The opera was comissioned by Andreas Mitisek at LBO, Mitisek also serving also as dramaturge to composer and librettist
In 1980's New York, five African American and Latino teenagers were in the wrong place at the wrong time. They were unjustly convicted of a Central Park rape but exonerated through DNA evidence thirteen years later. Davis' opera is a passionate story about an issue that still rocks America today.
Finally, this may be the best work Andreas Mitisek has done as producer and director. The set design is effective, with panels serving alternately as doors, walls and screens for projections. The staging captures both the Harlem milieu with projections and jazz music and the claustrophobia of the holding cells where the boys are interrogated separately, and effortlessly shifts location without a loss of dramatic momentum.
The Central Park Five” was given an incredibly effective presentation by Long Beach Opera’s Artistic and General Director Andreas Mitisek and designers Dan Weingarten (Lighting) and Earl Howard (Sound). ... the production was serious and unflinching. Doors and screens were used most effectively, as, for example, when the District Attorney walked through door after door browbeating the five isolated accused into confession (another moment, admittedly, where the “five” were individualized).
Warner Grand Theatre