Directed by Peter Robel
Music direction by Nick Sula
At Boho Theatre, Chicago
Amazing harmonies from the six person cast fuels Guettel’s chamber opera
It is rare that a chamber opera derived from a song cycle actually works to tell a story but director Peter Robel and music director Nick Sula have accomplished just that! Their Myths & Hymns is a gem!
In 21 songs, they tell the story of a young couple, recently married with different outlooks on life. She is a Christian and he a believer in the Greek and Roman mythological heroes. He finds personal accomplishments and individuality paramount, she likes the community from her Christian faith. Both seek understanding of their universe to which they bring a child into. Elizabeth Telford and Kevin Webb are the couple. Sydney Charles, Matt McNabb, Stephanie Souza and Neil Stratman roundout the terrific cast. This cast did yeoman work in their solos, duets that emerged into 4, 5 & 6 part harmonies that made Adam Guettels complex score soar to the heavens.
The songs range from folk, electronic jazz and piano ballad to gospel and musical theater styles with lyrics quite complicated to sing requiring a blend of pop, classical and opera singing styles that was deftly rendered by this terrific cast. During the 65 minute one-act opera, each of the cast had their moments to exhibit their strong, accurate and compelling vocal dexterity. The rich musical atmosphere conveyed the emotions and deeply felt meanings of each scene. We get the story as much through the lyrics as from the musical tone. We are easily transported to the contemplation of questions of existence through the complex and exhilarated music by Adam Guettel.
This is an art piece of the highest quality! Guettel’s compositions are brilliant and BoHo’s cast navigated the difficult music and lyrics expertly as the show was so polished you’d think that it was playing for months. This is a rare, and unique musical experience that begs to be seen.
Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast
Date Reviewed: jun 19, 2014
For more info checkout the Myths & Hymns page at theatreinchicago.com
At BoHo Theatre’s Heartland Studio, 7016 N. Glenwood, Chicago, IL, call 866-811-4111, www.bohotheatre.com, tickets $20, Thursdays thru Saturdays at 8 pm,Sundays at 2 pm, running time is 65 minutes without intermission, through July 13, 2014