“Rhymes with Opera sits on the cutting edge of innovative repertoire.”

Matthew Sigman, Opera News, August, 2016

 

 
 

"Perhaps Lander’s most brilliant touch with the work was to ground it in abstraction, thus allowing not only the performers the mental space to come up with their own sounds and characterizations, but also audience members to project their own experiences onto the action."

-Kenji Fujishima, VAN Magazine, May 2017

"[Heartbreak Express]....the opera...contain[s] moments of genuine artistic truth, moving pathos and acerbic humor amid a sea of rough waves."

-Steven Jude Tietjen, OPERA News, November 13, 2015

“… Most successful was an unpretentious gem entitled Heartbreak Express, presented Saturday (and running through November 21) by a scrappy little group called Rhymes With Opera. This odd but delightful opera is a character study of four fans of singer Dolly Parton who are waiting for an audience with the legendary lady …”

James Jorden, New York Observer, November 18, 2015

“Alongside the frequent (and highly publicized) struggles of large opera companies, there lies a compelling trend: a growing wealth of smaller-scale opera companies that prioritize innovative productions of everything from standard repertoire to obscure gems to entirely new works. Rhymes With Opera is a perfect example of such a company. Since their founding in 2007, they have provided consistently high-quality performances of new operas, often in varying stages of development … George Lam’s score is evocative and nuanced, featuring a muted perpetual motion in the orchestra ensemble out of which individual instruments emerge to intertwine with the vocalists.”

Michael Berg, Sybaritic Singer, November 17, 2014

“During the weekend of Sunday, June 15, strolling musicians and actors at 5 sites gave 8 performances to the walk-and-halt audiences of 15 each. This creative contemporary melodic composition told about the love of nature from recorded interviews sounding out of the woods, the lyrics of the songs contained text from found letters, Latin documents and deeds of local historic past enchanting the audience with expressively acted performances. Fluegelhorn, violin, recorder, percussion and Melodica sounded in interludes along the walking path. Birds, and cicadas offered their accompaniment. This was a unique first experience much treasured by all.”

Jude Asher and Heide Grundmann, Fall 2014, Friends of Gwynns Falls Newsletter

 

“Ever heard of a sci-fi opera? Me neither. The possibility of these opposite-world genres coexisting came to life at the Barrow Street Mansion this past Sunday (1/19) thanks to the brilliant minds behind Rhymes with Opera … Overall, the story begs the question about hope and its capacity to survive against uncertainty. It’s the show’s music, however, that kept it engaging. The live seven-piece orchestra, albeit small, produced a sound that could have filled the entire block, and the score could easily be mistook for the soundtrack of an indie bohemian Star Wars.”

Jessica Maiuro, Jersey City Independent, January 22, 2014, Review of “Red Giant”

Rhymes With Opera, one of the coolest DIY groups in town, put together an intriguing program over the weekend … Red Giant concerns three Earthlings heading into the deep unknown via spaceship, while their old planet is being consumed by the sun … The best moment may be when a character says of the voyagers’ fate when they find a new home: “We’ll know how to do everything better.” … Matlock’s score makes good use of minimalist pulses and patterns, with lots of lyricism holding everything together. Vocal lines, including a fair amount of sprechtstimme … emerge naturally against the subtly colored orchestration.”

Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun, January 13, 2014

Jersey City TV’s coverage of RWO’s Jersey City performance of Red Giant: