Heartbeat opera in the news

For press inquiries, contact Aleba Gartner at aleba@alebaco.com


Bold and vivid .... This small, adventurous company strives to make opera a visceral, intimate and immediate ‘encounter,’ as they have said. Their alterations to masterpieces aim to get past dated elements that can mute the raw emotions and the timeless issues coursing within the original works.”


A categorically imaginative company, [Heartbeat] has made its name with vital reshapings of repertory operas. A radical endeavor — less pint-sized grand opera than an appropriation of the genre for theatre of the black-box type.”


“... one of the most agile and dynamic companies on New York's indie opera scene ... Every Heartbeat event feels like a happening ... Judging by the average audience age and enthusiasm level, the company is succeeding.”

Pioneers ... reformatting the opera experience from the grand to the deliberately intimate. Ingenious.”


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. Director/adaptor Proske delivered that version—and more.”

– Joanne Sydney Lessner, Opera News


Urgent, powerful, and poignant. I nearly missed Heartbeat Opera’s Fidelio, and I’m so glad I didn’t. The production, staged smartly, deftly navigated the tricky art of adaptation with new English-language dialogue”

– Joshua Barone, The New York Times
Best Classical Music Moments of the Week


“[Heard’s Butterfly was] a work of exceptional intelligence and unwavering artistic integrity.”


Relevant and worthwhile. What’s so pleasing about Heartbeat’s Butterfly is how well its artistic intentions dovetail with its limited means. The orchestra is cut down, but to an arrangement for harp and string quintet that recalls the mellifluous elegance of the original.”

– Russell Platt, The New Yorker


“[Proske’s] productions are full-fledged dramas, affecting their audiences as complicated, well-thought-through, emotion-packed narratives as well as occasions for expressive song. ... I have never felt [this special variety of theatrical magic] at an opera to quite the same extent. Or rather, I hadn’t until I saw Proske’s Carmen.”

– Wendy Lesser, The Threepenny Review


An ingenious rescoring by [Daniel] Schlosberg ... the unexpected instrumental timbres heightened director Proske’s arresting concept, which had Lucia, in a locked mental ward, feverishly hallucinating the story. ... Jamilyn Manning-White, a knockout Lucia, delivered a high-octane mad scene.”

– Heidi Waleson, The Wall Street Journal


“[In Heard’s Dido & Aeneas] a cocktail party degenerates into surreal anarchy, with witches prancing about and the lovers copulating in a bathtub. The dynamic young baritone John Taylor Ward—portraying Aeneas, a witch, and several subsidiary characters—threw himself into the proceedings with stylish abandon. Ashworth, leading from his violin, elicited a performance that was elegant, boisterous, and melancholy by turns. And the scale of the show felt exactly right.”

– Alex Ross, The New Yorker


[Daphnis & Chloé is] hilarious, witty. A stellar young cast. It is easy to over-egg Offenbach and turn his humor into crude slapstick; Proske ... kept it light and just naughty enough.”

– Heidi Waleson, The Wall Street Journal

A gleeful bacchanal with choice comic touches ... and overflowing innuendo."

Joshua Rosenblum, Opera News


“Both mezzo-soprano Rosen and violinist/Heartbeat co-music director Ashworth commanded the stage in a gripping and imaginative new production by Heard. ... If this production is any indication, the young Heartbeat Opera will be a company to watch, with the talent and ambition to make compelling music drama out of the very meanest of resources.”

Musical America