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musicals and operas · southern california lyric theater · Ages 12+ · family friendly · world premiere · United States

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PETE RENFROE uncertified reviewer June 12, 2013
I saw AESOPERA this last Sunday June 9th and really love it! I have been to musical events at the Fringe before, but none had this type of musical and performance complexity! There is so much BEAUTY to this show! The mini operas pack a punch of Tragedy, Comedy, Irony and Wit. The show is well produced with visuals and high design that you usually do not see at the Fringe. The performers sang so Beautifully and acted with such truth, pathos and emotion ......... and many times were just damn funny! The music again was complex and would remind one of Sondheim ( great lyrics ) or Copland. The show runs an hour I believe ..... But Bravo! ... full review
WENDY STACKHOUSE uncertified reviewer June 13, 2013
I of course, loved this show. Outside of being married (full disclosure!) to Jeffrey Stackhouse, I've seen it & had a terrific time at many of its workshop incarnations. Jonathan Price's music is complex and meaty and beautiful. But the reason I'm here is Jeffrey has asked me to say: "Gods bless Amanda Maddox, whoever she be, but I'm the one who feels honored and constantly challenged working with these fine casts. Rather than their being inspired by me, I'm inspired by them on a night-to-night basis. The confidence comes from knowing how many pros there are around to catch, should ever we fall. -- But, yeah, thanks Amanda, you're obviously a sweet soul. Glad you liked it." And I (Wendy) couldn't recommend this show highly e... full review
ANONYMOUS uncertified reviewer June 13, 2013
Recently, I had the pleasure of seeing AESOPERA, performed at the Hollywood Fringe. Five mini-chamber operas based on AESOP's Fables. Each actor is worth noting. The comedic timing of each is impeccable; their singing and acting is undeniable. I enjoy all five but my favorites were The Fisher and the Wishes and The Inventor and the Riddle. I encourage you to go see this production ... full review
DARRELL JAMES uncertified reviewer June 14, 2013
AESOPERA was a great new experiences for the Hollywood Fringe. I love music, although I don't normally attend " Opera ". I tend to rule on the side of scores for film, broadway and jazz standards. My rule of thumb for the FRINGE is to go to one straight theater piece and one with music. Aesopera did not disappoint. The music by Jonathan Price ( not the actor ) was wonderful, layered, quirky in the best sense, cool and beautiful. The five operas based on Aesop's fables were so well crafted and acted out. The Sunday afternoon cast I saw sang so beautifully well ! AND they could Act equally as well ..... The actors amazingly never left the stage. It began and ended in the same place. I also loved the the look and colors of the whole production ... full review
ANONYMOUS certified reviewer June 25, 2013
Beautifully sung, thoughtfully staged, a delightful evening of opera. Opera on this small scale can fall into traps of seeming unproduced or more like a recital, but I think this production threaded the the needle beautifully. Jeffrey Stackhouse gave a really thoughtful performance and and Tania Solomon shone. While I love grand opera productions, it was refreshing to see a production focussed on the music. A welcome offering in the Fringe Festival.... full review
STEVEN RIFKIN uncertified reviewer June 15, 2013
I'll admit I came into this a little skeptical. I'm not a huge fan of big budget opera in the first place. Attaching the word "fringe" didn't help my expectations. And that is more or less why I am taking the time to review this production now. The show was great and a real surprise. The fables driving the book and music were unique and kept my attention and the actor's performances were quite good with a few standout and memorable measures. If you have the time this production is worth seeing.... full review
DARREN MANGLER certified reviewer June 26, 2013
Thank God for Jefferey Stackhouse! He is a powerhouse on stage. From a back-stabbing father to a bitter frog, Jeff brought incredible timing, acting and song. The other singers were very talented! The only gripe was I couldn't understand most of their words even though they were singing in English. The show itself was constantly trying. Trying to do what, I don't know, but I could see it trying. I'm glad I saw it. It should definitely be in the Fringe community. ... full review
WINDSOR SMITH uncertified reviewer June 16, 2013
I do enjoy some stagings of opera, although I'm more of a new composer buff. That was why I was intrigued to see Aesopera, and I can't say I was disappointed. The music swept me up into the stories, and the very talented actors/singers kept me there. Although I found some of the staging at odds with the meat of the story (especially in Frogs), I was very impressed with the voices I found, and the acting of several of the performers was simply outstanding. Like several of the other "reviewers," I was especially taken with *The Fisher and the Wishes* and *The Inventor and the Riddles,* but must admit a tear in my eye at the end of Queen, and over the sad plight of the lion in Wood Nymphs. Really, an exceptional day at the theater.... full review
HELEN ACOSTA uncertified reviewer June 16, 2013
Wow. See this show. It was emotional, funny and beautiful. Great Opera has this weird ability to short circuit my brain and I fall into moments of utter catharsis. The only drawback is that normally I have to sit through 3 hours of Opera (much of it not so exciting) to experience just a few of these moments. Not so with this show, both my hubby and I found ourselves utterly engrossed and, at times, opening weeping (loudly...sorry about that)in the front row. The cast was wonderful as were the book and music. I truly enjoyed the entire show. ... full review
SCOTT CLEVENGER uncertified reviewer June 16, 2013
While an operatic treatment of Aesop's Fables might seem either inappropriately highbrow, or a case of Reader's Theater gone mad, Aesopera is, in fact, a fast, fun, and surprisingly touching show. The conceit of using these timeless morality tales as a lens for viewing modern society works surprisingly well, since human nature doesn't appear to have changed noticeably since the the 5th Century B.C.E. With one brief tale flowing into the next, the show switches gears quickly and easily between satire (the witty evisceration of electoral politics in "The Frogs and The Crane") and tragedy (the sometimes deadly consequences of our assumptions about love and gender in "The Queen and The Dragon"). Benefiting from a lively score, gorgeous singin... full review