Skip to main content
2015-2016 SeasonThe Winter's Tale

What did you think?

By September 14, 2015August 15th, 202353 Comments
What did you think?

We hope you enjoyed your Quantum experience, and we’d love to hear your thoughts on the production. Leave a comment below and tell us what you liked, disliked, or anything in particular that may have resonated with you. Thank you for your feedback!

Join the discussion 53 Comments

  • Hal Hayes says:

    I LOVED the performance. It wa a great operatic interpretation, had great richness and layering in the costumes, music and staging, and was a wonderful creative collaboration of theater, dance and music. Amazing and wonderful!

    • Stephanie Sun says:

      I though last night’s performance was amazing! I have only saw Shakespeare in play format, so the Opera style Shakespeare was a pleasant surprise. The blend of projections, music, the voices are just perfect and very enjoyable. It was amazing to be so close to the actors and dancers, you can see their every expression and movement, which is a very unique and intimate experience. These is my second Quantum Theatre experience, and so far it has been more than delightful!

    • Aron and Karen Primack says:

      This was our first Quantum Theater experience and it was the best or at least in the top 3 performances we have seen in 49 years of theater and music experiences. We cannot stop talking about the sets, the costuming, acting, singing, “nude” dancers, projections, and music with authentic instruments. Everyone in it seemed to be having a wonderful time including the conductor who actually got into the act on at least 2 occasions. A wonderful coming together of three excellent organizations and art forms (acting, music, and dance) and the whole was much more than the sum of its wonderful parts. We are part-timers in Pittsburgh but will, like the two people sitting next to us, revolve our schedule around the Quantum Theater.

    • Catherine T. McCann says:

      We studied Winter’s Tale in a college seminar. I have always loved the story. This production, however, brought so much more to the stage than my greatest expectation. Dancers were impish, expressive, all over the place. Music was wonderful and singing spectacular – especially the clown. The projections on the curtain of maps and ship wrecks and flowers blooming were very entertaining and integrating. I loved the heads popping through the curtain. Leontes, Paulina, her husband and Hermione were actors as well as operatic and nobly dressed. The whole production was over the top. And that is Shakespeare at his best. Bravo !

    • Ryan Leonard says:

      THIS is what live performance is all about! A completely original production of material that has been in existence for hundreds of years, but presented with such vitality and freshness. I was hooked from the beginning-my only regret is that I wasn’t able to see it multiple times. BRAVO!

  • Linda Bilotto says:

    Lovely experience; especially for someone like me who is not real familiar with Shakespeare. I thought the addition of the dancers added a dimension that we’d not experience otherwise. Through their body language, dance movements and facial expressions, I saw mini-scape of ideas I wouldn’t have considered otherwise. I found myself watching them so often that I got lost in the main story and found myself creating my own story based on what the dancer put in front of us. What a story!
    My only negative comment is that the first Act was very long. For me, not being well educated in music as is much of the general public, it seemed there was a lot of repetition of the same lyrics which seemed to drag on some of the scenes. Removing some of the
    repetition ( without touching the arias) would have made the flow and the duration a bit better. The first Act seemed long and the second too short. A lot happened in the second Act and it was a bit difficult to take it all in so quickly.
    I didn’t mean to make these comments section so negative because I really enjoyed the production
    Some of my favorite things:
    The faces popping out of the curtains; the background Projections of growing /moving things,the lighting, the music, music, music!

    • Norton Gusky says:

      I agree. The total production was brilliant. The combination of visual imagery, music, movement, and drama were all beautifully orchestrated. For someone who is not an opera buff, two hours of reading text was a bit too much.

  • George B. Parous says:

    I write reviews for Pittsburgh Stage Online Magazine. My comments on last night’s performance may be found at

  • Jack Ochs says:

    This was a spectacular production. The music, singing, dancing and staging were superb. This production deserves a national audience.

  • Bruce & JW says:

    Blew us away!

  • David Sogg says:

    Saw incredible Winter’s Tale last night, and all I can say is: I’ll be going again. And hopefully again.

  • We thought the opera was magical. Beautifully sung and gorgeously executed, and the orchestra was phenomenal. We both had very colorful dreams the night after seeing the show!

  • Robert L. Taylor says:

    My friend Maggie Forbes (head of the Carnegie Carnegie) and I could only speak in superlatives! I have seen a large number of Shakespeare performances and this is one of the finest. I congratulate everyone involved in the production. Robert

  • This was a superb production, one that made me Pittsburgh proud. If the Pirates don’t make the World Series this year, we have “The Winter’s Tale” to cheer for. Rah, rah, rah!

  • John Dunmire says:

    MAGNIFICENT! An absolute thrill – voice, music, movement, visual design intermingle, producing deeply textured saturations of emotional vibrancy. A sensory feast, I savored EVERY morsel! Special mention: Dancer Anthony Williams lovely animations; and the power of Raquel Winnica Young as her Hermione spat out the word “blush!”

  • Ken Carion says:

    Great performance, great production, creative and imaginative!!!!

  • Barbara Johnstone says:

    Fantastic! I used to listen to and play a lot of early and Baroque music, but had gotten tired of it. The production made it come alive again. I had read the play beforehand and didn’t see much to like in it — very thin characters, silly plot — but this production got out of it what there is to get. Wonderful voices, particularly the countertenor and Hermione. Also made me want to go to more dance performances. We are so lucky to live in a city where something like this can happen.

  • Maggie Balsley says:

    Fabulous. Engaging. A theatrical event that deserves a full page of superlatives!

  • Linda Petrilli says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed it – so imaginative, and so well done. Very impressed.

  • Nancy Foster says:

    The collaborative production of “The Winter’s Tale” by Quantum Theater, Attack Theater, Chatham Baroque, and Joseph Seamans (Production Design) was truly magnificent. Every element was outstanding. It was an amazing delight to our senses! We were really proud that such a creative endeavor would be envisioned and executed so beautifully here in Pittsburgh ..and in such a gorgeous venue. Thank you!

  • Hilda Pang Fu says:

    It was overall a positive experience. But first, let’s get one negative comment out of the way: the presentation is definitely TOO LONG by 30%. It would have been perfect if it were 2-hour long. Even the most wonderful elements could wear off their welcome if overdone.

    Now let me sing its praises: Very very whimsical visual experience with dancers, opera singers and the projections on the curtain that “grow and wind around”. The faces sticking out in the center of flowers are whimsical and functional. The clown’s voice wakes up everyone who might have been tired from a first act that was too long. His voice is my favorite. I love the idea of this creative collaboration of Chatham Baroque, opera, dance theater and refreshing stage design. Keep experimenting and keep doing this!

    Last but not least, I never knew this auditorium existed. Thanks for getting me there for the world premiere so I got to see this gem within the beautiful Union Trust Building.

  • Kathleen says:

    Absolutely wonderful experience! The acting, the costumes, the music and orchestra, the words of shakespeare perfectly tuned into songs, the visuals and lighting. We felt we experienced the quality of Shakespeare as well as the music of great composers. Original, Creative, and outstanding! Could go on and on!
    Have recommended to friends relatives…this is a Don’t Miss event!
    Thanks Quantum!

  • Angeles L.P. Stiteler says:

    I’ve known Quantum and Karla Boos way from almost the very beginning. Karla, newly arrived in Pittsburgh, had approached the Latin American Cultural Union (LACU), for help. She was very interested in Latin American and Spanish theater, but, with a limited budget as Director of the new Quantum theater company, she needed volunteers. Ada Mezzich, President of LACU and I volunteered . I think the play was Death and the Maiden and think it was shown in the basement of Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. I was to be in charge of a large metal carpenter’s tool box where I was to put whatever money came in. There was somewhere around $353.32 , much in coins. Once the play was about to begin, I took it backstage and found no one wanted the money, so I saw the play, sitting in a folding chair, trying to control the noise of the large metal carpenter’s tool box. Karla has heard me tell the story thousands of times, and I promise never to tell lit again, but that was the beginning of my respect and admiration for Karla and her intense love of theater. What started as a means of saving money, her use of space and volunteers became part of what Quantum was. Thanks to Karla, I have sat in hot barns, old telephone operator rooms, cold factory floors where the actors had to take a shower, open rainy areas, gardens, , cementeries, old empty buildings …. And now, for the first time ever, though not surprised, I hear opera in one of Pittsburgh’s most magnificent buildings . My first reaction to opera was boring! but I was soon in awe of the “living curtain heads” , the incredible beautiful changing designs for background, the magnificent voices, the music and the dancers … all in perfect blend. Thank you Quantum, Karla and all those who gave so much of themselves. It was captivating!

  • Karla Boos says:

    Hello- thank you for wonderful comments! We had such fun, it was such a labor of love… and we are very glad you are loving it too! Please send your friends, it will be over all too soon!

    I appreciate the comments that it’s a bit too long, and/or first act is too long… will say all of this: I’m sure you’re right, we got better at setting Shakespeare to the music as we went along, so Act 2 benefited from that increasing expertise. We chose two beautiful, but long pieces back-to-back at the end of Act 1, Handel’s Piangero followed by Bach’s Mache Dich – a little intimidated to shorten them as they are such magnificent and well-known pieces of music (and I think beautifully performed), but probably right, that gets a little long. And I will throw out that Shakespeare wrote a very dark first half followed by a light and bright second half – that makes it feel shorter (Act 2 only shorter by three minutes!)

    Ah, will theatre-making ever lose its fascination? – I hope not! Thank you all for sharing, Angeles, though money is a crucial enabler, yes, I still care about the art more, but now they keep me away from the box office! ooxx

  • Kathleen says:

    I loved the production. Unique, creative, whimsical. The music was beautiful. The scenery and the multi-media visuals were incredible. It was wonderful to be in the beautiful theatre at the Union Trust Building (with comfortable seats!) I encourage others not to miss this unique production. It ranks right up there with my personal Quantum favorites – Indian Ink and Tamara.

  • George Loewenstein says:

    Stupendously good; the music/singing, the set (especially the faces coming out of the curtain, and the video), the dancing, the production.. Makes me proud to live in Pittsburgh. You should take it to NY, Chicago, etc..

  • Eugene and Katrin Engels says:

    The “opera” was in every respect magnificent. Our only disappointment was the small audience and we felt that had this performance been in New York (or Berlin or Leipzig), it surely would have been sold out. Our city is so fortunate to have Karla Boos’ Quantum Theatre. Whatever it takes, we need to keep her here, and what it takes is a public that will support her work by their attendance at her productions as well as their financial generosity in helping to cover the enormous expenses in producing such grand theatre.

  • Lisa Hindmarsh says:

    Truly a top-flight production all around – vocalists, instrumentalists, and dancers, not to mention gorgeous costumes and the wonderful graphic design of the screen projections. What a joy to consistently experience this kind of cutting-edge, highest quality from Quantum Theatre (and Attack Theatre and Chatham Baroque), all with artists who either live in or have ties to Pittsburgh. Giving these talented professionals the opportunity to live and work in our city while growing their crafts is a win for everyone!! I look forward to seeing what you’ll come up with next.

  • Supriya says:

    LOVED it. Bought tickets for my parents and sister-in-law to see it as well and they LOVED it too. Amazing music and beautiful dance. Thanks!

  • Jolie says:

    Great. As usual, Quantum took us to wonderful places in our city and ,at the same time, provided wonderful theater!

  • Bill Lafe says:

    Winter’s Tale –a remarkable combination of theater, music and dance–is another example of Karla Boos ability to create successful productions through a merger of different art forms. The production was impressive in every way. From my perspective as an audience member, it was funny, delightful and, at times, quite surprising. By effectively merging music, dance and theater, (as she did with Maria of Buenos Aires) I think that Karla is giving us a direction sign for the future of the theater. She is creating “thea-sicals” that can take even the most convoluted material (like A Winter’s Tale) and turn it into a wonderful evening of spectacular entertainment.

  • Chuck Story says:

    Absolutely brilliant! Always something going on, and all of it sumptuous.

    Could have done with less vocal tremolo, though, that was quite silly.

  • Nick says:

    A unique and grand experience. Had a great time

  • First, let me say that I was bowled over by the brilliance of a production featuring imaginative settings, beautifully designed costumes, acting, singing, dancing and playing by genuinely gifted, fully professional performers. I must add my admiration for Karla Boos, who manged to put together a flawless production of such incredible ambition, originality and complexity.

    Would I recommend this production to a friend? Very sadly no. Despite all the many virtues of the production, and the many talented artists involved, the basic concept, as I see it, is flawed. Though I wanted badly to get with it, I was not able to accept the conceit of Shakespeare’s poetry torn to shreds in order to suit the requirements of an assortment of third rate (for the most part) Baroque arias and other odd musical bits and pieces from the same era. Also, with due respect to the great bard, I found the story line of this particular play too thin to justify a performance of this inordinate length. During the last 45 minutes especially I felt trapped as a series of seemingly endless (and mostly pointless) numbers succeeded one another. And felt sorry for the performers, who must have been exhausted at that point.

    I applaud Quantum Theater for its daring in taking such a huge risk with such an original and unusual idea. And it does seem to have worked for them, judging from the obvious enthusiasm of the (sold out) house. Mine is definitely a minority report, as the show does seem to be an enormous hit. I was, however, asked for my opinion. So, for whatever it might be worth, here it is.

  • Linda says:

    A beautiful performance. The interpretation by the Attack Theater dancers, Chatham Baroque musicians, the beautiful operatic voices, especially Andrey Nemzer, and the ever imaginative Quantum Theater setting made it a magical evening.

  • Aiden says:

    I’m not from Pittsburgh, so perhaps my ideas of theater are different than these other commentators. If you open up a forum for feedback, I hope you’re willing to hear the anti-praise as well. I found this production to be wildly indulgent, and not in a good way. The 20 minute curtain call was almost a laughable cherry on top. I found the direction to be a bit lazy and largely reliable on “gimmicks.” The barebones of the THEATER in this piece were lacking. The piece couldn’t decide if it wanted to follow the rules of an opera, a play, a concert, or even to defy all rules…it would have been much stronger had the director made a choice in either direction. I applaud the dancers who were the clearest story tellers of all and made the three hour production bearable. In trying to seemingly achieve some sort of epic theater, I felt this whole production was underserved. There is too much and not enough going on all at the same time. And in my opinion, the ticket price was way too high to listen to an out of tune orchestra. If I were involved in such a great collaboration of artistry, I would demand more than just visual stimulation. Without the supertitles, would the story be clear? Without the costumes, would we understand the characters? Are the movements/blocking filled by each actor? I take nothing away from the beauty of the voices, design, movement, etc. But I didn’t come to see a concert. I came to see theater, and unfortunately was left wanting much more.

  • Lisa Pawelski says:

    Embarrassed to admit (after reading so many tantalizing reviews over the years) that this was our first Quantum production. Had a helluva time, Saturday night! The “more to know before you attend” email was super helpful, and value-added touches including a pre-show cocktail and interval light bite delighted us. Those heads in curtain slits kept us giggling. Susan Tsu’s costumes shone. Joseph Seamans’ projection design delighted (especially the vines intertwining with the dancers). Loved the virtuosic Baroque pit orchestra. Was gobsmacked how well each piece fit each singer–and later read that you cast before music was chosen–it showed! Loved the dancers’ wry comments. I am sorry that some commenters seem to have expected a more traditional Shakespeare experience. We bought tickets precisely because of Quantum’s reputation for–and reports (thanks, Chris Rawson) of–creative adaptation and outside-the-box collaboration. This was a total feast for the senses. Thank you.

  • Christopher says:

    As a first time Quantum Theater attendee I was disappointed by this production. For me, the elements of Dance, Theater and Opera did not meld into a cohesive experience that added to my understanding and appreciation of the story. The element of Dance, that was superbly performed by members of Attack Theater, added the least to enriching the story. While they were costumed in a dramatically different style than the Shakespearean players they frequently became a member of the story. Adding a simple costume piece would have helped identify when they were an element of the plot vs. when they were elements of the themes expressed in the story. I am not a big fan of Opera and knew I would struggle with this aspect of the production. This production seemed to focus on the operatic element of highlighting the singers vocal skill instead of working to combine music and voice together to express the depth and richness of emotions beyond what a simple spoken voice can accomplish. Here, the music did not reflect or support the emotions expressed by the actor. The music for King Leontes jealous rage sounded no different than the music accompanying the loss of friendship and country expressed by King Polixenes and Camillo. Although “The Winter’s Tale” is not one of his best plays it is still Shakespeare and editing the text should be undertaken with great care. Many of the edits here seemed to be taken to fit the lines into the Operatic element involving repetition and short staccato syllables to fit into the vocal pyrotechnics demonstrated by many of the actors.

    While I cannot recommend this production to my friends, I can hope that future Quantum productions I see will avoid the self indulgent aspect of this production and instead bring an enlightening , creative and novel view to the theatrical experience.

  • Mary says:

    Second “Christopher’s” sentiments completely. Mostly, I was truly appalled at the slaughtering of Shakespeare’s text. It yielded little benefit. It was quite a mastubatory production at that with everyone seemingly wanting to show off their tricks (design and performance included) rather than serve the story. You can’t deny its entertaining at times, but if I just wanted entertainment, I would see something at the CLO. Pittsburgh audiences are generally very accepting and supportive of local art (which is wonderful) but I gravely disagree that this would hold up in NYC or Chicago. The best thing about Quantum is what it demands of its audience, but I left this show feeling like it was all about the ego of the production. I hold Quantum in a higher regard and hope the company isn’t headed down a path of grand indulgence in all the wrong areas.

  • Suzanne says:

    Congrats to all! Fabulous singing, choreography, orchestra, sets, and beautiful costuming. So creative to use the cut-outs in the curtains and projections. So fun. Thanks for pushing me to go, Katy Williams, we had a great time!

  • anita says:

    Karla Boos’ genius for creating transcendental theatre experiences was on display again last night in this multi-layered, witty production. Glorious music and magnificent voices; sumptuous costuming and magical visual effects; and those mesmerizing dancers flowing through and around the action . . . it was hypnotic, stunning, delightful — sensory overload in the best possible way! The combination of Quantum, Chatham Baroque, Attack Theatre, and Shakespeare set expectations very high — The Winter’s Tale far exceeded them. So lucky to have world-class artists in Pittsburgh, and Ms. Boos ever spinning her brilliant new visions.

  • Kathy Davis says:

    A couple of my favorite details: (Act I) the stressed and repeated use of the word BLUSH-burning, suffusing, piteous; (Act II) dancer Kaitlin Dann’s singular front stage, wacky, body as corkscrew, and head-twisting collapse as events and emotions spin cyclonic. Throughout, the Dancers’ sensual movements supplied a whimsical innocence and an emotional mirror embracing, cradleing the characters, music (sublime)–and audience.
    Overall: An AMAZING feat, like poring a river into a teacup with Rorschach images forming, dissolving, and seeping into so many brocaded tablecloths, flooding floor, the elevators, the lobby and beyond; topsy-turvy genius throughout and OVER THE TOP sensory extravaganza, Everyone!

  • Adam Hertzman says:

    So much fun! The costumes, sets and dancers added so much, taking this performance from a “typical” opera to a more fantastical production.

  • Kate says:

    Oh. What can I say? This was the most exquisitely beautiful production I’ve ever seen. I wish it was available on film to watch again and again, though even that is not enough. The way the scenery unfolded, the beautiful characters and acting, and the voices! And the choreography and the dancers! So much to experience and so many layers of allusion and truth telling about the human character. I adored it. The only note I would make is that the orchestra was a bit too loud at times, making it difficult to hear the singers during the first act. Maybe one violin too many? But this was very minor. The orchestration was superb, and I loved the inclusion of period instruments. So, so, SO amazing and unique, this performance makes my heart beat even harder for Quantum and its collaborators. You are amazing. A work of genius, truly. Many congratulations to you!!!!!!!!!!

  • Alan Cope says:

    The best theater experience in a long time! Production was very creative as we expect from Quantum but it even exceeded that standard. Music was fascinating – all the hit tunes of the Baroque played and sung expertly as we would expect from Chatham Baroque. And lets not forget the dancers from Attack. it was hard to know which part of the stage to look atas there was so much going on. English titles were a great plus.

  • Joan Nilson says:

    This was my FIRST experience with Quantum Theater – and I was truly blown away! I saw the Enchanted Island at the Met and thought it was fabulous. But here you used one of my favorite Shakespeare plays!!! And your choices in the selected arias were exquisite. I know there are only a few more performances.. any hope of getting it on DVD??? (Hint, hint!!) I am sure anyone who attended would be in the market to purchase it!

    Furthermore, I had never even been inside the Union Trust building before…WOW!

    This was simply a fabulous performance. I happen to love opera and thought you did a top-notch job. It was simply a unique experience! I am rarely at a loss for words, but there are not enough superlatives to go around here.

    Can’t wait to see what the next events are in Quantum ‘ s season!

    Joan Nilson

  • Michael says:

    This performance was like many Quantum productions I have enjoyed over the years. The blending of opera/theater/dance was well done and I feel that the negative comments about adapting the Bard’s play to this format a bit unnecessary – after all this is experimental theatre at its finest.

    However I am in agreement with the comment above that the play was too long – pruning about 10 -15 minutes especially in the first act would have suited me fine!

    Keep up the good work!!

  • Susan Blackman says:

    The Winter’s Tale was the most exciting, creative, joyful performance I have experienced in many. many years (since Mark Rylance’s Globe Theater production of “Twelfth Night” set in a raw Theatre Square space). Excellent music—thanks to my former choirmaster and voice teacher, Andres Cladera, and Chatham Baroque, with whom I once worked. Superb dance by four fluid bodies under the direction of Michele de la Reza and Peter Kope of Attack Theatre. Over-the-top brilliant projections by Joseph Seamans. Beautiful music sung by the gorgeously-costumed cast. Unbelievable coordination by the inimitable Karla Boos—who either conceived of this in a richly detailed dream or worked painstakingly with her co-collaborators to bring it to fruition. Or both. I’m still grinning. Final note, I was totally overwhelmed by countertenor Andrey Nemzer, whose character and voice blossomed liked Joe Seamen’s oversized flowers in Act II.

  • Elisabeth and Brian Larman says:

    My husband and I really enjoyed The Winter’s Tale production last Tuesday night. The horrible weather that night did not deter us from going and we were glad we did. The lovely music, the surprisingly good voices and experiencing a new genre of theater made the evening interesting and fun. The impressive personal theater of Mr. Frick on the 10th floor of his Union Trust building was spectacular. Quantum Theater and the productions of the imagination and genius of Karla Boos and her team are always a treat!

  • Alison says:

    I must admit I sat down with slight trepidation when I realized that the performance was running at about 3 hours. This, however, proved to be a non-issue. The performance was beautiful and engaging. The singing was stunning and it brought tears to my eyes. Congratulations Quantum!

  • Elaine Morris says:

    The Winter Tale is excellent in every way – elegant setting, comfortable seats,superior music and costuming, a delightful 3 ring circus and the astonishing singing flowers!…on and on. Of course I have to friends to go because Quantum has more than out done itself again in producing Pittsburghs top staging event of the year.

  • Dave Molter/Pam Bice says:

    We attended the closing performance of “The Winter’s Tale” and were stunned by it! Wonderful production, staging, music and costumes as well as performances. Have never seen a how that so successfully combined different art forms into a cohesive whole. We had never heard a countertenor in person before, and Andrey Nemzer was excellent — beyond belief, in fact. Kudos to all involved.

  • Michelle Kienholz says:

    Distracted by multiple work deadlines, I kept the email requesting feedback since I wanted to be sure to register our delight with every aspect of the production and all the collaborators. The production was magical – and fun … head slits in the backdrop curtain … libretto sung in English with English subtitles projected overhead … Shakespeare with Handelesque (et al.) phrasing … narrative exquisitely enhanced by dance & projection … delicious score delectably played by Chatham Baroque & colleagues … actors embracing the myriad components in their interpretation. Kudos to Karla and all!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.