“Opus” a Celebrated Composition at The Rep

Harry Hamm
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harry star 4andahalfstars Opus a Celebrated Composition at The Rep

The Rep is notable for bringing unique plays to St. Louis and giving them a production quality that garners every measure of excellence they possess. “Opus” is an elegant example.

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Photo courtesy of The Rep

“Opus has five characters. The single set design of blonde wood and black accents serves through the movements of small set pieces as various rehearsal spaces, and even backstage at the White House.

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Photo courtesy of The Rep

The story centers around the personalities and the profession of a famed chamber group, the Lazara Quartet, as they prepare for a special performance in the East Room of the White House. They are a diverse assembly. Their newest member is Grace, a talented, fresh-faced young lady, played by Rachel Johnson, right out of grad school; Chris Hietikko plays Carl, who is fighting off cancer and is the only family man in the group; Greg Jackson is Alan, divorced and looking for love, maybe with Grace; James Joseph O’Neil is Elliot, the titular head of the group’s democratic decision-making process and the most demanding in the Quartet, and Matthew Boston is Dorian, a former member of the Quartet who is in a failing relationship with Elliot. As you soon learn, they all have their stories.

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Photo courtesy of The Rep

The performers don’t actually play their instruments, but through some detailed tutoring by members of the St. Louis Symphony and sound design that is perfect and ambitious, it seems that they are. It works beautifully and adds great credibility.

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Photo courtesy of The Rep

“Opus” is intriguing no matter what your musical background. If you think a quartet is something that only performs in front of a barber pole, it’s alright. This show is really about five diverse individuals and how they manage to work together professionally. It is about the brutally demanding world of classical music. And most important, it’s about five diverse human beings, their lives, their struggles and their passions.

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Photo courtesy of The Rep

The cast of “Opus” is one of the best ever seen on the main stage at The Rep. This one-act production is compelling and endlessly engaging. The complexities of their work and their human interactions make the music of this quartet an unforgettable score about life.

http://www.repstl.org/

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