Where Angels Fear to Tread

“Based on the same-named book by E. M. Forster, Where Angels Fear to Tread is a sweltering combination of English manners and Italian bodice-ripper, deftly turned into an opera by composer Mark Lanz Weiser to a poetic libretto by Roger Brunyate. Conducted with depth and fluidity by Joseph Marcheso, the excellent Opera San Jose orchestra bequeathed a wealth of textures. This is a perfectly sized opera house of 1100 seats with stunning acoustics, and with enough room in the pit for a decent opera orchestra. The strings were silken, the brass impressive, the winds assured and lyrical, and amply spangled with harp notes. In a word, it melted into a romantic past.”
Adam Broner, Repeat Performances  More…

“Based on the meaty little novel by E.M. Forster, this new opera, a world premiere from Opera San Jose, opened Saturday at the California Theatre. Directed by Lillian Groag, it is an ambitious and often charming production, and, most importantly, it has a potent score. In the last act, as hearts are cracked open, composer Mark Lanz Weiser opens the  floodgates. His music arrives in waves. A deft orchestral colorist and word painter (his teammate here is librettist Roger Brunyate), composer Weiser has created several ravishing ensemble numbers along the way, as well as a sparkling interlude of night music and an Old English lullaby that spells peace.” 
Richard Scheinin, SJ Mercury News   More…

And the company has done a splendid job with the piece, giving it a production that reflects all the Italianate charm of the source material while keeping an aptly skeptical eye on the difficult moral undercurrents. Michael Ganio’s set is spare but inviting, with just enough detail to bring the inn and the church settings to life, and director Lillian Groag gets expressive transparency from nearly all of the cast. Saturday’s performance, conducted with crisp dexterity by Music Director Joseph Marcheso, was as sensual and fluid as one could ask for, with lovely orchestral playing and attentive contributions from a large cast.”
Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle  More…

A collison of cultures. A misunderstanding of horrific consequences. A rich English widow marries a penniless but handsome young Italian against the wishes of her family. Based on the novel by E.M. Forster, this insightful narrative follows the inevitable harm done by blind prejudice and selfish desire. Sung in English with English supertitles.