The following is a review of David Garner's one act opera, The Money Tree, which premiered at The University of San Francisco's Gill Theater, June 30, 2000.
Who Wants to Be the Owner of a Money Tree?
21st Century Music
"Money may not grow on trees, but music is produced in a seemingly effortless and natural analogous method by San Francisco composer David Garner.
Garner's one-act opera The Money Tree, is an agreeable work for four singers that, while in some ways reflects musical comedy and popular styles, remains solidly in the world of traditional contemporary opera along the lines of Menotti and Barber. Garner has a tunefulness and practical regard for the voice, and his setting of Dan Linden Cohen's libretto always allows the words to shine.
Bill Sauer, the punningly unlikely hero of this work, is sung competently by the librettist, opposite Megan-Star Levitt's wonderfully clear tones as Lucy Sauer. Alexandra Garner is featured winningly in the pants role of Michael Charmaine, and Wendy Hillhouse proved hugely entertaining as the larger-than-life Aunt Agatha. Music direction was provided by the composer, and the accompaniment was under the able fingers of duo pianists Leesa Dahl and Darryl Cooper. The premiere of The Money Tree was directed by Ross Halper and presented by the Bay Area Summer Opera Theater Institute (BASOTI), at the University of San Francisco's Gill Theater, on June 30 and July 1."