The Velvet Oratorio - Reviews

“A wonderfully conceived distillation in words and operatic music of what happened in Czechoslovakia after the Berlin Wall.”


“Slyly written...often beautiful”

New York Times

“Sweeping.  Poignant.  Elegiac...Culminating in a divided society with a new playwright president leading a nation voting for the first time in nearly 50 years, The Velvet Oratorio’s real triumph is the subtle confrontation of expectations: there is no happily-ever-after ending; if anything, the loose ends are more frayed than compounded. However, that this production can reflect the messiness of a society undergoing traumatic historic events is a testament to the scope and comprehension Einhorn and Untitled Theatre Company #61 have achieved with this delicate tribute to an era gone by."

Art Nerd

"A delicate, layered, and powerful retelling of the Velvet Revolution.   Trumbell is fantastic, showcasing our own face into the fray with bewilderment, humor, and a take charge performance."


“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