THE NEW YORKER on The White Devil
by David Kortava
"In Red Bull Theatre’s rare and wickedly entertaining staging …, moral degeneracy rises to the level of high art. … Under Louisa Proske’s gratifyingly twisted direction, the work remains a showcase of human vice in its sundry manifestations, from adultery to murder. … a scorched-earth satire that spares nothing, least of all the self-serving deceptions, hypocrisies, and corruptions of the ruling class." READ MORE

MUSICAL AMERICA on Louisa Proske, New Artist of the Month 2018
by Thomas May
"Her directorial inspirations are always grounded in deep-rooted knowledge of the music. ... extraordinary talent ... She displayed a sense of purpose that made it immediately clear Proske thought of her role as involving a true synthesis of music and drama."  READ MORE

THE NEW YORK TIMES on Così fan tutte
by Zachary Woolfe
"Cruel love games among the upper crust. Relationships nurtured by shared deceptions. Illusions shattered like cold water tossed in your face. Mozart’s “Così Fan Tutte” is the only opera I know that could do double duty as an Edward Albee play, and LoftOpera’s production of that work on Saturday, the day after Albee’s death, was an unexpectedly proper memorial. ..."  READ MORE

by Anthony Tommasini
"... a boldly conceived contemporary interpretation of Bizet’s popular opera, trimmed to 90 minutes and arranged for a six-piece jazz-infused ensemble complete with saxophones and guitars. ... This “Carmen” explores tensions over national borders and portrays the Gypsies as criminals smuggling cocaine. The dashing Escamillo, Bizet’s toreador, becomes “the Toreador” ..., a notorious bandit who boastfully brandishes a “Wanted” poster with his photo on it and talks of killing “bulls.” Micaëla, the good girl from home who comes with a message from José’s mother ..., emerges as a strong, self-aware young woman."  READ MORE

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL on Lucia di Lammermoor
by Heidi Waleson
"For its spring festival at the Theatre at St. Clement’s in Hell’s Kitchen, Heartbeat Opera has taken an even more radical transformational approach to the standard repertoire, presenting Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor” in an ingenious rescoring—cello, clarinet, guitar, piano and percussion—by Daniel Schlosberg, who led from the keyboard. With the choruses cut, the piece was streamlined into an intermission-free 90 minutes, and the unexpected instrumental timbres heightened director Louisa Proske’s arresting concept, which had Lucia, in a locked mental ward, feverishly hallucinating the story. ..."  READ MORE

THE NEW YORKER on Lucia di Lammermoor
by Alex Ross
"In Proske’s conception, the heroine is mad from the outset, the story unfolding as an extended hallucination in a hospital ward. Schlosberg’s scoring—whistling tones of bowed vibraphone and cymbals, the harplike sound of strummed piano strings, the slide of a shot glass on an electric guitar—put a modernist frame around the action, although the substance of Donizetti’s score came through. Jamilyn Manning-White was an agile, fiery Lucia."  READ MORE

OPERA NEWS on Don Giovanni
by Joanne Sydney Lessner
"... no holds barred ... Donna Anna knows damn well who’s in her bedroom, Donna Elvira means business when she threatens to rip out Giovanni’s heart, and Zerlina isn’t about to let her bumpkin husband keep her from a sexual adventure with a mysterious older man. Director/adaptor Louisa Proske delivered that version—and more. ... The characters’ unbridled passions snowballed brilliantly towards Giovanni’s hedonistic blowout."

by Heidi Waleson
"Then, on a completely different planet, Louisa Proske directed a hilarious version of Offenbach’s “Daphnis & Chloé” (1860) using a snappy English translation by Michaël Attias and a witty five-instrument arrangement by Daniel Schlosberg. The stellar young cast featured Nicole Haslett, who has a serenely lovely soprano, as the shepherdess Chloé; the eager Karin Mushegain as the clueless shepherd Daphnis; Gary Ramsey as the supremely goatish God Pan; and a quartet of Bacchantes in funny Goth-ish costumes by Beth Goldenberg."  READ MORE

ARTSFUSE on peerless
by Helen Epstein
"Director Louisa Proske has assembled a terrific cast and directed them with breathtaking speed. Yet she has not neglected attention to detail of word and gesture, giving the proceedings great style and élan. The 90 minutes without intermission feel like 15 and are accompanied by the most original sound design (by Jeremy Bloom) I’ve heard so far this summer." READ MORE

The New York Times on Così fan tutte - click to enlarge

Carmen featured in the New York Times "8 Best Classical Music Moments of the Week"

Carmen featured in the New York Times "8 Best Classical Music Moments of the Week"

by Wendy Lesser
"Proske’s brilliant move was to present the four lovers as teenagers, with Don Alfonso as the boys’ teacher and Despina as the girls’ put-upon cleaning lady. Simply by reducing their ages and putting them in classroom desks, this approach made sense of Ferrando’s and Guglielmo’s idiotic willingness to take Don Alfonso’s bet about unfaithful girlfriends. It also made all the stupidity about love—the blind conviction about its permanence, the terror of infidelity, the mooning about at temporary abandonment, the anger connected with jealousy—seem to apply to these particular teenagers, rather than to men and women in general. And in taking a rather contemptuous attitude toward these young fools, we in the audience found ourselves in very much the position of the evil, string-pulling Don Alfonso: a realization which caused me, at least, to rethink my position and sympathize more with the young lovers.

Risks were taken here. Don Alfonso was presented (though with great subtlety) as an envious old homosexual, half in love with his boys and half resentful of their active sex lives with their girlfriends. Despina was markedly working-class—overweight, badly dressed, routinely angry, and not at all the sprightly, sexy little maid played more typically by the likes of Danielle de Niese."  READ MORE

Feature story on Heartbeat Opera in Opera News (February 2017 issue)

Feature story on Heartbeat Opera in Opera News (February 2017 issue)