THE NEW YORK TIMES
June 5, 2011 - New York Times Music Review
by Steve Smith
"The Opera Company of Philadelphia has scored a substantial artistic coup with the American premiere of “Phaedra,”…a new production directed by Robert B. Driver.Mr. Henze termed “Phaedra: a “concert-opera” a designation suited to Mr. Driver’s stark conception."
June 5, 2011 - Associated Press
by Mike Silverman
"Philadelphia assembled a strong, all-American cast for this premiere…The fittingly austere production, directed by Robert B. Driver, uses sliding screens as the only sets."
July 26, 2011 - Broad Street Review
by Peter Burwasser
"This Phaedra delivered the wow factor and then some."
IL TROVATORE --------------------------------------
by Daniel Webster, Inquirer Music Critic
"An uncompromising version of “Il Trovatore...
OCP’s “Il Trovatore”: Uncompromising, in cast direction, music …there were no compromises in a well cast, solidly conducted and under Driver’s direction, well paced and shaped production. Driver included episodes of swordplay and cudgeling among soldiers which added to the flavor of the production."
Friday May 4, 2007 - The Philadelphia Inquirer
by Daniel Webster
“Falstaff a complex, fast-moving comedy... Director Robert Driver built a complex, fast-moving comedy, full of visual jokes and high energy. His lovers were no more serious than were the comics Caius, Bardolph and Pistol. His Mistress Quickly, contralto Meredith Arwady, showed a comic skill to match her often powerful low range. "
ABDUCTION FROM THE SERAGLIO ----------------------------
“From the opening notes of the overture, the creative team led by director Robert B. Driver sought to captivate the audience… More than any other quality, this production was fun and frolicsome, especially because the supporting players were adept at acting and singing comedically.” –
December 2010 to January 2011
The Abduction from the Seraglio is a jewel of dramaturgy, of vibrant comedy and pulsating adolescent ardor ...all of these aspects were abundantly felt in the pit and on stage in the co-production of the Teatro Comunale of Treviso and the Opera Company of Philadelphia. On stage everything functioned superbly, beginning with the staging of Robert Driver, who chose to transport the story to Turkey of the 1920's.
Tuesday November 9, 2010 - La Tribuna di Treviso
Mozart for the third millennium with an Abduction in a Hollywood style
Audacious staging by Robert Driver
It is a Mozart with decidedly Hollywood traces that conquered the audience of the Teatro Comunale. The audacious direction of Robert Driver completely won its wager to make "The Abduction from the Seraglio" a completely credible and engaging piece for a public of the third millennium.....
Supported by an excellent team, among them the costume and scenic designer, Guia Buzzi, the director succeeded to impassion, amuse and involve his public.
The production in cooperation with the Opera Company of Philadelphia did not spare anything with it's special and sensational theatrical effects. Also the singers gave irresistible ,theatrical performances.
Particularly successful in their comic roles were Elizabeth Reiter as Blonde and the polish tenor Krystian Adam as Pedrillo. Without forgetting Per Bach Nissen in the role of Osmin, a true and properly exultant bass.
The role of the heroine, Konstanza , which calls for a soprano with great virtuosity and interpretative skill was filled by the youthful Elizabeth Zharoff.
MAGIC FLUTE: Manaus ---------------------------------------------
Acritica, Manaus, Brasil
May 11, 2012
Ópera de Mozart alia tecnologia e contexto amazônico no Festival Amazonas de Ópera.
Uma das óperas mais esperadas desta edição do Festival Amazonas de Ópera, " A Flauta Mágica" de Mozart, traz tecnologia e releitura contemporânea
PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE ( in Portuguese)
O Estado de São Paulo
May 6, 2012
PLEASE CLICK TO READ ARTICLE IN .PDF FORMAT
June 7, 2011 - The Wall Street Journal
by Heidi Waleson
"Using simple moving walls, projections and shadows, director Robert B. Driver and set and lighting designer Philippe Amand effectively created a timeless natural landscape for Act I. Act II moved to the modern world, where Artemis’s Dr.Frankenstein- style laboratory featured projections of buzz saws and cardiac monitors and a cage dropped from the ceiling, while the earthquake that drives Hippolyt from the cave was a film of thundering train wheels, accompanied by an electronic”bruitage”…
June 7, 2011 - The Philadelphia Inquirer
by David Patrick Stearns
"Wisely, designer Philippe Amand and stage director Robert Driver aren’t about to weigh down the proceedings with clarifications or explanations. Just fasten your seat belt and take the ride…"
United States: Jeffrey Edelstein
" ...as the musical highlight of the year. I was thus strongly affected by the Opera Company of Philadelphia’s presentation of the American premiere of Hans Werner Henze’s new chamber opera Phaedra. Unable to come to terms quickly with the daring, vision, and dedication of the production, I also could not stop thinking about the effectiveness of the spare staging to enrich a story at once readily intelligible and layered with ambiguity, mystery, and secrets. The conductor’s tempi and balances, the orchestra’s incisive playing, the suggestive lighting and projections, the evocative costumes, and the uniform excellence of the cast all enhanced the director’s intricate conception."
..."Operas have many moving parts, and rarely do they move as harmoniously together as they did in this production."
ABDUCTION FROM THE SERAGLIO ----------------------------
“Reset in World War I-era Istanbul, the opera unfolded amid graceful arches and flickering, black-and-white silent-film footage on the Academy of Music stage… Conceptually, the production couldn't have been stronger. The film footage worked beautifully. Costumes were sumptuous and color-coordinated. A platform built around the orchestra allowed singers to have closer contact with the audience.”
November 7, 2010
Robert Driver did an excellent job of creating a production (The Abduction from the Seraglio) in a playful vein..the director achieved an atmosphere of the silent movie era and succeeded in creating an adventurous and entertaining spy story alla Hollywood.
January 29, 2017
“The Abduction from the Seraglio”
Between romanticism and action convinces and entertains in a production by director Robert Driver.
"An Elegant “Abduction”
It is a beautiful production by Robert Driver with a film noir feeling..."
"Enjoyable revival of Mozart’s “Abduction” with clean direction by Robert Driver..".
quotidiano di informazioni operistica e musicale
"The idea of Robert Driver is simple and effective. The “Abduction” becomes a silent film of the early 20th Century..."
"The brilliant production was the idea of the director Robert Driver."
"The director Robert Driver chooses the setting of the 1920’s of the previous century...The action of the story of the four European “prisoners” is realized by means of a bizarre but enjoyable reference to the Hollywood silent film era..."
"In Robert Driver’s production we experience a young, fresh and delicate production, which with its adjustment of setting and time does not betray the original spirit of the work and runs along very pleasantly.."
9/12/14 - View recent Opera Comany of Philadelphia 40th Gala Program