Madama Butterfly Pittsburgh Opera 2013
"Ms. Manich's blocking was nuanced, in contrast to her bold lighting. Puccini's glorious music is, of course, what powers this essentially static plot. But she directed a number of movements and glances that gave the action an unaffected atmosphere."
"Crystal Manich's new stage direction had great impact."
"Manich was masterly in presenting the dramatic confrontation between Cio-Cio San and her community after she renounces Japanese culture to become an American wife. She was imaginative in using the minimalist set and achieved strong character definition and interactions throughout."
Pittsburgh Opera soars with 'Madama Butterfly' (Post-Gazette)
Pittsburgh Opera presents unusual performance of 'Madama Butterfly' (Tribune-Review)
Madama Butterfly brings Opera Director Back Home (Imagine Pittsburgh)
Der fliegende Holländer Opera Roanoke 2012
"Crystal Manich's production was pure simplicity, but welcome amid of a plethora of overly complex Dutchman productions." [-Wagner Society of New York]
Don Giovanni Bay View Festival 2012
"Crystal Manich's staging is imaginative with delightful touches of humor. Her use of the 'minuet' dance made the party scene an interesting fit with the action as does her attention to details."
"The show is sung in Italian but with these graphic scenes the story is easy to follow."
L'Elisir d'amore Utah Opera 2012
"Stage director Crystal Manich made sure that each chorus member had a clear identity; their interactions established a strong sense of community and helped the audience warm to them right away."
"Their flirtation ebbed and flowed sensibly with stage director Crystal Manich's light-handed guidance."
Giasone Opera Omnia, New York City 2011
"Crystal Manich’s lively staging meshes pathos and bathos with quirky touches alluding to Poisson Rouge’s Greenwich Village neighborhood, and illuminates the link between Cavalli’s satire and the commedia dell’arte tradition." -New York Times
"Cavalli’s and librettist Cicognini’s decision to take the ghastly Medea-murders-Jason’s-children-out-of-revenge myth and give it broad comic elements, sexual innuendo and a happy ending works brilliantly, especially given the cabaret setting, the punk look of the costumes (the Argonauts’ vests are festooned with safety pins and hippie emblems and the Golden Fleece is a denim cut-off jacket lined in lambswool with a gold emblem on the back), props and sets (crates, fake flowers) and director Crystal Manich’s rich sense of irony."
Rinaldo Pittsburgh Opera 2011
"The singing was full of fervor, the orchestra was superb, and Crystal Manich's staging was anything but bare-boned...The most striking aspect of the staging was the way Manich used lighting and stage manner to convey Armida's magical hold over Rinaldo and Almirena."
La bohème Utah Opera 2010
Madama Butterfly Buenos Aires Lírica, Argentina 2010
"The American director Crystal Manich, who debuted here with this staging, couldn't have done it better. The work was quite traditional, but full of supreme taste, profound understanding of the work and conceptual clarity. The development of the action-quite linear and simple-resulted in clarity and precision." -Mundo Clasico.com
“The music [of Puccini], enriched with enveloping melodies of inspiration, achieves expressive tensions of doubtless effect of easy captation. The version offered by Buenos Aires Lírica crystallized this ideal.” -La Nación
“The stage director bent towards realism, but at the beginning of the second part of the second act she allowed a change of style to take the anguish of Butterfly to a surreal plane, where dreamlike images place the protagonist against the multiplied presence of her beloved. A very powerful and moving sequence.” -La Nación
“[Florencia Fabris] dramatically—and this is certainly a merit that the singer shared with the direction of the American Crystal Manich—her character never abandons the feeling of being pierced by a deep concern.” -Clarín
“The dissipated paraphernalia of the bicentennial celebrations ended the week with the delight of caring, tidy and very well performed Madama Butterfly... The staging of Crystal Manich was pregnant with nuances that passed through hope, distress, anguish, passion and tragedy of an oriental profile, including some symbolic resources to great effect at the beginning of the second part of the second act... In short, it is a show that reaffirms the path of continued growth in Buenos Aires Lirica in a very opportune moment for the enhancement of the deep cultural roots that Buenos Aires was able to cultivate over two centuries.” -Host News
La bohème Pittsburgh Opera 2009
“The excellent production of La boheme that Pittsburgh opera unveiled in 2003 returned to the Benedum Center Saturday night... [with] often appealing staging by a new director.”
“The secondary romantic duo in the opera, Marcello and Musetta, was particularly well handled by director Crystal M. Manich... The last act was the most vocally compelling Friday night and well staged as well.”
Preview articles about Bohème:
Orpheus and Euridice Pittsburgh Opera 2008
“Staged simply but effectively by Crystal Manich.”
The Coronation of Poppea Opera Omnia, New York City 2008
“Stage director Crystal M. Manich went for a naturalistic acting style, well in keeping with this tale of sex and tyranny.” -Heidi Waleson, The Wall Streeet Journal
“Crystal M. Manich’s direction was largely free of gimmicks and fancy concepts...” -Peter G. Davis, Musical America
“Even more important - most important- director Crystal Manich never once played this for comic-book laughs (and I have seen the opera this way). Not a single scene (except a silly one in the Second Act) is played anything but seriously. When Seneca is about to die, his acolytes huddle in the corner like Socrates’ disciples, with those most tragic Monteverdi chords. When the nurse Arnalta sings to Poppea as she sleeps, the hush is almost audible. The would-be murder, which could be grand guignolis melodrama, with honest urgency.” -Henry Rolnick, ConcertoNet.com
“The stage direction of Crystal M. Manich and music direction of Avi Stein worked to create exactly the kind of intimate ‘play with music’ which was the hallmark of early Italian opera when it made its commercial debut in Venice.” -Mark Ringer, ClassicsToday.com
Preview articles about Poppea: