Mezzo-soprano Fons, especially, brought range (both vocal and emotional) to a character who isn’t much more than an archetype in the libretto. As some reviewers opined of the opera’s world premiere at Santa Fe Opera in 2017, the story here turns on a disappointing cliché: that of a good woman who helps a socially challenged genius become a better person. There’s no denying this — though there’s talk of Laurene’s MBA and professional ambitions, she first appears onstage to tell Steve he’s working too hard and needs to take a break. That Laurene is more fully fleshed out than her initial appearance suggests is thanks entirely to Fons’ performance; it’s reason alone to buy a ticket.

Megan Burbank for The Seattle Times