October 2, 2023

Gemma New’s production of “Susannah” with Opera Theatre of St. Louis named Best Opera

Best Opera: “Susannah”
By Sarah Fenske
Riverfront Times
October 2, 2023

A lot of people thought Opera Theatre of Saint Louis’ plans to adapt a long-lost Scott Joplin show would provide the opera season’s biggest impression — and yes, Treemonisha won new fans, while artistic director James Robinson also made a huge splash with his naughty, and brilliantly faithful, Tosca. But it was Susannah, a new production of the 1955 chestnut by Carlisle Floyd, that had opera fans agog this summer. It was one of those shows where everything seemed to come together brilliantly, from Janai Brugger’s star-making turn in the title role to the wonderfully evocative sets and gorgeous video projections to Patricia Racette’s sympathetic direction. Herself a former Susannah (at no less than the San Francisco Opera), Racette has an affinity for the material that shone through in details both big and small. No wonder this production was the talk of the town even in a year with plenty of worthy contenders.

Read the full article here.