with the rough, lustful suitors treating the ladies as fair bait; and with disrespectful, sometimes menacing, even violent behavior toward Penelope who also comes in for her share of pawing. The suitors’ acting is all too realistic of what we have heard of conquering warriors today, and the ladies’ shrinking, and Penelope’s frozen distaste are equally clear. The performances are strong on all sides.

...Penelope’s and Ulysses’ efforts to reconnect after years apart, even though she is not quite sure who he is, are again reminiscent of today’s soldiers coming home changed, to changed wives. In the end, of course, Ulysses triumphs over the suitors in a test of strength.