In Review: Biller, Zabala, and Irvin in the world premiere of "Dinner at Eight" at Minneso

"As usual, the Minnesota Opera fielded a top-flight cast and stellar production values. Central were. . . Susannah Biller’s sparkly, effortless soprano as Kitty; . . . Adriana Zabala, forthright as Lucy. . . Siena Forest (Paula), Brenda Harris (Carlotta), Craig Irvin (Dan) and Andrew Garland (Joseph) carried off their assignments with panache" -Wall Street Journal Read full review.

"All of the performers serve the story terrifically, with not a weak link among them. . . Susannah Biller as Kitty Packard (the Jean Harlow role in the movie) imbeds her character with sexiness and crass ambition, using her soprano to engage in hilarious and stormy arguments with baritone Craig Irvin as her hot-headed husband . . . As his long suffering wife Lucy, mezzo-soprano Adriana Zabala brings unexpected beauty to her aria, torn by her husband's betrayals, yet still in love with him." -Talkin' Broadway

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"Susannah Biller, as Kitty Packard, is gifted with some of the most playful and memorable moments in the score as she musically teases and manipulates. (If you’ve been wondering when the opera eye candy movement would reach Minnesota Opera’s stage this season, several of Kitty’s scenes qualify.) . . .One of the more interesting dynamics of the opera is the tension between the philandering Joseph Talbot (Andrew Garland) and his wife Lucy Talbot (Adriana Zabala). Garland and Zabala’s chemistry is compellingly interesting as they wrestle with their fraught relationship, both in private and in the titular dinner."

Read full review. "All nine principal singers do fine things with the music and their characters. . . While Susannah Biller is a comic scene stealer as a magnate’s philandering trophy wife, the opera’s most finely crafted aria comes from Adriana Zabala as a woman opening her heavy heart to her unfaithful husband." Read full review.

"Craig Irvin perfectly embodies the swaggering conman Dan Packard, Susannah Biller’s shrewish Kitty recalls Jean Harlow and omigod, can she wear a pink peignoir. . . Adriana Zabala steals the show with Lucy Talbot’s smoky cabaret blues arietta."

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"Another highlight of the evening was the doctor’s office scene between Andrew Garland as Dr. Joseph Talbot and Adriana Zabala his wife Lucy Talbot. Zabala’s coppery sound lent a deeper twist of the knife to her emotionally wrought musical lines." Read full review.