The Sarasota Opera and the Sarasota Youth Opera gave our city an enormous gift with the world premiere of “Rootabaga Country,” a lyrically powerful new opera...Frankly, performance at this level of creativity and expertise is an unfair challenge to the work of a music critic. We hope that this work, commissioned by Sarasota Opera, will find a place in the repertoire of many opera companies in this country and around the world. --Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Read the complete review.
Peters’ score is both tonal and melodic, filled with shifting rhythms and meter, and her libretto is both intelligible and singable, while moving the story ever forward. --Sarasota Observer
Read the complete review.
The Mezz With Brian Hersh (radio interview)
Feature in SRQ Magazine
Feature in Sarasota Observer
Peters served as librettist as well as composer for the opera, producing nine tight, short scenes running seventy minutes. A prolific composer of vocal music, Peters here produces a resolutely tonal but constantly inventive, melodic and voice-friendly score...Concise in scope and skillfully constructed, Companionship is a fresh presence on the regional opera scene, and should be a welcome and unique addition to the chamber opera repertoire.
—Texas Classical Review
Peters’ music is a combination of jazz riffs and more lyrical passages, which more than once suggested the influence of George Gershwin. The text was wonderfully set by the composer, who served as her own librettist, and the words fit the musical lines extremely well for maximum comprehension. —Opera News
Companionship received its world premiere from Fort Worth Opera last week, and it is easily the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen staged by the troupe…Lately, the new works showcased by Fort Worth Opera haven’t been afraid to go in odd and funny directions, and if it results in more shows like Companionship, I’m here for it. —Fort Worth Weekly
The final source of excerpts wasn’t just conceived outside of the box – its engineer, the beguiling Rachel Peters, seems to have been born a plane trip away from it...The setup is so novel, and the work and performances in this case so terrific, it instigates an instant impatience for its premiere. Around the wit of the premise and action, the music is stirringly imaginative, modestly working its myriad wonders. —The Column Online
Companionship is riotously funny and involves talking dough and poisonous family dynamics…I’d certainly like to see the finished projects as chamber operas! —soundwordsight.com
THE WILD BEAST OF THE BUNGALOW
It was, frankly, spellbinding. Peters' music grabs you by the collar and demands your attention...Peters has lots to say and is not afraid to shift gears as she goes along. --BroadwayWorld
Read the complete review of the developmental workshop performance.
The Wild Beast of the Bungalow was a fun, dark satire of a young girl growing up, presented as a concert reading. It was great to see opera about girlhood—just as it was great seeing opera made by a living composer—who was also female—conducted by a woman. It really drove home the whole advantage of having smaller companies to promote otherwise under-recognized voices. --Surroundings
IF YOU CAN PROVE THAT I SHOULD SET YOU FREE
Peters achieved more of a coherent narrative by setting the spoken text above orchestral accompaniment. Excerpts from African American activist Frances Ellen Watkins Harper’s 1866 speech “We Are All Bound Up Together” against musical settings of Alice Duer Miller’s satirical poetry sought to bring issues of racism within the suffrage movement to light. —I Care If You Listen
Rachel Peters’ “If You Could Prove That I Should Set You Free” used sly humor and dance-able tunes to offset the strong words employed by her five women. —Daily Gazette
STRETCH (A FANTASIA)
When the red velvet stage curtains part, we are treated to quintet of bass, trumpet, two violins, and an IBM Selectric. (Note to orchestrators: this combination of instrumental voicings is surprisingly evocative and supple and it does very well at suggesting the jarring, irresistible world of the subconscious.) Composer/conductor Rachel Peters offers a running rhythmic commentary on Rose's rise and fall with her IBM keyboard, and noisy work is what makes Rose's heart sing. --New York Theatre Wire
TINY FEATS OF COWARDICE
**** (four stars) These guys aren't using the Fringe to launch improbable projects or careers; they're workshopping a solid Off Broadway project-in-progress. With help from a very capable backup band, she makes each fear pull its weight, emotionally and comically. --Time Out
The women sing and dance to the jarring, inventive music of Rachel Peters—a brilliant, original composition with overtones of the disjointed, atonal work of György Ligeti. --Sarasota Observer