“A worthwhile and timely addition to the joys of the season…not only for Deak’s acclaimed score but even more so for Moon’s inventive cinematic adaptation. Part documentary, part performance piece, with a dash of fiction thrown in, the film is structured as a radio play with baritone William Sharp (who premiered the opera in 1997) performing all the parts. Deak himself takes up the conductor’s baton for the textual climax that never fails to touch the heart. Moon’s trademark floating camera, which hovers curiously before guiding us through the operatic road map with surety and ease, is another key element and given the medium in which it acts, there is no more important star.”

Paul Ennis, The Whole Note

“This thoroughly enjoyable film version, insightfully conceived and directed by H. Paul Moon, adds intriguing new dimensions to Deak’s winning and bravura musicalization. It’s first-rate and remarkably illustrative storytelling.”

Joshua Rosenblum, Opera News: Critic’s Choice

“Deak’s brilliantly atmospheric score…skillfully integrates everything from Hollywood schmaltz to Schoenbergian monodrama. This new version was made by independent filmmaker H. Paul Moon, the same man who put together Samuel Barber: Absolute Beauty. The filming of the work itself is done with grace and a wealth of musical understanding, camera angles and instrumental spotlighting.”

Christian Morris, Composition:Today

“Jon Deak is listed both as ‘Himself’ and as ‘Composer’ in the closing credits to this film. This points to the film’s greatest strength: It is more than a filmed performance of Deak’s opera. Rather, H. Paul Moon frames the performance within a meditation on the nature of composition and on the identification of creator and creation. There are some lovely thoughts in this filmic frame. I am particularly touched by the idea that the performer transfers the composer’s emotional burdens to himself by performing the composer’s work.”

Myron Silberstein, Fanfare Magazine

“The opera follows the outline of Dickens’ story but rather like sun-flares spins off into a world of its own. It delights and shakes you with Sharp’s performance as singer, actor and skald; he is nothing short of glorious. It makes you aware of the Victorian novella as a work extolling self-improvement. It draws parallels between the fallibilities of the world and Scrooge’s misanthropy, which is remediable as it turns out. If any of this seems a bit grim then do not worry: the experience glows but goes through stages that have a frisson not that far removed from Peter Ackroyd’s London documentaries.”

Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International

“Composer Deak’s music is pleasing and inventive and constitutes a lesson in how instruments and music can engage in storytelling. Listening to the music is a pleasure for the ears and the emotions. The photography, direction, and film editing was done by H. Paul Moon; kudos to him for an excellent job. He used a ‘floating camera’ technique with constantly moving and rotating views of the performers.”

Michael Rogers, OperaGene

“This is a beguiling formal experiment to bring Dickens’ classic into contemporary and personal relevance. Musically absorbing and visually engaging, occasionally mystifying, and finely performed, The Passion of Scrooge is a distinctive addition to the long history of Carol adaptations.”

Malcolm Andrews, The Dickensian


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