In Review: Calenos and Slayden impress in Annapolis Opera "Madama Butterfly"

"As with any opera, the vocal talent of the performers determines the success of the show; the Annapolis Opera Company delivered. Slayden and Jacob Lassetter (Sharpless, the U.S. consul) maintained impeccable control of their voices. . . Calenos as Butterfly stole the show. Well-deserving of the title role, Calenos was brilliant, singing complicated arias seemingly effortlessly. Her talent did not go unnoticed. After Calenos hit a particularly impressive note, the man seated behind me exclaimed, “Wow!” All the performers were immensely talented, but her voice was particularly breathtaking.

In addition to their incredible vocals, the cast’s acting made for a memorable performance. Calenos and Slayden were completely in sync, and all their interactions, even the smallest instances, further highlighted the disconnect between their characters." -MD Theatre Guide

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"Eleni Calenos commands the stage as the title character, Cio-Cio-San, bringing passion and determination to the role. She has a powerful vocal and physical presence to her arias. In “Un bel di vedreno” one can almost see the smoke from the imaginary ship she pictures pulling into the harbor, her hands reaching out as if to touch it. . . During her final aria, “Con amor muore”, her desperation is evident in her voice and very body, as she frantically moves about the stage. She brings calm and dignified though, to her last action, a fitting end for someone so mistreated. . . . Jason Slayden brings a youthful innocence to the role of Pinkerton; even though what he does is inexcusable even in 1904, when the opera takes place, let alone in 2017, watching him woo Cio-Cio-San it is hard to be angry at him. He and Calenos make a beautiful couple. . . . Much later, he fills his aria “Addio, fiorito asil”with remorse and sadness for what he’s done. Even though he is onstage for only a short time, his presence is felt strongly through the opera." -DC Metro Theater Arts

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