Candace Evans - Director Choreographer
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News, Reviews and Recommendations

Recommendations

"In the six years I have been with The Dallas Opera, I have worked with some of the world's greatest opera directors: John Copley, Bernard Uzan, Garnett Bruce, Alfred Kirschner and many more.

I have only once worked with a director who came into the pre-production phase with as clear a vision as Candace and none who were easier and more professional to work with, start to finish. She received incredible plaudits from reviewers for her brilliant stage direction, something we rarely see commented on in the standard review.

Any theater or opera company that hires Ms. Evans to direct (and/or choreograph) is making a wise and timely decision. Timely because I expect her star to ascend very quickly.”

Suzanne Calvin
Media and PR, The Dallas Opera

News and Reviews

Florencia en el Amazonas, Indiana University, reviews

Florencia en el Amazonas, Indiana University

"The whole opera, story and descriptive music, lends a dreamlike aura to what one hears and sees on stage. Guest director Candace Evans— trained as opera singer and actor and dancer—has brought those talents to the production, one rich in movement, even though the handsome set focuses, from start to finish on the boat and its surroundings. She has introduced non-singing but very active figures that haunt the boat and the river. And she has given each soloist in the cast guidance toward achieving at-oneness with the characters he or she is obliged to become."

The Herald
~Peter Jacobi

"I promised more about the creativity of Candace Evan’s direction and Linda Pisano costuming of the chorus and here it is. They appear as a chorus of river spirits, strange forest creatures with electric eyes, crocodiles, magic fish and a whole legion of the spirits of death…. the evocation of the river, and the Amazon forest is pretty amazing."

Indiana Public Media
~George Walker

Florencia En El Amazonas, Indiana University, YouTube video of stunning visuals and discussions of the concept.

A new production of Florencia en el Amazonas, which Candace and her production team developed at Indiana University, is being picked up by regional houses. Watch the video for stunning visuals and discussions of the concept.


Watch the video on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPKH2jXQFEY

 

Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci, Cedar Rapids Opera, reviews

Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci, Cedar Rapids Opera

C.R. Opera Theatre at its finest with Italian pairing
"They pair logically and naturally, easily using the same rural Italian setting and scenery. And while both are filled with passion turned poison, they also are vibrant and alive under the deft stage direction of internationally renowned director Candace Evans, trained in opera, ballet and classical theater.

She has taken a cast of marvelous musicians and turned them into fine comedic and dramatic actors, breaking away from a presentational style and infusing them with equal parts playfulness and pathos surrounding the two tales of lust, betrayal and revenge. "

Cedar Rapids Gazette
~Diana Nollin

Little Women, Madison Opera, reviews

Little Women, Madison Opera

"Candace Evans returned to direct, and did a superb job of managing fluid emotional dynamics without letting the stage just look cluttered or busy for its own sake (and there are times when ten or more singers are on stage)."

What Greg Says

MADISON OPERA SCORED A TRIUMPH WITH LITTLE WOMEN!
"…..the minimal set, sustained by intelligent use of projections, works well. The staging, by director Candace Evans, is splendidly apt and imaginative."

ISTHMUS
~John Barker

"In a pre-show lecture, members of the cast described Little Women as a “hybrid,” an opera that incorporates influences from modern musical theater, Broadway, and even movies in its structure. Stage director and scenic designer Candace Evans seems to have worked in this vein also; her staging relies on building realistic relationships between characters whose emotions are expressed honestly in subtle facial expression and small gestures in addition to their extraordinary voices.

Evans’s abstract set consists of several layers — a solid scrim behind the 20-piece Madison Symphony, a translucent scrim midstage that separates the musicians from the cast, and a few doors, windows and partial wall pieces that are flown in to create specific scenes….This fresh look at Alcott’s most famous work is both arresting and elegant. "

Capital Times
~Gwen Rice

Hansel and Gretel, Knoxville Opera, reviews

Hansel and Gretel, Knoxville Opera

"Stage Director Candace Evans, in a move to minimize the frightfulness of the sinister witch, sung by Katherine Lerner, whose edible gingerbread house the children discover in the forest, introduces her with unconventional, short appearances early in the opera, gradually shifting her costume from something the odd cat lady down the street might be seen in, to full witch battiness deep in the forest."

Go Knoxville
~Harold Duckett

Salome, Opera San Antonio, reviews

Salome, Opera San Antonio

"It may be a long time before Opera San Antonio tops its Salome… By choosing to stage the savage power of “Salome,” Opera San Antonio proves it means to renew opera for the city at an exalted level."

San Antonio Express
~David Hendricks

"Her dance of the seven veils is not the usual striptease…. Best, the dance has an improvised feel to it; at one point she actually sits down as though she had run out of ideas. Near the end, almost as if in a fantasy, she meets up with four of the young servants in a lyrical dance. We see what her life might have been like in a different world. It makes her current situation all the more pathetic.

Picker scored with his choice of director Candace Evans, who is also a choreographer and who, through movement, works from the inside of the character outwards.… All of the above praise for these marvelously conceived characterizations has to shine a brilliant light on director/choreographer Candace Evans."

Theatre Jones
~Gregory Sullivan Isaacs

"My thoughts as I reveled in the Opera San Antonio's presentation of Salome were focused upon the marvelous performance. Everyone involved with this production deserves the standing ovation given last Sunday's performance. It was beyond my expectations, and I'm so glad that Opera San Antonio's Artistic Director Tobias Picker chose Salome as the centerpiece for the company's inaugural season at the Tobin."

Texas Public Radio
~James Baker

"The seductive dance had an appropriately spontaneous quality and was cleverly broken up so that Racette was not obliged to writhe and strip alone for interminable minutes. She removed and waved a few of her own veils, then began taking others from various persons (she stuffed Herodias’ veil into the prison grate). Turns with four attentive male dancers (from Ballet San Antonio) preceded her final reveal.

There were a number of unexpected twists in director-choreographer Candace Evans’ staging. The most astonishing came at the end, after Salome kissed the lips of Jochanaan’s severed head and Herod shouted, “Kill that woman!” The soldiers drew their handguns and shot Herodias(!?) and then Salome. Whoa."

Classical Voice- North America
~Diane Windeler

La Wally, Dallas Opera, reviews

La Wally, Dallas Opera

"Dramatically, it is very hard to start at the thrilling conclusion without making the entire journey with the characters. This was not a problem for all four singers, who responded to Candace Evans’ subtle stage direction. With only two characters on the stage for most of the time—one long in-tense duet— there is little that can be done. However, Evans created some remarkable effects."

TheatreJones
~Gregory Sullivan Isaacs

"Act Four of Alfredo Catalani’s, La Wally, was the perfect appetizer for the evening. Coming in around a half-hour of soaring arias, including the famous Ebben? Ne andrò lontana from Act I, Wally served as a precursor of how the Dallas Opera planned to bring the audience into cold, unforgiving mountains with the use of minimal staging and impressive projections."

Opera Pulse
~David Weuste

"The curtain rises and a beautifully draped and lit backdrop becomes a mountain range with the help of the brilliant projection designer Elaine J. McCarthy. La Wally works as a tone-setter, drawing the audience into a tragic story set in a bleak mountainous world. But it also serves as a stark contrast to Everest. It is a reminder of where opera comes from and of what it used to be."

DMagazine
~Catherine Womack

Lucia di Lammermoor, Livermore Valley Opera, reviews

Lucia di Lammermoor, Livermore Valley Opera

"Stage Director Candace Evans, who brings to this production vast experience as a singer and dancer, and director and choreographer of over 90 operas, musicals, plays, and ballets, and who has been praised by Opera News for her flawless sense of timing, has breathed new life into this 19th century work….

Evans has made good use of color, not only visually but symbolically, enhanced by Jean-Francois Revon’s elegant, minimalist sets, and the backdrop lighting."

THE INDEPENDENT
~Sarah Bobson

A Powerhouse Lucia!
"That complex plot, along with an exceptionally lyrical score and singing that is the apex of the bel canto tradition, was done to the nines…. all arranged by Candace Evans’ clever directing. While Evans’ production was all about the clarity of the drama, it was clear she also enjoyed leaning on moments of tension. Her staging was active and focused, and the dramatic pauses stretched a fat heartbeat past comfort. The opening and closing scenes were so spectrally lit that we were propelled into the characters’ inner darkness."

SAN FRANCISCO CLASSICAL VOICE
~Adam Broner

La Bohème, Arizona Opera, reviews

La Bohème, Arizona Opera

Arizona Opera delivers luminescent ‘La Bohème’...
"All of this has been staged with unaustentatious verve by director Candace Evans"

Arizona Central
~Kerry Lengel

"There are two ways that the tragedy of Puccini's "La Boheme" can play out: Dramatically over-the-top with the heroine Mimi breaking out into raging coughing fits; or subtle and quiet, with a death scene that comes at you out of nowhere even when you know it's coming. That's the route director Candace Evans took with Arizona Opera's production of "La Boheme.."Evans tosses in just enough drama to let us know what's coming, but then has Mimi die quietly, almost unexpectedly so that the audience feels a little betrayed by any hope that they had of her miraculous recovery."

Arizona Daily Star
~Cathalena E. Burch

"On January 25, 2014, Arizona Opera presented Candace Evans's production of Puccini’s La bohème with exciting young artists Zach Borichevsky and Corinne Winters as a romantic Rodolfo and his charming but not-so-innocent Mimì. Evans gave us a realistic interpretation of the libretto staged on sets by Peter Dean Beck."

Opera Today
~Maria Nockin

Roméo et Juliette, Arizona Opera, reviews

Roméo et Juliette, Arizona Opera

“Director Candace Evans told the story in an easily understandable manner that brought out the personalities of the work’s many characters.”

Opera Today
~Maria Nockin

Werther, Indiana University, reviews

Werther, Indiana University

"Visiting director Candace Evans gave stage life to all the inhabitants of the unhappy story. Somehow, she made them believable; she made them — as Goethe and Massenet would have hoped — characters to care about, despite — to many in a modern audience — their hyperbolic, overly- Romantic natures."

Herald Tribune
~Peter Jacobi

Werther YouTube Promo Video: Stage Director Candace Evans discuss IU Opera Theater's new production

Enjoy a fascinating discussion on the new IU Opera Theater production of WERTHER by Jules Massenet, based on Goethe’s partially autobiographical novel The Sorrows of Young Werther, which will be performed at the Musical Arts Center Oct. 25, 26 and Nov 1, 2, 2013.

"Who among us has never felt unrequited affection? Or had a relationship go wrong? WERTHER is a magnificent musical and psychological exploration of romance, obsession and the desire for poetry in our daily existence. Based on Goethe's novel, the characterizations and storyline are so intricately woven with the score that the emotional music becomes almost palpable. Although "happily ever after" is no more often the case in life than opera, it's always cathartic for us to soar with the romantic hopes of young lovers."
~Candace Evans


Watch the video on YouTube at http://youtu.be/ca4ivHfif50

 

Figaro, Florentine Opeara, reviews

Figaro, Florentine Opera

Singing, acting both stellar in 'Figaro'
"Actors are taught to act and opera singers are taught to sing - and all too rarely do the twain really meet. The Florentine Opera Company's production of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, directed by Candace Evans, cast that notion aside Friday evening with a spot-on blend of absolutely sterling singing and audience-connected acting. "

Milwaukee State Journal
~Elaine Schmidt

The Florentine’s “Marriage of Figaro”: Glorious, funny, poignant
"The image also crystallized director Candace Evans’ consistent deep insight, which aligns with the graceful symmetry of Boyd Ostroff’s set. Rescigno’s pacing, Evans’ clear vision of the opera and an exceptionally alert and committed cast and chorus maintained an electric atmosphere in Uihlein Hall for three full hours. In the end, after we’d all had a good laugh and as everyone took their places for the happy ending, my eyes dampened. It all looked so Ideal."

Third Coast Daily
~Tom Strini

"Director Candace Evans staged the story with a playful spirit, with moments that ranged from high melodrama (like the Countess’s lover’s lament, “Porgi, amor, qualche ristoro”), to playful physical comedy, and even to downright silliness (such as the campy, Gilbert & Sullivan-style “chorus line” ensembles that closed a few of the acts). It all served one of the most high-spirited operas in the canon, and the music matched the mood perfectly."

Milwaukee Magazine
~Paul Kosidowski

"...It currently holds the top place in memory of “Marriages” we have seen."

Opera Blog
~Gregory Rihn

Akhnaten reviews

Akhnaten

"Taken just as a score, ‘Akhnaten’ can become numbing. Taken as part of a dramatic whole, it becomes tantalizingly hypnotic and, as accomplished in the dazzling details of what happens on the MAC stage, a show of escalating power... Guest stage director Candace Evans masterminded the approach: moving from the parlous present to the ruler who so long ago failed to recognize growing, then seething discontent, and — finally — back to a present with an undetermined future. It works brilliantly. She has choreographed the action, most every movement, in support of mystery and anxiety. The tension builds, in potent extension of the music."

Herald Times
~Peter Jacobi

"The production, directed by Candace Evans with Douglas Fitch's designs and Linda Pisano's costumes, would be the envy of any opera house . . . it would be nice if other companies could borrow the production. It'd be even nicer if its success resulted in a commercially produced DVD."

“Parts” arts blog

"Stage director Candace Evans worked closely with the dynamic set design of Doug Fitch and Linda Pisano’s costumes. The result is a visual picture that fits very well with the flow and variety of Philip Glass’s music. There are plenty of big crowd scenes, colorful costumes and pageantry. But they are balanced with intimate moments as well. I especially enjoyed the joyful creation, shiny brick by shiny brick of Aknaten’s city of vision and later as the vision has failed and corrupted, its angry destruction."

WFIU Radio
~George Walker

Watch Akhnaten via ondemand streaming

Watch AKHNATEN

You can now watch the IU Opera Theater production of AKHNATEN by Philip Glass, available now for on-demand streaming at http://music.indiana.edu/iumusiclive/streaming/.

Akhnaten YouTube Interview

AKHNATEN artistic directors Arthur Fagen and Candace Evans discuss IU Opera Theater's new production

Enjoy a fascinating discussion on the new IU Opera Theater production of AKHNATEN by Philip Glass, which will be performed at the Musical Arts Center (Feb 22, 23; Mar 1, 2, 2013) and at the Clowes Memorial Hall in Indianapolis (Mar 8, 9, 2013) as part of the Indianapolis Opera season.

Candide Radio Interview

"Visiting professionals bring 'real world' experience to IU opera, ballet productions" Indiana University news praises Candace Evans and other "big name" professionals

Guest director Candace Evans, left, works with Joseph Mace in the role of Voltaire and Laura Thoreson in the role of Old Lady during IU Opera Theater's production of "Candide." Evans will return to IU Opera Theater for "Akhnaten," a new production set to open Feb. 22, 2013.
Courtesy of Indiana University.

"A new process for bringing big names from the opera and ballet worlds to Bloomington is a win for all involved, creating practical experiences for IU students while giving those professionals a chance to exercise their creativity in a university environment."

Guest director Candace Evans, left, works with Joseph Mace in the role of Voltaire and Laura Thoreson in the role of Old Lady during IU Opera Theater's production of "Candide." Evans will return to IU Opera Theater for "Akhnaten," a new production set to open Feb. 22, 2013.

Read the full story here...

Three Decembers

Three Decembers

"To these eyes and ears.. Jake Heggie’s 2008 Three Decembers made a considerably stronger case for that work than did the world premiere at Houston Grand Opera… In Fort Worth’s compact Scott Theater, stage director Candace Evans made geniuinely gripping drama of what previously seemed a Hallmark spin on Tales of the City."

Opera News
~Scott Cantrell

"A very different opera, Heggie's Three Decembers was another winner. The chamber opera's cast and director had to tread carefully to avoid a descent into soap opera in the 478-seat Scott Theatre. They did so unerringly and the performance (May 13) became a moving experience. .......... They and the director Candace Evans saved what was probably the opera's trickiest moment, the ghostly reappearance of the mother at the end, from potential mawkishness, making it moving instead."

Opera Magazine
~Olin Chism

"The Fort Worth Opera Festival has now done it twice: made a moving experience of a Jake Heggie opera that in another company’s production had seemed a facile pushing of emotional buttons……But, with penetrating direction by Candace Evans.. they bring their characters vividly to life."

Dallas Morning News

"Once again, the Fort Worth Opera Company presents a world-class chamber opera that could be the highlight of the season."

Everyday Opera
~David Wueste

"Scheer’s script, Heggie’s music, Candace Evans’ directing, and Hall’s superb stage presence help the audience understand and love Madeline even when her children don’t."

Front Row
~Wayne Lee Gay

"Fort Worth Opera’s exquisite production of Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers is a welcome entry into the canon…. The production directed by Candace Evans and conducted by Christopher Larkin, highlights the sincerity in the work, but it never crosses the line into simplistic tone.. the action suggests a link (whether it is emotional or spiritual) that permanently connects the characters."

Theatre Jones
~John Norine Jr.

"...Here the director Candace Evans creates a stunning setting by bringing alive a theatre stage shimmering in gold. Maddy, appearing in her beautiful nightgown, ascends to the top of the stage under a full moon and sparkling stars.

She then turns around slowly and opens her arms, as if she is about to accept an award -- except this time it is something bigger and better: the love of her children. "

The EDGE - Dallas
~Lin Wang

"On Saturday, Fort Worth Opera supplied what the public demanded with Three Decembers. The three act opera sped by, taking us through a cacophony of emotions that was not overwhelming even without an intermission because of the gradual crescendo of tension. A lighthearted first act escalated to a third act that had many audience members coughing and choking back tears. Director Candace Evans brought out the estrangement between the children and their single mother, but also allowed the audience to draw their own conclusions about the mother's choices and attitudes. The lack of the mother's acknowledgment of Charlie's partner was brought out and yet we also saw her anguish as she tried to come to terms with her feelings about how to support her son and his partner who is dying of AIDS. At the end of the second act their mother reveals the shocking way their alcoholic father actually died, and again, the direction of Ms. Evans gave the audience the choice to sympathize with the mother as she kneels on floor while her children berate her or perhaps identify with her as the Broadway actress picks up her chin and goes to accept her Tony Award sans children at her side. We saw the performer's complicated psychology that put on a face as needed to muddle through tough times but also found it challenging to be human and relate to her family when they needed true mother's love, not her crocodile stage tears. "

~Laurie Lynn Lindemeier of John Garcia's The Column

Candide At Indian University

Candide

"All sorts of talented folks have been involved over the years in the shaping and reshaping of Leonard Bernstein’s “Candide,” ….One of their challenges has been to determine just what it is: a satirically comedic opera, a European-style operetta, an American musical. It seems to be all, and one could add that it contains elements, as well, of the old British music hall show and the American review. Such a mixture is not easy to stage. A very lively and fruitful version, however, with the elements intact, reached the Musical Arts Center this past weekend … The performers have been guided and inspired by a new-to-us visiting stage director and choreographer, Candace Evans, who’s put her creative stamp on a concept and its realization…Evans’ dramatic efforts, too, prove faithful and original. She kept the story historical and yet made it also feel thematically current. Satire and rue, the brash and the reflective, the fantastic and the real were all in ample evidence and neatly blended."

Indiana Herald Times
~Peter Jacobi

Candide Radio Interview

"Candide" Radio interview with Candace Evans on WFIU Arts, Indiana Public Media

Listen to the interview here or here

Radio interview with Candace EvansEnjoy this radio interview with Candace Evans on WFIU Arts, Indiana Public Media:

The IU Opera Theater presents Leonard Bernstein’s opera about that eternally innocent optimist Candide. The guest director is actor, singer, dancer and stage director Candace Evans. When we talked on a lovely spring day, Evans commented on the weather and the beauty of the IU campus with a quip based on the philosophy parodies in opera, “It’s the best of all possible campuses.”

 

Roméo et Juliette

Roméo et Juliette, Knoxville Opera

“In contradiction to the tired stereotype of opera-goers, the audience for the virtually sold-out Friday evening performance was a vibrant and vocal mix of fashionconscious twentysomethings and culture-hungry newbies intertwined with the loyal base of experienced enthusiasts. Collectively, this was a discerning bunch that demonstrably enjoyed what they were seeing and hearing.

What they saw and heard was a deeply satisfying production that delivered much, much more than one could have predicted. The staging by director Candace Evans was nothing if not poetry, not just in the strategically suggestive minimalist set and well-designed stage movement, but also in the literal poetry of spoken lines from Shakespeare read by three actors (Bill Williams, Cory O'Brien-Pniewski, and Maggie Hargett) during the scene changes. The simple addition of the Shakespeare in English, which could have been a distraction in the wrong hands, helped smooth over the gaping story holes in Gounod's libretto and was a successful atmospheric complement to the musical story and a poetic reminder of whence it came.”

Knoxville Metro Pulse
~Alan Sherrod

La Viuda Alegre (The Merry Widow)

La Viuda Alegre (The Merry Widow)

“Candace Evans put into effect a singularly wonderfully flowing and attractive dynamic theatrical plan; arranged in movements and entrances, meritorious in rhythm, details, and meticulous acting. Her staging left no emptiness and presented itself with the other visual factors as one of the mainstays of the performance.”

La Prensa
~Carlos Ernesto Ure

“Director Candace Evans used impeccable form in her debut as Stage Director for the Colon, achieving at the level of a theatre which is among the most recognized in the world. Evans created and developed her staging, never losing the throughline. It is perhaps the principal thing one asks of a stage director; to follow a line and never lose its’ specificity. When there is no logic in the movements made…many stage directors have faced the repudiation of the public for not respecting this. Evans demonstrated not only that, but also detailed every movement of the chorus and the ballet, taking us at moments to a festival for the eyes…. At the final applause the objective was achieved with excess….professionally and intelligently.”

Hagaselamusica.com
~Cesar Alejandro Villarreal

“The American stage director Candace Evans devised stage movements which intensified bold moments of humor. She imposed a very good pace to the action and neatness in the masses.”

Opera Critic.com
~Gustavo Gabriel Otero

“Candace Evans was a remarkable register and added some touches of Argentina today, as the mention of the player, Lionel Messi, used with grace and generosity that caused great laughter in the audience.”

Noticias de Cultura y Espectáculos
~Martin Wullich

Onegin

Onegin

“Madison Opera's satisfying season opener, led with a sure hand by director Candace Evans, brings out the universal longing and, unexpectedly, hope in Alexander Pushkin's sad story of unrequited love…Evans frames the opera as Onegin showing the audience scenes from his misguided life….Life may not resemble opera. But this opera, among all of the duels and dances, uncannily resemble life.”

Wisconsin State Journal
~Lindsay Christians

“Evans did a balanced and nuanced job…In a work that tends to be introverted, too much busy-ness—and certainly histrionics—are thoroughly out of place. Yun and Kanyova—and many of the supporting roles—produced nicely nuanced portrayals under Evans’ direction.”

Madison Magazine
~Greg Hettmansberger

Roméo et Juliette

Roméo et Juliette, Dallas Opera

"...Candace Evan's choreography for the Act I party scene helped to create a visually engaging production that was easy on the eyes."

Opera News
~Willard Spiegelman

“Candace Evans choreographed the dance sequences with a light hand. The dancers actually look like real people dancing at a party.”

TheatreJones.com
~Gregory Isaacs

L'Italiana in Algeri

L’Italiana in Algeri

The Santa Fe Opera is out, Opera Southwest is in
with a sparkling cast in an effervescent production of Rossini's comic opera, "L'Italiana in Algeri," playing at the KiMo Theatre in Albuquerque. The staging and choreography, by Candace Evans, takes full advantage of the work's comedic possibilities, with the entire cast on stage in nearly constant motion for almost every scene. The effect is riveting.

El Defensor Chieftain

Kudos to the director Candace Evans who helps give a light touch and a clear access to the hilarity of a now almost 200 year old comedy. …… This production is a new jewel in Opera Southwest’s crown and not to be missed.

~Jack Reynolds

'Algiers' amusing, but it's no mere trifle
What happens when outrageous comedy combines with beautiful singing? You get "The Italian Girl in Algeri,” Opera Southwest's latest production……the tempos crisp and the comedy buoyant.,,, "L'Italiana" is wacky and silly family fun, but before you go, be sure to look up "pappataci" in your Italian dictionary.

D.S. Crafts For the Albuquerque Journal

Don Pasquale

Don Pasquale

Donizetti's Don Pasquale Delicious in Dallas' New Winspear Opera House
“…..the stage direction by Candace Evans was full of fun; and conductor Stefano Ranzani did his work with efficiency and charm. I assume that the inspired, very effective mime episodes played in front of the curtain during the scene changes were the inspiration of director Candace Evans. These and the accompanying wry, humorous supertitles added significantly to the overall comedic effect.

Overall, Evans showed a remarkable talent for inventing genuinely funny bits of business……the only real test is audience reaction, and there was plenty of laughter at the performance I attended.

La Scena Musicale
~Paul E. Robinson

This is Dallas Opera’s best show of the last season. Maybe two.
The Dallas Opera’s new production of Don Pasquale has such a contemporary feel (thanks to Candace Evans’ lively direction) that it could convince skeptics that opera can be energetic and fun.

DallasVoice.com
~Arnold Wayne Jones

“Stage director Candace Evans avoided the mild slapstick that some productions of Don Pasquale fall back on, wisely relying on the natural energy and vivacity of the principal singers. Still, there were a few notable innovations, including the introduction of silent-movie-style pantomimes, performed in front of the curtain between scenes, with the captions explaining and commenting on the action. Scholars and connoisseurs of operatic stagecraft might want to take note of this new, expanded function of the caption…”

FrontRow
~Wayne Lee Gay

“Director and choreographer Candace Evans has created a world of real people with real domestic and romantic troubles. It is all the funnier for it’s realistic approach. …”

“Bonus mini-vignettes, pantomimed during two usually unstaged orchestral sections (another Evans idea), were especially delightful.”

“When Don Pasquale dares to stand up to her, she (Norina) delivers The Slap. While this action has always been right there in the opera as a minor comic effect, it is Evans' skill as a director that makes this defiant action the one-step-too-far, the turning point of a very human drama. Everything builds up to it, and then resolves away from it.”

Theatre Jones Feed your Need
~Gregory Sullivan Isaacs

“Spirited, Beautifully Sung “Don Pasquale” at Dallas Opera…
Candace Evans, the stage director, obviously has absorbed the spirit of the piece, as it is defined by Donizetti’s music and Ponnelle’s sets and costumes (with additional set features and costumes created by the Dallas Opera’s technical departments).

This is a wonderful opera for both the veteran aficionado…and the newcomer to opera, seeking sprightly, melodious music encased in a story that is fun to watch. The Dallas Opera has produced a great “Don Pasquale”.

OperaWarhorses.com
~William Burnett

Dallas Opera’s ‘Pasquale’ a High-Spirited Romp
…..Candace Evan’s staging… brings the chorus beautifully into the action…

KERA Art and Seek Blog
~Olin Chism

Carmen

Carmen

The production also offered one of the most exciting evenings in recent Madison Opera history. Following the performance, people who -- you have to trust me on this -- actually are frequent opera goers, were debating whether this was the "best" performance of "Carmen" they'd ever attended or merely "one of the best."

Willian Wineke -
Channel3000.com

"Top ten of 2009"
In fact, much credit for the success of all three hours of Madison Opera's "Carmen" goes to Evans. She skillfully inserts Tania Tandias' swiveling flamenco dancing for color, moves the chorus on and off stage swiftly and gives the French dialogue a natural cadence…..Candace Evans' integrated direction energizes a tragedy that's so familiar it's almost cozy.

Wisconsin State Journal

While the leads were uniformly gifted, I was most impressed with Candace Evans’ smoothly integrated direction... Madison Opera has set the bar high for future performances, which can only mean good things in 2010.

Lindsay Christians -
The Capital Times

Director Candace Evans contrived a staging rich in vivid details, strong on gestures and movements…

Madison Isthmus

Merry Widow

Merry Widow

Watch excerpts from the Dallas Opera production of "Merry Widow." 2007

"Under Evans's direction, timing was virtually flawless, and even the slightest characters had real personalities."

Opera News

Candace Evans was the Stage Director. All I can say about her directorial debut is: BRAVA! The Dallas Opera never fails to dazzle in the production components, but normally, the biggest weakness is in the stage direction. Ms. Evans staged this beautifully. You can tell she comes from the world of dance for she understands the use of the human body on a stage to aid in the story telling. The blocking made sense, she kept a constant pace, she used the space effectively and created visual compositions that appealed to the eye and reinforced the plot. At one point Count Danilo and Anna, the Merry Widow, play a game of one- upmanship; Ms. Evans had them slowly circle one another like two animals preying on each other, seeing who would give in first; this visual metaphor was comical and perfect! I beg of the Dallas Opera that they use Ms. Evans again in future productions. The Merry Widow is one of the best productions the Dallas Opera has put on in recent years. Go see it!

Pegasus News

TOP TEN CLASSICAL EVENTS OF 2007
The Dallas Opera: The Merry Widow, Nov. 30 – Franz Lehár's operetta was served up in one of the best productions the local company has mounted in recent memory. With a superb cast led by Ruth Ann Swenson and Rod Gilfry, with gloriously opulent costumes, it was a joy start to finish.

“Lotfi Mansouri's production, based on Christopher Hassall's delightful English doggerel translation, has been reworked, brilliantly, by Candace Evans. There's plenty of action, but it all means something.”

Dallas Morning News

Inside the Dallas Opera

Radio interview with Candace Evans on WRR Classical 101.1

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Listen to the interview here or here

Inside the Dallas OperaThis radio interview with Candace Evans on Inside The Dallas Opera focuses on the opera "Die Fledermaus" for which Ms. Evans will serve as choreographer. She has worked for the Dallas Opera for several seasons, previously directing "Merry Widow."

 

Die Fledermaus

Die Fledermaus

Watch video excerpts from the Dallas Opera production of "Die Fledermaus." 2008

But, maybe from first-night caution, the voltage seemed low until the second-act ballet, snazzily choreographed by Candace Evans.

Dallas Morning News

Salome

Salome

"Mlada Khudoley was a daring dancer. Choreographer Candace Evans conceived the Dance of the Seven Veils with hints of a pop video. Six men - Herodias' bodyguards - swirled and swooned, carrying shield-sized mirrors before which Salome posed. They recalled Madonna's toy-boy entourage, and gave the dance pacing and dimension."

Opera Now

 

Ariadne auf Naxos

Ariadne auf Naxos

“Richard Strauss’ bizarre and astoundingly poetic Ariadne auf Naxos, being staged by the Dallas Opera, has something for every type of opera lover.”

Fort Worth Star Telegram

Love’s Labour’s Lost

Love’s Labour’s Lost

Love’s Labour’s Lost is one of the Bard’s earliest comedies, and it’s pretty slight. But as directed by Candace Evans, this gorgeously designed staging (set in pre-World War I Europe) is a solidly acted show… this production makes a strong case for its being revived more frequently.”

Fort Worth Star Telegram

“… the complex plot proved surprisingly easy to follow and the mood stayed light and festive--- for as long as it was supposed to.”

“If you’ve never seen it, you’re missing something—and you’re unlikely to find a better opportunity than at Shakespeare Dallas.”

Dallas Morning News

Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre

"Directed by Candace Evans with musical direction by Scott A. Eckert, Jane includes many awe-inspiring moments."

Ft. Worth Star Telegram