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Singer’s Notes 129: The Consul, the Tramp, and America’s Sweetheart at Oldcastle; Hamlet at Shakespeare & Co.; Kožená at Union College

Yet another success for this Company. There was vivid acting. Elizabeth Aspenlieder, as Mary Pickford, is an arresting actress, her voice resonant, her intentions clear. Ms. Aspenlieder enlivens every role she takes. She makes the character happen. There was an exceptional performance from David Joseph in the role of Charlie Chaplin. His work on the role, particularly the physical aspect of the character had a completeness which he imagined carefully and made his own.

David Snider, Ron Komora, Deb Borthwick, Abbey Maher, Rob Forgett and Kyra Fitzgerald in Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" at Hubbard Hall Center for the Arts and Education in Cambridge, N.Y. John Sutton / Hubbard Hall.

A Singer’s Notes 121: A Miscellany

So many things. First, you must get in your car, and go see Hubbard Hall Theatre Company’s The Crucible by Arthur Miller. The performances of David Andrew Snider and Erin Ouellette, the central couple of the drama, must be seen. Theirs were fully realized, lived in performances. Silence became a subtle participant. Their final dialogue was riveting. There was generosity between these actors. Not just listening, but generous listening, selfless listening.






David Hansen, Amanda Forsythe, and Nell Snaidas in Boston Early Music Festival’s production of Monteverdi’€™s ”L€’incoronazione di Poppea.” Photo Frank Siteman.

A Singer’s Notes 117: A Lion in Winter at Oldcastle, Tom Sawyer at Dorset, and BEMF’s Monteverdi Trilogy Online

Another outing for this rambling, aging play, this time a good one, expertly cast. The play itself leaves little to the imagination, the acting is all. Nigel Gore’s King Henry was a real tour-de-force. Unflagging energy, powerful and detailed at the same time, one of the best things I have seen him do. Let me say,at the outset,that I admire the whole troupe. They had done this over the top play in the afternoon, came back a few hours later, and gave it all they had. Christine Dekker made the role of Queen Eleanor her own. She gave a super detailed performance that only now and then turned sharp.






Frank Kelley, Tenor

A Singer’s Notes 116: the Wonderful Frank Kelley’s Schubert, Peter Schaffer and Paul Rudnick in Vermont

Let me say at the outset that Frank Kelley is one of my favorite singers. His sound is his own. Valuable singers sound like themselves, and no other. Mr. Kelley is a generous performer He gives it all he’s got. In this regard he reminds me of the great Norman Treigle. It was a frightening experience to be on stage with Treigle. So great was his concentration, you feared for him, and you feared for yourself. Mr. Kelley is a born story-teller.






Thomas Lawrence Toscano's Made in America, Part I: the Interview

A Singer’s Notes 99: Hubbard Hall’s 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and a Small, Brooklyn Opera Company Brings Two One-Acters to Oldcastle

Hubbard Hall’s 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee was a wild and wonderful evening. I admired most that the company and its director, David Snider, were able to take a show, based on repetition, one contestant after another, and keep it moving.






Tennessee Williams

A Singer’s Notes 97: It’s Hot Outside—Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Clicks at Oldcastle Theatre, Bennington

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is an obsessive work which makes wildly different demands on its actors. Renata Eastlick as Maggie starts us off which what amounts to a twenty-five to thirty-minute monologue. She did this superbly. It was just overbearing enough. Listening to her was the excellent Loren Dunn who played her husband Brick, and he has scarcely ten lines in the play. Often he is reduced to single syllables.






Julia Scott Carey, conductor of Gianni Schicchi

A Singer’s Notes 94: Local Excellence… and a Rare Unamplified Performance of a Broadway Musical!

Hubbard Hall Opera Theatre once again filled its house and earned rave applause for its production of Gianni Schicchi, by Giacomo Puccini. This opera which seems so straight out and comfortable is actually a very hard score, both vocally and orchestrally. It could fairly be called the most intricate of Puccini’s compositions. This is why it […]

Around the World in Eighty Days at the Oldcastle

The New Oldcastle Theatre, Bennington, Vermont: Around the World in Eighty Days

  It was splendid to enter the new Oldcastle Theatre. It was splendid to enter the new home of the Oldcastle Theatre Company in Bennington a few days ago. It is better in terms of sight lines, technical capability, and resonance, than their former space at the Bennington Arts Center. Here is a classic example […]