Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Flight takes wing in the press

Kyle Seago films Randall Scotting as 

"At a time when the pandemic has laid waste to innumerable travel plans, Jonathan Dove’s 1998 comic opera, Flight, is an inspired choice for a new streaming film by Seattle Opera ... Brian Staufenbiel directs a talented (and socially distanced) ensemble cast, and Viswa Subbaraman conducts a rousing performance."  — The New Yorker 

"The Seattle Opera has produced an amazing show in Flightand during a pandemic no less. Make your reservation for this destination soon." — Eclectic Arts

"A unique streaming treat for both AvGeeks and fans of opera." —The Runaway Girl Network 

"Before seeing this production, I was already of the view that Flight is a masterpiece. This film does the opera full justice: hats off to Seattle Opera for delivering it in such style. And if anyone thinks the plot is too fatuous and improbable, they should look up the name Mehran Karimi Nasseri, whose real-life story is at its heart – and in this case, truth is even stranger than fiction."—Bachtrack 

"We know we’re in for an acting treat when we see Sharleen Joynt’s overpoweringly supercilious, impeccably turned out Controller, prowling her control tower and pulling the strings; we see her arched eyebrows and penetrating stare in close-up as she delivers stratospheric coloratura." —Bachtrack

Sharleen Joynt, the Controller. Video still by Kyle Seago. 

"The high quality of the film makes me wonder what other operas can be undertaken with a cinematic lens. Perhaps the operatic film could become a new genre unto itself. There are certainly a lot of possibilities especially for new works that have yet to be imagined." — Northwest Reverb 

"[Brian Staufenbiel's] direction of Flight is—brilliant. The opera is conducted, ably, by Viswa Subbaraman, a Texan. He has a cast of very good singers, and very good actors, for that matter. They seem real actors, rather than opera singers who of necessity 'act.' The Refugee is portrayed by Randall Scotting, a countertenor from Colorado. There is not a weak link in this cast of ten." —The New Criterion 

"Flight follows other recent offerings (in just the past two years, (The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, The Falling and the Rising, and Charlie Parker’s Yardbird) as yet another gratifying example of Seattle Opera’s commitment to contemporary stories told through compelling music." —The Seattle Times

"Costume designer Liesl Alice Gatcheco makes a notable contribution to painting each character vividly – most notably the dazzling scarlet uniform of the Stewardess and the fashion disaster that is the Older Woman." —Bachtrack 

The Museum of Flight. Philip Newton photo

"Jonathan Dove is a serious talent, and the Seattle company has made an opera film that should endure in the catalogue of such films."—The New Criterion 

"The Museum of Flight looks a lot like a movie set these days. Seattle Opera is on location with performers and dozens of crew members to film a virtual production called 'Flight,' loosely based on a true story." —KING5 TV

In addition to the May recital, [Karen] Vuong will also perform in Seattle Opera’s production of Flight, in the role of Tina. 'I love that Tina seems basic on the surface, but she’s actually multi-faceted both dramatically and musically,' Vuong said."—The International Examiner 

From left: Sarah Larsen (stewardess), Joseph Lattanzi (Steward), Joshua Kohl (Bill) and Karen Vuong (Tina).  

Flight premieres on Seattle Opera’s website at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 23 and can be viewed until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, April 25. Tickets are available online at or by calling 206.389.7676 or 800.426.1619. For questions about streaming, view our Streaming FAQs. This opera is rated PG-13 for sexual violence. Read content advisories.

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