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Heartbeat Opera

Critical Acclaim for Heartbeat Opera

“Bold and vivid. This small, adventurous company strives to make opera a visceral, intimate and immediate ‘encounter.’ Their alterations to masterpieces aim to get past dated elements that can mute the raw emotions and the timeless issues coursing within the original works.”
Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times

“A categorically imaginative company, [Heartbeat] has made its name with vital reshapings of repertory operas. A radical endeavor — less pint-sized grand opera than an appropriation of the genre for theatre of the black-box type.”
Alex Ross, The New Yorker

“Pioneers…reformatting the opera experience from the grand to the deliberately intimate. Ingenious. [A] radical transformational approach to the standard repertoire.”
Heidi Waleson, The Wall Street Journal

“One of the most agile and dynamic companies on New York’s indie opera scene. Every Heartbeat event feels like a happening. Judging by the average audience age and enthusiasm level, the company is succeeding.”
Joanne Sydney Lessner, Opera News

“Urgent, rigorous, and young, Heartbeat Opera poses another beacon of hope against New York City’s gloomy operatic landscape. Heard and Proske are a pair of auteurs to watch for. Their intelligence and warmth saturate the respective works, making for a thoroughly enjoyable evening at the opera house.”
Patrick Clement James, Parterre Box

“There is nobody out there on the NYC independent opera scene offering such a complete package at this level. They’ve got the singers. They’ve got the acting chops. They’ve got the directorial vision. Scale and means do not matter when opera gets this intimate and is so perfectly crafted in each and every aspect, it is indeed distilled to its essence.”
Allegri Con Fuoco

Acclaim for Carmen
“The gritty modern production … and smoldering Carmen (Sishel Claverie) won me over. Then, at the end, after Don Jose brutally murdered her and the house went dark, the lights came on, revealing the bloodied, shaken Carmen staring at the audience. After a dramatic pause, Ms. Claverie finally sang the “Habenera.” Now that was a riveting and unexpected moment. ”
Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times – Best Classical Music Moments of the Week

“Gripping as music theater in its own right, not just as a gloss on a (straw man) “traditional” reading. Proske set out to examine and challenge the all-too-timely oppositions structured around borders of all types. This was an anti-touristic Carmen …”
Joanne Sydney Lessner, Opera News

“Proske moved her brilliant Carmen to the Mexico-Texas border, where she let Don José patrol as a US border guard and Bizet-cell phone ringtones played a key role.”
David Shengold, Opernwelt

“[Proske’s] productions are full-fledged dramas, affecting their audiences as complicated, well-thought-through, emotion-packed narratives as well as occasions for expressive song. … I have never felt [this special variety of theatrical magic] at an opera to quite the same extent. Or rather, I hadn’t until I saw Proske’s Carmen.”
Wendy Lesser, The Threepenny Review

Acclaim for Fidelio
“The dedication and achievement of all participants is remarkable. High standard of music-making … gripping and entertaining.”
David Shengold, Opernwelt

“Imaginatively deconstructed and reconceived. Ingenious seven-player arrangements of their orchestral scores…[with] artful transitions.”
Heidi Waleson, The Wall Street Journal

“I saw Fidelio , and was blindsided by its impact. Leading the cast were Nelson Ebo, grittily affecting as Stan, and Kelly Griffin, giving a confident, full-voiced performance as Leah. But the heartbreaking centerpiece of the production was the chorus ‘O welche Lust.’ Heard and Schlosberg refused to coat this wrenching spectacle in feel-good sentiment. Mindful of American reality, they discarded the opera’s happy ending and imposed a bleak coda, with a scrambled, dissonant collage of Fidelio music and other Beethoven snippets to match.”
Alex Ross, The New Yorker

“Urgent, powerful, and poignant. I nearly missed Heartbeat Opera’s Fidelio, and I’m so glad I didn’t. The production, staged smartly, deftly navigated the tricky art of adaptation with new English-language dialogue.”
Joshua Barone, The New York Times – Best Classical Music Moments of the Week