Susannah Polk: Cynthia Clayton
Reverend Blitch: Hector Vasquez
Sam Polk: Brandon Jovanovich
Little Bat Mc Lean: Wayne Davis
Stage Director: Jose Maria Condemi
Conductor: Michael Morgan
Set Designer: Cameron Anderson
Lighting designer: James Aitken
Costume Designer: Barbara Ann Gherzi
Make-up Designer: Denise Gutierrez
Chorus Master: John Kendall Bailey
Choreographer: Howard Sayette
"OH, WHAT A FINE SUSANNAH … STAGING ENHANCES THE STORY" …Festival Opera's powerful new production boasts the same musical and dramatic assurance that enlivened so many of its earlier offerings… Saturday night's performance was a keeper, marked by first-rate singing, starkly evocative stage direction by Jose Maria Condemi and strong conducting… the production wisely underscores the plain-spokenness of Floyd's writing to create an effect of rough-hewn eloquence?"
Joshua Kosman for the SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, Aug, 1, 2002
"WELL-TOLD TALE OF TREACHERY… EXCELLENCE IN ALL ASPECTS … Carlisle Floyd surely would be ecstatic with the riveting production of his masterpiece at Festival Opera… The show benefited from excellent direction… Jose Maria Condemi's production built on Floyd's taut pacing. Condemi has marvelous cinematic eye, especially useful in crowd scenes and his use of slow motion movement to shift focus is effective and wholly in keeping with the music. He also has done excellent work with the actors; the singers are emotionally committed and clearly thinking what's going on and they actually listen to each other"
Michael Zwiebach for SAN FRANCISCO CLASSICAL VOICE, Aug, 1, 2002
"AIN'T IT A MEMORABLE NIGHT? … Those who were present at the opening night of Floyd's Susannah must agree that the production surpassed anything that one had seen or heard at the Dean Lesher Center in recent memory… The simple and elegant production design by Jose Maria Condemi features atmospheric sets, costumes and projections?I was reminded once again how acting and singing are inseparably fused in opera at its finest, and that one would be hard pressed to tell where costumes, make-up, lighting, acting and singing severally end or begin ? infused as they are into a grand, organic whole that is opera"
Truman C. Wang for CLASSICAL VOICE REVIEW, Aug, 1, 2002
"FESTIVAL OPERA'S PRODUCTION REVERBERATES WITH PASSION, CONFLICT AND DRAMA … the power of this production reflects Jose Maria Condemi's effective stage direction. Susannah's nude bathing scene is exquisitely presented; in the final scene, a creatively deft piece of symbolism, a broken swing, whispers about the loss of innocence"
Alice Grace Chalip for THE OAKLAND TRIBUNE, Aug, 1, 2002
"Jose Maria Condemi's adroit stage direction and coaching of the principal characters, as well as the well honed chorus, galvanized the production giving it intelligence and cohesiveness while leaving room for a certain amount of spontaneity"
Patricia Beach Smith for THE SACRAMENTO BEE, Aug, 1, 2002
"Festival Opera's opening-night performance of Carlisle Floyd's Susannah offered a level of artistic accomplishment worthy of a major company. Jose Maria Condemi's stage direction consistently added import to the proceedings"
JASON SERINUS for OPERA NEWS (Online), Aug, 1, 2002