“Looking over the cast bios (for “Home Is a Harbor”), one is struck by the fact that nearly all the participants in this project are California-based, making the point very clearly that (the state) has become an important cultural hub in the country, and Mr. Abel is at the forefront of its musical life.
The opera deals with young twin sisters who set out on their post-high school lives in different directions … ; both find disillusionment and sadness, only to return home in a third act which offers hope for the future … But the ultra-optimistic ending does not destroy the effectiveness of the piece. It is … filled with characters and situations that remind us all too well of the realities of our world.
All the singers do a fine job; I would not be surprised to read some of their names on the rosters of major opera companies. The two sopranos who sing the twins Lisa and Laurie, Jamie Chamberlin and Ariel Pisturino, create very believable young women with their well-supported sopranos. Best of the lot is Babatunde Akinboboye, whose rich baritone demands special notice from the listener. As with many modern operas, the vocal line is not typical of romantic opera. But it is tonal and effective in conveying the drama of the situation.” —Richard Sininger, American Record Guide