Reviews for Séance

Backstage Review: Séance on a Wet Afternoon

“Directed with intelligence and insight by his son, Scott Schwartz, and powerfully delivered by a uniformly top-flight cast, ‘Séance’ is a welcome addition to the modern opera canon.”

Superconductor Blog: “The Psychic Fiend’s Network”

“[Schwartz’s] sweet tunes develop into poisonous flowers of sound, acquiring new, and sinister meaning as the story hurtles toward the inevitable. If more modern American operas sounded like Séance, there would be less hand-wringing about the art form dying out.”

Philadelphia Inquirer: “N.Y. City Opera’s ‘Séance on a Wet Afternoon'”

David Patrick Stearns’ review completes the nearly impossible task of making a chinese water torture comparison into a compliment:

“Taking a cue from the creepy simplicity of John Barry’s film score, Schwartz maintained the clarity of intent and lack of abstraction of his Broadway musicals (Wicked, Godspell, Pippin, etc.), but strayed far from the strict forms of Broadway song. At its best, his light touch becomes cumulatively excruciating, more like Chinese water torture than American waterboarding. You’re drawn in under false, reassuring pretenses that everybody is basically nice and nobody will die. But that’s not how it ends.”