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Efraín Amaya / Press

"The coupling, Clepsydra, is subtitled “an operatic installation with 13 performers. ”There are three parts to the piece: “The Dreams,” “The Eclipse,” and “The Ritual,” although in the music itself these three units overlap. The videos represent the creation of time through the flow of water and the repetitive way of dream space. There are only three characters, a Man, a Woman, and a whispering ensemble. The music here is often intensely beautiful. Whereas in Phantasmagorilla one admires the sure hand of construction and, indeed, the wit, here one is transported to what might be termed higher realms. Minimalism is again touched upon at the “Transform” part of “The Ritual” (The sands shift in rare geometry). The important thing to grasp here is that, for all of its multimedia basis, Clepsydra works beautifully as a musical construct, and as imagined theater."

"The performance is slick. As Amaya’s compositional voice includes (but is certainly not limited to) minimalism, it needs to be slick to be effective. Bernard, the boy star of the opera, is played by Amadis Amaya (whose mother is the opera’s librettist, Susana Amundarain). He is confident and conveys the idea of the ever-curious child. Charlene Canty is a tremendous singer (she doubles as Opera Singer and Mrs. Cirkem, attaining ecstatic heights at the end of the imagined opera). Sean Donaldson (as the father) is perhaps not as steady. Amaya uses simple but effective means to evoke atmospheres (as when it goes dark and the boy Bernard is left scared at the results of his wishing everyone away). Towards the opera’s end, it is wordless music itself that enchants Bernard, and Amaya is, indeed, enchanting in his delivery. It would be better to see the opera, as it seems full of delightful and intriguing moments, but for the moment this audio-only document will suffice."

“Opera Preview: 'Phantasmagorilla' tunes up for new generation of opera-goers”

“Operetta has children's interests at heart. "Phantasmagorilla? No! Phantasmagoria," which will present three afternoon shows Saturday and Sunday at the museum, features music by prominent composer Efrain Amaya and a libretto by his wife, artist Susana Amundarain. ”