Porgy and Bess Reviews:
Gershwin’s impressive choral writing was beautifully served by Samuel Bill’s small but accomplished vocal ensemble.
-South Florida Classical Review
Between stage director Charles Randolph-Wright and conductor Samuel Bill, the opening-night performance really crackled and sported turbocharged voices.
-The Dallas Morning News
I hope Samuel Bill reveled in the standing ovation, as his ensemble indeed earned some of it. He conducted a precise, colorful ensemble.
The orchestra, conducted by Samuel Bill, was well integrated into the production, the instrumental underpinnings beautifully balanced with the chorus and soloists.
-Classical Voice of New England
That so much of what Mr. Picker intended came through here despite uneven, sometimes scrappy orchestral playing was both a sign of his sure craftsmanship and a testament to Mr. Bill’s capacity for
keeping things on track. The vocal ensemble provided creditable work and in some cases considerably more.
-The New York Times
Conductor Samuel Bill deftly accomplished the reduction from full orchestra. Bill's orchestration never overpowered the singers, yet it managed to convey the timbral essence of Picker's original score. In the context of Dicapo's small theater, one did not miss the larger orchestral forces.
-Opera News (Jan, 2011 - Vol 75, No. 7)
Samuel Bill led his orchestra in a very fine performance, whether the texture of the music was thick or thin. When sweep was needed it was there, as was a lovely almost transparent delicacy.
Conductor Samuel Bill, who also arranged the chamber-orchestra version, paced the evening skillfully, and there was some impressive playing…
-The Wall Street Journal
Samuel Bill, conductor and arranger of the reduction, led the 25 piece orchestra with purpose, effectively conveying the dark ambience of Picker’s intense, inexorable score, the lightened texture notwithstanding. There were times I wished for more reprieve from the loud, sustained, linear lines required of the singers and strings, but it certainly served the heaviness of this drama. The atmospheric winds in the first act, as well as the sudden thinning of the musical texture at Matthew’s entrance were welcome respite, and Emmeline’s attraction to this lighter spirit was clear, but he seemed to join the heaviness all too soon. Still, the unified instrumental texture created a through-line to the opera, rendered particularly necessary by inconsistent staging.
'La Bohème'Excellent singing by the cast, in addition to the orchestra's unflagging energy under Samuel Bill's baton, made it possible for the audience to concentrate on intriguing production details and nuanced performances. A wealth of subtle interpretive moves unfolded throughout the production, and singers enlivened familiar roles with fresh insight.