What Audiences and Press Are Saying About The Trial

The American Premiere of The Trial

Video: Opening Night Audiences Love the Drama of The Trial (June 4, 2017)


“Dystopia and the Dust Bowl” – The Wall Street Journal (June 12, 2017)

“This deft version of Kafka’s classic dystopian story, which questions assumptions about justice and law, feels timely… A superb, sharply etched production.”

The Trial Brilliantly Brings Kafka to Life as an Opera in its US Premiere” – Riverfront Times (June 5, 2017)

“Sunday's flawless performance came with one of those endings where the audience was holding its breath and didn’t even realize it until that startling closing line… You could almost hear the collective gasp — and then everyone jumped to their feet.”


The Trial at OTSL Gets a Fine Production” – St. Louis Post-Dispatch (June 5, 2017)

“…one of the composer's best scores, a libretto from Christopher Hampton that captures the essence of the source material, witty and intelligent direction, a solid cast, an excellent conductor and a fine production.”

“Opera Theatre of Saint Louis Does Justice to the Dark, Funny, Terrifying Vision of The Trial” – St. Louis Magazine (June 6, 2017) 

“Hampton invigorates Franz Kafka for the stage, and is this opera’s Merlin in its madness. Together he and Glass brought forth a warped, through-the-looking-glass world from the novel.”

“Two icons meet in OTSL’s The Trial” – Broadway World (June 8, 2017)

“The cast is resplendent with wonderful voices…these are Olympic singers… Opera Theatre of Saint Louis’s fine production of The Trial is a remarkable contribution to modern American opera.”


The Trial | Opera Theatre of Saint Louis” – Playback STL (June 8, 2017)

“A great opera requires that many elements—among them music, story, movement, costumes, and set—must work perfectly together. That’s a tough assignment, but when it happens, the work becomes much more than the sum of its parts. Such an opera is The Trial.”


“Opera Theatre’s Version of The Trial is a Clever Salute to Kafka’s Curious World” – Ladue News (June 6, 2017)

“An engaging and darkly humorous interpretation…in a crisp and curious production under the sage direction of Michael McCarthy and captivating conducting of Carolyn Kuan.”


“American Premiere of Philip Glass’ The Trial a Highlight of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis Season” – St. Louis Public Radio feature (June 2, 2017)

“The work was incredibly forward-thinking for its time, foreshadowing the Holocaust, McCarthyism and other moments where people just ‘did what they were told.’”


“Q&A: A conversation with composer Philip Glass” – St. Louis Magazine feature (May 18, 2017)
“I see it as a black comedy. I was following what I believe was Kafka’s intention: The story is so dark that you can’t tell it that way. It has to be burlesqued.”


Opera Theatre prepares a 'neutron bomb' of an opera, Philip Glass' The Trial” – Post-Dispatch feature (May 27, 2017)

“Through music you have a very powerful experience as part of the drama… It’s a distinctive work… this music is guiding the story, guiding the inner life of the work in one direction.”


“Soprano Susannah Biller Dishes on St. Louis and The Trial” – Where Magazine (May 31, 2017)

“Philip Glass really find a way to punctuate and highlight the story with his music… Every year I’m blown away by the performances, commitment, and production quality.”