Recent Press

"Lyric Opera of Chicago has not only brought together an outstanding roster of soloists to fill the parts, but the company has also mounted in this new production a splendid scenic backdrop and sets reminiscent of sixteenth-century Spain"

Salvatore Calomino for OPERA TODAY, Oct, 10, 2009

"Ernani is a rip-roaring production, an irresistible gem that is brought to thrilling life in Lyric Opera's stunning production"

Todd Shuman for OPERA ONLINE, Oct, 10, 2009

" a live wire throwing off sparks, Sacramento Opera's production sizzles with potent singing and crisp, smart direction. The result was the delivery of the best production this company has staged in recent memory. Condemi asks his singers to honor all the broad comic strokes while also delivering the tiniest of dramatic inflections. Typically you get the first but not the second in such productions. In this production, acting is no poor stepchild to singing"

Edward Ortiz for SACRAMENTO BEE, Feb, 2, 2010

"Lyric Opera has done immeasurable service to the cause of Early Verdi by creating a stylish new production of "Ernani". Stage director Jose Maria Condemi hit the ground running with his intelligent staging of the first scene, the bandit's chorus. For the rest of the opera, we move indoors into the elegant interiors designed by Scott Marr. In a coup de theatre as King Carlo stands on the tomb, it sinks into the ground as the church hierarchy enters the chamber to invest Carlo with the robes and symbols of the Emperor's power. The Lyric's production was an unqualified success musically, dramatically, and visually."

William Burnett for OPERA WARHORSES, Oct, 10, 2009

"STRIKING... Condemi proved that a director can follow all of Puccini's explicit stage directions and still make interesting innovations in the stage action. He approaches staging as do several contemporary stage directors, such as David McVicar. Each member of the chorus or extra in a non-speaking role becomes a personality with an individual story. Such details are seen in the second act as the police functionaries interact with the masked specialist in torture and the judge who observes the proceedings in the interest of the state. But in Tosca it is absolutely crucial to be innovative only where one is not obstrusive on the opera?s traditions. Condemi's Tosca, as  his Chicago's Tristan und Isolde, was a brilliant rethinking of how to move people around these familiar settings."

William for OPERA WARHORSES, Jun, 20, 2009

"RIVETING... powerful, haunting and exquisitely crafted, Cincinnati Opera presented a new concept directed by Jose Maria Condemi. It was an artistic triumph and one of the most riveting musical experiences this city has ever witnessed"

Janelle Gelfand for CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, Jul, 20, 2009