The Saint of bleecker street

central city opera

July 2007

SET DESIGN CONCEPTION | Catherine Malfitano



LIGHTING DESIGN | David Martin Jacques

CONDUCTOR | Hal France

CAST | Christina Martos | Derek Taylor | Kirstin Chavez | Philip Cokorinos | Christine Brandes

PHOTOGRAPHY | Mark Kiryluk

The Denver Post | Kyle MacMillan | July 2007

“Catherine Malfitano, who appeared several times in the title role, including a televised production in 1978, brings all her experience and insights to bear as the production’s director, shaping an utterly gripping production with a visceral sense of realism. Her staging of the Act 2 scene in which Michele murders his girlfriend, Desiderio [sic], with a corkscrew could not be more shocking. And Malfitano draws maximum dramatic impact from the key opening scene in which Annina experiences one of her all-consuming visions, including the appearance of stigmata. Besides securing superb acting performances from each of the principals, she manages to make Central City’s small stage seem much larger, with vibrant, wonderfully natural crowd scenes. Significantly boosting this production are the spectacular sets, surely some of the most elaborate ever in a Central City production. They were conceived by Malfitano and realized by designer Wilson Chin. The corner restaurant in Act 2 looks completely convincing, as well as the sidewalk scene under an elevated railway, with Menotti’s score and accompanying light effects simulating the passing trains.” | Bob Bows | November 2007

“Catherine Malfitano’s direction and staging is both economic and elegant, consistently focusing on key themes in each scene while never losing sight [of] the overall arc. Her mix of conceptual imagery in the church and vibrant realism in the procession, the restaurant, and the subway is striking.” | William Littler | August 2007

“In this year of his death, few of Menotti’s operas can be said to have exhibited much staying power. But as Catherine Malfitano demonstrated with her Central City production, it may be time to revisit some of them in ways that remind us of [...] his almost Puccinian powers of emotional characterization. I’m no special fan of The Saint of Bleecker Street, but this production won me over.”

Opera Today | Wes Blomster | August 2007

“...The summer production was an act of faith for Malfitano, who further came up with the concept for handsome sets, effectively realized by Wilson Chin. Indeed, this was clearly a case, in which the staging was superior to the work....”