In Review: Abreu and Griffin in FGO's "Before Night Falls"

“The young American bass-baritone Calvin Griffin, as Arenas’s nemesis Victor, also turned in a terrific performance. He has a big, commanding instrument that he can use with real menace. He was at all times the rigid ideologue and unchecked power glutton, except for one moment of tenderness as he talked about the beauty of Arenas’s writing before burning the writer’s latest manuscript, stolen from his apartment, in front of him. . . Javier Abreu, a Puerto Rican tenor who made a wonderful Ernesto in last season’s Don Pasquale, here reprised the role of Pepe, which he created for the original Fort Worth production. He has an agile, muscular tenor that is most effective, and he was quite believable as a turncoat who can’t understand why bygones can’t be bygones.”

-Palm Beach Arts Paper

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“Brillante el Víctor de Griffin que, en mi opinión, se robó el show. . . el personaje de Pepe, que encarnó perfectamente Javier Abreu” / “The brilliant portrayal of Victor by Griffin, in my opinion, stole the show. . . Javier Abreu perfectly embodied the character of Pepe”- el Nuevo Herald

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“The revolutionary leader Victor, sung by the bass-baritone Calvin Griffin, is in a way more subtly drawn than Arenas. Neither overwritten nor overacted, he is made more malevolent by being more believable, a subtle portrait of a ruthless man who respects Arenas and his work but is willing to ruin lives and to kill “to protect revolution.” . . . Arenas’ friend Pepe, who betrays him to the police, sung by the tenor Javier Abreu, comes off from the start as frivolous and weasely, laying the groundwork for his treason to his friend.”

-South Florida Classical Review

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