Stage Director: Opera-Theatre-Musicals
The Atlanta Opera smartly transforms Donizetti’s comedy classic “Don Pasquale”…Although this is Atlanta Opera’s first foray with the vocally challenging bel canto comedy, this production is hardly a traditional period approach. Instead of being set in the aristocratic social milieu of early 19th-century Rome, Italy, stage director Chuck Hudson and his creative crew have placed the story in 1950s Hollywood, the “golden age” of motion pictures…The chorus is ingeniously used in a party scene to portray iconic Hollywood figures from the 1950s. One of the questions that has to be asked when an opera is “modernized” in this manner is: does it add something of value? In this case, it does. -Mark Gresham, ARTS ATL
In New Atlanta Opera Production, Silence Really Is Golden. This production is the brainchild of director Chuck Hudson, a disciple of the great mime Marcel Marceau. Hudson cleverly pulls dramatic cues from the worlds of mime and silent film into the production – two art forms rarely (if ever) associated with the very vocal, very big world of opera. -Erin Wright, WABA Atlanta NPR
Review: Atlanta Opera’s ‘Don Pasquale’ is fresh, fun and lively
A fresh, colorful, lively and funny show that could easily melt the heart of even the most staunch traditionalist.
bq. Director Chuck Hudson created his inventive staging for “Don Pasquale” for the Arizona Opera in 2014 and also directed his Hollywood-set “Don Pasquale” at the Cincinnati Opera in 2015…During the entr’acte orchestral moments, we see black-and-white montage film clips from Pasquale’s career; it’s one of the most playfully silly and charming elements of the production.
Touches of physical comedy, which are often hard to pull off in opera because the emphasis is placed so resolutely on the sound world, are surprisingly well executed and effective here.
What’s best about Hudson’s conception for the show is its consistency. Opera directors often seek to update or change the setting or time of a classic work, but many times, this only succeeds in patches…Here, the new concept is sustained across characters, settings and acts…“Don Pasquale” is a surefire hit.
– Andrew Alexander, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Women dominate strong cast in HOT’s superb ‘La Boheme’: Hawai‘i Opera Theatre opened its 2016-17 season with a charming production of Puccini’s “La Boheme” … that is at once personal and epic. -Ruth Bingham, Special to the Star-Advertiser
TO CLOSE OUT ITS SEASON, Arizona Opera did very well by the serious comic challenge of Verdi’s final masterwork…Chuck Hudson’s imaginative staging—on a splendidly evoked onstage galleried Elizabethan theater (by Douglas Provost and Peter Nolle) with Henry Venanzi’s well-drilled chorus (in contemporary clothes) as an increasingly participatory element—proved an eyeful, usually in successful ways…Hudson certainly directed one of the most consistently amusing Falstaff stagings I’ve seen. People laughed not only at subtitles, but at character-based comedy. Hudson was thorough. –David Shengold, Opera News
Breaking ground with Arizona’s first ‘Falstaff': the last time director Chuck Hudson helmed an Arizona Opera production, it turned into a profitable venture for the company. For the 2013-14 season finale, Hudson created a new concept for the company’s production of “Don Pasquale,” setting it in 1950s Hollywood. Fast-forward to the 2015-16 season finale this weekend, and Hudson is at it again, this time re-creating the classic Old Globe Theatre used in Shakespeare’s day as a setting for Verdi’s “Falstaff.”...(Craig) Colclough, who was in Hudson’s “Don Pasquale” two years ago, has done the heavy, almost depressing version of Falstaff…He prefers Hudson’s production that “sticks very closely to Verdi’s score and the libretto, which at its heart is hilarious. That’s my preference.” –Cathalena E. Burch, Arizona Daily Star
Soaring sopranos and fat jokes make ‘Falstaff’ a very merry season finale for Arizona Opera: Arizona Opera’s season finale of “Falstaff” celebrates the work’s Shakespearean inspiration with a lovely set re-creating the Globe Theatre, complete with audience members on stage…which is just one of many surprises in store in an entertaining staging by director Chuck Hudson…In addition to serving up a delightsome dessert for the 2015-16 season, “Falstaff” is also the farewell production for Arizona Opera’s general director, Ryan Taylor…(and) this crowd-pleasing and musically astute performance of “Flagstaff” definitely sends him off on a high note. — Kerry Lengel, The Republic | azcentral.com
Our last Falstaff in Phoenix was fantastic…..50 second applause in the MIDDLE of the fugue…..WOW!! Now THAT’S how you close out a tenure RYAN TAYLOR!!! –Karen Slack (Facebook Posting)
Working with Chuck Hudson is always a much anticipated event in the Melba Opera Trust calendar. ‘I first worked with Chuck last year and found the five-days of intensive study and training incredibly useful. He is a great director and an incredible motivator, but what I admired most about his style was that he was most interested in the ideas we could bring to the work as artists and performers. The sessions weren’t designed to simply choreograph a couple of arias or ensembles – they were aimed at making us more self-sufficient artists, capable of greater focus. Reflecting on my experience last year, it is clear that what the group was able to achieve in those five days couldn’t possibly have been realised in any less time. The journey of any artist is slow – it takes patience, nurturing and time to digest all the information that is thrown our way. Just as we spend a lifetime finessing our voices, so too do we need to spend time developing our interpretational skills. I’m very excited to be working with Chuck again this year, because it will give me an opportunity to reaffirm my approach to my craft. I’m also looking forward to seeing how I’ve developed since last working with Chuck.’ –Daniel Carison (Baritone) in the MELBA OPERA TRUST WINTER 2016 Newsletter (Melbourne, Australia)
Sight gags, silent movies propel Don Pasquale: Cincinnati Opera’s lively new production, set in the golden age of Hollywood, lifted the silliness to a new level, and often had the audience laughing out loud…Hudson’s staging was animated from start to finish, and there were some very funny sight gags, which had the audience of 2,130 howling…this confection of an opera became a night of sheer fun. –Janelle Gelfand, Cincinnati Enquirer
If the repeated outbursts of hearty laughter from the audience at yesterday evening’s performance were any indication, the Cincinnati Opera has scored another hit with this production of Don Pasquale… the almost non-stop visual gags in the third act garden scene had the audience in stitches…There’s no question that Mr. Hudson knows his craft, and it was evident he had worked extensively with the soloists on what German-speaking folks would call Personenführung. –M. Auer, Opera Lively News
Cincinnati Opera uncorked a bit of bubbly…with stage direction by Chuck Hudson, the acting was hilarious.” -Ellyn Hutton, Music in Cincinnati
Cincinnati Opera’s Don Pasquale was a delight and, so far, the season’s best overall production…Hudson’s staging is based on his studies with Marcel Marceau and the best example of that was the staging of Com’e Gentil: it was hilarious… – Anne Arenstein, City Beat
(Knoxville Opera’s Carmen) Very impressive to me was the difficulty of the physical actions required while singing sometimes complex vocals, whether dancing, sitting or lying down.…stage director Chuck Hudson seems to have accomplished quite a feat with such an expansive work and the performances by each of the lead actors seemed to be as good as I could have imagined. –Guy Urban, Inside of Knoxville.com
A Strong Cast Rules Knoxville Opera’s ‘Carmen’:A plus for this production was an exceptional roster of acting singers (who) brought energy, freshness, and character depth, not to mention captivating vocal performances. -Alan Sherrod, Arts Knoxville
‘Carmen’ entices, delivers:There is a lot to like about “Carmen,” being staged by the Knoxville Opera at the Tennessee Theatre…stage director Chuck Hudson populates(the stage) with lush groups of singers…At several moments in the opera, Hudson places his cadre of female cigarette factory workers so they look like Degas’ dancers, sitting with their skirts hiked up and legs spread wide. -Harold Duckett, Knoxville News Sentinel
Chuck Hudson’s production of Don Pasquale combined Commedia dell’arte with Hollywood movie history…This was a well thought out updating and it worked to make this nineteenth century opera a great piece of twenty-first century entertainment. –Maria Nockin, Opera Today.
Opera aficionados tired of the old “park and bark” won’t want to miss Arizona Opera’s animated take on “Don Pasquale” set during the golden age of Hollywood… The production is packed with clever sight gags, including a lovely Busby Berkeley moment during the cocktail party… Performances are excellent across the board, both comedically and musically… for pure entertainment, this impish interpretation makes for a satisfying dessert. –Kerry Lengel, Arizona Republic
In presenting this difficult and massive opera, Wichita Grand Opera did itself proud… I think that this will probably be the only time in my life that I will get to see a traditional William Tell, performed as the libretto demands, given the narcissistic willfulness of so many contemporary directors… And you know what? It worked! The traditional production made the action intelligible and did not leave the audience wondering just what the hell the director was thinking… the stage direction [sic] credited to Chuck Hudson was straight forward, the chorus moved well and realistically, and for the most part the singers were well directed and believable. -Charles Jernigan, Deutsche Rossini Gesellschaft (the Journal of the German Rossini Society)
To produce Guillaume Tell is an ambitious undertaking for even the largest of opera companies, yet the forces of Wichita Grand Opera did themselves proud with this performance of Rossini’s last and perhaps greatest opera…The audience appeared quite enthralled by this profound work, applauding generously after scenes and arias, and greeting the conclusion of the stirring finale with unrestrained enthusiasm. -George Dannsker, Opera News, May 2014
The Wichita Grand Opera offered us a rare and invaluable treat with its production of Rossini’s William Tell…[and] deserves hearty congratulations for their successful production. -Dr. Randolph Lacey, Wichita Eagle
Austin Lyric Opera’s MARRIAGE OF FIGARO is a Crowd-Pleasing Farce
Austin Lyric Opera’s current production of The Marriage of Figaro clearly illustrates the brilliance and artistry of Mozart’s music while poking fun at the hypocrisies of the upper class…Under the direction of Chuck Hudson, the classic opera comes alive. Hudson smartly highlights the comedic moments of mistaken identities, crazy antics, and cross-dressing, all of which play to plenty of laughs. Still, in his hands the characters and the plot are never over-exaggerated. Hudson has a clear vision and an undeniable respect for Mozart’s material, and as neurotic, foolish, and irrational as these characters are, Hudson has them under control. –Jeff Davis, BWW Opera World.com
Strong voices, excellent acting…fabulously entertaining:
In Austin Lyric Opera’s “Figaro,”…the pleasures are many: Sexual innuendo, bedroom stowaways and intricate schemes gave the audience belly-laughs…its characters actually come across as flesh and blood people instead of “types.”… the principals bring a charisma to the stage that makes each character’s story a sympathetic one, all while exploiting the opera’s many sight-gags and ironic winks at the audience… the direction by Chuck Hudson succeeds beautifully in its physical comedy. Small details like the swinging movement of Don Bartolo’s (Michael Wanko) cane are smartly considered, and mined for laughs. –Luke Quinton, Austin American-Statesman
Taming of the Shrew – 4 Stars out of 5: WAAPA’s presentation of The Taming of the Shrew brings several layers of highly-skilled entertainment to the Geoff Gibbs Theatre, in the Australian premiere of Herman Goetz’s opera…Chuck Hudson has worked with some fine young talent to bring out their best, presenting a version of The Taming of the Shrew that is pleasing to the ear and eye, tickles one’s sense of whimsy, and keeps the audience smiling and talking after the show is over. –Nerida Dickinson, ARTS HUB AUSTRALIA
WAAPA Tames Gutsy Shrew: It’s a beautifully mounted production…(with a) young cast who bring infectious enthusiasm to their roles. Chuck Hudson’s direction was spot on (and) presented with focused skill. –Neville Cohn, The West Australian
Taming of the Who? Shakespeare as you have never seen it! With multi-award winning New York director, Chuck Hudson in Perth fresh from the US specifically for the production, both the singers and audience were in good hands. Acclaimed Sydney Philharmonic Choirs conductor Brett Weymark joined Hudson on the highly entertaining and provocative show. –Inside WAAPA Newsletter, Nov 2012
Opera Saratoga opens strongly with ‘Rigoletto’: Opera Saratoga opened its season at the Spa Little Theatre with Verdi’s “Rigoletto.” It was a strong production with everything at a high level…Chuck Hudson provided the expert direction. -Geraldine Freedman, The Daily Gazette
Spontaneous applause…That’s what happened repeatedly Friday at Spa Little Theater, when Opera Saratoga opened its 51st season with one of the world’s favorite operas: Guiseppe Verdi’s “Rigoletto.”… In Hudson’s production, spandex skirts and bad suits and ankle boots announced a contemporary setting… with neon lights spelling out the tawdry surroundings where Rigoletto met the assassin seemed to pin the action to the mid-20th century. -Judith White, The Saratogian
Sacramento Opera returns to full-length production with tasteful ‘Rigoletto’. (With) the return of former music director Timm Rolek as conductor and Chuck Hudson directing…this production signals that the company is back to producing full-length opera and in this production they have done so tastefully – which should always be a hallmark of this company’s offerings. -Edward Ortiz, Sacramento Bee.
At times, the story (Dark at the End of the Tunnel) is so fluid and candid that the audience can’t help but lean forward and open their ears, sympathizing and hanging on every word. -Kimberly Laurenne, Show Business Weekly.
With blocking polished to the choreographic and acting attacked like an audition, Paden Fallis performs his play (Dark at the End of the Tunnel, directed by Chuck Hudson) with an energy and precision seldom seen…It is the acting equivalent to a gymnast’s floor routine. Fallis nails it. -Theatre Jones, Dallas.
Director Chuck Hudson has helped Fallis do right by his own writing…the athletic physicality, the ability to project wolf-like hunger, the capacity to do emotional somersaults in an instant. -Lawson Taitte, Dallas Morning News.
Everyone I’ve talked to or exchanged messages with so far has mentioned the magical power of your coaching. David Littlejohn, Wall Street Journal
Training nowadays usually begins with Chuck Hudson’s acting classes, in which the voice becomes one with the face and the limbs. “It was ‘Acting for Dummies,’ says David Lomelí, ’08. ‘He changed everything.’ David Littlejohn, Wall Street Journal
In a short amount of time, Hudson so successfully focused each singer’s energy that every single one sang better and more convincingly the second time around… For several other singers, high notes blossomed, and formerly generalized performances became charged with electricity. Jason Victor Serinus, BAY AREA REPORTER
Making relationships between characters visible, giving physical shape to thematic relationships and their dramaturgical significance, even asking the audience to reconsider the information given in the score…are all part of the task. Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of doing a production with you knows the performers are both comfortable and challenged, which is what we all want! Comfortable enough to utilize all they have spent years learning, and challenged to add to that almost daily in rehearsals and on stage at night. Kamal Khan, conductor of Cape Town Opera, quoted from an online discussion
They say you only see twelve great shows in a lifetime. I suspect that may be true. I have seen Chuck Hudson direct three shows that left me in a state of transport, and I do not praise easily. Joann Farias , Playwright, recipient of the NEA/TCG Theatre Residency Program for Playwrights grant.
[Building a Vivid Character:] Do these young professionals experience artistic breakthrough moments while working (at the Merola Program)? Lahyani and Rodrìguez mentioned acting teacher Chuck Hudson, and others agreed. Rodrìguez, for one, came in with set ideas of how to sing each of his arias and to interpret the characters. He reported that Hudson “took a hammer and smashed [them]” and said, “Now, let’s build them together.” “We sometimes get so used to seeing a character one way and think, ‘That’s the way it works for me, and I’m not going to change it.’ But then [Hudson] starts asking questions like why? when? how? It helped me so much to let go of things that weren’t helpful anymore for the characters I was singing. San Francisco Classical Voice, July 2009
Chuck Hudson’s strong and crisp direction (of La Bohème at Sacramento Opera) gave much dramatic heft to the work’s tragic moments and comic brilliance to lighthearted ones…Hudson’s stage direction was masterly in the tricky second act where crowds gather in the Latin Quarter. Here the stage is populated with chorus and supernumeraries, but never does it seem cramped or the actions artificial. Edward Ortiz, Sacramento Bee.
Stage Director Chuck Hudson did an excellent job of staging La Bohème. The action moved fluidly and naturally…the final scene was particularly well staged, and the closing tableau is an image that will long stay with me. James E. Roberts, Gold Country Times
Inventive staging by Chuck Hudson and a solid performance combined to create a magical evening…Hudson’s staging was highlighted by the magical dream garden created by the fairies and sprites using large green fans and constantly rearranging themselves for the sensuously beautiful duet of Cendrillon and her Prince. Charles H. Parsons, OPERA NEWS.
IU Opera (Cendrillon) offers appealing take on Cinderella story: Treats for eyes and ears are plentiful…Guest stage director Chuck Hudson has managed to maneuver all the soloists and groupings, the adult and children’s choruses and dancers through their escapades. They all remain comfortably stage-bound, save for the Fairy Godmother who is privileged to float in from on high. Peter Jacobi, Bloomington Herald-Times.
Guest stage director Chuck Hudson’s … staging is clearly an organic part of the overall design. His blocking is clear and direct in many of the dramatic scenes and has a fittingly whimsical complexity in the more involved mystical parts of “Cendrillon.” …There’s a great scene in which the step mother has the daughters proudly unroll thirty or forty feet of a family tree that includes quite a catalog of various worthies and even a few appropriately royal mistresses. David Wood, WIFU Radio Online.
Opera Cleveland serves up a hearty and graceful “Hansel and Gretel”. Chuck Hudson’s fluid staging kept the events moving blissfully along, with fine attention to characterization and atmosphere…the inventive episode during the pantomime featuring Hansel and Gretel’s deceased mother (danced by Lisa L. Lock) added psychological resonance. Donald Rosenberg, Plain Dealer Reporter.
‘Hansel and Gretel’ ‘fine production’ : Director Chuck Hudson and conductor Dean Williamson do an excellent job with the opera…Although much of the show is directed to children, the story has adult themes. Hudson and Williamson succeed in offering a fine production to both children and adults. David Ritchey, West Side Leader
[Almost, Maine] A director less skilled and disciplined than Chuck Hudson might have encouraged excessive punching of some lines, even supported an actor’s inclination to go over the top. Not Mr. Hudson. Instead both he and the cast of four (who divvy up portraying 19 characters) respect the creative machinations of the playwright’s mind. Donna Baily-Thompson, In The Spotlight
Chuck Hudson, directing all of this, has created both comic and touching moments for his cast to work through as they develop each small mystery. Peter Bergman, The Advocate
This endearing show is just the ticket for escaping…to a world where a kiss is not just still a kiss, but a life changing big deal. Elyse Sommer, curtainup.com
‘La Bohème’ plays up drama… (CCM-Opera Theatre) Hudson’s quest for meaning goes beyond words “to make the invisible visible. Mary Ellen Hutton, Cincinnati Enquirer
Daring ‘Turn of the Screw’ thrills with a fine cast: In the Sacramento Opera’s deeply engaging and highly provocative production of Benjamin Britten’s “The Turn of the Screw,” sexual awakening is the dramatic fuse that sets the drama on fire…Chuck Hudson’s crisp and erotically veiled direction is filled with just the right fervor of caged sexuality. In this production, the housekeeper has unrealized sexual desires of her own that are directed toward the governess. All this seething ethereal erotica makes you wonder what’s in the drinking water in this country estate. Edward Ortiz , Sacramento Bee
Imagine Benjamin Britten’s “The Turn of the Screw” in a spirited, flawless performance, a splendidly cast, convincingly directed, spectacularly sung and played production…(Quint’s) ghostly evil character (in Chuck Hudson’s self-effacing and clearly communicating direction) received equally deserved bravos and hisses. Director and singer are both special in their ability and willingness to disappear in their work. There is no Regietheater or star in Sacramento, “only” good direction and great performance. Janos Gereben, San Francisco Classical Voice
Sac Opera’s production (of Turn of the Screw) was elegantly staged and shrewdly interpreted by director Chuck Hudson, whose program note rightly observes the Hitchcockian overtones of the material-which “seduces as well as repulses the audience by what is left unsaid.” Highly skilled, increasingly kinky, unabashedly creepy. Jonathan Kiefer, Sacramento News and Reviews
The Berkshire Opera’s first production of Puccini’s little masterpiece about love and friendship in the springtime of life succeeds under Chuck Hudson’s staging for a simple reason: It seems real, delightfully and painfully so… The accent in Hudson’s conceit for this “Bohème” is on realism. One never senses a mere traffic cop moving people around. He is impelling real people who are savoring and suffering life. The Act IV death scene is among the most cogent in memory as this Mimi slowly passes away and each character gradually realizes the tragedy that has occurred in that room. Richard Houdek, Berkshire Eagle
Director Chuck Hudson did nothing to disturb the traditional setting of 19th-century Paris, nor did he throw the characters — poor young artists — off their fated course. Joseph Dalton, Times Union (Albany)
Here is a jewel-box setting for an intricately cut and excellently mounted gem of a production…Hudson has taken this opera into the plains of reality with strong physical kinships and a sense of realism that sharpened those relationships. He has painted pictures that make sense and that aid in the tugging of our heartstrings. It is beautiful work and this company will be fortunate to have him back in future seasons. J. Peter Bergman, Berkshire Bright Focus
Piedmont Opera’s Così fan tutte: Fresh Insights Amid Tradition. My fulsome praise of stage director Chuck Hudson’s splendid achievements in his traditional staging of Mozart’s Così fan tutte. Fresh touches abounded throughout this production… An imaginative twist at the end is fully justified by the ambiguity of both Mozart’s music and da Ponte’s libretto…Hudson’ “outside the box” approach was visible during mimed onstage action during the overture…Hudson’s staging benefited from a strong cast of young singer-actors who threw themselves wholeheartedly into the spirit of his approach. William Thomas Walker, Classical Voice of North Carolina
Powerful Ending: Piedmont Opera gives ‘Cosi’ some clarity–stage director Chuck Hudson clarifies the less-than-clear conclusion of Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte. Hudson’s brilliant take on an opera:…Almost everything the singers do brilliantly illuminates or complements lyrics, instrumental sounds and the emotions they express. Thanks to Hudson, one scene flows smoothly into the next… We enjoy this Cosi for all the right reasons. It makes us laugh, and its music moves us in ways that few other scores can. Ken Keuffel, Winston-Salem Journal
‘Madama Butterfly’ soars with simplicity. Stillness has a way of making sudden gestures seem profound. On Saturday, the Shreveport Opera’s production of “Madama Butterfly” soared because it made the simplest actions “” either strewing flowers petals or unsheathing a dagger “” overflow with emotion…The production was directed by Chuck Hudson and conducted by Louis Menendez. The staging was exotic without being extravagant, allowing our attention to focus clearly on the deft performances by the cast and the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra…What struck me as most memorable was not the music but rather the calmly composed visions…Arguments were played without grand, distracting gestures. The cast always seemed to float in and out of view, never upstaging the two lovers…By highlighting crucial moments with true spectacle, the creators of this “Madama Butterfly” made sure the evening will not be forgotten soon. The Shreveport Opera deserves the highest marks for their efforts. Alexander Kent, Shreveport Times
Overall credit must obviously go to a production team, who have worked long and hard to achieve so fluent a production (Le Nozze di Figaro at Cape Town Opera, South Africa), especially one which moves at this pace. Chuck Hudson’s direction is a winning combination of textual and historical fidelity, coupled with just enough leeway to ensure a surprising degree of contemporary currency. Hudson’s attention to detail in characterisation is exemplary and the result is a set of characters who are believable as fiction, but recognisable types in our own experience. Deon Irish, Cape Times
Visiting New York stage and opera director Chuck Hudson has led from the top (Le Nozze di Figaro at cape Town Opera, South Africa). He has energised and inspired his disciplined young cast to reach new heights and they have responded. Fiona Chisolm
It is something of a tour de force to take a perennial pleaser like Mozart’s Nozze di Figaro and give it the freshness of a less familiar work while keeping to traditional staging and costumes with due respect for a sense of period. This is precisely what this co-production between Cape Town Opera and the UCT Opera School offers its audience, and the result is an evening of undiluted pleasure. Beverly Brommert, Cape Argus
It was an outstanding performance (Le Nozze di Figaro at Cape Town Opera, South Africa)! I’m still smiling this morning. Erika Bornman, Chief Copy Editor: House and Leisure Magazine, South Africa
Imagine Boccaccio channeled by Monty Python and you’ll have some idea of the hilarity of Wolf Trap Opera Company’s production of Rossini’s Le Comte Ory…The splendid 20-member cast revels in outrageous overacting and onstage wardrobe malfunctions. The set’s angles and proportions are all wrong — which is exactly right. See Le Comte Ory if you can. There’s not a wrong note in the whole production. Mark J. Estren, Washington Post
Director Chuck Hudson seized on the silliness (Wolf Trap Opera Company’s production of Rossini’s Le Comte Ory) to create a steady stream of gags that were executed with considerable assurance…Lollipops, a sequined cod piece, self-flagellation, a flying cow, and a unicorn — just some of the diversions that complemented all the confident, stylish music-making. Tim Smith, Opera News
Funny, fast-paced ‘Ory’. “The Wolf Trap Opera Company launched its impossibly entertaining version of Gioacchino Rossini’s Le Comte Ory this past weekend, and it’s a must-see…Positively vaudevillian. Director Chuck Hudson picks up the cue, crafting a production that seems, at times, like an outtake from “Spamalot” executed at breakneck speed…making this production a refreshing musical and comedic romp that can be savored by longtime opera fans as well as opera rookies searching for a painless point of entry.??TL Ponick, Washington Times??
Massenet has always gone down easy…or at least it did…at the second performance of the Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater’s perfectly enjoyable production (Cendrillon)…Chuck Hudson, the director, stuck clearly to his story without too much embellishment…there was much to enjoy in this youthful evening. Anne Midgette, New York Times
The Manhattan School has turned out many fine singers of late, and the current crop is in good hands for this show (Cendrillon): those of the increasingly prominent French conductor Laurent Pillot and the experienced, creative director Chuck Hudson. David Shengold, Time Out NY
For its spring production, the Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater presented a properly enchanting account of Cendrillon (Cinderella)…its score of crystalline elegance led with a suitably light touch by Laurent Pillot, its action imaginatively guided by Chuck Hudson. Bruce Michael-Gelbert, Opera Magazine (UK), Theatre Scene.net
The first-rate production (Le Donne di Gioccomo Puccini at Opera Santa Barbara / Puccini Festival of Lucca) featured…a terrifically strong cast of five sopranos performing, well, Puccini’s greatest hits. Under the able baton of Cal Stewart Kellogg and stage director Chuck Hudson, singers and orchestra indulged in the high drama, emotional power and unforgettable melodies that are the hallmarks of this composer. Peter Frisch, News-Press Correspondent
Director Chuck Hudson (Barber of Seville, Sacramento Opera) never veered into slapstick or overextended the joke; he knew when to trust the audience. The sharp comic timing gave the stylized humor a sense of spontaneity. Rasmi Simhan, Sacramento Bee
The AVA production (of Cosi) came two days later as balm to my ears and to my theatrical preconceptions also…I found it to be a perfectly enchanting evening in the theater…Chuck Hudson’s direction showed a delightfully light yet dramatically insightful touch, and the soloists’ stage presence backed his inspirations up splendidly. Bernard Jacobson, Music Web UK
Vibrant singing, acting lift Academy of Vocal Arts’ `Cosi Fan Tutte': the comedy… unfolds at a fast pace in Hudson’s physical staging. The director demands vivid acting, and the cast provides it… (The singers) both seize – and savor – the opportunities Hudson gives them for physical comedy. Robert Baxter, Philadelphia Courier-Post
Everything about the production (Don Pasquale at San Francisco Opera Center) cohered, from the ingeniously funny staging by director Chuck Hudson to the musical performance, conducted by Dean Williamson and sung with tremendous vivacity by the cast…There wasn’t a dull moment in Hudson’s staging, which overflowed with running gags, visual puns and physical shtick of every variety. The director set up the laughs, and the cast mined them for all they were worth. Georgia Rowe, Contra Coasta Times
Such a meringue of a plot (of Cosi fan tutte at Opera Santa Barbara) requires superb singing and deft comic timing to pull off. This cast succeeds, helped enormously by New York stage director Chuck Hudson, whose stagecraft is impeccable. ??Margo Kline, Valley Voice
Talk about neglected genius! The Wolf Trap Opera Company ( production of Rameau’s opera “Dardanus”)…compensated for bygone neglect with a sparkling performance, worthy of the historic occasion. Joseph McLellan, The Washington Post
Director Chuck Hudson (Rameau’s opera “Dardanus”) and choreographer Catherine Turocy have effectively re-created that charming mix of martial arts and dance that has been a vital sideshow in French opera since its earliest incarnations. MAXIMUM RATING: FOUR STARS T.L. Ponick, Washington Times
Judging from Saturday night’s opening, this “La Traviata” is anything but a perfunctory reading of an operatic chestnut…Chuck Hudson’s direction is refreshingly naturalistic for an opera that could easily slip into false melodrama. The teeming ensemble is impressive in individualizing the many minor characters, even when engaging in the layered, interweaving choral pieces that are a Verdi trademark. Rob Hubbard, Pioneer Press
A crème brûlée of a production…deliciously sweet… directed by Chuck Hudson amid a set reminiscent of a Viennese chocolate box (The Merry Widow) consistently leans upon the twin crowd pleasers of twist-filled comedy and star-crossed lovers…a light and lovely season opener. Rob Hubbard, Pioneer Press
Chuck Hudson’s staging (of The Merry Widow), augmented by Michael Matthew Ferrell’s cute choreography, showed a light, clever touch…and kept the show moving at a sprightly pace all evening. Michael Anthony, Star Tribune
Chuck Hudson, the director (of She Stoops to Conquer), keeps his able cast in almost constant motion on the stage, even through the scene changes. The pace and timing of the performances, essential for farce, is sharp throughout, from pauses to double-takes, and Mr. Hudson patiently lets the humor build on its own rather than trying to rush the laughs with stage business or mugging. Wilborn Hampton, The New York Times
Actors Equity Presents the Joe A. Callaway Award for Best Actress in a Classical Play to Celeste Ciulla as Kate Hardcastle in SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER
That the staging (of Don Pasquale at the Wolf Trap Opera Company) works as well as it does owes much to the cast of flexible young singers and to director Chuck Hudson’s well-gauged, highly detailed approach to physical comedy…And all the singers make the most of whatever comic business the director has sent their way. Joe Bano, The Washington Post
Risk pays off for opera company: Eugene Opera did an excellent job of bringing this riveting opera (Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah) to the stage…the production on Friday night was what any opera should be – a complete musical drama…with Chuck Hudson’s fine dramatic direction, the opera set off sparks (as the singers) portrayed their characters with vocal and dramatic insight…This opera production was the best of the season. If “Susannah” is any indication, we should be in for some exciting years ahead. Marilyn FarwellL, The Register-Guard
Barber of Seville a witty confection: Barber is a warhorse, but director Chuck Hudson gives it a new patina. His emphasis on physical busyness, including an amazing amount of high-spirited acrobatics, is a model true to the extravagant nature of the piece that also enhances the characters…This is one of Minnesota Opera’s most successful productions of many seasons. William Randall Beard, Pioneer Press
…The American theatre abounds in skillful movement teachers, fight choreographers, specialists in mime and modern dance and classical commedia, as it does in stage directors full of novel interpretive ideas. But not one in a hundred possesses, as does Hudson, the ability to infuse movement with intelligence, to make ideas flesh. Roger Downey, Seattle Weekly
Chuck is dedicated and looks into the creative future. May destiny bless him and his company. I wish him a long success full of joy and drama. With love and great confidence always, for Chuck and his Immediate Theatre. Marcel Marceau, Open letter to the press
Figaro has explosively lively staging by Chuck Hudson…[with] fully believable character[s] whose every gesture worked toward greater expressive depth. Melinda Bargreen, The Seattle Times
Acting is a whole area that’s been underemphasized in voice training…Their stage Guru? Chuck Hudson [whose] classes have also given [the singers] a safe place in which to make mistakes, learn through them, and to be comfortable… on stage. Holly Johnson, “Seattle Opera’s Young Artist Program” in Sforzando Magazine
The director of Così, Chuck Hudson [approached] the piece rather like the current Metropolitan Opera production, [playing] up its comedy with very few dark overtones. The audience loved it, responding with a lot of laughter, applause, and a rousing ovation at the end…I never saw an audience any more enthusiastic or more excited than those who attended Così. Speight Jenkins, General Director: Seattle Opera
A Tempest with vigorous movement…Hudson is a diverse talent. H. Lee Murphy, Chicago Tribune
The Tempest is a feast for the ears… a good production of Shakespeare can often be more enlightening than a thousand footnotes, if the actors and director have taken the time to truly digest the meaning of each line and then communicate it clearly to the audience. For this alone, director Chuck Hudson and the Borealis ensemble deserve high marks. Chicago Sun Times
Hudson proves surprising: you never know when he’ll spring a back-flip on you. The graceful, pony-tailed actor brings physicality to Petruchio’s machismo with rooster struts and flaps. But he also injects moments of regretful tenderness into his maltreatment of Kate, making that dreaded line ‘I must be cruel to be kind” almost palatable. Misha Berson, Seattle Times
Smooth, yet tightly coiled, Chuck Hudson (Petruchio) remains the centerpiece of this production. Long passages of verse melt on his tongue at the same time as he’s springing into somersaults and handstands, or propelling himself into the air off two straight legs like a tapping cane. And despite his bravura, he’s a team player. Jean Lenihan, Seattle Times
Director Chuck Hudson has the visuals under control. He is a fight choreographer as well as director, and he offers two sensational demonstrations of brotherly hate between the valient Orlando and the dasterdly Oliver. -Joe Adcock, Seattle Post Intelligencer.
[A Round Game] is staged in the same hyper-stylized presentational aesthetic that made the company famous…With an extremely talented ensemble of local actors, [Hudson’s] work has…been innovative, stunning theater at its most finely tuned. Paul Matthews, The Seattle Weekly
Under the direction of Chuck Hudson, a disciple of mime artist Marcel Marceau, The Immediate Theatre revisits the text [of Woyzeck] in a physically charged… rendering [that] conveys the poetic force and existential pathos of Büchner’s fable. Misha Berson, The Seattle Times
The second Immediate Theatre staging of Georg Büchner’s Woyzeck, demonstrated that the first [Kafka’s Metamorphosis] was no fluke…Hudson produced a dizzying spectacle of lurid and flamboyant stage pictures to match the disordered visions of Büchner’s poor-murderer hero.”
Echoes of King Lear–Hudson’s approach (to Georg Büchner’s Woyzeck) is…a legitimate choice, if you have visual and rhythmic imagination to pull it off, and Hudson has imagination to spare. Roger Downey, The Seattle Weekly
…Woyzeck receives a simple but effective Immediate Theatre production…[in which] Director Chuck Hudson sweeps up his ensemble of a dozen actors in a weird, flickering array of tableaux. Joe Adcock, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer
With extreme stylization of movement and a presentational aesthetic that is crisp and refreshingly powerful, this production (of Georg Büchner’s Woyzeck) lives in the limbo somewhere between dance concert, poetry recital, music video, and fashion show…Staging choices are bold and engaging, one striking tableau morphing into the next. It was a pleasure to see smart directorial impulses, impulses that made sense with the text, executed by a cast that, almost without exception, had complete control over their ‘Instruments.’
I went back and saw this show twice. I suggest that you see it at least once. Matthew Richter, The Stranger
You must see The Metamorphosis, presented by The Immediate Theatre. [It] is about as touching as theater gets…Never have I seen a play so fully bring to life a state of mind. N.W. Barcus, The Stranger
Yushi and the Thunder Dragon is a wonderfully enchanting script brought to life through the use of Bunraku-like puppets and the beauty of the Japanese sets, costumes and music. There is endless creative opportunity… M. Colleen Lewis. BYU Children’s Book and Play Review
In every field there are about five guys who know what they are doing–everybody else is more or less faking it. Well, when it comes to movement for the actor–[Chuck Hudson] is one of those five guys. Don Fleming, Director of Seattle Children’s Theatre Drama School