REVIEWS

Il sogno di Scipione

Apr 22, 2001

The New York Observer

Charles Michener

"Opera can transfigure in unexpected ways. One of the most promising new ventures around is the Henry Street Chamber Opera...There is much to cheer about the arrival of this new company in one of the city's rare jewel-like settings-and elegant 350-seat auditorium...Until now, New York has lacked a true chamber-opera company capable of mining the largely neglected repertory of small-scale works from the Baroque era to the present. Such works can only be properly staged in an intimate setting-a virtue that cannot be claimed by either the New York State Theater or the Metropolitan Opera House. Moreover, the city has badly needed a new opportunity for young singers to show what they're made of before landing at the overly scrutinized New York City Opera and the Met, as well as for stage directors to let loose their imaginations without fear of arousing the sort of booing from the crypt that attends so much radical innovation at those houses...

"What made the evening such a delight was the sheer energy of the enterprise-Mr. Goren's fleet-footed conducting of a well-trained Baroque ensemble...But the really transfiguring element was the singing...[The entire cast, which sang] with so much beauty of sound and intensity of projection brought opening night's largely uptown, opera-jaded audience to its feet, and sent me out into wherever I was, impatient to hear what else this intrepid little company has up its sleeve."