Hopper's Wife is not for everyone. That can't be stated too strongly. Long Beach Opera warns its patrons that the production contains nudity, pornography, tobacco smoke, fog and gunshots. If that's a problem stay away. If you hold Hollywood and its early icons - its Charlie Chaplins, Clark Gables, Ava Gardners - in high moral esteem, stay away.
If it will spoil your appreciation of the powerful stillness and affectless emotion in Edward Hopper's paintings to consider their creator a violent, drunken, vulgar, suicidal misogynist, you probably don't need this.
But if you want a notion of one possible direction for American opera into the next millennium, Hopper's Wife needs to be your destination. It is not a particularly likable opera and certainly not nice, but it is brave, bold and important.
Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times
Dazzling. Wallace and Korie use a peculiar kind of mythic-historic fantasy to heigthen the allegorical dimension of Edward Hopper's real-life domination of his bitter and frustrated wife.
With its odd and sophisticated premise, the production makes a case for opera as a genuinely adult art form, one able to confront and decry the current "dumbed-down" state of American culture. It will be fascinating to see Wallace and Korie's next move.
Michael Duncan, Art in America
Hopper's Wife is a dramatically charged, surrealistically off-kilter, decidedly erotic, verbally explicit tale of a destructive love triangle...at once a diatribe against the conservative forces that would censor the artistic process and an intimately personal drama about an obsessive artist and the two women who serve as his muse.
It is also a head-on car crash between the pop culture of Hollywood and serious art, as represented by Hopper's paintings.
Jim Farber, The Daily Breeze
Here's an American opera that does not stand as the latest feeble rewrite of either Puccini or Alban Berg, by creators who honor (as did Mozart, Verdi and even Wagner) the notion that great opera is as beholden to the gods of entertainment as to high art, and have invented their own musical language and grammar to prove their point. May their tribe increase.
Alan Rich, LA Weekly
Hopper's Wife will prove to be a defining musical landmark of the late 20th century. It possesses the sort of urgent sense of cultural reflection of many fin-de-siecle works. An authentic contribution to the repertoire.
Charles Lonberger, Hawthorne Outlook
An engrossing fantasy meshing real
and fictional lives.
Daniel Cariaga, Opera News