Mentzer is the "high point of the performance" in West Edge Opera "Hamlet"

08.15.2017

 "There were more ferocious contributions from the great Susanne Mentzer in a no-holds-barred performance as Gertrude — luxury casting if ever there was — and the redoubtable bass Philip Skinner as Claudius; the duet between these two, a haunting pas de deux of guilt, recrimination and graveyard-whistling, was a high point of the performance."
-San Francisco Chronicle


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"Gertrude, played by Susanne Mentzer, apparently suffering from a cold at the August 13th performance, rose to the occasion. From one movement to the next, she took charge. Her smallest gesture – hands, feet, tilt of head – took effect. And she kept it up, cold, metallic raincoat and two-toned platinum/black Goth hair-do and all. She showed the anguish Gertrude felt when confronted by Hamlet, daring him to kill her, and, the shock of recognition that the morally tuned-in son blankets her with. It was satisfying theater here, musically and dramatically, the confrontation cutting deeper than much of the depiction thus far. Her rich mezzo voice allowed us to be sympathetic to her, if not approving. Even her stroking of King Hamlet’s head in the opening scene hot tub – a perhaps another California touch – brings us closer to what she blinded herself to when she goes “off” with Claudius." -OperaWire.com

 

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