1986 – Carmen by Bizet

“Little ‘Carmen’ Surprisingly Good”, Review by Richard Chon

“A company performance of Bizet’s “Carmen” proved that the lack of an orchestra, gigantic chorus and lavish sets is no limitation at all as long as one pays scrupulous attention to the music…the singing was quite good, and often exquisite.”

1987 – Cosi Fan Tutte by Mozart

“Modernized Mozart Opera Gets a Gutsy Presentation”, Review by Herman Trotter

“…even with bare-bones staging…you couldn’t help going along with this ingenuous and gutsy little production.  The cast of six…meshed increasingly well with each other and projected a spirit, which had the audience on their side.”

1991 – Susannah by Carlisle Floyd

“Revival of ‘Susannah’ has special merit”, Review by Thomas Putnam

“In the deserved revival by Buffalo Opera Unlimited, “Susannah” has received a production of merit…Tim Kennedy’s direction provides scenes involving the elders and their wives with clear evidence of conceit and spite, the backbone of heartless religion.  When they close their minds to Susannah and turn her out, you see the chill that she must feel.”

1994 – Duke Ellington:  Sacred and Secular

“Buffalo Opera Unlimited provides seldom-heard sounds of the Duke”, Review by Thomas Putnam

“Tim Kennedy planned an intelligent program, and he had a point he wanted to make—that the sacred songs of Duke Ellington deserve a place on the shelf.”

1997 – Schubertiad

“Composer, desserts are well-served in Schubertiad”, Review by Herman Trotter

“The best performances were by mezzo Theresa Jordan, who sang “Ave Maria” with excellent focus and a winningly intense way of dwelling on the text’s meaning and the shaping its lyrical line, and by bass Tim Kennedy.  His deep resonance and palpable reverence for Schubert’s genius in matching poetry with music made for elevated performances of “Der Lindenbaum” and “An die Music”, which was an ideal choice to conclude the evening.”

1999 – Susannah by Carlisle Floyd

“Effort to put on ‘Susannah’ applauded”, Review by Herman Trotter

“In this tale of religious hypocrisy and the degeneration of an innocent young girl into a bitter, sadistic  loner, much of the rustic folk flavor came through effectively.  Tim Kennedy’s direction was also sensitive to the opera’s opening folk dance spirit and to the needs of the conflict which subsequently powers the plot.”

2000 – Tosca by Puccini

“Opera company’s improvements obvious with ‘Tosca’ production”, Review by Herman Trotter

“…Shinea Lee did not command a big voice, but one that was well-focused, clean, expressive and had enough reserve of strength to make the big moments like the high top note at the end of “Vissi d’arte” command attention…tenor Mark Gizzi-Schmidt…gained strength and confidence progressively to finish strongly in his big Act 3 aria, done with passion style and a good ringing top.  As Scarpia, baritone Bryon Jackson had the strong voice, menacing demeanor and the sinister aura of evil to make the audience hate him, which is the m ark of a good Scarpia.”

2003 – La Traviata by Verdi

“Sheer elegance on a shoestring”, Review by Harold McNeil

“Anyone who doubts that grand opera can be accomplished on a shoestring budget really ought to check out Buffalo Opera Unlimited’s production of “La Traviata”…this is an extremely elegant production.  Susan Delly-Cotroneo…a singer of amazing range and sheer tonal and vocal beauty, even nailed the optional high E-flat at the end of “Sempre Libre”.  Mark Gizzi-Schmidt, as her suitor, is equally superb, displaying a strong, clear voice that blended seamlessly…As Georgio Germont, Thomas Goodheart …has one of the richest, most resonant baritones you’re ever likely to hear, and he can act, too.”

2004 – Cosi Fan Tutte by Mozart

“Unique opera thrives with Elvis in building”, Review by Harold McNeil

“Whatever Buffalo Opera Unlimited lacks in money for expensive sets and costumes, it always manages to compensate for with impeccable taste and an unerring sense of creativity.  The cast was first-rate.  Buffalo Opera Unlimited never scrimps on talent.”

2011 – An Afternoon of Love Songs

“Love Songs for Grownups”, Review by Ed Adamczyk

“We had talented and experienced singers at stage left, young dancers at stage right and a piano in the back, all surrounded by modernist artwork at the rear of the stage.  It was an elegant production.  What Buffalo Opera Unlimited has is a talented cadre of performers, ready for “La Traviata” or the Broadway songbook, and in choosing this mix of music and choreography to celebrate Valentine’s Day came up with a winner of a recital.”

2011 – A Tribute to William Grant Still

“Program showcases Still’s artisty”, Review by Mary Kunz Goldman

“Sunday’s tribute to the great American composer William Grant Still, organized by Buffalo musician Tim Kennedy…generated a unique excitement… A performance of Still’s Symphony No. 1, “Afro-American,”

was an event all on its own.  There was also an alluring selection of songs and other shorter pieces, all seldom heard.  Plus, there was the spectacle of “Sahdji,” a ballet that premiered in 1930 and has hardly ever been seen since…It was an ambitious program.  And it lived up to expectations.”

2012 – Faust by Gounod

“’Faust’ is an operatic success”, Review by Mary Kunz Goldman

“It is a heartfelt and illuminating production, with fine, strong voices and some real chills…The cast comprises wonderful singers…A half-dozen young dancers are charming.”

 

2014 – Barroom Brawls featuring “Blue Monday” by George Gershwin & “The Fall of Stag Lee” by Buffalo native Darryl Glenn Nettles

“’Barroom Brawls brings jazz age to riveting life”, Review by Mary Kunz Goldman

“Blue Monday” sounds like the work of a young man…it’s good. It’s taut and nervous and has memorable melodies and hooks. With its classical vocal lines and melodramatic ending, it shows the influence of operetta.

“The Fall of Stag Lee,” like “Blue Monday,” shows great promise.

“Nettles, in the notes, cited classical influences, and you can hear them. The ghost of J.S. Bach appears in the piano’s counterpoint. One of Nettles’ chief melodies just a step away from the 1923 song “Dinah.” Smoldering segments are built around the first chords from Rachmaninoff’s famous Prelude in C Sharp Minor.”  READ FULL REVIEW

 

2015 – “Get swept off you feet at opera” Mary Kunz Goldman, Buffalo News

“Singers in this production are excellent.”  “The sets are colorful and creative.”  “A roof garden…it’s simple but ingenious and very effective.”  “you could catch most of what the singers were singing, which is high praise.”

 

2016 – “Hansel and Gretel with Buffalo Opera Unlimited provides gorgeous score…” Peter Hall, Buffalo Rising

“One particular moment was so outstanding…fourteen angels were the very embodiment of German High Romanticism”  “unexpected was the relatively high quality of all the lead singers”  “The third high point of the evening was the brass section of the orchestra…really delivered that Wagnerian majesty.”