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 A Fire in Water by Oberhauser/Johns/Berry

"Stage Director Courtney Kalbacker manages to create wonderful stage pictures that are appropriately dignified by involving the two stunning singers, Buonaiuto and Riegle in highly ritualistic pouring and washing."

Susan Galbraith, DC Theatre Scene

 “Director Courtney Kalbacker creates simple yet spellbinding stagecraft, portable enough to move between two vastly different venues.”

Terry Byrne, DC Metro Theater Arts


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 semi-staged for Victorian Lyric Opera Company

“In some hands, this bare-bones staging might come across as sparse or unfinished, but here, Producer Denise Young and Director Courtney Kalbacker have stripped away distractions and allowed the best elements to shine.”

“Small directorial touches have a large effect as well – like the conductor’s amusingly disgusted reaction when the gypsies in front of him spit on the ground each time a country that has rejected them is mentioned.”

-          Jennifer Georgia, DC Metro Theater Arts



THE WHOLE TRUTH: premiere, UrbanArias

“The Whole Truth, with Music by Robert Paterson Libretto by Mark Campbell, and directed by Courtney Kalbacker, is like Opera Espresso: short, concentrated, and energizing.”

 – Michael Poandl, DC Metro Theater Arts



CAROUSEL – semi-staged for Live Arts Maryland

“The singer-actors who performed at the front of the stage were the icing on the very full and tasty cake. “

About the pantomime choreographed by Kalbacker:

“Gracie Albus (as Louise Bigelow) … performed a psychologically intriguing barefoot ballet as Bigelow’s 15-year old daughter in which she fends off bullies while expressing her embittered loneliness as a societal outcast. This was an impressive feat performed within the narrow parameters of the front stage.”

-          Wendi Winters, DC Metro Theater Arts

THE YOUNG WIFE by Katarzyna Brochocka

“The unpainted concrete staircase to Redrum at Fort Fringe may not convey the import of grand opera, but don’t let the modest context fool you — Unmanned Stagecraft is presenting a polished, ambitious work of new opera at Capital Fringe 2013.”

“The Young Wife is an arresting new opera that examines its heroine’s world with compassion and cheek. An hour with Brochocka and Kalbacker at Fort Fringe is an hour well-spent.”

-          J. Robert Williams, DC Theatre Scene

"So it took the 2013 Capital Fringe Festival – nibbling on the periphery again, but it’s progress! – to get a world premiere of the fully staged The Young Wife, based on Polish writer Gabriela Zapolska’s early 1900s memoirs, produced by the distaff Unmanned Stagecraft – namely, Polish composer and pianist Katarzyna Brochocka; soprano, star and stage director Courtney Kalbacker; and Lighting Designer Alison V. Hall. At last, sayeth Etta James."

"This one-woman opera is only an hour long. An opera for the microwave generation – to be mined for the next 300 years. More! More!"

-          Terry Byrne, DC Metro Theatre Arts