There’s a lovely rave for The Manga Flute at Repeat Performances, a website I hadn’t come across before. Some excerpts:
… [T]he ever-adventurous West Edge Opera commissioned a complete and artistic reworking of this staple of the stage, re-titled The Manga Flute, with a poetic and fanciful English libretto by David Scott Marley. The opening … was not only a success, but surprising in the scope of its originality.
… fetchingly illustrated in backdrops by Megan Willis …
The magic of the comic book format was as unlikely as it was an effective vehicle for our time, while the wind score accommodated the vocal range without sacrificing the meaty overtures.
(Did he mean overtones? Only one overture.) And:
[T]he real success of this venture was at least partly due to the talented cast, led by Eugene Brancoveanu as Papageno. I have no idea why that huge-voiced and velvet-tongued baritone is still in the Bay Area, instead of piling up fame and fortune at the Met or La Scala, but I suspect he chooses creativity over earthly desires …
The princess Pamina was played to the hilt as a blue-haired manga vision, by Heidi Moss Sali … with the charm and purity that also makes her a darling of concert repertoire. Opposite her, Tamino bumbled about as a briefcase-toting Tokyo businessman who painfully transforms into her hero, sung with warmth and a sense of natural ease by tenor Darron James Flagg. And Elyse Nakajima popped out amazing high notes with crystal clarity in that most difficult of all coloratura soprano parts, the vengeful Queen of the Night.
At first it was surprising how many young children attended, but it was a great fit for young audiences …
Is Repeat Performances a new website? Not many reviews up. Nice to see they plan to cover theater and dance as well as music and opera.