"After an absence of 65 years, Elektra returned in triumph to Philadelphia. The production boasted stellar singing from the big cast and a cogent, focused staging by Dorothy Danner. ------Danner's taut production caught and sustained the dramatic tension in Strauss's score. She staged the opera with compelling simplicity on Peter Harrison's tilted set-----and drew strong portrayals from her cast."
"Dorothy Danner's whimsical, sensitive staging always allowed for special moments of tenderness and yearning inherent in Sullivan's superb score."
"The most impressive quality about Dorothy Danner's staging was how naturally and spontaneously it grew from the ingeniously structured score----I've seen a number of productions but none has clarified this essential quality so sharply or encouraged the performers to communicate the humanity of the piece with so much warmth, wit and vitality."
New York Magazine
"Kudos, then to stage director Dorothy Danner, who framed the whole opera as a flashback of Butterfly's now grown son, seeking to find his roots and make sense of his distant memories of childhood before his father and stepmother carried him off to America. This was tactfully done in a couple of silent pantomimes by the grown son, accompanied only by the thwack of a wood block, before the action began in both acts, and continued in the en'tracte between the two parts of Act 2. In that sequence, the grown son takes the hand of his childlike self and tries to penetrate beyond the screen on which his mother's silhouette is projected. This freshness of approach------Theatrically, then, this was a Butterfly with much to offer."
"This production shows part of the story of the real Alphonsine Plessis, on whom Violetta is based, and turns it into a mimed show seen through a screen during the opera’s overture. We see a very young girl sold by her father to be used by whatever man will have her, until she luckily connects with men who give her greater and greater finery---and then shows up dressed in white in front of the curtain. This is a remarkably effective way to begin an oft-told tale."
"Dorothy Danner, the director, knows how to move a crowd around the stage, how to match choreographic challenges to the ability of her cast, how to compose a picture and how to plant a laugh."
New York Times
"Under the imaginative direction of Dorothy Danner, the singers created a fine impression of class conscious English village life at the turn of the century. Characterization and manners were handled deftly, and the satire emerged extremely funny."
"The masterful director, Dorothy Danner, has employed her full arsenal of directorial options. Her beautiful stage pictures are never static, as performers move from one elegant composition to another. The pantomime business given to the teeming cast is always fresh, appropriate and lively."
Paul Kuritz, Theatre and Film Critic
"Virginia Opera handled the unceasingly dark melodrama by turning it into a fast paced, innovative production. From the opening pantomime, in which Edgardo rescued his dead father's tartan from their despoiled castle, to the eerily moving trees that appeared at scene changes---like Birnam Wood coming repeatedly to Dunsinane---Stage director Dorothy Danner produced a stunning setting."
"Of the Fort Worth Festival’s three traditional productions, the five-star one was Dorothy Danner’s Daughter of the Regiment, where the unquestioned star was Dorothy Danner. So masterly was Danner’s comedic timing, so rhythmic and tightly flowing the choreography of the cast and chorus, that Danner’s sense of style, matched the comique brilliance of Donizetti."
American Record Guide
"The production is directed by Dorothy Danner with all the vitality and sizzle of a Broadway musical. No faceless chorus here---every person on that stage moves and breathes as a fully realized character, with life implied beyond the boundaries of the set."
"Skylight presents a Bloomin, Beautiful and Brilliant 'My Fair Lady'"
"Skylights 'My Fair Lady' enchants with graceful singing, staging--'"
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"A dazzling 'My Fair Lady' at Skylight'"
"The production's chief virtue is Dorothy Danner’s staging, a combination of “Les Miserables” transplanted to Spain and a seamless procession of colorful crowd scenes and intimate encounters."
Cleveland Plain Dealer
"This Threepenny Opera is a provacative but, above all, lively and thoroughly entertaining presentation. It is clearly the most successful and brilliant of the mid-season mini-productions that the Madison Opera has brought us."
"Die Zauberflöte can easily turn silly in the hand of a producer eager to be loved by any vulgar means. Dorothy Danner paid tribute to Mozart and Schikaneder by treating the work seriously and with taste."
"If Houston Grand Opera’s current production of “The Merry Widow” were any bubblier, it would lift Miller Theatre off the ground and send it sailing into the night sky.---astutely directed and briskly choreographed by Dorothy Danner."
"This Fledermaus was one of the most thoroughly enjoyable operatic experiences I have ever had."
"Directed with constant inventiveness by Dorothy Danner."
San Francisco Classical Voice
"The unqualified triumph of Operafest came with Wargo’s Trilogy, based on short stories by Chekhov. The three one actors staged with verve by Dorothy Danner, left as bold an imprint as they did in last year’s performance."
A VISIT TO THE COUNTRY—“Dorothy Danner’s tautly focused staging found an apt reflection in Christopher Macatsoris’ intense conducting.
THE MUSIC SHOP—“Dorothy Danner pulled out all the stops in her madcap staging of THE MUSIC SHOP."
"A fantastically directed theatre event-----this team reached the quality of the Flemish Opera----staging by Dorothy Danner, a dynamic American director----this production deserves a revival."
"Dorothy Danner managed to make sense of the unending scene shifts while keeping her handsome cast under control. Wisely making some serious cuts in this manic operetta, the director set a brisk pace that never looked breathless. Resisting the temptation to send this tale over the top, Danner nimbly kept a human touch, and it paid off."
"BRAVO! “Light in the Piazza” is brilliant----The staging comes to resemble an intricately and precisely rendered dance. "
"The Producer, Dorothy Danner's excellent casting and dynamic direction delivered an array of vital and delicious characters; each a person you quickly came to care about."
"Dorothy Danner's direction beautifully evoked the Irish Milieu without sentimentality."
Wall Street Journal
"When they happen to meet on equal terms, art and life don't always do so without the breaking of some crockery, even some heads, before the accident is cleared away. But on rare occasions the meeting of the two is so felicitous as to create a sort of Uber Art (or Uber life) that carves its own creative category. Arguably the evening's biggest star was director Dorothy Danner. A director's genius is not just in exercising control over all aspects of production but in the adroit allowance of freedom."
Willamette Weekly - Portland, Oregon
"Stage director Dorothy Danner handled the small ensembles with focus and liveliness and she gave the crowd outside Café Momus a wealth of apt detail. The big-picture movements followed the ebb and flow of the music---a nice subtlety that too few stage directors grasp."
San Antonio Express News
"Conducted by AVA's music director Christopher Macatsoris and stage directed by Dorothy Danner, this mounting of "Cosi" can stand comparison with those of any and all major companies in the world."
Philadelphia Chesnut Hill Local
"The spoken dialogue revised and updated by stage director Dorothy Danner is both faithful to the authentic spirit of nineteenth century French light opera and wonderfully accessible to a twenty first century audience."
"Fort Worth Opera opens a delightful Daughter of the Regiment. The Daughter of the Regiment is surely the most laugh inducing production in a long time. Dorothy Danner deserves most of the credit for this production. "
Fort Worth Star Telegram
"The incredibly talented Dorothy Danner deserves much praise for her inventive staging and choreography. The ensemble scenes once again amaze with their ingenuity and activity. She continually amazes this critic with her creativity and originality. Even the smallest details bear the mark of her genius, and every scene is a treat for the eye as well as the ear."
"This wonderful Duchess (Stephanie Blythe) inhabits a sparkling production.-------provides an effective backdrop for Dorothy Danner's witty staging. She plays up the comic fun without coarsening the humor."
"The opera Company of Philadelphia's mounting of this charming operatic setting of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale is one of the finest in its three decades history. Dorothy Danner wisely avoided even a hint of condescending "cuteness" choosing instead an unaffected style of staging and acting."
"Stage director, Dorothy Danner, has treated the classic with affection and gentle humor. The honesty of her approach certainly pays off as the characters and the drama come to life---a marvel of imagination and taste."
Syracuse Post Standard
"Internationally acclaimed Dorothy Danner did honors as stage director and choreographer, both activities which were done with flair. She cleverly and effectively managed the comings and goings on the Harrison Opera House's restricted space, most especially during the wonderfully conceived and executed party scenes."
"This brilliant cast receives every possible means of support from stage director Dorothy Danner. I have to use the word "dazzle" when I think of her work. She, too has it all. She makes the dramatic action ring true and clear and composes scene after scene with visually stunning pictorial beauty and excitement. To view her staging is like turning the pages of a book depicting great master painters."
Edgar Loessin - WHRO
"The cast benefits from Dorothy Danner's approachable and uncomplicated direction."
Los Angeles Times
"Dorothy Danner, who staged and choreographed the show, possesses the most fertile directorial mind that has been applied to a Connecticut Opera production in many seasons. With ideas that are earthy, funny and sexy, Danner scoops up this sometimes touching, but often treacly and forced meditation on the resilience of human spirit, and whips it into a bracing piece of theatre."
The Hartford Courant
"Mikado delightfully staged in Cooperstown"----the star of the show is director Dorothy Danner, who moves the large cast deftly around Peter Dean Beck's attractive set, creating delectable stage pictures which seem to pass all too fleetingly. Danner knows her Gilbert and Sullivan, focusing on swiftly paced choreography designed to add bite to the already sharp satire."
"----which Dorothy Danner has directed and choreographed with breathless delight. Danner rarely misses an opportunity to exploit Gilbert's pointed humor. She brings to the narrative a vaudeville pacing and eye for detail that accentuates the dramatic silliness and emphasizes the anachronisms. Danner's affection for the piece is infectious. The cast fairly skips through the evening, slapping open fans and parasols, digging stylishly into the music and raising a merry rukus."
Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Director-choreographer Dorothy Danner deserves much credit. She had the chorus and many soloists working in close coordination in movements that beautifully mirrored the spirit of Gilbert's ironic text and Sullivan's droll music. The many sight gags were funny and matched the absurdity of the story without excessive exaggeration."
Dallas Morning News
"Much of South Pacific's success is due to the stage director and choreographer, Dorothy Danner, whose nuance, balanced directions draws naturalistic acting and high Broadway style dancing from the performers, all in a tight production, that transports the audience to the island of the South Pacific toward the end of World WarII."
The Salt Lake Tribune
"Director. Dorothy Danner's genius is seen throughout this production. She masterly crafted the staging and choreography including the scene changes to create a seamless whole. Rarely has the gamut of human conflict and emotions encountered in this show been so honestly interpreted."
"Dorothy Danner's picturesque staging and choreography were unfailingly lively, colorful, and full of unpatronizing trust in the warm appeal of the material."
"Dorothy Danner skillfully exploited the contract between the heartrending melodrama of Suor Angelica and the sunny comedy of Gianni Schicchi. Danner created a gallery of vivId portraits; the nuns all emerged with distinctive faces, and after intermission, so did Buoso Donati's family. Danner's richly detailed staging of Schicchi revealed the sparkling wit in Puccini's comedy."
"---in a striking rendition of "Susannah" inventively staged by Dorothy Danner."
"A good production magically transports us to a different place. And so it is with this finely etched version of Carlisle Floyd's musical drama, directed with sensitivity and boldness by Dorothy Danner."
WHRO---Loessin at Large
"Virginia Opera's, unfussy, atmospheric new production let Floyd's rural drama unfold naturally and director, Dorothy Danner got a true ensemble effort from the eager cast."
"This taut and vivid production has a wonderful sense of balance, from the very even and vocally splendid cast to the simple and elegant direction of Dorothy Danner."
Philadelphia City Paper
"Stage director Dorothy Danner produces Barber's opera in a straightforward way. She summons vivid characterizations from her talented cast."
Noted for her inventive staging, Dorothy Danner has directed over 200 productions of operas, operettas, musicals and plays throughout the United States, Canada and Belgium; including operas for the companies of Glimmerglass, Houston, Philadelphia, Miami, Cleveland, Minnesota, Cincinnati, Portland, Kansas City, Virginia and for San Francisco Merola.
Her production of A MIDSUMMER NIGHTS DREAM in New York for the Juilliard, garnered wide critical acclaim, as did her PBS-TV, TRIBUTE TO GILBERT AND SULLIVAN for the Boston Pops and her television staging of Richard Wargo's opera, BALLYMORE- the first and only musical setting of a Brian Friel play.
Ms. Danner has had the honor of staging the premieres of contemporary composers Barab, Botti, Garwood. Hamlisch, Harnick, Lloyd, Mechem. Musgrave, Sirotta and Wargo. And she has served on the awards panel for the National Institute of Music Theatre and on Opera America's Panel for New Works.
As a performer, Dorothy Danner, aka Dorothy Frank, appeared in 9 Broadway shows, from the original ONCE UPON A MATTRESS to Michael Bennett's BALLROOM. She performed on numerous TV Variety shows - Perry Como, Ed Sullivan among others- as well as in several films including Mel Brook's THE PRODUCERS.
A dedicated and inspiring teacher, she was co-founder of the Glimmerglass Young Artist Program, has served on the faculties of the Juilliard School, the Curtis Institute of Music, and the Chautauqua Institution and has been a frequent guest director at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, New York University, Virginia Commonwealth, Grand Valley, Boston University and at Carnegie-Mellon.
Dorothy Danner is a member of a theatrical family that includes actors Blythe, Harry and Hillary Danner, Gwyneth Paltrow, writer-film maker, Jake Paltrow, actress Katherine Moennig and departed brother-in-laws, violin maker William Moennig 3rd and writer-producer Bruce Paltrow.
|*denotes World Premiere, **denotes American Premiere|
|Argento||A Waterbird Talk, The Boor, Postcard from Morocco|
|Arlen||Meanwhile, Back at Cinderella’s *|
|Barab||Sleeping Beauty *, License to Marry, The Mating Dance|
|Bizet||Carmen, Les Pecheurs de Perles, Tragedy of Carmen|
|Britten||Albert Herring, A Midsummer Night’s Dream|
|Chauls||Alice in Wonderland|
|Donizetti||Daughter of the Regiment, Elixer of Love, Don Pasquale, Lucia di Lammermoor|
The Scarlet Letter *
|Gershwin||Porgy and Bess|
|Gilbert/Sullivan||HMS Pinafore, Iolanthe, Mikado, Pirates of Penzance|
|Gounod||Romeo and Juliet|
|Hamlish/Harnick||The Audition *|
|Humperdinck||Hansel and Gretel|
|Lehar||The Merry Widow|
|Mechem||Tartuffe, The Rivals|
|Mozart||The Magic Flute, Cosi Fan Tutte|
|Musgrave||A Christmas Carol,
Voices of Power and Protest * (performed at the United Nations)
|Offenbach||Grand Duchess of Gerolstein, La Perichole, Tales of Hoffmann|
|Puccini||La Fanciulla del West, Gianni Schicchi,La Boheme, Madame Butterfly, Suor Angelica, Tosca|
|Romberg||Desert Song, Student Prince|
|Rossini||Il Barbiere Di Siviglia, La Cenerentola, L’Italiano in Algieri, Viaggio a Rheims|
|Schuman||A Question of Taste|
|Shepard/Harnick||That Pig of a Molette *|
|Sirotta||The Clever Mistress **|
|Stein||Escape of the Stein *|
|Strauss J.||Die Fledermaus|
|Strauss R||Capriccio, Elektra, Ariadne auf Naxos, Arabella|
|Verdi||Falstaff, La Traviata, Rigoletto|
|Weill||Threepenny Opera, Mahagonny Songspiel, Street Scene|
|Musical Theatre Repertoire|
|A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum||Juilliard Theatre Center|
|A Little Night Music||Opera Carolina, Castleton Opera|
|Closer Than Ever||Delaware Theatre Company|
|Fiddler on the Roof||Utah Opera Festival|
|Guys and Dolls||Chautauqua Opera|
|Jesus Christ Superstar||Duluth Playhouse|
|Kismet||Utah Opera Festival|
|Kiss Me Kate||Minnesota Opera, Michigan Opera, Chautauqua, Cleveland Opera|
|I Do, I Do||Skylight Opera, Utah Opera Festival|
|Les Miserables||Duluth Playhouse|
|Light in the Piazza||Piedmont Opera, Grand Valley University|
|Man of La Mancha||Papermill Playhouse, Omaha, Orlando|
|Man With A Load of Mischief||Delaware Theatre Company|
|Most Happy Fella||Kansas City Opera, Tulsa Opera|
|My Fair Lady||Skylight Opera Theatre|
|Nine||Carnegie- Mellon University|
|She Loves Me||Skylight Opera|
|Somethings Afoot||Timberlake Playhouse|
|South Pacific||Chautauqua, Utah Opera Festival|
|Urinetown||Grand Valley University|
|The Foreigner||Delaware Theatre Company, Duluth Playhouse|
|The Rainmaker||Timberlake Playhouse|
|ASTORIA MUSIC FESTIVAL||Tragedy of Carmen|
|ATLANTA OPERA||Les Pecheurs de Perles|
|ACADEMY OF VOCAL ARTS||Capriccio, Elektra, Chekhov Trilogy, Scarlet Letter, La Boheme, LaTraviata, Manon, Falstaff, Suor Angelica, Gianni Schicchi, Ariadne auf Naxos, Così fan tutte, Werther|
|BREVARD MUSIC FESTIVAL||Tales of Hoffman, Romeo and Juliet, Mikado|
|CASTLETON FESTIVAL||Romeo and Juliet, A Little Night Music|
|CHAUTAUQUA OPERA||Chekhov Trilogy, Merry Widow, South Pacific, Mikado, Guys and Dolls, Daughter of the Regiment, Student Prince, Die Fledermaus|
|CINCINNATI OPERA||Daughter of the Regiment|
|CLEVELAND OPERA||Cenerentola, Pearl Fishers, Barber of Seville, Man of La Mancha, Mikado, HMS Pinafore, Kiss Me Kate, Carmen|
|COLUMBUS OPERA||Student Prince|
|CONNECTICUT OPERA||Man of La Mancha|
|CURTIS OPERA THEATRE||Tenderland, Postcard from Morocco, Il viaggio a Reims|
|DAYTON OPERA||Candide, The Barber of Seville|
|DELAWARE THEATRE COMPANY||The Foreigner, Man with a Load of Mischief, Closer Than Ever|
|DULUTH PLAYHOUSE||Les Miserables, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Foreigner|
|EDMONTON OPERA||Elixer of Love, Die Flederrmaus, Pirates of Penzance|
|EMPIRE STATE PERFORMING ARTS||The Free Lance|
|FORT WORTH OPERA||Pirates of Penzance, Daughter of the Regiment|
|GLIMMERGLASS OPERA||Albert Herring. Iolanthe. HMS Pinafore, Mr. Jericho, Grand Duchess of Gerolsteion, Student Prince|
|GRAND RAPIDS OPERA||Die Fledermaus, Merry Widow|
|FLORENTINE OPERA||The Merry Widow|
|HAWAII OPERA THEATRE||The Pearl Fisher's, The Merry Widow, Candide, Daughter of the Regiment|
|HOUSTON GRAND OPERA||La Perichole, Merry Widow, Student Prince|
|INDIANAPOLIS OPERA||Merry Widow|
|JUILLIARD OPERA CENTER||Midsummer Night's Dream|
|KENTUCKY OPERA||Elixer of Love, Daughter of the Regiment|
|LAKE GEORGE OPERA||Seduction of a Lady, The Boor, The Student Prince, Merry Widow|
|LYRIC OPERA OF THE NORTH||La traviata, Rigoletto|
|LYRIC OPERA OF KANSAS CITY||Pirates of Penzance, The Daughter of the Regiment, Most Happy Fella, The Free Lance|
|MADISON OPERA||Three Penny Opera|
|MANITOBA OPERA||Daughter of the Regiment|
|MEMPHIS OPERA||Merry Widow, Daughter of the Regiment|
|MIAMI OPERA||Daughter of the Regiment, The Music Shop|
|MICHIGAN OPERA THEATRE||Magic Flute, Candide, Daughter of the Regiment, Barber of Seville, Merry Widow, Mikado|
|MINNESOTA OPERA||Pirates of Penzance, Kiss Me Kate, Die Fledermaus|
|MOBILE OPERA||Gianni Schicchi, Suor Angelica|
|NEW ORLEANS OPERA||Porgy and Bess, Merry Widow, Daughter of the Regiment|
|NEW YORK LYRIC OPERA||Meanwhile, Back at Cinderella's|
|OPERA CAROLINA||Magic Flute, A Little Night Music, Merry Widow, Daughter of the Regiment|
|OPERA COMPANY OF PHILADELPHIA||Hansel and Gretel, Grand Duchess of Gerolsteoin, La Perichole, Daughter of the Regiment|
|OPERA OMAHA||Threepenny Opera, Opera Man of La Mancha, Mikado, Pirates of Penzance. Merry Widow, Daughter of the Regiment. Don Pasquale|
|ORLANDO OPERA||Albert Herring, Pirates of Penzance, Mikado, Daughter of the Regiment, Merry Widow|
|OPERA PACIFIC||Magic Flute, Merry Widow, Barber of Seville|
|PAPERMILL PLAYHOUSE||Man of LaMancha|
|PENNSYLVANIA OPERA THEATRE||Tosca, Cenerentola. Grand Duchess of Gerolstein|
|PIEDMONT OPERA||Manon, Light in the Piazza, Pirates of Penzance, Merry Widow|
|PITTSBURGH LYRIC OPERA||Arabella|
|PORTLAND OPERA||Man of LaMancha, Student Prince, Barber of Seville|
|REIMAN OPERA CENTER||Witchboy, Postcard from Morocco|
|SAN ANTONIO OPERA||La Boheme|
|SAN FRANCISO MEROLA PROGRAM||Die Fledermaus|
|SKYLIGHT OPERA||The Rivals, Ballymore, Chekhov Trilogy, Elixer of Love, I Do, I Do, Iolanthe, Gianni Schicchi, Waterbird Talk, She Loves Me|
|SYRACUSE OPERA||Tales of Hoffmann, Daughter of the Regiment, Hansel and Gretel|
|TAMPA OPERA||Girl of the Golden West, Carmen|
|TEXAS OPERA THEATRE||Die Fledermaus|
|TIMBERLAKE PLAYHOUSE||Scapino, The Rainmaker, Something's Afoot|
|TULSA OPERA||Most Happy Fella|
|UTAH FESTIVAL OPERA||Kismet, I Do, I Do, South Pacific, Fiddler on the Roof|
|VIRGINIA OPERA||Susannah, Porgy and Bess, Carmen,La Traviata,Lucia di Lamamoor. Mikado, Die Fledermaus, Merry Widow, A Christmas Carol, Daughter of the Regiment, Elixer of Love, Madame Butterfly, Tosca|
|WASHINGTON OPERA||The Audition--50th Anniversary Gala|
New Faces of 68
Once Upon a Mattress
*performed under Dorothy Danner:
others listed performed under maiden name Dorothy Frank or Dottie Frank
OFF BROADWAYThe Boys From Syracuse
To Broadway with Love
LINCOLN CENTERBeggar on Horseback
NATIONAL TOURL'il Abner
Once Upon A Mattress
The Gershwin Years
The Dangerous Christmas of Little Red Riding Hood
Kraft Music Hall
Ed Sullivan Shows