Feature Video
Garnett Bruce interview on Turandot - San Francisco Opera

Feature Articles
Die Here: The Frenzied Life of an Itinerant Opera Director
Featured alumni article in Tufts Magazine, Summer 2015
Read the story (PDF version)

Taking the reins: Garnett Bruce leads Opera Omaha in new directions
Cover story in Omaha's The Reader
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La bohème, Lyric Opera of Kansas City
"Stage director Garnett Bruce was very successful in making the opera playful and humorous, particularly in the opening of the final act."
- Timothy McDonald, Johnson County Sun, September 27, 2002

La bohème, Lyric Opera of Kansas City
"The way to make La bohème click is to avoid overstuffing it with frills and pageantry...The Lyric Opera of Kansas city's production of Puccini's classic won the audience's heart on Saturday at the Lyric Theatre with upretentious sets and six vivacious singers who captured the eye and ear...

...Under Garnett Bruce's direction, the hyper-energized cast moved with animation when necessary, as in the deftly timed Latin Quarter scene of Act 2, which ticked along like well-oiled machinery...And they stood still at the right moments, as in the intimate third act, where we really just need to focus on the characters' anguish."
- Paul Horsley, The Kansas City Star, September 22, 2002

La bohème, Austin Lyric Opera
"From the very first moments, it was clear there was much reason for the buzz. Bravo to Stage Director Garnett Bruce for helping his performers capture not only the whimsical and tragic natures of their characters but also the great ease with which the set and props become playground for effective storytelling through movement. This was among the most natural and believable casts I've yet seen in an ALO production, backed up by the fine accompaniment of maestro Richard Buckley's orchestra..."
- Michael Kellerman, The Austin Chronicle, November 13, 2009 | Read full review

La traviata, Madison Opera
"Stage director Garnett Bruce, in his own Madison debut, brings great imagination and theatrical coherence to his staging."
- John W. Barker, The Daily, April 30, 2011 | Read full review

La traviata, Madison Opera
"The mounting was graced by a freshly considered staging by director Garnett Bruce, who ensured that character relationships were authentically rendered — Germont's palpable discomfort at Violetta's request to embrace her "as a daughter" was heartrending — and that the party scenes flowed along spontaneously."
- Mark Thomas Ketterson, Opera News, July 2011 | Read full review

The Elixir of Love, Houston Grand Opera
"Director Garnett Bruce, a frequent assistant director for HGO, staged Elixir deftly. He used the music well as a guide of comedic touches and changing of scenes. His work helped make the performance a pleasurable experience."
- Charles Ward, Houston Chronicle, January 25, 2000

Der Rosenkavalier, San Francisco Opera
"The most joyful offering of the 2006-07 San Francisco season is a nearly flawless production of Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier set in Thierry Bosquet's re-creations of Alfred Roller's neo-Rococo box-set designs for the Prague premiere of 1911.

What makes the production so outstanding is the fact that everything works, and works together. The sets, costumes (also after Roller) and lighting seem to be created by the rich, overripe score, interpreted with alternating tenderness and gusto by Mr. Runnicles. Although the mob scenes of Act III always present a problem, I have rarely seen the complex serio-comic stage movement and personal interactions so well managed — credit here to stage director Sandra Bernhard, reinterpreting the seven-year-old concept of Lotfi Mansouri and Elisabeth Söderström."
- David Littlejohn, The Wall Street Journal, June 27, 2007

Carmen, Palm Beach Opera
"Carmen is so familiar that suspense is inconceivable. But knowing what came next didn't help Friday night; there was suspense in Palm Beach Opera's stimulating production...Dramatic vitality surged from the Kravis Center stage and pit, the result of an exceptional artistic collaboration: mezzo-soprano victoria Livengood in the title role, stage director Garnett Bruce and principal guest conductor Julius Rudel at the helm of a winning supporting cast, confident chorus and the Palm Beach Opera Orchestra...

...But then, Carmen has aged well - it's been 130 years since rehearsals first began in 1874 on Bizet's masterpiece. And Livengood and Bruce uncovered a startling level of detail to hear and see. You didn't just sit through a string of great tunes and nonstop dramatic situations; you were drawn into the action and saw in unfold in depth...Garnett Bruce skillfully maneuvered small groups on the well-populated stage so that the action continued without being chaotic."
- Sharon McDaniel, The Palm Beach Post, January 25, 2004

Carmen, Utah Opera
"Conductor Ari Pelto and stage director Garnett Bruce have judiciously trimmed the original five-hour score to fit Utah Opera's three-hour running time, and their pacing Saturday was impeccable...

...There was nary a wasted gesture in Bruce's direction. From the way Don José polished his rifle while making a point of ignoring Carmen's sultry "Habanera" to the bullfighter flourish with which the matador Escamillo removed his coat, it seemed every movement revealed character."
- Catherine Reese Newton, Salt Lake Tribune, January 16, 2010 | Read full review

Jenufa, San Francisco Opera
"The moment San Francisco Opera audiences have been waiting for all season long - the moment when musical excellence and dramatic cogency combine to searing effect - finally arrived at the War Memorial Opera House on Monday night...Francesca Zambello's dexterous, intelligent production manages to underscore the piece's conflicts without ever obstructing the narrative flow."
- Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, November 21, 2001

Cenerentola, Lyric Opera of Kansas City
"The Lyric Opera took a chance when it transferred Rossini's opera Cenerentola to a world of directors, producers and starlets in 1930s Hollywood. Its never-a-dull-moment production, which opened Saturday at the Lyric Theatre, lasts more than three hours and at times chocks more invention into the tale than it can bear...But this Cinderella succeeds through the enormous creativity of director Garnett Bruce and his team, and through a world-class performance by Prairie Village native Joyce DiDonato in the title role...

...The production heroically kept the eyes busy with cinematic eye candy - a studio canteen filled with Hollywood greats from Garbo to Groucho; a big follies production number whimsically choreographed by Tyrone Aiken; and a cheesy Western being filmed upstage, take after methodical take."
- Paul Horsley, The Kansas City Star, September 20, 2004

Cenerentola, Orlando Opera
"Orlando Opera borrowed Lyric Opera of Kansas City's novel concept for its production of Rossini's La Cenerentola. The audience was transported to Hollywood in 1933...Director Garnett Bruce's stated aim was to reveal what he believed was Rossini's "core intent: to show that it is our own human nature that provides the magic to make our dreams come true." The concept worked delightfully well. Who would have guessed it?"
- Edmond Leroy, Opera News, June 2009

Cenerentola, Madison Opera
"The plot hinged on a bracelet, and the director made it work. Garnett Bruce's lively, lovely production of "Cinderella"...takes a form known simply for "beautiful singing" and turns it into full-on Hollywood spectacle. Bruce updates Gioachino Rossini's 1817 fairy tale opera to a 20th century movie lot, complete with Marx Brothers look-alikes, peacock headdresses and men in tuxedos and tails. Bruce frames the action with silent movie-style supertitles during the overture, tweaking just a few lines to make Jacopo Ferretti's libretto fit...Bruce's confident staging trusts the music, from maestro John DeMain's responsive orchestra to a well-balanced male chorus and agile staccato in the ensembles."
- Lindsay Christians, 77 Square, April 28, 2012 | Read full review

Cenerentola, El Paso Opera
"...choreographer Olga Jordan and stage director Garnett Bruce used the whole stage for the perfectly synchronized dancing and the lively interaction among characters...[Bruce] wrote the innovative script and adapted the characters for the 1930s. We still listen to the rich music of Rossini's 'Cenerentola' and read the original lyrics, but we can enjoy all the creative twists."
- Cindy Graff Cohen, El Paso Inc., March 25, 2017 | Read full review

Street Scene, Wolf Trap Opera
"...Weill's compassionate score puts flesh on these cardboard character sketches, and director Garnett Bruce wisely founded his production on the plain-spoken eloquence of poet Langston Hughes's lyrics. Bruce established, as well, a tone of heightened naturalism that accommodated the varied acting strengths in a cast of opera singers, actors and musical theater dancers, creating a detailed and believable world."
- Joe Banno, The Washington Post, August 19, 2002

Street Scene, Wolf Trap Opera
"Garnett Bruce's stage direction had a cinematic flow and...rang true all night; he was adept at getting a natural style of acting from the partipants, even the extras."
- Tim Smith, Opera, January 2003 (Volume 54 No 1) p.87

The Barber of Seville, Utah Opera
"Stage director Garnett Bruce and his cast reveled in the abundance of physical comedy provided in Cesare Sterbini's libretto, adapted from the celebrated play by Pierre de Beaumarchais."
- Catherine Reese Newton, The Salt Lake Newton, May 15, 2006

Tosca, Opera Pacific
"Garnett Bruce's direction causes no objections, and his handling of the crowded close of Act One is exemplary."
- Timothy Mangan, The Orange County Registrar, November 17, 2005

Tosca, Houston Grand Opera
"It was necessary to have a production like the Ponelle for the show to work. Because it was so traditional, it allowed singers to use their standard interpretations of the roles...Thus, the staging was straightforward, relying on the ingenuity and experience of the principal singers to make everything click. Garnett Bruce effectively shaped their work into a cohesive whole."
- Charles Ward, Houston Chronicle, Oct. 27, 2003

Tosca, Houston Grand Opera
"...American director Garnett Bruce creates mythic staging, particularly in Act I, as a high mass makes for a jarring background for the principal's actions."
- Marene Gustin, Houston Press, October 30, 2003

Tosca, Houston Grand Opera
"The show is wonderfully directed in a tightly led performance..."
- Rich Arenschieldt, Houston Voice, October 31, 2003

Tosca, Houston Grand Opera
"The entire two and a half hours of Tosca kept me absolutely riveted to my seat. Not only do the musicians deliver a beautiful piece of artwork, they also express a wide variety of extremely profound emotions. Fantastic sets and lighting, a highly refined orchestra, and superb singing and acting by some of the world's leading singers make this production of Puccini's Tosca a must-see."
- Hsing-Hui Hsu, The Rice Thresher, October 31, 2003

Tosca, Houston Grand Opera
"...Houston Grand Opera's current production manages to make this most battle-scarred of operas fresh - and with thoroughly traditional sets and costumes. Both dramatically and musically, it's full of pleasant and subtle surprises."
- Scott Cantrell, The Dallas Morning News, October 2003

Tosca, Lyric Opera of Chicago
"Credit must surely also go to stage director Garnett Bruce and the associate director for this cast, Paula Suozzi, for reanimating the classic 1964(!) Franco Zeffirelli-Renzo Mongiardino-Marcel Escoffier production in such away as to allow for the individual choices and strengths of their three leads."
- Andrew Patner, Chicago Sun-Times, January 12, 2010 | Read full review

Tosca, Opera Naples
"Garnett Bruce has brought a sense of timing to tiny moments, such as the sacristan's attempt to swig Cavaradossi's wine just as the bells for the Angelus prayer chime. Bruce also knows how to stage a second coming, as seen in the solemn "Te Deum" of Act I. It's buttressed by the solid Opera Naples Chorus (kudos to director Robin Shuford Frank) and visually stunning with a wave of red, white and gold clergy finery."
- Harriett Howard Heithaus, Naples Daily News, December 21, 2012 | Read full review

Tosca, Lyric Opera of Kansas City
"The grand scene at the end of the first Act included a strong choral ensemble with a well-rehearsed and beaming children's chorus. The conflict in the second act contained plenty of action, and it was all impeccably timed—vocalists, orchestra, and offstage chorus built to a very well-executed frenzy. All parts were extremely well-coordinated throughout the show; even the most minute stage cues were perfectly aligned with the music."
- James Henry, KCMetropolis.org, April 20, 2015 | Read full review

Cold Sassy Tree, San Diego Opera
"Director Bruce Beresford, assisted by Garnett Bruce, provided conservative yet effective staging."
- Valerie Scher, The San Diego Union-Tribune, March 26, 2001

Cold Sassy Tree, Opera Carolina
"The staging by directors Garnett Bruce and Ellen Douglas Schlaefer...helped the action and emotions register."
- Steven Brown, The Charlotte Observer, February 2003

Susannah, Opera Columbus
"Opera Columbus' staging is a vivid realization of this time-tested American musica-drama...Garnett Bruce's dramatic direction peopled the stage with action while consistently providing focus and clarity. Acting here could easily go over the top. Bruce guided the cast to a convincing realization at just the right temperature."
- Barbara Zuck, The Columbus Dispatch, February 5, 2005

La Clemenza di Tito, Wolf Trap Opera
"Steven Mosteller conducted with a fine sense of style; the chorus and orchestra were excellent, as were the modern costumes and functional scenery of Luke Hegel-Cantarella. Stage director Garnett Bruce deserves special credit for mastery of that daunting challenge, staging a long, repetitious da capo aria."
- Joseph McLellan, June 27, 2003

Turandot, Cleveland Opera
"Garnett Bruce's staging deftly manages the crowds and interaction of characters."
- Donald Rosenberg, The Plain Dealer, April 04, 2006

Turandot, Lyric Opera of Chicago
"Stage director Garnett Bruce and assistant Leslie Halla's reanimation of Hockney's complex and ingenious concepts work marvelously well with the proper orchestral pacing, colors and details."
- Andrew Patner, Chicago Sun-Times, January 15, 2007
Read full article

Turandot, Kentucky Opera
"Kentucky Opera opened its fifty-fifth season (Sept. 20) with a production of Turandot that proved feast for the eye and the ear. Attractive sets from Opera Cleveland were a showcase for the highly inventive staging of Garnett Bruce. A myriad of subtle touches fleshed out the characters. Turandot was in love with Calàf from her first sighting in Act I. She even expressed surprise at his post-riddle challenge to her. The trio of masks was a macabre variation on the Three Stooges. Calàf's reactions to each of Turandot's riddles were highly revealing of his character as well. Bruce's handling of the chorus was neatly efficient while keeping their scenes in constant movement. Nine acrobats added color and action to the pre-riddle procession and grand act finales. All told, it was a masterful visual show."
- Charles H. Parsons, Opera News, November 2007, Vol. 72, No.5

Turandot, Kentucky Opera
"Marshalling his considerable forces on and through various levels of the stage, Bruce suggests both monumentality and a desperate hunger for death without becoming trapped in the muck and mire of people simply occupying space. In Act Two, he places courtiers Ping, Pang and Pong (the mutually sympathetic trio of Jeremy Kelly, Jeremy Cady and Michel Corbeil) in front of the stage curtain, lending intimacy to what is a series of lightly wrought ensemble numbers."
- Andrew Adler, The Courier Journal, September 8, 2007 | Read full review

Turandot, Dallas Opera
"...this is a Turandot with a difference. Instead of the familiar Franco Alfano ending, filling in what Puccini didn't live to finish, this production uses a new completion by a distinguished Italian composer of our own time, Luciano Berio.

...where Alfano composed imitation midperiod Puccini, Mr. Berio takes up where Turandot's strangest extant music seems to lead. He also dispenses with the triumphant final chorus in favor of a more extended and private reconciliation between the eponymous Chinese ice princess and the Tartar prince, Calaf, who wins her hand. Familiar themes recur, but harmonized in strange and wonderful new ways. The opera now end quietly and ambigiously.

...This may not be the definitive Turandot, but it's a beautifully wrought and emotionally gripping resolution...Stage director Garnett Bruce marshals the large forces pretty well, and he deftly underlines the awkwardness of the ending's unlikely pairing."
- Scott Cantrell, The Dallas Morning News, January 2003

Turandot, San Francisco Opera
"The current staging by Garnett Bruce is sensitive to artist, character and story telling, and it is precise and efficient in somehow getting and keeping the artists where the maestro wants them and where Hockney surely saw them."
- Michael Milenski, Opera Today, September 21, 2011 | Read full review

Turandot, San Francisco Opera
"Congratulations to director Garnett Bruce for his casting and direction of Turandot with it's tenderness, joy, pride, pity, strength, bitterness, menace, vengefulness, mass fear, confusion, triumph, loyalty, and above all, Puccinian love as expressed by selflessness to the point of self-sacrifice."
- Cindy Warner, The Examiner, September 15, 2011 | Read full review

Turandot, Lyric Opera of Kansas City
"Stage director Garnett Bruce creates compelling stage pictures and he knows how to move large numbers of people on and off stage...Bruce achieves a sense of epic sweep, aided in no small part by Brumley's sets."
- Robert Trussell, The Kansas City Star, October 2, 2011 | Read full review

Turandot, Lyric Opera of Kansas City
"Directed with meticulous detail and "crowd control" by Garnett Bruce and conducted with loving care by artistic director Ward Holmquist – who led a sizeable portion of the Kansas City Symphony in the pit – the production made a strong case for Puccini's problematic final opera..."
- Paul Horsley, The Independent, October 6, 2011 | Read full review

Turandot, Lyric Opera of Kansas City
"The 'Turandot,' directed by Garnett Bruce and designed by R. Keith Brumley, is a markedly more thoughtful show than the Zeffirelli warehouse sale that still clutters the stage of the Met. Faded reds and greens mimic the gritty grandeur of the Forbidden City, with various scenic details borrowed from Ming-dynasty treasures in the collection of the nearby Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Zeffirelli could also learn a few things from this team about making the action clear."
- Alex Ross, The New Yorker, October 31, 2011 | Read full review (subscription required)

Turandot, Austin Lyric Opera
"After a season of solid productions with lean sets, the opening scene of "Turandot" was packed with energy and activity....A great deal of praise belongs to the sprawling sets by Keith Brumley (which premiered last fall at Kansas City's stunning new Kauffman Center), and some deft direction by conductor Richard Buckley and choreography by stage director Garnett Bruce."
- Luke Quinton, The Statesman, April 16, 2012 | Read full review

Turandot, Austin Lyric Opera
"Austin Lyric Opera closes this silver anniversary season with its best staging of the year, directed with clean precision by Garnett Bruce. All stops are pulled: The orchestra, conducted with clarity and passion by Richard Buckley, offers its prime performance of the season, as does Marc David Erck's mighty chorus. The supporting cast is the strongest of this year's productions, as are R. Keith Brumley's set designs...

...Puccini's final opera is grand indeed, earning its rightful place among the card-carrying constituents of the grand opera tradition. The ALO team embraces this quality and presents a production that is not only visually arresting, but – more importantly – is also filled with talented performers and tight direction in all areas. It's an especially fitting end to a high-quality season: This year, the organization has truly given us an anniversary worthy of silver."
- Adam Roberts, The Austin Chronicle, April 20, 2012 | Read full review

Turandot, Michigan Opera Theatre
"This MOT season closer of Turandot, deftly directed by Garnett Bruce, is also a visual feast, courtesy of the sumptuous scenery and costumes of the Lyric Opera of Kansas City. It's almost enough to sustain opera lovers facing the long drought of a summer without opera."
- George Bulanda, The Detroit News, May 11, 2014 | Read full review

Turandot, Michigan Opera Theatre
"Binding this complex project together is stage director Garnett Bruce, whose breadth of vision resulted in a memorable night at the opera."
- John Quinn, Encore Michigan, May 11, 2014 | Read full review

Turandot, Michigan Opera Theatre
"Puccini invests the chorus in the first act with critical importance, and the MOT Chorus rose to the occasion; stage director Garnett Bruce moves the cast of thousands about the stage efficiently without losing track of his principals."
- Mark Stryker, Detroit Free Press, May 12, 2014 | Read full review

Madama Butterfly, Utah Opera
"The rest of the cast, under director Garnett Bruce and conductor Joseph Mechavich, delivers vocal security and dramatic depth...Earning special notice is 5-year-old Teague Salazar, who gives a remarkably disciplined performance as Cio-Cio-San's son. If Bruce had coached him to react more to his surroundings, the performance would have been perfect. But give the director credit for this: It's hard to imagine a more heart-wrenching presentation of the opera's final moments than the one he has staged."
- Catherine Reese Newton, The Salt Lake Tribune, October 20, 2008

Madama Butterfly, Dallas Opera
"Opera in all its old-fashioned glory – tear-jerking drama and chills-down-the-back singing – was back at the Winspear Opera House Friday night. Ironically, it was with a revisionist Madame Butterfly , the Francesca Zambello production first seen here 10 years ago. But the Dallas Opera staging, by Garnett Bruce, was so dramatically compelling that Puccini's chestnut hardly needed the traditional Japanese house."
- Scott Cantrell, The Dallas Morning News, May 11, 2010 | Read full review

Madama Butterfly, San Antonio Opera
"The singing, acting, set, lighting, costumes and orchestral music flowed into an emotional and compelling unity for a level of quality that was something to behold."
- David Hendricks, San Antonio Express News, October 1, 2015 | Read full review

Madama Butterfly, San Diego Opera
"Director Garnett Bruce, back for his fourth "Butterfly" with the company, embraces Moore's interpretation of the role and creates lovely stage tableaus."
- Pam Kragen, San Diego Union Tribune, April 17, 2016 | Read full review

Madama Butterfly, Austin Opera
"Director Garnett Bruce has put together a truly world class experience, from the first moments until the final heartrending notes, every breathless second holds the audience in rapt awe. The entire cast is magnificent, every note is perfection, a study in beauty and passion. The chorus is enchanting, dressed in jewel toned traditional kimono at the wedding and showcasing Bruce's staging to great effect."
- BroadwayWorld, May 3, 2017 | Read full review

Le Nozze di Figaro, Opera Omaha
"In most productions, the stage remains hidden until the end of the overture and the beginning of the first act, when Figaro and Susanna launch into their breezy duet "Cinque, dieci." But Opera Omaha’s dramatic director Garnett Bruce couldn’t wait for the overture’s closing chords. With the enthusiasm of a kid opening a Christmas present, Bruce unveiled his stage right away and quickly paraded his entire cast in front the audience. The subtitle of this opera is "The Crazy Day," and from the outset Bruce captured that feeling with a production that was positively brimming with comic and dramatic thrust."
- John Pitcher, Omaha World-Herald, February 27, 2010 | Read full review

Rigoletto, Lyric Opera of Kansas City
"Successful stagings of opera classics either offer an unexpected, adventurous take or animate the familiar in a traditional but vibrant way. Director Garnett Bruce clearly chose the latter approach in Lyric Opera of Kansas City's recent production of Verdi's Rigoletto, which made use of rented costumes and a handsome period set from New Orleans Opera. Rather than impose a particular interpretation on this fateful tale of blind love and misguided vengeance, he simply focused on the innate dramatic power of the story and its flawed and all-too-human characters."
- Kyle MacMillan, Opera News, March 20, 2010 | Read full review

Lucia di Lammermoor, Dallas Opera
"Garnett Bruce, as the stage director, is able to bring this opera to life. Lucia di Lammermoor is a very static opera. There aren't many action sequences. It makes it difficult for any director to capture the audience's attention, having singers stand and sing for such long passages. Yet he was able to create such striking visuals and compositions that it keeps the audience's eyes glued to every moment on the stage. I especially like his staging and the direction of the chorus. This opera has moments with more than 40 performers on stage, yet he is able to create stage pictures that flow. The chorus is no longer just a bunch of people on stage but it too becomes an additional character as they react in unison with gestures and movements, creating an entity just as important as the soloist on stage."
- Mark-Brian Sona, Pegasus News, October 26, 2011 | Read full review

Lucia di Lammermoor, Dallas Opera
"Stage director Garnett Bruce generally succeeded in creating the necessary web of intrigue and complex relationships among the principal characters on the stage...the complete exit of the chorus for the main portion of the mad scene was a convincing touch."
- Wayne Lee Gay, D Magazine, October 24, 2011 | Read full review

Don Pasquale, Opera Memphis
"There is no doubt the staging is splendid. The performers are simply wonderful, notably Met regular Monica Yunus as the clever Norina who conveys an easy grace and is possessed of a lovely voice....The set design is spectacular -- from the old man's penthouse to the rendezvous garden. It's a knockout setting that is sumptuous without overwhelming the production."
- Jon W. Sparks, The Commercial Appeal, April 2, 2012 | Read full review

Pagliacci, Austin Lyric Opera
"Austinites can experience this phenomenon for themselves at the Austin Lyric Opera's production of Pagliacci at the mighty big and fancy Long Center for the Performing Arts, directed by Garnett Bruce."
- Joelle Zigman, Culture Map Austin, November 10, 2012 | Read full review

"This production is a spectacular treat from start to finish...Director Garnett Bruce helms this production with complete reverence for its Italian roots. Everything is realistic, from the luscious Italian town square and the turn-of-the-century tailored suits (both by Roberto Lagana) to the warm, summery lighting by Kathryn Eader. And while it may be difficult to root these characters in reality while they are constantly singing, Bruce succeeds there as well. The confrontation between husband and wife is particularly jarring in its reality."
- Jeff Davis, BroadwayWorld.com, November 14, 2012 | Read full review

The Magic Flute, Opera Omaha
"Faced with the task of choreographing the performers' movements to the changing video backdrop, Garnett Bruce provided tight and nicely paced direction. It helped that he had first-rate performers with whom to work."
- Kim Carpenter, Omaha World-Herald, February 23, 2013 | Read full review

A Midsummer Night's Dream, Peabody Opera Theatre
"The staging by Garnett Bruce was consistently engaging, with plenty of humor and enough sensitivity for work's ethereal side."
- Tim Smith, Baltimore Sun, March 17, 2014 | Read full review

Candide, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
"The BSO is using as a basis an adaptation that Lonny Price made for the New York Philharmonic's performances conducted by Alsop in 2004 and nationally televised. The script has been tweaked a little for the BSO by Garnett Bruce, who is also stage director of this nimble, generally well-paced venture...Although a fully-staged, note- and word-complete 'Candide' would be the best of all possible presentations, the essence of the work remains, and it's delectable."
- Tim Smith, Baltimore Sun, June 12, 2015 | Read full review

Candide, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
"The globe-trotting story of Candide can be a little hard to follow. So Stage Director Garnett Bruce made the wise decision of employing as many audience helps as possible, from a projected map of the world zooming in on the story's locales to flash cards held up by the Baltimore Choral Arts singers, to explicit narration by a bewigged Peter Sagal, host of NPR's comedy news-quiz show Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!"
- David Rohde, DC Metro Theater Arts, June 12, 2015 | Read full review

Faust, Houston Grand Opera
"The festival scene, as realized by Revival Director Garnett Bruce and Producer Director Francesca Zambello, along with Set and Costume Designer Earl Staley and Lighting Design by Michael James Clark is pure joy. The chorus was infectious in their celebratory spirit, and the color, motion and atmospherics delight throughout. As with any really good party, I was sorry to see it end."
- Gary Laird, BroadwayWorld.com, November 2, 2016 | Read full review

"...Martinez's Marguerite was the most fully rounded and compelling character, as intended by the Francesca Zambello staging, here helmed by Garnett Bruce. By proceeding from the (sometimes cut) spinning-wheel aria to the aria for Marguerite's admirer Siebel, the production kept the spotlight even longer on Marguerite's emotions. And dropping the Walpurgisnacht scene, which serves little purpose other than supplying a ballet, eliminates the only part of the opera's second half that moves the focus away from the heroine."
- Steven Brown, Texas Classical Review, October 29, 2016 | Read full review

"I had not seen a decent staging in decades. HGO's production is charming at times, terrifyingly cinematic at others, and quite sophisticated...great use is made of the chorus, ancillary acrobats, and groups of children to give the performance the weight of a troubled cosmology. Visually, it is largely a traditional yet highly vibrant interpretation from set and costume designer Earl Staley. The palette has a kind of post-card, if not Technicolor, feel to it."
- Theodore Bale, Culture Map Houston, October 30, 2016 | Read full review

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