Stage Director
Acclaim
 
Così Fan Tutte - Atlanta Opera
"After almost three hours of farce, the opera production took a solemn downturn and the director left the audience unsure of whether the couples would reunite in any combination. Condemi's intention was not lieto fine but to create a finale that would resonate with a twenty-first-century awareness of the complexity of the human heart."
Stephanie Adrian, Opera News
Il Barbiere Di Siviglia - Opera San José
"Virtually every aspect of Opera San José's production of Rossini's The Barber of Seville sparkled. Stage director José Maria Condemi's generous bag of stage tricks, Kent Dorsey's bright lighting and the irresistible smile of baritone Krassen Karagiozov's Figaro were just some of the elements that guaranteed a good time for all."
Jason Victor Serinus, Opera News
Opera San Jose delivers slapstick fun in new production of 'Barber'
"Argentine-born stage director José Maria Condemi left no sight gag or comedic epiphany unflipped. The mind boggles at how the cast members in Sunday's matinee could have memorized Rossini's riotous score and Condemi's hilarious stagecraft and delivered them with such razor sharp timing. The full house rocked with laughter."
Scott MacClelland, SanJose.com
An effervescent 'Barber of Seville' delights Opera San Jose's audience
"Two of the true superstars of this OSJ production are its musical director, Maestro Bryan Nies, and stage director Jose Maria Condemi. The well-rehearsed orchestra produced magical sounds to the powerful beat by its conductor. The director kept complex forces moving smoothly and competently brought together the assemblage of comic stage business elements which have become a must for 'Barber' audiences."
Mort Levine, San Jose Mercury News
Review: Opera San Jose presents a fresh 'Barber of Seville'
"It amplified the fast-paced, imaginatively detailed and ultimately madcap vision of the director, Jose Maria Condemi, a man with an expanding track record not only with Opera San Jose, but also at San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Opera Santa Barbara and elsewhere."
Richard Scheinin, San Jose Mercury News
The 39 Steps at TheatreWorks
"In an expert, no-holds-barred, madcap staging by José Maria Condemi, this production reveals the rich comedy to be found in the score, in the libretto, in the choreography down to the last gesture, even in the props - rifles, swords, rain pots, pistols, apples, books, coins, the list is endless - if directed by an imaginative mind."
Paul Myrvold, Out & About
Madama Butterfly Opens Her Wings
"Jose Maria Condemi directs with simplicity and engaging detail: Butterfly's suicide is always a tough call, but here it is quick and realistic, and having a red ribbon drawn from her neck by a Koken after her death makes a fine dramatic point."
Bay City News
Opera review: 'Madama Butterfly'
"The production, with a large unit set by Clarke Dunham and moody lighting by Christine Binder, places Butterfly's house on a rotating turntable amid a profusion of dank foliage and Japanese tchotchkes. The result is the very opposite of the spare, open sets so often favored for this piece, and it opens up a wealth of playing space without betraying the work's basic premises.

"Condemi's staging makes canniest use of it at the opera's dramatically charged junctures. He makes the revelation of Trouble, Butterfly and Pinkerton's son, into a suitably jarring surprise for Sharpless, gives the spat between Suzuki and Goro real teeth, and stages the final scene with steely clarity."

Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle
A glorious 'Madama Butterfly' from San Francisco Opera
"The pace throughout the performance was sure and light, ever springing forward, thanks to the deft hand of stage director Jose Maria Condemi, known for his excellent work with California regional companies and now increasingly busy with top-tier productions like this one. His touch was everywhere: i.e. the simple bow with which Butterfly and Suzuki say goodbye before the suicide."
Richard Scheinin, San Jose Mercury-News
Excellent Singing in Suberb 'Carmen'
"Director Jose Maria Condemi did a fabulous job blocking the singers with natural movements."
Geraldine Freedman, Schenectady Daily Gazette
A Second Look: A Visually, Aurally Praiseworthy "Faust" at San Francisco Opera - June 20, 2010
"The team that brought this production to San Francisco has obviously advanced the cause for this venerable work."
Opera Warhorses
What Staging Can Do, for Good or Ill
"It has happened again. The production of 'Faust' now at San Francisco Opera features an eloquently simple set made up of movable round-arched gray towers (by Robert Perdziola, for Chicago); a direct, ingenious, desentimentalized staging by Jose Maria Condemi, a young Argentine-born director who makes no mistakes; and a stunning performance of Méphistophélès by John Relyea. One expects Marguerite to be lovely and lyrical, but Patricia Racette's was the best I have heard, in part because the director so stripped her part of sentimentality. The final dungeon scene-in which the dying Marguerite slowly walks up a high narrow flight of brightly lighted stairs, following her angel voices between dark prison walls, past the doomed Faust (Stefano Secco), past his victor Méphistophélès-was a stunning coup de théâtre."
David Littlejohn, Wall Street Journal
Soprano adds fire to S.F. Opera's 'Faust'
"The staging of director Jose Maria Condemi hews dexterously to the main points while studding the action with witty asides - most of them for Méphistophélès."
Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle
Racette Ravishing, Relyea Riveting in San Francisco "Faust" - June 5, 2010
"It proved the vehicle for displaying facets of the artistry of five San Francisco Opera-trained former Adler fellows, soprano Patricia Racette (Marguerite), basso John Relyea (Mephistopheles), character mezzo Catherine Cook (Dame Marthe), mezzo Daniela Mack (Siebel) and stage director Jose Maria Condemi.... The production was a showpiece for the depth of talent of American trained operatic artists.

"It was also a demonstration - welcome at a time when the projected costs of mounting new productions is vastly outstripping projected revenues - of how previous physical investments in set construction can be recycled even though the audience is experiencing something new."
Opera Warhorses
Opera Review: 'Faust'
"Credit must also be given to stage director Jose Maria Condemi for the superb acting and overall dramatic cohesion."
Eman Isadiar, Epoch Times
At Long Last Faust
"This traditional-looking production from the Lyric Opera of Chicago, directed by Jose Maria Condemi, with sets and costumes by Robert Perdziola, brings a museum piece to genuine new life."
John Bender, San Francisco Classical Voice
Man with a Plan
"Perhaps the most consequential news from Opera Santa Barbara, though, concerns the arrival of a new artistic director José Maria Condemi. Condemi has one of the most dynamic records of any contemporary opera director, having been responsible for more than a dozen major productions in the past 10 years, including this season's new Ernani at the Lyric Opera of Chicago with mega-star Salvator Licitra in the leading role."
Charles Donelan, Santa Barbara Independent
Delightful diversion brings back the lush Puccini melodies of "La Rondine"
"Director Jose Maria Condemi used the full size of the stage to marshal his forces in the first two acts. The Cafe Bullier scene has the appropriate frenzy of the Cafe Momus back in Musetta's younger days."
Mort Levine, San Jose Mercury News
Opera San José's 'Swallow' Soars Like a Hawk
"Stage Director Jose Maria Condemi deserves credit for the all-around superb acting. The awkward romantic moments often expected in opera were entirely absent in this production, and every embrace was warm, passionate, and convincing."
Eman Isadiar, Epoch Times
Review: 2nd-tier Puccini, 1st-rate treatment
"Director Jose Maria Condemi - working with a bright and ebulliently colorful production by Larry Hancock (set), Elizabeth Poindexter (costumes) and Kent Dorsey (lighting) - ensured that the scenario made its dramatic points cleanly and without excess. In one especially touching sequence, the entire clientele of Bullier's, the nightclub in Act 2, watches with a combination of prurience and sympathy as Magda and the naively provincial Ruggero fall in love."
Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle
Luscious new 'La Rondine' from Opera San Jose: aching songs, powerful singing
"The opera rides on two-plus continuous hours of music, with barely a word spoken outside of a song. The plot is highly compressed, and it is young stage director Jose Maria Condemi - he will direct twice at San Francisco Opera in the coming months - who keeps the through-line thrumming and the actors on their toes: I have never seen Bengochea so convincing as an actor as he was in his long heartbreaking duet with Davis at the opera's close."
Richard Scheinin, San Jose Mercury News
"Stage directors always like to have a free rein, and new productions. But I find this other approach - utilizing existing sets and costumes for different purposes than originally conceived - to be challenging and, to me, equally exciting." Read More...
Opera Warhorses
Opera Review: Il Trovatore
"José Maria Condemi, in his production for Seattle Opera, wisely decided to heighten the unreality, taking art, it seems, as inspiration: Allen Moyer's set places the action within a huge, cracked gold frame, with set pieces Cubistically tilted and distorted Picasso-style and costumes (by John Conklin) in velvety blacks, reds, and silvers a la Velazquez. (Spanish painters, of course, for an opera set in Spain.) A forward-reaching ramp spills the action out past the frame into our laps, a painting come to life; for once, the pejorative 'museum piece' is turned from a weakness to a strength."
Gavin Borchert, Seattle Weekly
"Il Trovatore," produced by Seattle Opera
"With a rather spare set (from the Minnesota Opera), stage director José María Condemi was able to use his imagination in creating a detailed, motivated concept that made particularly effective use of the crowd scenes in the opening act and in the famous Anvil Chorus. There was much that was conventionally staged, to be sure, partly because it's not possible to do much else with some of Verdi's set pieces. But despite some of the ludicrous requirements of the action, which leaps from improbable scene to scene, Condemi gives the singers plenty of opportunities for emotionally resonant performances."
Melinda Bargreen, Classical KING FM (Seattle, WA)
Manrico (Antonello Palombi, left) arrives to prevent Leonora (Lisa Daltirus) from either entering the convent or becoming the captive of the Count di Luna (Gordon Hawkins, right) as Inez (Vira Slywotzky, center back) looks on; edited image, based on a Rozarii Lynch photograph, courtesy of the Seattle Opera.
"Condemi is one of the younger generation of operatic stage directors, whose work finds the opportunity for interesting innovations in familiar operas, even while presenting the story absolutely straight." Read More...
Opera Warhorses
<p class="caption">"Il Trovatore" director Jose Mar&iacute;a Condemni works with soprano Lisa Daltirus, who has the role of Leonora, during a staging rehearsal for the opera.</p>
"'I enjoy the challenge,' says Condemi of his quest to bring the 'Trovatore' story to the performers and their listeners." Read More...
Melinda Bargreen, Seattle Times
<em>Scarpia (Lado Ataneli) makes a move on Tosca (Adrianne Pieczonka)<br /></em>
"Stage Director Jose Maria Condemi demonstrated that one can follow Puccini's stage directions closely and still can approach the work imaginatively." Read More...
Opera Warhorses
Ernani, Lyric Opera of Chicago, 10/27/09
"Lyric's excellent new staging by José Maria Condemi, with designs by Scott Marr, pointedly reconfirmed Ernani's viability in the repertoire."
Mark Thomas Ketterson, Opera News
Sacramento Opera delivers sizzling 'Elixir'
"And under Condemi's direction the target is crisp and effective comedy. Big risks are taken to reach that end, mostly to great success."
Edward Ortiz, Sacramento Bee
"There's no mystery why opera director Jose Maria Condemi is a rising star in the opera world." Read More...
Edward Ortiz, Sacremento Bee
Total: 113 (Viewing: 61–90)