Vancouver Academy of Music
Susannah by Carlisle Floyd

Dates and Venue 13-16 June | Metro Theatre, Vancouver

Reviewer Ed Farolan

Written during the McCarthy era, Susannah is based loosely on the Apocryphal tale of Susannah and the Elders. Floyd in this opera criticizes the hypocrisy of post-war Evangelists' tendency to moral self-righteousness.

This is a timely opera now that we've just finished with elections, and we see this tendency among BC politicians who think their points of view are better than their opponents'. Whether it's religion or politics, it's the same self-righteousness.

For a student production, I felt the singers and the orchestra did pretty well. VAM does an opera as it closes its schoolyear, and this year, Susannah was a good choice, as it reflects the political atmosphere of BC.

Soprano Dora Brooks (Susannah) worked hard, I could see. Not only does she have the talent, but she has the voice range that could break crystal glasses. Furthermore, her timing was superb in her rendition of this role in last Friday's perormance.Baritone Olin Blithc (Lars Klotz) likewise did a superb job. His long aria as he gave his sermon about sinners and forgiveness was powerful.Tenor Joel Cummings (Sam) did a fantastic job as Susannah's brother. Damon Jang's choreography was excellent. He had actors coming in and out of the auditorium, giving the three-dimensional effect of this opera.

Kudos to Artistic Director David Meek, Conductor John Asenault, Director David Walsh and all the the student orchestra members and members of the opera ensemble for a successful production.

© 2013 Ed Farolan