Opera in English, an old American musical ideal often forgotten, makes an impressive, reassuring reappearance here. Not surprisingly, the squeals of delight coming out of the Opera Pacific audience attested to the many joys and satisfactions still possible in that old concept.
The cast is a company of equals, without dominant or heavy voices, all sharing the dramatic duties without self-consciousness. Kirsten Chavez makes Jo a most sympathetic heroine; Jeffrey Lentz keeps a fine vocal-dramatic balance as the neighbor Laurie. Christina Suh and Stephanie Woodling are Amy and Meg, respectively. Natalie Taormina's death scene as Beth is touching and beautifully understated. Two relative veterans of American opera, Gwendolyn Jones and Katherine Ciesinski, comprise the elder generation of March women. John Packard, Kelly Anderson and Andrew Fernando contribute strongly in the other male roles.