The Velvet Oratorio - Reviews

“The scenes are played for irony, contradiction and some bawdy humor, which lends sympathy and humanism to the political subject and the paranoid atmosphere that defined the era ... Henry Akona’s cleverly dissonant, rhythmic music [is] deftly and tastefully orchestrated ... Like Bertolt Brecht's poetry, this work succeeds by framing the minuscule, everyday aspects of life in the context of oppression rather than insisting on sentimental patriotism or heroics ... a tasteful and thought-provoking reminder of the rapid change brought to Central Europe in those heady and confusing days.”

Musical America

"Marvelous and beautifully acted"

15 Minutes Magazine

"Incorporating primary sources including contemporary news accounts, official statements of the Czechoslovak Communist Party, and declassified CIA and State Department cables, as well of scenes from Vaclav Havel’s Vánek plays and original interviews conducted by librettist Edward Einhorn, Oratorio presents an impressionistic but informative overview of the heady days of the Revolution…a well-conceived production that provokes welcomed reflections on the Velvet Revolution and the fall of the Communism in general" 

JB Spins