Le Cabaret de Carmen (2020)

“…Carmen, sung by the sexy, transcendent mezzo-soprano Cara Schaefer… the kind of singing… which is consummate in its power to communicate authentically.” —Whitney Fishburn, DC Metro Theater Arts, January 6, 2020

“As the titular Carmen, Cara Schaefer brings a stunning vulnerability to the infamous seductress. Schaefer’s Carmen is raw and haunting, an abused woman who is barely keeping herself afloat as her world closes in. Her facial expressions telegraph her grief to the audience even as she sings her seductive songs, but it is her steely resolve when she faces down Don José and professes that she doesn’t love him that stands out above anything else. This is a woman who has nothing in the world, nothing to lose, except for herself, and she refuses to let anyone fully take that from her, even in her final moments. Schaefer’s portrayal is a fresh, tragic take on the role, one that feels more fitting not just for this production, but for how we should consider the famous character in our modern lens.” —Rachael Goldberg, Broadway World (January 7, 2020)

“With her sometimes swagger and aggressive athleticism and a voice that plunges down to the basement in her low notes, Schaefer convinces us as a transgender outsider, marginalized and always at risk of being abused. The singer-actor holds nothing back in her singing or in her physicality and succeeds in creating an emotional arc that is truly harrowing.” —Susan Galbraith, DC Theater Scene, January 6, 2020

Voices of Zion (2022)

“Many of the voices in this production are notably powerful and evocative. Cara Schaefer as Mary Billings, a white parishioner who established a school that welcomed African American students, sang “Many Stones” with an intensity that reflected the level of commitment and risk that Billings had to have needed in order to accomplish what she did.” — Gregory Ford, DC Metro Theater Arts, May 10, 2022

The Gonzales Cantata (2020)

“Julie Bosworth, Kelly Curtin, Joe Haughton, Noelle McMurtry, Caroline Miller, Elizabeth Von Os, and Cara Schaefer give an extreme seriousness to the congressional committee members, questioning Gonzales (Melissa Wimbish) and reacting indignantly to the nonresponses. They play it with great musicality, repeating phrases and elongating words. … Schaefer as Orrin Hatch is the lone member to seem sympathetic, a sad look on her face and a pleading tone in her voice, trying to find a good reason for Gonzales’s actions.” —Charles Green, DC Metro Theater Arts, November 10, 2020

Mozart’s Requiem (2020)

“The Requiem featured a strong quartet of soloists that easily filled the church with operatic sound. [T]he rich mezzo of Cara Schaefer and Deborah Sternberg’s cool, distinguished soprano contributed well in both solo sections and lovely ensembles in the “Recordare” and “Benedictus.” —Alex Baker, Washington Classical Review, March 2, 2020