The LaChiusa Method

“At a time when most songwriters would kill to wangle a no-budget workshop in a downtown black box, Michael John LaChiusa is regularly produced by the foremost institutional theaters in the country, and now even by opera houses. But part of the controversy stems from his insistence on bringing a seriously modern sensibility to a form mostly consigned to the ash heap of nostalgia. Whether you judge his musicals to be successful or not — and critics are divided — they are never glib or self-cannibalizing.”