recent articles and reviews

Silk Stockings                   

"OLO artistic director Steven Daigle’s limber and affectionate staging, aided by Hageman’s witty choreography, puts the work in its finest light. The production looks handsome and sounds bright, with Jonathan Girard leading a vibrant reading of Don Walker’s orchestrations.  Dusted off and enlivened by the Ohio Light Opera, “Silk Stockings” is well worth the trip to Wooster."  

-  Cleveland Plain Dealer

 

A Connecticut Yankee

"Little of this would register if the production and performers didn’t enter the spirit of “A Connecticut Yankee” with an alacrity bordering on theatrical mania. No problem. Steven Daigle has staged the piece for all its giddy and romantic frivolity, and the colorful sets (Kirk Domer), costumes (Charlene Gross) and lighting (Erich R. Keil) provide the right stylish touches both in the 20th and 6th centuries. " 

- Cleveland Plain Dealer

 

Jubilee

"Steven Daigle’s staging gives the story a dandy pinch or romantic space as needed, and choreographer Carol Hageman does a mirthful job capturing the gaiety of the era’s dances.  “Jubilee” was a lavish affair with an enormous cast on Broadway in the 1930s, and it remains handsome – on a much more modest budget – in Wooster. Played on a unit set of steps and platform, the production gives what appears to be the entire company ample opportunity to revel in vocal and thespian display.   "Jubilee" is the first Porter musical in the Ohio Light Opera’s repertoire. Given the success of this production, dare we ask for anything more? Indeed we do. " 

- Cleveland Plain Dealer

 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

“Daigle, Eastman’s artistic director, has envisioned a more nightmarish landscape, the ruins of a metropolis some 40 years after an apocalyptic event.  Daigle’s purpose is to show love’s power to regenerate itself under any circumstances, like life finding a new niche in a devastated environment.  Yet Daigle never stumbles into weird, avant-garde expressionism.  He vandalizes neither Shakespeare nor Britten.  Rather, he maintains a delightful fast-paced fantasy that’s always highly original and entertaining.”

- Democrat and Chronicle

 

Transformations 

“Steven Daigle deserves credit for directing his strong cast with subtlety and nuance.”

- Democrat and Chronicle

 

Sweeney Todd

“Steven Daigle sets out to tell a grisly story, and he holds nothing back.  But this production, which sold out Friday, is also remarkable for its dark comedy, compelling acting and mellifluous vocal and musical performances.  Indeed, it’s the most entertaining and satisfying Halloween treat you’re likely to find this weekend.  Daigle approaches Todd as if it were a tragic Shakespeare play. He gives complex characters that create disturbing mixed reactions – we care deeply about these people, we relish in their revenge, and yet at the same time we are appalled by their monstrousness.” 

- Democrat and Chronicle

 

La bohème

“A chilly atmosphere permeates almost every aspect of this most weathered-obsessed of popular operas.  That said, Steven Daigle’s sensitive, loving direction managed to suffuse the entire production with a sense of radiant warmth.”

- Democrat and Chronicle

 

East and West (Premiere)

“Steven Daigle directed two alternating casts in four performances of East and West.  We forget that we are watching students who are acting.  Great singing coupled with solid character development paved the way for the cohesive ensemble performance dotted with plenty of inside jokes for music school veterans.”

- American Record Guide

 

Patience

“In true Ohio Light Opera style, “Patience” is treated as Gilbert and Sullivan might have envisioned it.  Every narrative and musical detail is given careful and fresh consideration.  Steven Daigle’s staging takes many steps into the whimsy department.  Gestures that should be big are enormous.  Daigle’s ensemble is hilarious in taking the wind out of intellectual vacuousness and narcissism.  My advice it that you not be patient when it comes to “Patience.”  Get your tickets and have an aesthetic ball!”

- Cleveland Plain Dealer

 

A Soldier’s Promise

“What at first seems contrived soon becomes  poignant,  especially staged with elegance and charm by Daigle…during a finale that should send the stocks of tissue companies soaring.”

- Cleveland Plain Dealer

 

Of Thee I Sing and Mlle. Modiste

“Head to London, New York or Vienna if you're seeking Opera Mecca. Where operetta and musical theater are concerned, the prime destination is a small college town in Ohio.  An exaggeration? The world's great opera houses may field starry singers and extravagant productions, but Ohio Light Opera has been king in its field for three decades at the College of Wooster. No other American company comes close to the exploratory gusto the Wooster pros lavish on beloved and neglected repertoire.  Both of these shows are staged by artistic director Steven Daigle, who is as comfortable balancing the whimsy and romantic allure in "Mlle. Modiste" as he is propelling the light-hearted frivolity in "Of Thee I Sing.”

-  Cleveland Plain Dealer

 

Die Fledermaus

“Steven Daigle’s direction strikes a balance between stage business and singing to get across the humor.”

- Akron Beacon Journal

 

Candide

“Daigle’s play-within-a-play concept enlisted an ‘audience’ of eighteenth-century French royals, seated at either side of the false proscenium.  His expert handling of the large cast was helped by the mulit-layered sets, which kept the scene changes fluid.

- Opera News

 

Le petit duc

“The production is a romp of raging hormones as staged by Steven Daigle and choreographed by Carol Hageman, who here do some of the best work seen on the Ohio Light Opera stage.  Every gesture has a lunatic meaning, every line reading a puposeful subtext.”

- Cleveland Plain Dealer

 

The Land of Smiles

“Steven Daigle has done a terrific job at creating a feeling for the show that is more up to date, and for the most part, the cast goes along with him in performances that are free of mannerisms.”

- Akron Beacon Journal

 

A Victorian Trilogy

“These pieces add up to an evening of merry fluff.  As staged by Steven Daigle, each work approaches the edge of the comedic cliff and almost leaps into the land of the absurd.”

- Cleveland Plain Dealer

 

The Student Prince

“Steven Daigle, the company’s new artistic director, stages the production like a treasured  period piece...the  charming production leaves the audience members with tears in their eyes and songs in their hearts.”

- Cleveland Plain Dealer

 

My Fair Lady

“Would it be spoiling anything to say that Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolittle probably make a beeline for the boudoir once the curtain falls...whether you swallow the surge of romance that Artistic Director Steven Daigle and friends have added to the classic musical will depend on your recollection of past incarnations. “

- Cleveland Plain Dealer

 

Camelot

“Daigle, who directs the production, has succeeded by casting top notch singers who can act in leading roles and by allowing enough rehearsal time to knit together a fluid story with music.  Indeed, it appears Daigle was waiting for a chance at musical theater; Camelot seems as well prepared as any Ohio Light Opera show in recent years.”

- Columbus Dispatch

 

L’elisir d’amore

“Interestingly, the real magic in this production isn’t the singing but the acting, and for that we have stage director Steven Daigle to thank.  Daigle’s sense of comic timing and movement proved to be flawless, and that made Donizetti’s opera buffa of more than two hours fly by like a thirty minute sitcom.”

- Democrat and Chronicle

 

The Gondoliers

“Steven Daigle, Stuart’s successor as artistic director, has the same keen eye and ear for the insouciance, outrageousness and delight in these pieces.  His "Gondoliers"’ staging is a lark, full of witty details, clear characterizations…Gilbert’s lyrics have been tweaked to take note of Ben and Jerry and Monica and Bill.  And Inez…won’t be extracted from her copy of The Da Vinci Code."

- Cleveland Plain Dealer

 

My Fair Lady 

“I don’t want to give away any surprises for those accustomed to the Rex Harrison/Audrey Hepburn movie.  Suffice it to say that director Steven Daigle, like an understanding marriage counselor, accepts the complexity of male-female relationships.”

- Akron Beacon Journal

 

Patience 

"HURRY TO SEE "PATIENCE." One of the company’s best operettas ever!  Daigle’s direction couldn’t be more hilariously alert to Gilbert’s witty parody of the Aesthetic Movement…let me go out on an aesthetic limb and say that this is one of the best productions the company has ever offered – of any operetta.”

- Cleveland Plain Dealer

 

Autumn Maneuvers  

“In the new English version by Ohio Light Opera artistic director Steven Daigle, the "Merry Widow" like tale of crossed amorous signals and military duty is alternately amusing, touching and ponderous… The production is a feast thanks to Daigle’s fluent staging.”

- Cleveland Plain Dealer

 

The Cousin From Batavia 

“Director Steven Daigle has responded to all this lemon-meringue deliciousness with the expertise of master pastry chefs.  The schmaltzy aspects never get too sugary and the moments of whimsy receive subtle shading.”

- Cleveland Plain Dealer 

 

Sári 

“ Daigle’s staging achieved a balance between the boisterous comic scenes and the more serious, emotional ones.”

- American Record Guide

 

Sári 

“Steven Daigle’s staging nimbly walks the line between sentimentality and camp.  There are touching moments adjacent to hilarious episodes.  Daigle has staged ‘lips to lips, cheeks to cheeks’ with a subtle whimsy that is delicious to behold.”

- Cleveland Plain Dealer

 

The Yeomen of the Guard

“OLO artistic director Steven Daigle took a more somber approach than usual to Yeomen, underscoring the work’s inherent seriousness and slowly building, through the many details of character development, to the ultimate tragedy of Jack Point’s death.  Rarely have I been so moved.”

- American Record Guide

 

The Red Mill

“The Ohio Light Opera treats "The Red Mill" with the respect, authority and style it has brought to every production this summer.  Artistic director Steven Daigle and choreographer Carol Hageman have revitalized the work’s charms by giving the comedy a cheeky lift, controlling the sweetness factor in the romantic episodes and allowing the singers to respond elegantly to Hebert’s musical inspiration.”

- Cleveland Plain Dealer

 

The Grand Duke  

"Steven Daigle's fast-paced, inventive staging caught the eye, while all-round excellent singing caught the ear."

- Opera London

 

The Gypsy Princess 

"The elaborate Art Deco production was a choreographic spectacular, with brilliant staging by Steven Daigle. "

- American Record Guide

 

The Desert Song 

"As directed by Steven Daigle, this show never takes itself too seriously, which is as it should be... What matters are the lilting songs, lovely numbers... the romantic vision set out in "The Desert Song. "  This cast delivers the songs with a sweetness that makes them convincing."

- Akron Beacon Journal

 

The Grand Duke 

"The Ohio Light Opera made a case for "The Grand Duke" as not just a piece of history but also as entertainment."

- Akron Beacon Journal

 

The Desert Song 

"Director Steven Daigle...understands the joys of 1920's musical style and can whip them up without resorting to cobwebs or camp... Daigle knows what made 1920's audiences roar: pop-eyed hyperactive comics, bold adventuresses and golden-throated rogues.  At Wooster a lost world is brought back to enchant us. A discovery as exciting as finding King Tut's unplundered tomb."

- Cleveland Scene Entertainment Weekly

 

The Desert Song 

"Steven Daigle's nimble staging highlights 1920's conventions, with its stalwart men's chorus, winsome and leggy damsels, ardent leads and nutty comedians... The production gives the tale of the masked Red Shadow ample emotional resonance without pouring on the schmaltz or resorting to shtick."

- Cleveland Plain Dealer

 

The Desert Song 

"Director Steven Daigle keeps the audience's attention with his attractive stage pictures and his sense of drama.  Thanks to that control, the action never really falls into banality."

- Alliance Review

 

The Gypsy Princess 

"Under the direction of Steven Daigle...the character types seem to be drawn from sources as varied as the operetta itself...the cast is strong and the level of singing is excellent...for pure escape "The Gypsy Princess" will do the trick."

- Akron Beacon Journal

 

Gianni Schicchi 

"Steven Daigle, as usual, turns out another superb evening."

- Oberlin Review

 

The Medium 

"Steven Daigle...succeeded in the goal to provide both spectator and performer with a new vision of music theater:  the music and the words, not the spectacle, provide the basis for the drama... The cast was unequivocally excellent in acting and singing."

- Oberlin Review

UNDER CONSTRUCTION!

assassins - eastman opera theatre 2011

© 2018 by steven daigle.  stevendaigle@me.com   

eastman production photography by Nic Minetor & Gelfand-Piper

ohio light opera production photography by Matt Dilyard