by David Carlson
Production/Director: Brad Dalton
Set Designer: Steven Kemp
Lighting Designer: Kent Dorsey
Costume Designer: Elizabeth Poindexter

presented at Opera San Jose, 2010

“Sunday’s performance was the best thing that ever happened at Opera San Jose. This new production raised company standards across the boards bringing the opera to full emotional life. Brad Dalton’s direction miraculously holds the universe of human expression in balance and clarity.” – Scott McClelland, Metro Silicon Valley

“This compelling ‘Anna Karenina’ marks a magnificent achievement for the entire Opera San Jose Company. A completely new staging was devised by the outstanding director Brad Dalton. The audience’s standing ovation amply showed their appreciation for a production that captured the insights of one of the world’s best-known novels.” – Mort Levine, San Jose Mercury News 

“The staging was done with perfection, creating a continuous whole out of almost a dozen separate parts. Incredible.  The concept was tremendous and the execution was flawless.” – Philip G. Hodge, The Opera Nut

“Miracle of miracles: there’s a brand new opera given a glorious West Coast premiere by Opera San Jose. Stage director Brad Dalton coordinated the beautifully detailed and faultlessly executed stage activity, from the unobtrusive teams of servants, to the swirl of party guests and the psychologically telling cast movement in the pivotal railway station scenes. There were prolonged standing ovations.” – Susan Steinberg, The Independent

“The production brings the composer’s vision to the stage with affection and respect.” – Georgia Rowe, San Francisco Classical Voice

“Brad Dalton’s production is impressive. Everything came together perfectly, and without looking overworked or effortful.” – Charlise Tiee, The Opera Tattler

“At the end, Anna literally vanished off into the light at the height of her opium-induced nightmare. The effect left the woman next to me audibly crying.” – Beeri Moalem, San Jose Examiner

“The gamble to open the season with an unknown work was a gamble that clearly paid off for Opera San Jose, given the standing ovation at the final curtain. There are powerful lingering images: the railroad train coming straight at the audience with a blinding beacon of light and a giant mirror showing not just Anna, but the whole audience too, as if we were the society ostracizing her.” – Paul Hertelendy,

The entire production’s success and visual precision was in large part secured by the stage director Brad Dalton along with his entire design team. It is a stellar handling of this Russian classic, executed with taste and respect. Not to be missed.” – Emma Krasov, ArtAndEntertainMe.blogspot

“Director Brad Dalton deserves much of the credit for the power of the evening; the action was propelled from one scene to the next with imaginative stage movements and choreography (a Belle Époque ballroom dance, eerie stop-action street scenes) and a cinematic rush that swept from one scene to the next without pause.” – Richard Scheinen, San Jose Mercury News

“With the flying sets of Steven Kemp and an expert job of staging by director Brad Dalton, the opera created the sweep and smoothness of an epic film. The opera’s first act is so quickly paced that it leaves its spectators sitting on the edges of their seats, as if they were watching a Hitchcock film. The final image of Anna walking into the light of the train is iconic and striking.” – Michael J. Vaughn, The Opera Critic

“The San Jose production is first-rate. The staging by director Brad Dalton is crisp and direct, conjuring a world of tasteful extravagance in a few efficient and well-chosen strokes.” – Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle