Ted Huffman

4.48 Psychosis

★★★★ An ideal foil to the music, Ted Huffman’s staging, set in a white, three-doored room designed by Hannah Clark with lighting by DM Wood, was crisp and minimal. The cast consists of six female singers. Each pulls with equal weight and delivers the raw text with selfless commitment

Fiona Maddocks, The Observer (May 29, 2016)

★★★★★ Where this first ever operatic setting by Philip Venables succeeds is through simple honesty. With a score ranging guilelessly from motoric arrhythmia to wispy renaissance, director Ted Huffman and team attempt neither dramatic adornment nor explanation but allow the text to breathe within a kaleidoscope of inner-outer conflict. On a bare, white-walled stage, six well-matched female singers - led by an outstanding Gweneth-Ann Rand - shuffle greyly distressed. Around them, phrases appear and dissolve in projected sound and video while, above, a superb CHROMA ensemble (sensitively conducted by Richard Baker) charts the disintegration of their hive mind…Knowledge of Kane’s suicide shortly after writing the play can only make this humane and understated piece the more compelling.

Steph Power, The Independent (May 26, 2015)

★★★★ ...rawly powerful and laceratingly honest…Framed by a clinically white box on to the walls of which fragments of the text are projected, Ted Huffman’s finely choreographed staging strikes the right note of unrelieved austerity. This is an urgent message from black-dog hell, and it should not go unheeded.

Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph (May 25, 2016)

★★★★ Philip Venables’ operatic version of Sarah Kane’s final play is both startling and immensely moving…Hannah Clark’s sparse designs and Ted Huffman’s unfussy production both focus attention on the individual performances, either in solo scenes or in interactions that are virtually choreographic in their detail and expressive power. The six singers do not disappoint in their outstanding contributions to an immensely moving piece.

George Hall, The Stage (May 25, 2016)

★★★★ Ted Huffman’s production has a disturbing fluidity as the personae of the six singers merge and morph, though soprano Gweneth-Ann Rand is rapidly identified as the protagonist, while mezzo Lucy Schaufer emerges as the ambiguously motivated doctor, who may be a projection of Rand’s psyche. The other four (Susanna Hurrell, Clare Presland, Jennifer Davis and Emily Edmonds) snipe and console with eerie vividness…4:48 Psychosis is a remarkable achievement.

Tim Ashley, The Guardian (May 25, 2016)

★★★★ It’s unhinged and chilling, albeit laced with Kane’s trademark humour. Most of all, it is dizzyingly colourful. Ted Huffman’s production does well to keep things simple, locating the action in a whiter-than-white hospital room. The singers are similarly blank canvases; if anything, the Chroma ensemble instrumentalists, under Richard Baker, play more of a starring role. But soprano Gweneth-Ann Rand supplies the production’s most disturbing images. We see her screaming in agony. We see her choking in a panic attack. Finally we see her gazing at a noose. Then lights out.

Hannah Nepil, Financial Times (May 25, 2016)

★★★★ Philip Venables’ new version now enjoys its world premiere at the Lyric Hammersmith in a production directed by Ted Huffman…Hannah Clark’s set feels appropriately sterile, encapsulating a room with no windows, two chairs and a table, while also presenting a white, clean-edged area that enables the ‘drama’ of the woman’s mindset, replete with light and shade, to be played out to the full…While this 4.48 Psychosis undoubtedly constitutes an opera, the music is best understood as a contributory component to a sensory experience that is also created through word, setting, gesture, movement and sound in the widest sense of the word.

Sam Smith, musicOMH (May 25, 2016)

★★★★ 4.48 Psychosis is an arresting, affecting, haunting whirlwind, perfectly encapsulating the chaotic, discordant world inside the mind of a declining manic depressive. The backdrop to a stark exploration of the human condition, at first look the staging has the simplistic, sterile air of a doctor’s waiting room, or perhaps psych ward, with fittingly impersonal pre-recorded elevator music piped across the theatre as the audience take their seats, silently still musicians seated above the set. However, ably assisted by DM Wood’s lighting, it quickly sheds and acquires different skins at lightning speed as each self-contained scene moves harshly and abruptly from one to the next, with no explanation or let-up.There really is no let-up…With the events of Kane’s own life in mind, the uncomfortable inevitability of death is ever-present, and as the piece builds towards it, towards that perceived escape, the tone both visually and musically appears to warm and soften slightly, culminating in a desperate, but oddly peaceful final scene. A tour de force of emotion with a genuine, horrible intimacy, the rapturous applause as the stage switched to black, though thoroughly deserved, nevertheless felt slightly at odds with the bitter intensity of the final act; an unsettling but unflinchingly real spell, broken itself by reality once again.

Abi Jenkins, The Upcoming (May 25, 2016)

...an intense theatrical experience. In contemporary opera, that is a rare achievement.

Nick Kimberley, Opera Magazine (August 2016)

Double Bill

Just about everything went right in Juilliard Opera’s double bill of Les Mamelles de Tirésias and Der Kaiser von Atlantis...Ted Huffman’s deft productions were finely attuned to the particular character of each piece. He set Mamelles in a Paris café; Samal Blak’s monochrome design scheme conjured up the films of the early 1940s—an apt setting for Poulenc’s nostalgia-drenched score, which conveys its own potent glamour. The set’s only solid element was a movable bar counter that proved remarkably versatile, never more so than at the beginning of Act II, when it served as an incubator for the Husband’s army of newborns. Huffman’s staging, choreographed by Zack Winokur, was continually inventive but never over-busy: it seemed to draw its impetus from the freeform fantasy of the composer’s musical method. It gave full rein to the work’s fizzy humor but never strained for laughs or betrayed the essential elegance of Poulenc’s music. Der Kaiser, appropriately, received more somber treatment. Marcus Doshi’s set was the saddest circus tent imaginable; it easily could have stood on the grounds of Theresienstadt, where Ullmann and Peter Kien wrote the piece. The singers’ clown makeup, designed by Dave Bova, suggested both the big top and the morgue. The production made the audience aware of the grim context of the opera’s composition (both Ullmann and Kien were soon murdered in Auschwitz), but it touched on the horror lightly, bringing out the opera’s elements of cabaret-like parody, as well as its veins of sweet lyricism.

Fred Cohn, Opera News (February 2016)

Ted Huffman directs vivid stagings, based on earlier ones of his own, in the Peter Jay Sharp Theater. The “Kaiser” production is especially evocative, incorporating the creators’ prison experience into the play, as it were…

James R Oestreich, New York Times (November 19, 2015)

Macbeth

The libretto is carved straight from Shakespeare’s original by Ted Huffman, who also directs this dynamic, menacing, all-male production: for the first time in opera, Shakespeare’s language remains intact, though his work is significantly cut to produce a nimble, intense 70 minute drama focusing on the psychological over the supernatural…Styles and Huffman’s particular reading invites issues like PTSD to add a fresh gloss to familiar ideas…The work’s familiarity makes games of this sort with the audience possible: so, after his murder, Banquo (a soft-toned, engagingly naïve portrayal from Alessandro Fisher) does not appear at Macbeth’s table. He does sit to the side of the stage, but there is no need for grey greasepaint or ghoulish gestures.  We all know Macbeth’s conscience sees him all too clearly: Fisher doesn’t need to move. Moments of intelligent restraint like this keep the production lean and intriguing throughout…an elegantly creepy, defiantly cool finale.

Charlotte Valori, Bachtrack (September 10, 2015)

...their bare-bones, all-male version of “the Scottish play” omits any hint of witchcraft and focuses entirely on Macbeth as soldier and king. Does it work? We thought so, provided you’re able to let go of certain preconceptions…it’s greatly to the credit of both librettist and composer that this version, whilst making some drastic alterations, still retains some of Shakespeare’s most poetic and visceral lines…Most people know Shakespeare’s ending to the play, in which Macduff kills Macbeth and then Malcolm restores order in the traditional style, but for those of us who lean more towards the view expressed by Gloucester’s ‘As flies to wanton boys are we to the Gods / They kill us for their sport’ in King Lear, the conclusion offered by this version made a different kind of sense. Instead of the new leader addressing the assembled survivors of the tragic carnage with emollient words, we had those same words spoken by the tyrant, who here survives the avenger’s blows and cynically ennobles those who are still standing. You could say it’s better than all that credulity-stretching stuff about how the hero never did much but would have been great if he had (Hamlet) and it certainly leaves you with a totally different sense of the nature of ambition and tyranny.

Melani Eskenazi, Music OMH (September 10, 2015)

...a reduced version of Shakespeare’s play, turned into a libretto by Ted Huffman, who also directs this initial staging. The source might seem a bold choice, and the treatment is also audacious. The 12-strong cast is all-male, reflecting not only the theatrical practice of Shakespeare’s time but also, says the composer, creating “a distinct and clear soundworld that heightens the strangeness that draws me to the theatre of opera”. Styles’s score runs to around 75 minutes without a break, necessitating substantial cuts to the familiar text, including some of Macbeth’s soliloquising, Lady Macbeth’s sleepwalking, and the witches, as well as some reordering and reallocation of lines from one character to another. The ending is startling if enigmatic…genuine achievement…

George Hall, The Guardian (September 11 2015)

Huffman’s production, in modern army dress, seemed well thought through and executed and suggested its own parallels with recent and contemporary politics and warfare.

Mark Berry, Seen and Heard International (September 12, 2015)

Svádba

Il faut y reconnaître la pâte des metteurs en scène Ted Huffman et Zack Winokur. Si l’on identifie le talent d’un homme de théâtre à sa capacité créer un monde avec rien, alors ceux-là sont à marquer d’une pierre blanche, car ils ont dirigé ces jeunes femmes rayonnantes avec une dextérité équivalente à la virtuosité vocale, tout en veillant à la juste expression de chaque personnalité singulière, et aux atmosphères évoquées dans chacune de ces courtes scenes…un spectacle aussi petit par ses dimensions que grand par sa qualité.

Christian Merlin, Le Figaro (July 10, 2015)

Ted Huffman et Zack Winokur, metteurs en scène de ce gynécée, ont pris soin d’accompagner les corps déliés des jeunes filles dans le sens du chant. Pas un mouvement qui ne soit dicté par la musique. Le jaillissement d’onomatopées évoquant de fulgurantes disputes entre filles ; l’incantation quasi mystique de la prêtresse en robe blanche prête pour le sacrifice, ou les épanchements sensuels de la nuit, ondoyant les corps de caresses amoureuses et prémonitoires. Tour à tour puériles et sages, ludiques et tendres, sauvages et séductrices, les six jeunes chanteuses ont incarné avec une présence scénique et vocale bluffante la ronde éphémère de Milica, Danica, Lena, Zora, Nada et Ljubica.

Marie-Aude Roux, Le Monde (July 4, 2015)

À Aix, Ted Huffman et Zack Winokur exaltent la puissance féminine dans « Svadba », un opéra déroutant d’Ana Sokolović...cet opéra atypique n’avait pas connu de version scénique en Europe. Le duo Ted Huffman et Zack Winokur a su en restituer la puissance incantatoire comme la mélancolie et la joie ludique. Il faut dire qu’il bénéficie d’un sextuor vocal féminin absolument stupéfiant, impressionnant de rigueur (la justesse, la mise en place, la précision rythmique) comme de force expressive et par ailleurs formidables comédiennes. Proposée en fin d’après-midi, cette œuvre ne doit pas être considérée comme un simple prélude aux grandes soirées lyriques. Son effectif ultra-léger et son originalité devraient lui assurer une large diffusion. Longue vie au « Mariage » !

Philippe Venturini, Les Echos (July 6, 2015)

C’est la première fois que l’Europe accueille cette petite pépite dans la mise en scène de Ted Huffman et Zack Winokur. Sur la scène du Théâtre du Jeu de paume, c’est la fête. Un vrai régal, énergisant et planant. D’autant que l’absolue nudité des décors – entre quelques murs gris – et la mise en scène joueuse et astucieuse des deux compères à l’œuvre ouvrent sur de belles ambiances oniriques…Pour l’heure, Svadba s’offre encore à voir et à entendre pour trois derniers soirs, pendant une heure de joyeuse exploration musicale. Il faut y courir.

Sylvie Bonier, Le Temps (July 13, 2015)

...une œuvre brève mais passionnante. Une réussite. La mise en scène de Ted Huffman et Zack Winokur fait circuler les corps avec fluidité. Entre danse, opéra de chambre et jeu théâtral, Svadba est un de ces ouvrages qui méritent toute notre attention…

Patrick de Maria, La Marseillaise (July 9, 2015)

Ana Sokolovic a écrit un texte qui dit peu, juste l’essentiel, mais qui est surtout le support, le tremplin, de toutes sortes d’effets vocaux et rhythmiques provoquants des réactions corporelles qu’on dirait instinctives et qui sont pourtant si efficacement mises en scène par Ted Huffman et Zack Winokur. Un ravissement.

Pierre Bouchet, Le Jeudi (July 9)

E’ da raccomandarsi ai sovrintendenti e direttori artistici alla ricerca di produzioni di alta qualità, a basso costo di allestimento, e tali da attrarre il pubblico giovane…L’innovazione è nella struttura musicale, supportata da una regia efficace imperniata sulla recitazione e una scena unica e luci che ben costruiscono l’atmosfera…Un piccolo grande capolavoro che speriamo giunga anche in Italia.

Giuseppe Pennisi, Il Messaggero (July 10, 2015)

Die szenische Umsetzung erfolgt durch Ted Huffman und Zack Winokur. Die Bühne des kleinen klassizistischen Opernhauses Jeu de Paume in Aix bleibt leer. Es wird ausschließlich mit Licht und Choreographie gearbeitet. Im Takt mit der Musik bewegen sich die Sängerinnen in tänzerischer Leichtigkeit, drücken Emotionen oder Handlungen durch ihre Körperbewegungen aus. In der Intimität der Handlung und des Theaters entsteht ein Gefühl der Gemeinsamkeit, der Zuschauer fühlt sich schnell einbezogen und nicht nur als externer Betrachter. Gerne würde man die einstündige Aufführung verlängern und dem Spiel weiter folgen.

Helmut Pitsch, Opernnetz (July 8, 2015)

...d’une beauté fulgurante. En une heure de temps, une heure de musique et de théâtre purs, la compositrice serbe, ses six chanteuses et les deux metteurs en scène Ted Huffman et Zack Winokur créent un monde d’émotions mouvantes…Il faut dire que la mise en scène réalisée par Ted Huffman et Zack Winokur, économe en décors, est un exemple de fluidité qui met en valeur toute la force symbolique de la musique. Dans cet opéra où tout est tournoiement, ils savent créer ces légers décalages qui rendent perceptible le caractère des personnages.

Jean-Guillaume Lebrun, Concert Classic (July 12, 2015)

La puesta en escena es de Ted Huffman y Zack Winokur, y es de una austeridad máxima. Lo que han trabajado en profundidad es la interrelación de las seis amigas mediante movimientos coreográficos desarrollados en un escenario casi vacío, con apenas unos paneles y escasos elementos como son unas sillas o unos tazones. Es un minimalismo al servicio total y absoluto de la música.

Rosa Massagué, El Periódico (July 23, 2015)

Entre rires et larmes, c’est la fraîcheur d’une ronde printanière qui se laisse voir et apprécier sans efforts aucun…La scène du Théâtre du Jeu de Paume n’offre pour décor qu’un modeste paravent à l’arrière et quelques chaises, ce qui dégage tout l’espace à l’avant pour ces plaisantes et ingénues chorégraphies…La modeste dimension du projet n’enlève rien à son séduisant parfum.

David Verdier, Altamusica (July 7, 2016)

There is of course much physical motion, thanks to the fine efforts of two U.S. trained artists, stage director Ted Huffman and choreographer Zack Winokur who set abstract movement for each of the seven moments…Like immersing yourself in a painting the subject matter of Svadba is of less importance than the delight you find in the way its story is told.

Michael Milenski, Opera Today (July 18, 2015)

One of the high points of this year’s festival was the premiere of Ana Sokolovic’s Svadba, an opera for six female voices a cappella about a Serbian bride-to-be and the five close friends who help her prepare for her wedding day. Sokolovic´’s score is compelling and beautifully transparent, and the show, adeptly staged by Ted Huffman and Zack Winokur, is easy-to-tour and will, I expect, have a good life on other world stages.

Brian Kellow, Opera News (November, 2015)

Les mamelles de Tirésias

Court, efficace et impeccable. Arrivant à Bruxelles après les festivals d’Aldeburgh et d’Aix-en-Provence, la production des “Mamelles de Tirésias” qu’a donnée la Monnaie ce week-end en sa salle Malibran fut une réussite de tous points de vue…Mais le prix de ce spectacle vient aussi et surtout de la magnifique mise en scène de Ted Huffman. A la Grand-Place de Zanzibar imaginée par Poulenc, le jeune Américain préfère un café français des années 40, tenu par Thérèse et son mari. Il y a un grand bar sur roulette en mouvement perpétuel, il y a des globes lumineux et des ballons (qui seront, forcément, les célèbres mamelles), il y a les chorégraphies de Zack Winokur et il y a les superbes éclairages de Marcus Doshi. De quoi créer, dans une ambiance stylisée de comédie musicale à l’ancienne, une énergie communicative qui fait merveille.

Nicolas Blanmont, La Libre (January 20, 2014)

Face à une troupe de chanteurs largement inexpérimentés, le metteur en scène Ted Huffman n’a pas cherché la facilité : interprétant avec beaucoup de liberté les indications de mise en scène proposées par Poulenc, il situe l’action dans le décor unique d’un café avec son comptoir et demande à ses jeunes recrues un investissement scénique de tous les instants, les faisant bouger, danser et sauter dans tous les sens, occupant l’espace dans un joyeux désordre organisé où le burlesque le plus déjanté le dispute aux références cinématographiques du cinéma américain de l’immédiat après guerre, pour la plus grande joie des spectateurs. Inspiré, maîtrisé, virtuose, le spectacle est franchement réussi, en tous cas dans sa dimension visuelle.

Claude Jottrand, Forum Opera (January 21, 2014)

L’extrême liberté de ton d’Apollinaire, une action qui part dans tous les sens à tout moment, un argument de départ centré sur la volonté de changement (ici de sexe), ces quelques traits de folie présentent de réelles connexions avec l’effervescence du mouvement surréaliste. Les solutions trouvées par le metteur en scène britannique Ted Huffman pour renouveler chaque instant de la farce sont aussi foisonnantes que s’il s’agissait d’un spectacle de cirque. Intelligence, humour, habileté, chaque geste a été étudié de sorte à ne jamais laisser les chanteurs inoccupés, ou traverser un creux. Et comme ils se donnent à fond…De même que le public qui a fait une ovation à ce spectacle qui prélude un peu au carnaval.

Philippe Dewolf, MUSIQ 3 (January 17, 2014)

Faites-vous plaisir, ce soir et ce week-end, avec la petite bulle d’humour et de légèreté que propose la Monnaie…Le metteur en scène sculpte une enfilade de tableaux autour d’un unique élément de décor – un long comptoir qu’il déplace à volonté pour libérer le « dance floor ». S’y agglutinent les chanteurs dans des compositions picturales que n’aurait pas reniées Poulenc (qui aimait autant la peinture que la littérature) et qui font référence aux comédies musicales des années ’40 de la Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer…En guise de réconciliation des sexes, le spectacle s’achève par une inévitable scène de débauche, mais sans s’y attarder, conservant intacte la parfaite légèreté de l’ensemble. Le bonheur!

Xavier Flament, L'Echo (January 17, 2014)

Rythmée, ciselée et gentiment irrévérencieuse, la mise en scène de Ted Huffman revendique le burlesque des anciennes comédies musicales…Ce petit spectacle à l’humour fin constitue un véritable antidote à la morosité ambiante. On en reprendrait volontiers une dose.

Sébastien Foucart, ConcertoNet (January 22, 2014)

Director Ted Huffman chose to set the piece in a café of the mythical Riviera town and with the sense of a 1940s movie musical and Samal Blak’s sharp, stylish design achieved this admirably…the performance bristled with energy and elan, roles and costumes interchanging seamlessly…The sharp, astringent edge that is such a characteristic and attractive feature of Poulenc’s music was gloriously captured…For one hour the mist and rain swirling round the hall were forgotten in a joyous outpouring of musical theatre. An excellent performance of an all-too-rarely heard work.

Gareth Jones, Ipswich Star (January 07 2014)

A marvellous and entertaining production…directed with great flair, imagination and skill by Ted Huffman, an American stage director…

Tony Cooper, East Anglian Daily Times (January 08 2014)

Hydrogen Jukebox

I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anything as completely original on a major Milwaukee stage as the weird and wonderful Hydrogen Jukebox...the Skylight production defies expectations from its opening bass thrum to its powerfully simple finale.

Paul Kosidowski, Milwaukee Magazine (March 16, 2014)

Wow. Just wow. That’s how I still feel days after catching the opera Hydrogen Jukebox at the Skylight Music Theatre.

Matthew Reddin, Third Coast Daily (March 19, 2014)

Under the direction of Ted Huffman, all of the show’s elements work harmoniously to create a memorable and unique experience not seen previously in Milwaukee (at least, not on this large a scale).

Anne Siegel, Total Theater (March 2014)

a captivating production to be remembered by Milwaukee audiences…travels the road of endless theatrical imagination.

Peggy Sue Dunigan, Broadway World (March 17, 2014)

there is not a cliché, poetic or musical, to be found; it’s always alive, fresh, and raw.

Jeff Grygny, The Milwaukee Examiner (March 18, 2014)

La cambiale di matrimonio (Concert Staging)

an uproarious and beautifully sung performance…as ebulliently engaging as anyone could wish. With Music Director Nicholas McGegan leading a crisply paced performance and director Ted Huffman making deft use of the tiny performance space, this was a stretch of unalloyed delight.

Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle (April 16, 2015)

an utterly delightful performance…Shown off in an expertly minimal staging (by director Ted Huffman)

Steven Winn, San Francisco Classical Voice (April 20, 2015)

Nicholas McGegan led the orchestra and singers in a brisk reading of this engaging farce, which enjoyed an uproarious staging by director Ted Huffman.

James Roy MacBean, The Berkeley Daily Planet (April 20, 2015)

Ted Huffman’s skeletel but stylish staging let Gaetano Rossi’s comic libretto bloom.

Allan Ulrich, The Financial Times (April 21, 2015)

Eugene Onegin

Ted Huffman’s staging is a hand-crafted masterpiece. Carefully thought through to the smallest detail and full of imagination with seemingly little effort.

Marion Eigl, Der Kurier (October 6, 2014)

the simple and beautiful production of Ted Huffman….

Stefan Ender, Der Standard (October 7, 2014)

La Calisto

Ted Huffman’s direction was unfailingly inventive and often uproariously funny.

Joe Law, Opera News (October 2014)

Cincinnati Opera’s superb production of Cavalli’s antic creation perfectly balances the story’s randy and rambunctious elements with the delicate portions that dot it…The stage direction by Ted Huffman is sure-footed and impeccably stylish.

Rafael de Acha, Seen and Heard International (July 23, 2014)

Don’t walk. Run to catch the remaining performances of La Calisto. Ted Huffman’s staging is witty and occasionally wild…It’s heavenly.

Anne Arenstein, Cincinnati City Beat (July 22, 2014)

La Calisto was one of the most enjoyable productions in recent seasons at Cincinnati Opera.

Mary Ellyn Hutton, Music in Cincinnati (July 21, 2014)

The Soldier’s Tale

Der Kaiser von Atlantis

In a word, superb…crisp and creative stage direction by Ted Huffman…

Jerome Sehulster, Stamford Advocate (June 14 2009)

at once absurd, grotesque, and brilliant…

Linda Phillips, Greenwich Citizen (June 16 2009)

impressively mounted, visually memorable and well-sung staging by Ted Huffman…Deserved standing ovations greeted the committed team of artists.

David Shengold, Opera News (September 2009)

This production, engagingly directed by Ted Huffman, beautifully caught the spirit of the original conception.

Eric Myers, Opera (November 2009)

Galileo Galilei

The staging by Ted Huffman was superbly handled, with an ease and flow that made for a truly engrossing tale.

Mary Ellyn Hutton, Music In Cincinnati (July 12, 2013)

There are no chorus, ballet sequences, large sets and mercifully, none of the grandstanding that usually passes for acting on many operatic stages—certainly not in this fine production directed by Ted Huffman…visually arresting and dramatically cohesive.

Rafael de Acha, Seen and Heard International (July 23 2013)

Most of the Boys

Alice In Wonderland

Die Dreigroschenoper (Concert Staging)

Ted Huffman’s semi-staging was deftness itself.

Paul Driver, The Sunday Times (February 28 2013)

Vladimir Jurowski conducted The Threepenny Opera in a simple but edgy semi-staging by Ted Huffman that allowed Brecht’s commentaries on monetarism, racism and sexuality to hit home with tremendous force.

Tim Ashley, The Guardian (February 28 2013)

Ted Huffman’s crisp stage direction replaced the dialogue with Brecht’s own sardonic linking narration (delivered with brilliant impassiveness by Max Hopp) and added a few extra witty touches of Brechtian alienation.

Richard Morrison, The Times (March 03 2013)

Weill’s sour-sweet orchestrations registered vividly in Ted Huffman’s icily stylised semi-staging.

Anna Picard, The Independent (March 09 2013)

Giasone

ETO’s well-sung production, sensitively conducted by Joseph McHardy and intelligently directed by Ted Huffman, gives much pleasure.

Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph (October 11, 2013)

Director Ted Huffman sees it as pervaded by a very modern cynicism and, with Samal Blak’s effective designs, his production keeps a balance between narrowly-skirted tragedy and broad comedy…the drama never flags for an instant.

Michael Church, The Independent (October 7, 2013)

the almost Shakespearian collisions between comedy and intensity prove remarkably compelling.

Tim Ashley, The Guardian (October 6, 2013)

Ted Huffman’s naturalistic production and Samal Blak’s post-modern designs mix old and new with freshness and contemporary relevance.

David Hart, Birmingham Post (November 1, 2013)

The darkest arias have raw intensity, with the dazzling, comic elements providing levity, compounding rather than undermining the emotions expressed. The reunion of Jason and his wronged but faithful wife Isiphile unfolds with potent dignity…The impact was indelible.

Fiona Maddocks, The Observer (October 13, 2013)

Jason, Cavalli’s greatest hit, emerges trimmed and translated as a witty commentary on fidelity in English Touring Opera’s new production. Substantial cuts have shorn the Golden Fleece from the tale, not to mention the Argonauts…None of this bears much relation to the myth it is based on, but it’s miles funnier in Ted Huffman’s pacey production.

Intermezzo, Intermezzo Typepad (October 14, 2013)

It’s done exceptionally well: everything – lyrics, music, humor and action – moves seamlessly.

Jaime Robles, Bachtrack (October 7, 2013)

I was gripped by Ted Huffman’s production, which tells the story simply with the focus squarely on the acting and musical expression - and amazingly nothing feels far fetched or over done, however extreme the situation.

Capriccio Music, (October 12, 2013)

The third of English Touring Opera’s season of Venetian operas is Jason, by Cavalli and, on the evidence of this production, the most fun.

Catriona Graham, The Opera Critic (October 30, 2013)

...particularly well staged…

Roger Jones, Seen and Heard International (October 27, 2013)

Huffman’s vision allowed for an ideal balance between the tragedy and comedy of the opera, which would have been sought-after by Venetian audiences in the seventeenth century, and this was realised to full effect by a talented cast.

Hannah Templeton, www.bsecs.org.uk (October 24, 2013)

The Lighthouse

Overall it is a very satisfying piece of theatre which this production (designed by Neil Irish and directed by Ted Huffman) gets the absolute best out of.

Kimon Daltas, The Arts Desk (October 12 2012)

English Touring Opera’s pitch-perfect production doesn’t drop the easy catch, and the director Ted Huffman has drawn sensitive portrayals of the imploding keepers ...this is a truly gripping yarn, and it’s not often one can say that of an opera.

Rupert Christiansen, The Daily Telegraph (October 12 2012)

Both Huffman’s staging and Richard Baker’s conducting are excellent, equal in precision…

Mark Berry, Seen and Heard International (October 12 2012)

Ted Huffman’s magnificently intense period setting…You will rarely experience a more compelling and affecting night at the opera than this. Don’t miss it.

Graham Rogers, The Stage (October 12 2012)

If I have not yet drawn attention to Ted Huffman’s sweetly paced production, that is because it does not draw attention to itself. Unshowy yet never less than thrilling, the American director’s stagecraft somehow manages to be restrained and explosive at the same time. As a masterly staging of a great opera it deserves the widest possible audience. Do catch it on its travels: it’ll lift you up and leave you drained.

Mark Valencia, Classical Source (October 13 2012)

Ted Huffman’s new production only enhances the taut, free-flowing storytelling…Every minute is utterly riveting.

, Intermezzo (October 14 2012)

This touring version of Peter Maxwell Davies’s chamber opera conjures dark magic with utmost skill.

Richard Fairman, Financial Times (October 15 2012)

the stage effectively drew spectators into the claustrophobic world of this maritime signal tower…exquisitely managed, and provoked an ecstatic reaction from the audience.

Ninfea Cruttwell-Reade, Bachtrack (October 15 2012)

Huffman wisely keeps things simple, allowing the spare elegance of the score to do its work, while establishing some neat visual tensions…it’s a show that will haunt you well beyond its brief 80-minute span.

Alexandra Coghlan, The New Statesman (October 16 2012)

[Maxwell Davies] chose to attend both performances and was clearly delighted with the interpretation…English Touring Opera have done it justice with this engaging production…The director, Ted Huffman does an excellent job in getting his three protagonists to act with great intensity…

Miranda Jackson, Opera Britannia (October 17 2012)

Ted Huffman’s gripping staging of this chilling opera…

Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times (October 28 2012)

Director Ted Huffman and Richard Baker conducting the Aurora Orchestra deliver an engaging and thought-provoking performance of this intriguing opera.

Catriona Graham, The Opera Critic (October 29 2012)

Hänsel und Gretel

La Bohème

Director Ted Huffman and his cast lay bare the opera’s beating heart by focusing on the emotional truth of the characters and their world…It was breathtaking.

Chip Chandler, Amarillo Globe-News (October 2, 2011)

Merola Grand Finale

Among my umpteen Merola Program closing concerts — all memorable in various ways — Saturday’s was one of the most enjoyable. Programmed, directed, and performed with care and effectiveness, this was what opera doesn’t always manage to be: delightful entertainment. Directing the quasi-staged evening was one of the program’s apprentice stage directors, Ted Huffman, a young artist who will go far.

Janos Gereben, San Francisco Classical Voice (August 21 2010)

The three-hour showcase, conducted by Dean Williamson and directed with winning tact by Ted Huffman, turned a revealing light on the 25 young artists in this year’s crop.

Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle (August 23 2010)

La voix humaine

Huffman embraced the minimalism of the opera and used it as a metaphor for the isolation inherent to the piece. All told, it made for some appropriately haunting stage pictures and brought a visceral freshness to the work.

Olivia Giovetti, WQXR (June 11, 2011)

emotionally riveting, poignant, and ultimately heartbreaking..The audience erupted in bravos for this marvelous performance.

Linda Phillips, Greenwich Citizen (June 24, 2011)

El Cimarrón

visually striking, emotionally resonant…

David Shengold, Time Out NY (June 10 2010)

This production is a shining beacon of minimalism…

Valmont, Parterre Box (June 10 2010)

the enthusiastic reception awarded Ted Huffman’s excellent new production of the work demonstrated the open-minded attitude and artistic freedom often denied Mr. Henze, 83… a compelling musical and theatrical experience, especially in this tightly wrought production.

Vivien Schweitzer, New York Times (June 11 2010)

The performance was greatly enhanced by the work of directors Ted Huffman and Zack Winokur…

Arlo McKinnon, Opera News (September 2010)

Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria