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Maria Nockin
Fanfare, November 2016

In the tradition of composers like Benjamin Britten, Abel’s most enchanting music describes the mysteries of the sea, its mists and its moods. The libretto is replete with current speech and shows the use of current technology such as texting at the dinner table, but it also incorporates short melodic numbers in arioso style and beautifully harmonized duets. The second work on the disc is Abel’s song cycle The Palm Trees Are Restless. It echoes the melodic beauty of Impressionism as Abel weaves a colorful tapestry around poetic descriptions of the sadder side of life on the West Coast. © 2016 Fanfare Read complete review



Donald Rosenberg
Gramophone, August 2016

The cast is strong, and Benjamin Makino conducts La Brea Sinfonietta in a vivid performance.

The brilliant soprano Hila Plitmann manages every leap and switch of emotional gears with fearless commitment, and pianist Tali Tadmor matches her in power and subtlety. © 2016 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



Joshua Rosenblum
Opera News, August 2016

The singers, led by sopranos Jamie Chamberlin and Ariel Pisturino, are particularly well perched along the spectrum between opera and musical theater, which makes them perfectly suited to this crossover piece. All the vocals land with immediacy. …The instrumentalists of La Brea Sinfonietta under Benjamin Makino do exceptionally well with Abel’s hybrid style, which includes imaginative use of electric organ.

The always-impressive Hila Plitmann, a specialist in contemporary art song, sings with a plush, enveloping tone and amazingly clear diction all the way to the top of her range. Pianist Tali Tadmor is her adept and sensitive partner. © 2016 Opera News Read complete review



Maria Nockin
Fanfare, July 2016

Some of the most impressive music in the opera is not vocal. …The orchestral forces of the La Brea Sinfonietta under the direction of Benjamin Makino are small but potent. Abel’s use of organ, woodwinds, and percussion to provide musical colors is most ingenious. © 2016 Fanfare Read complete review



Richard Sininger
American Record Guide, July 2016

All the singers do a fine job; …The two sopranos who sing the twins Lisa and Laurie, Jamie Chamberlin and Ariel Pisturino, create very believable young women with their well-supported sopranos. Best of the lot is Babatunde Akinboboye, whose rich baritone demands special notice from the listener. Most of the others have more than one role, and they create a slightly different sound for each character. © 2016 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide





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