Tenor Anthony Dean Griffey produced large and gleaming tone and displayed subtle musical and verbal intelligence. He is an altogether exceptional artist.” – Boston Globe

Glimmerglass Opera

“At the center of the performance is Anthony Dean Griffey’s heartbreaking portrayal of the hulking Lennie, a slow-witted man who attracts trouble and misunderstanding at every turn. Griffey uses his sweet-toned tenor and refined acting skills to discover a wealth of poignant nuances hidden in the pathetic, oddly lovable character.”

Peter G. Davis, New York, August 18, 1997

“The entire cast was strong, but the soul of the performance was the Lennie of the young American tenor Anthony Dean Griffey. A tall, stocky man, he has the lumbering physique for the slightly retarded, childlike Lennie, who travels with his protector, George, a drifter with an implausible dream of owning his own farm. But while hauntingly capturing Lennie’s pitiable weakness, Mr. Griffey also projected his pent-up power and anger. And his voice, soaring and intensely expressive, brought a kind of mythic stature to the role.”

Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times, August 19, 1997

“The star of the show was Anthony Dean Griffey, a dramatic tenor with beautiful, free high notes and lovely portamento, who embodied the physical ponderousness and childish mental confusion of the slow-witted Lennie.”

Heidi Waleson, The Wall Street Journal, August 12, 1997

“Everyone in the cast is deserving of praise, especially the two leading singers: Rod Nelman as a thoroughly admirable, deeply contained George, and Anthony Dean Griffey as an unforgettable Lennie. To say that Mr. Griffey, a mountain of a man with a marvelous tenor, seemed born to play the disturbed dreamer whose sweetness is as uncontrollable as his violence, is not to suggest limits; he reportedly made terrific Peter Grimes at Tanglewood last summer, and will one day, I hope, make an indelible Walther in Die Meistersinger and Siegmund in Die Walküre.”

Charles Michener, The New York Observer, August 11, 1997

“The ultimate point [of Rhoda Levine’s production] is that music and production conspire to tap into the story’s primal issue, which is everybody’s need for home and stability. Even seemingly trivial matters, such as the giant, mentally challenged Lennie’s love of furry animals, become emotionally devastating. Lot of credit must go to Anthony Dean Griffey, whose combination of boyish tenor and formidable build conveys the sense of a child trapped in a giant’s body.”

David Patrick Stearns, USA Today, August 14, 1997

“John Steinbeck’s short novel ‘Of Mice and Men’ is a deeply unsettling story of American misery, and Carlisle Floyd’s 1970 operatic version is faithful to the original’s grimness. There is reason to be merry, however, at the first hearing of an artist with the talents of Anthony Dean Griffey, a soft bulky man with a loud, lean tenor who could not be more perfectly cast in the role of Lennie Small. Griffey, who developed his repertoire of cringing and hand-rubbing mannerism watching the mentally retarded students he once taught, inhabited his feeble-minded character so completely it was easy to forget that he was engaged in the stylized activity of singing. But sing he did, and marvelously, making Lennie’s ode to a mouse and his desperately sad dreams of life on a little farm transcend in lyricism Floyd’s serviceable score.”

Justin Davidson, Newsday (New York), August 13, 1997

“Anthony Dean Griffey’s remarkable performance as Lennie was the stand-out in a superb cast. Rocking form side to side, knotting his gingers in perpetual anxiety, he sang with a lowing tenor of unusual mellowness.”

Shirley Fleming, New York Post, July 30, 1997

“Production requirements call for Lennie to be large, with a boyish face. Glimmerglass couldn’t have found a more perfectly suited character than Anthony Dean Griffey, who lumbers and hulks over his ‘soft and small acquisitions’ like a giant. There are moments when you’d like to throttle him, but by opera’s end, he’ll break your heart, both for his acting, and for his formidable singing. He’ll surely bring you to your feet at curtain.”

Peter Haley, Times Union (Albany, NY), July 28, 1997

“One cannot imagine a better Lennie than tenor Anthony Dean Griffey. A very large man, putty-faced with broad sloping shoulders and a shambling gait, his hands often hanging loosely at his side, Griffey was the dramatic epitome of Steinbeck’s hapless character. But Griffey can also sing and did so with great clarity and vocal beauty. It is not surprising to learn that he’s performed the title role of Britten’s Peter Grimes, another of modern opera’s dysfunctional giants.”

Stephen G. Landesman, The Ithaca Journal (Ithaca, NY), July 29, 1997

“Heading the cast is Anthony Dean Griffey, who turns in a stellar performance as the slow-witted Lennie, who can’t control his physical strength. His voice has striking clarity, suggesting a heldentenor in the making. And his articulation and feeling for the text is superb. But it is dramatically that Griffey makes his most telling effect. A big man, he lumbers around menacingly, in startling contract to his child’s mind. An extraordinary portrayal.”

Larry McGinn, The Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY), August 6, 1997

“The performances are also exceptional, with Anthony Dean Griffey giving one of the best performances I’ve ever seen on an opera stage. Like a lethal Baby Huey, he tentatively moves awkwardly, head bent down. Griffey’s singing is powerful and emotionally draining.”

Gene Grey, Press & Sun-Bulletin (Binghamton, NY), July 31, 1997

“Anthony Dean Griffey takes on the part brilliantly. Singing in a sweet, sometimes excited, and other times high and vulnerable tenor, he is tender as well as repugnant.”

Jonas Kover, Observer-Dispatch (Utica, NY), August 4, 1997

“Perhaps the best of the reasons to celebrate is the extraordinary performance of Anthony Dean Griffey as the mentally retarded Lennie. The performance is dramatically the equivalent of its vocal excellence. Griffey’s every syllable is distinct. His every note is crystal clear.”

Joan Vadeboncoeur, Syracuse Herald-Journal, July 31, 1997

“Floyd is not afraid to let the music soar with moving eloquence, and in Rod Nelman’s George and Anthony Dean Griffey’s Lennie, Glimmerglass found the perfect interpreters. Their interaction, both vocally and dramatically, was riveting. Griffey’s portrayal of the slow-witted Lennie was especially compelling. His tenor resonated with angst and passion.”

William D. West, Opera News, December 6, 1997

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