Fringe Reviews

Overall rating

Still Singing
by Jason Byers
Rating 5 kitties 
Loved the show! My wife and I are still singing our way through household chores... who knew opera could be so fun?!  

by Sue Van Ee
Rating 5 kitties
OperaBob is fantastic! All of the performances were excellent. This should not be missed! It is for opera lovers and those not-so-sure, alike. What excellent talent in the Twin Cities!

Enjoy Opera
by Dale Brandsoy
Rating 5 kitties
Don't miss an opportunity to try a taste of opera! You'll experience real drama as well as several humorous arias by composer Phil Fried that will certainly entertain you. Kudos to Opera Bob for sharing your love of opera music!

No Clever Title: Just Bravo
by Marvin Joel Rubin
Rating 4 kitties
Every year for me, there is one show that stands out. It is more than just clever or entertaining. It's a show that brings out real emotion.

Most who think of soul music think R&B. The other kind is opera.

The cast shined not only as singers, but as actors. Anna Brandsoy as Gemma di Vergy was so evil towards The Count's new wife, I felt sorry for the new bride.

The show presents scenes from lesser operas from great composers, with vignettes and speeches for transitions.

The applause the show received was more than a usual Fringe event. The Fringe doesn't have a history of standing ovations. I think there was a desire to.

Take a Little Time for Opera
by Kay Jackson
Rating 4 kitties
Despite their knowledge, talent and obvious love of the genre, the folks involved in Opera Bob don't take themselves too seriously. As a result they are able to share their passion for opera with a broad audience in a truly delightful show. As special added bonus, this play features what may be the best 2009 Fringe performance by a very young child.

Classical opera for the rest of us
by Ben Krywosz
Rating 4 kitties
This is a wonderful introduction to Fringe-goers who are new to opera, as well as a treat for long-time opera fans. The program consists of four little-known excerpts from well-known composers (Mozart, Donizetti, Verdi, Puccini) performed by up-and-coming young singer-actors -- well directed, with a conviction that opera is both music and theater. A couple of tongue-in-cheek musical commentaries by local composer Phil Fried demonstrate that all these artists have a sense of humor about what Samuel Johnson called this "exotic and irrational entertainment." It's easy to revel in the sumptuousness of the ensemble singing, but get there early enough to read the synopses printed in the program -- although the presentation honors the composer's preference for performing in the language of the audience (bravo!), operatic vocal production can sometimes blur diction a bit. Still, this is a refreshing alternative if you need a break from more conventional Fringe offerings.

I'm not an opera fan
by Nanette Stearns
Rating 5 kitties
but I loved this! Very talented musicians/actors presenting little-heard material. It was a lot of fun and very entertaining.

by Megan Wagner
Rating 5 kitties
Not only does this group have great singing skills, but they also are great actors! I loved the four scenes and the two arias that were composed by Phil Fried! This is a must see by everyone! Job well done! Congrats on a great opening night! This is something that shouldn't be missed!

Real people's opera
by Nicole Warner
Rating 5 kitties
This is a wonderful adventure into the world of opera--filled with humor, murder & mayhem, fantastic singing, real characters--it's a wonderful show and well-deserving of your time & attention and your review!

by Erika Hoogeveen 
Rating 5 kitties
What an entertaining show! All of the singing was fantastic, the costumes beautiful and the staging well done. It was a treat to hear and see.

Can't We All Just Be Impresarios
by Bernadette Christiansen
Rating 5 kitties
This is a great show. I went expecting amazing singing and was not disappointed. More surprising was the great staging and high fun factor. My daughter and her fashion focused friend were both coveting a couple of costumes. I loved all of the performers and Anna Brandsoy stood out as a rising talent.

by Shiela Freeport
Rating 3 kitties

...It's worth seeing just for [the Tenor] him. He has major career potential! I did like the two original songs,
Gorgeous Music Drama

by William Beeman
Rating 5 kitties
This program of operatic rarities is sung with superb vocalism and a fine dramatic sense by some very talented singers. Opera Bob proves that opera can be tremendously entertaining, and vocally thrilling. The program is lightened by several bits of opera parody that everyone will enjoy, but singers especially will find amusing.  

Rare Gems
by Gary Briggle
Rating 5 kitties
A classy, sophisticated yet totally accessible and engaging performance by very talented, skilled singer-actors. The production has such integrity-from stylish design to flawless execution of challenging, thrilling scenes from "lost" operatic masterpieces. The enthusiasm and committment of the highly capable cast (with brilliant music director at the piano)to highly expressive singing is amplified by director Will Graham's expertly clear storytelling in beautifully nuanced, subtle detail as well as marvellous masterstrokes of operatic melodrama at its finest. BRAVI tutti!
[Next time, perhaps a different approach, without narration? And might one request some Contemporary selections?]

Top notch
by Scott Phillips
Rating 5 kitties
This was a great show. The singing was absolutely professional caliber. If you love opera or would like a painless introduction to it, I'd absolutely recommend you check out Opera Bob!

That's entertainment!
by KrisAnne Weiss
Rating 5 kitties
A thoroughly entertaining show by a bunch of performers who know that opera is a little bit ridiculous, but can't help loving it anyway. Some excellent singing and acting, and the enthusiastic narration keeps the audience informed and engaged between scenes. A few powerhouse voices in the ensemble ensure that the loud, high passages are really really loud and high--at these moments, the venue is decidedly wrong for the show (read: too small, acoustically inappropriate), but otherwise it's fun to be so close to the performers. Phil Fried's parody arias are a bonus.

Secrets Revealed: Opera Bob Opens His Drawers event  Star Tribune Review, Tuesday August 4, 2009

Revealing tabloid-worthy scenes from seldom-heard operatic potboilers guaranteed to satisfy theatergoers, opera virgins, and fussy opera queens.

Price: $5 - $12

Capsule review: Hey, can youse Fringies stand a little high cultcha? Opera Bob brings to life four scenes from Mozart, Verdi, Donizetti and Puccini. Baritone Chandler Molbert is the standout among a group of very accomplished singers. With dashes of humor and explanatory interludes, the performers set up sparely staged 10-minute vignettes accompanied by pianist Eric McEnaney. This is a perfect introduction to opera for those unfamiliar (it's all sung in English), and also a delightful hour for those who appreciate the work. Bravo. ( Graydon Royce )Top 10 Pick!
love excerpts...
by Nancy Vernon
Rating 5 kitties
My mother made the best egg-cerpts! It's an old joke from that ungloomy Dane, Victor Borge, who would have adored this show.  Beautiful voices, singing lyrics we could understand, with wonderful acting. And, to top it all, two great original numbers by Phil Fried!  (Why are there so many Frieds around here? It's Minnesota's great good luck to have attracted them!)

by David Trudeau

Rating 5 kitties
Lovely moving vignettes well sung and performed with comic relief along the way. Opera lovers love it and non opera fans get introduced. I would like to see the set changes done in the background as the narrative intros are given. Too much time spent in blackouts.

Great Entertainment!!
by Beth Brill
Rating 5 kitties entertaining and delightful! This group of talented, professional and delightful young people make this a "must-see"!!

The combination of serious and "fun" opera appeals to a wide audience! Please see it Saturday!!

Thanks, Opera Bob!!

Mad-cap inspiration!
by Janis Hardy
Rating 5 kitties
This was exactly what the doctor ordered for anyone worried about the future of opera: talented young singer/actors with well-honed vocal skills and excellent diction approaching some of the genre's most beautiful music with exuberance and commitment. It was a delightful, inspiring evening! The troupe was led with great care and skill by their talented stage/artistic director, Will Graham, music director/pianist, Eric McEnaney and producer, Janet Fried. Congratulations to all!

Loved It!
by Kathleen Malloy
Rating 5 kitties
A sparkling, fresh performance. The spare scenery allowed me to concentrate on the wonderful performances, which were sung and acted with heart and obvious love for the genre. In particular, performances by Trica Van E and Chandler Molbert were solid and beautifully executed. More, more, more!! Bravo!

by Kassie Church
Rating 4 kitties
Fun. Good voices and nice choices of scenes. 

Exquisite Opera Sampler
by Justin Alexander
Rating 4 kitties
Four tasty morsels of operatic delight with some cleverly rewritten hors d'oeuvre in between. A thoroughly pleasant, funny, and dramatic way to spend an hour.  [N.B. Phil's compositions are original fakes not copies-it seems that I can fool some of the people some of...oh forget it!]

Changed MY attitude
by Rebecca Loeding
Rating 5 kitties
Who knew Opera could be so fun! Enjoyed their beautiful voices, understood the words, and laughed! "Next time text me" was a killer. Going again on Saturday.