Il Postino


Scenic Designer: Caite Hevner; Costume Designer: Martin T. Lopez; Lighting Designer: Josh Epstein
Lawrence Edelson, Director
Opera Saratoga - 2016
Photos by Gary David Gold and Caite Hevner

“Every summer there is one production that is so good that you want everyone to see it. This year that production is “Il Postino” at Opera Saratoga... This is a funny, romantic work that is both joyful and enormously touching... The entire cast is perfect... Making the production more sensational is Lawrence Edelson’s direction as he uses Caite Hevner’s simple but evocative two-tiered set design to perfection. Josh Epstein’s lighting design is magical making powerful moments more powerful and gentle scenes very romantic. All of this and a superb, unobtrusive orchestra, led by conductor James Lowe that serves a score that captures everything that makes life worth living. My only complaint is that Opera Saratoga only presents the work three times in the season - meaning I probably won’t be able to see it again. I can’t, but you should.”

- The Saratogian

”Never before at Opera Saratoga have all aspects of a production been so consistently strong and seamlessly integrated, as with Daniel Catán’s Il Postino... Stage director Lawrence Edelson and other members of the new production were friends with the composer and have obviously poured heart and soul into their effort. In the title role, the fine tenor Daniel Montenegro grows from timid to buoyant and ultimately brave. Tenor Richard Troxwell sings the part of Neruda with a mix of wisdom and discovery. Soprano Cecilia Violetta López has a radiant voice and her acting is both seductive and soulful. The action takes place on a small Italian island and Caite Hevner’s single unit set is copiously draped with fishing nets. Thanks to some subtle lighting by Josh Epstein and varied blocking by Edelson, the eye remains continually engaged... Il Postino delivers First Class.”

- The Times Union

”The heart of the opera is the relationship of the two tenor leads, and authentic chemistry between them is obligatory. Such was in ample supply between Richard Troxell’s wonderfully seasoned and ironic Neruda (a role originated by Placido Domingo) and Daniel Montenegro’s touchingly diffident, awkward, puppy-clumsy Mario. The two performers negotiated with thrilling musicality their several set pieces, culminating with a heart-rending finale that merged Troxell’s mature lyric sound with Montenegro’s uniquely youthful spinto in a remarkable tenor duet surely unparalleled in the literature, and impossible to forget. The women in these men’s lives were performed with ardor, honesty, and supple allure by Sandra López and Cecilia Violetta López. Edelson’s flawless direction was brilliantly abetted by conductor James Lowe’s illumination of the coruscating score.”

- La Scena Musicale

The cast, which was small, was uniformly excellent... Director Lawrence Edelson got the best out of his singers... what made this production remarkable was the quality of acting. It was so natural that the capacity crowd was drawn into Mario’s quest to learn to write poetry, into the joy of his wedding to Beatrice, and to the sadness of the final act. Who knew that a duet about metaphors between two tenors could be riveting?...With comments heard at the two intermissions like “I’m overwhelmed,” “I love those two men,” and “what a clever use of space,” it was not surprising that the capacity crowd gave the cast huge applause, cheers and a standing ovation.”

- The Daily Gazette