G. Verdi's AIDA
Highlights from U.S. Reviews
AIDA Brings Audience Marvels of Ancient Egypt!
"G. Verdi's AIDA marched into a sold-out Anderson Center Thursday night.
Ofelia Hristova was lovely as Aida and showed an excellent command of dynamics,
from riveting fortes to the very softer pianissimo. Roumen Doikov as Radames
is a powerful tenor with a great sound. Ambra Vespasiani as Amneris gave an
incredibly stirring performance, masterfully plunging her character into the
depths of despair, making the audience applaud her performance even before
the music ended. The vitriol she hurls at the priests who condemn Radames to
die garnered her curtain call to numerous enthusiastic shouts of "brava!" A
wonderful performance was also turned in by Theodore Lambrinos as Amonasro.
His rich baritone and convincing acting made his appeal to the Egyptian king
and his persuasion of Aida to betray Radames among the best scenes in the opera.
The sets for Aida were excellent, especially the enormous Egyptian scene quilted
on a tapestry, the Sphinx head and the backdrop of the royal palace at Memphis
-an expertly painted tromp l'oeil. Aida is ethereal and beautiful. Verdi's
masterpiece remains magnificent." BINGHAMTON
PRESS AND SUN BULLETIN – Feb. 2001
Teatro Lirico D'Europa Lights Up Anderson Center with Verdi's AIDA!
"The Anderson Center welcomed its first full opera. Those who entered
early caught an unimpeded view of the set rising above the stage with the majesty
of an ancient temple. Prisoners were brought in to a lavish scene of dancers
and chorus, with the entire company filling the stage. Amonasro's voice was
clear and powerful like a true King. Ambra Vespasiani (Amneris) effectively
communicated the tragedy of a woman torn between love and anger. She was met
with deafening applause at her curtain call. Teatro Lirico D'Europa presented
a sumptuous story. Hristova (AIDA) played her role with the delicate sweetness
of a woman in love. Costumes were lavish and the lighting played off the gilt
fabric and jewels laden on Amneris, drawing the eye to her every time she moved.
Aida was a wonderful addition to the season as evidenced by the full house
and ticket buyers being turned away at the door.
DREAM RELEASE, Binghamton, NY – Feb. 2001
Strong Voices make Troupe's AIDA Verdi Good!
"With Boston Lyric Opera in the middle of a run of Strauss' 'Salome' it
was left to the enterprising Teatro Lirico d'Europa to provide Boston with
a Verdi tribute with AIDA. Now in its second major USA tour, Teatro Lirico
D'Europa offered a principal quartet of singers who displayed an instinctive
grasp of Verdi's musical line and did so with often-gleaming vocalism. The
opera is undeniably a masterpiece. Its return is always welcome when the singers
can satisfy Verdi's considerable demands. Roumen Doikov, as Radames, solidified
the positive impression he made last year as Calaf in the company's 'Turandot.'
The Bulgarian tenor has the looks and manner of a retired prize fighter-not
inappropriate for portraying a warrior-and an appealing, brawny voice with
big, ringing high notes. Veteran American born baritone, Theodore Lambrinos,
sank his teeth into the sonorous vocal line Verdi fashioned for the short but
important role of Amonasro with richness and power. As Amneris, Italian mezzo
soprano, Ambra Vespasiani, has a big, lush voice that dominated the famous
Triumphal Scene ensembles. She achieved real pathos in the Judgment Scene.
In the title role, soprano, Galia Gortcheva, used her attractive, Slavic tinged
soprano to nice effect. If what you want most from a night at the opera is
big, authentic voices, you wouldn't have been disappointed on Monday."
HERALD – T. J. Medreck – Feb. 2001
"Teatro Lirico D'Europa delivers a lot of bang for the public's
buck. There was never a dull moment! Soprano, Galia Gortcheva,
a leading artist of Belgrade Opera, sang very carefully. A strong
lyric soprano, she has a reliable high C and can float a lovely
pianissimo across most of her range. She moves well and uses her
long arms expressively. Ambra Vespasiani, [Amneris] a tiny spark
plug of a woman with a large voice, fearlessly flung out from booming
chest tones to blowtorch top notes; she tore down the house in
the Judgment scene. Tenor Roumen Doikov, seems to enjoy singing
the part-and to rejoice in the smiling fortune that made him a
tenor. He is a rock-solid vocalist and his stage personality is
boyish and eager to please. He's got the high notes and delivers
everything else honestly and securely. The Greek-American baritone,
Theodore Lambrinos, has been on the stage for the better part of
40 years; he knows his business and brought a ferocious dramatic
presence to Amonasro. Conductor Krassimir Topolov was spacious
and stylish while the chorus of Bulgarian voices poured out thrilling
GLOBE – Richard
Dyer – Feb. 2001
2nd Boston Globe Review AIDA
"Ofelia Hristova has a true Aida instrument and temperament. She also
has the stage presence and wore two drop-dead diva dresses. Hristova created
a regal, powerful and sympathetic characterization. She came onstage...acting
and reacting; she also let her soprano soar over the ensembles. Her voice has
a fascinating dark timbre and voluptuous texture. It recalls that of fabled
Turkish soprano Leyla Genzer, and she has a comparably glowing pianissimo.
Her Italian is more idiomatic and vivid than Deborah Voigt's was on the broadcast
from the Met last Saturday afternoon. Hristova was at her best in the Nile
Scene and crowned her "O patria mia" by floating the closing wide-spanning
phrase on one breath, as Verdi directs, and that is something you will hear
once in a thousand performances. The audience got its money's worth and then
GLOBE – Richard Dyer – Feb. 2001
"Teatro Lirico D'Europa has given
more than 2,000 performances in Europe since 1986. Last year
on its first American tour, it came to Boston with Turandot,
a rip-roaring production with big voices, and a strong chorus.
Teatro Lirico is back in the centenary year of Verdi's death
with AIDA. The backdrops of Karnak and the Pyramids across-the
Nile are evocative. Two colossal statues menacingly flank the
action. The orchestra is excellent and so is Krassimir Topolov's
conducting, which keeps things moving along without losing any
of Verdi's atmospherics. The chorus is superb-full bodied, vigorous,
grown-up voices. Theodore Lambrinos, as Amonasro, conveyed a
believable character. He could sing too. And so could Doikov
[Radames] with brightly resounding stenorian tones, and primitive
raw material to spare. The big hit of the evening was Vespasiani
(Amneris)...pouring out a huge, vibrant, ferocious sound that knocked
you out of your seat. You couldn't help being impressed. Teatro
Lirico has some voices!"
PHOENIX – Lloyd Schwartz- Feb. 2001
AIDA Performance Kept Audience Glued to Every Change in
"Pyramid power came to the Stanley Performing Arts Center Saturday night
in the form of AIDA. For a traveling show, the Teatro Lirico D'Europa production
was of majestic scope, with full-stage scenery and props taking you back to
the Egyptian dynasties, magnificent singing, an orchestra of 50, a chorus of
45 and nine dancers... The presentation was irresistible. The expressive singers
kept the Great Artist Series audience of 2,513 glued to every change of tone.
Roumen Doikov, an exciting and robust tenor plays Radames. Soprano Galia Gortcheva,
sings Aida with dramatic intonations that clearly put across the lowest plea
or the highest point of outrage in a spellbinding manner. Amneris, the Egyptian
Princess is portrayed by Ambra Vespasiani. Her soaring and simpering voice
displays romantic, jealous and destructive emotions with a vengeance. The singers
perform in impressive sets that change in every scene. The opera opens in a
columned temple with two stage height statues at each end. It converts to a
temple crowned by a boulder sized head of a pharaoh... the suite of the princess
with a large red and gold Egyptian tapestry at back and a couch in lion shape
for royalty to dwell in. There's also a scene with the twin pyramids and the
Nile River in the background-and a split stage scene in the final act. The
chorus in white Egyptian costumes with long sashes in front filled up the stage.
The leads left the audience with mouths agape." UTICA
DISPATCH OBSERVER – Jonas Kovan – Feb. 2001
'Aida' Marches to Victory at Peace Center!
"Friday night's Peace Center audience was treated to a sterling performance
of AIDA by Teatro Lirico D'Europa and a fitting tribute to Verdi. The opera
was on wings itself as Doikov brought to life the hero of the story, Radames,
singing with bright, strong tones and crystal clear diction. The line up of
voices showed plenty of resources at hand for the European touring opera company.
Ofelia Hristova's Aida transported us to a psychological landscape of conflicting
loyalties. She gave a tender performance. Her pianissimos were delicate and
luxurious with exquisite ornamentation in "Ritorna vincitor," and
her key Act III aria "O patria mia." Unforgettable was mezzo soprano,
Ambra Vespasiani's Amneris. The woman is one huge voice crammed into one tiny
body. But you would never know that if you closed your eyes and allowed her
smoldering, ember voice to pound and cajole you with her demands, manipulations
and lamentations. I loved her "Vieni o diletta appressati," reeling
in the unsuspecting Aida, and her judgment scene duet opposite Doikov. Brooklyn
born Theodore Lambrinos as Aida's father, wielded a fabulous baritone-strong
and rich as dark chocolate, booming from his full-throated arias. Lambrinos
sings with authority. He has owned this role from his Metropolitan Opera days.
Basso Emil Ponorski - King, and Dimiter Stantchev - Ramfis' sonorous deliveries
were the glue for the story's meaning. Teatro Lirico's orchestra under the
baton of Krassimir Topolov was exceptionally good as were the company's corps
de ballet and splendid chorus. The sets were impressive including the huge
Egyptian domestic scene quilted on a tapestry and the massive temples dominated
by a sphinx head. My seatmates were thrilled with the production.”
GREENVILLE NEWS – Ann Hicks - Feb. 2001
"Monday night the Philharmonic Center for the Arts marked
the 100th anniversary of the great composer's death [G. Verdi]
with a version of AIDA by Teatro Lirico D'Europa. The company has
toured Europe since 1986 with its stable of professional singers,
50 - member orchestra, 40 - member chorus and ballet ensemble,
and it provided the stage with a heady whiff of Ancient Egypt.
It has been said that Verdi hated cheap effects and circus-style
production. He probably would have approved of the elegant sets
used by Teatro Lirico D'Europa; they were colorful and evocative.
The orchestra under the baton of Krassimir Topolov also had a vivid
presence. From the moment Radames, played by tenor Roumen Doikov,
opened his mouth to sing "Celeste Aida," in Act I, it
was apparent that this company is capable of making music on a
superior level. Doikov has a strikingly beautiful voice, robust,
full and with vibrant high notes. The company's Aida, Ofelia Hristova,
has performed with great critical acclaim on the company's national
tours. Her voice is big and her coloratura is true. The high point
of the evening was the performance of Ambra Vespasiani as Amneris.
This young mezzo from Italy has it all. Her expressive, rich voice
is beautifully trained and her acting reminds me of Callas at her
best. She was truly the star of the evening and the audience made
it clear that they recognized she is more than a good singer. She
is world class. There were also fine performances by Dimiter Stantchev
as Ramfis, and Theodore Lambrinos as Amonasro. Lambrinos is a Metropolitan
Opera veteran. His deep, resonant voice and his stage know-how
lent enormous stature to his role. This was an evening of glorious
music from the master." NAPLES
DAILY NEWS – Corinne Dunne – Feb. 2001
"Aida brought the audience to their feet
The presentation of the Teatro Lirico D'Europa was nothing short
of amazing. The voices of the soloists were powerful. They rang
out over the orchestra and consumed all those who attended. The
stage and costumes for the production were first rate. The entire
Egyptian theme was captured in the set designs and echoed throughout
the main auditorium as the orchestra played. Despite the incredible
voices that joined the main characters on stage, there were two
performers that stood out and made their voices ring out over
the orchestra and into the hearts of the audience. First was
the voice of Radames. The tenor (Roumen Doikov) had no problem
projecting his voice with accuracy and precision. The second
voice that captivated me was the mezzo soprano voice of Amneris,
Princess of Egypt (Tatiana Ishemova.) Her voice had an incredible
range. It was obvious that the performers assembled on stage,
were well trained and knew how to captivate an audience. Kudos
to Teatro Lirico D'Europa for the fine performance!"
SPRINGS HERALD – Feb. 2001
Well-crafted AIDA a Treat for Alamo City!
"Seeing a production of G. Verdi's grand opera "Aida" in San
Antonio is a treat indeed. That it was performed ably-by a professional touring
group complete with orchestra, chorus, and ballet ensemble-makes it so much
better. The polished voices and excellent orchestra and chorus successfully
drew the audience in to Verdi's story. From the opening prelude, the orchestra's
precision and polished competent sound allowed the audience to relax. What
takes place on stage is a vision of Egypt at its most exotic. Teatro Lirico's
set was large in scale...huge stone pillars covered with hieroglyphics, 12
foot statues and a great stone face suspended above center stage. Tatiana Ishemova's
mature, mezzo soprano voice was one of the highlights of the performance, rich
in the lower register and powerful in the upper range. Her commanding stage
presence befitted a pharaoh's daughter. Ofelia Hristova [Aida] displayed a
particularly good control of softer notes in the high register. In the Act
II ("O patria mia") a lovely lyrical style stood her in a good stead.
Doikov as Radames was a robust, taut and well-trained tenor. The lively presence
of ballet dancers provided sheer delight for the eyes. Especially good was
the solo dancer. Other fine voices rounded out the performance including that
of the Priest-bass, Ivan Tomasev, and Aida's father, American baritone, Mark.
C. Gargiulo." SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS NEWS – Feb.
"Teatro Lirico D'Europa presented
its resplendent production of G. Verdi's grand opera masterpiece Aida to
a large and happy McCain Auditorium audience. It certainly gave
our crowd its money's worth. I found the overall high artistic
quality of their achievement quite remarkable. The set looked as
if built of Egyptian pyramid stone, a gigantic sphinx loomed behind
it, flanked by a pair of monumental effigies. The bigmooned Nile
scene scrim suggested a sense of depth and scope as well. The regal
principal's costumes had a weighty dignity that elevated them to
large than life status. Aida sported two different but equally
splendiferous gowns. Choral robes accented the unified power of
the king's minions and the dancers' skimpy balletic wear subtly
implied their role of obedient functionaries. Under the firm and
sensitive direction of Maestro Topolov, the partnership of instrumental
and vocal sonorities was exceptional. The evening's singing laurels
went to our Radames, tenor Roumen Doikov. Running him a close second
vocally was mezzo Tatiana Ishemova as Amneris. A performance of
Aida is a rare enough event anywhere. Here at McCain it's most
likely a once-in-a lifetime thrill. I hope you enjoyed and valued
it as much as I did."
MERCURY NEWS – Ben Nyberg – Mar. 2001
Touring Company Makes a Spectacle of AIDA!
"The chorus, orchestra and ballet corps of the Teatro Lirico D'Europa
succeeded in bringing a sense of spectacle to the Lied Center stage. The sets
featured a massive-looking stone arch, a gigantic pharaoh's head, huge statues
flanking the stage and a tromp l'oeil background of massive colonnades retreating
into the distance The performers were on an equally grand scale, with big,
big voices and broad acting. The eight dancers succeeded by appearing to be
more numerous than they actually were, and in melding classical ballet with
some exotic and beautiful movements. The chorus filled the stage and sang enthusiastically.
For Sunday's sold - out performance we heard Ofelia Hristova as Aida, a genuine
dramatic coloratura. She floated her high notes with extraordinary beauty and
impeccable technique and she had enough power to fill the house. She was well
matched by Roumen Doikov-Radames, a powerful tenor that remained round throughout
his range. Judith Engel was genuinely moving as Amneris. The orchestra conducted
by Krassimir Topolov, did full justice to Verdi's remarkable score." KANSAS
CITY STAR – Mar. 2001
"Grand opera came to Springfield,
IL last weekend -Verdi's
Aida, and it was very grand indeed. Giorgio Lalov, the
artistic director, believes that one must remain true to the
composer's vision of the opera and his company puts on a truly
magnificent production. Lalov travels with an orchestra of 47-no
synthesizers, no cheating-just a fine group of musicians that
execute Verdi's score with great skill and authenticity. The
sets were beautiful! They alone drew spontaneous applause from
the audience as the curtain rose. The opening staging for the
royal palace at Memphis was elegant, and a huge tapestry that
set the scene for Amneris' royal suite was breathtaking. The
singers were magnificent. Lalov obviously has a touch of genius
in casting his roles. Ofelia Hristova's soprano voice soared
in the title role of Aida. Judith Engel sang a stunning Amneris.
Roumen Doikov's glorious tenor lent veracity to his love for
Aida. Mark Gargiulo was especially good as Amonasro. An absolutely
gorgeous part of this production was the ballet group of eight
dancers! Their costumes were marvelous, and their execution flawless-a
fabulous visual enhancement for the opera. The very large audience
was also very appreciative-and rightly so. I can't wait till
TIMES – Ann Kerr – Mar. 2001
Teatro Lirico's 'Aida' just right to the last detail
"The Teatro Lirico D'Europa's performance of "Aida" at Merrill
Auditorium got it just right, even after a snow-filled journey from Rochester,
NY. The sets were remarkable, the singers thoroughly professional-the full
orchestra better than most in any opera pit, the chorus strong and well rehearsed,
and the ballet dancers spectacular. The production admirably served the purpose
of bringing real grand opera to an audience... and there wasn't a microphone
in sight. Tenor Roumen Doikov was excellent as Radames and baritone Theodore
Lambrinos as Amonasro was superb. Tatiana Ishemova as Amneris was quite moving.
The title role was sung by Ofelia Hristova. Her arias were gorgeous. The ballet
dancers were superb. The audience gave everyone a long standing ovation." PORTLAND
PRESS HERALD – Christopher Hyde – Mar. 2001
Teatro Lirico D'Europa's 'Aida'
"Teatro Lirico, brought a large contingent to town for the production.
Besides the essential lead singers, it had the Sofia Symphony Orchestra in
the pit, a full male and female chorus, and a corps of eight or so splendid
dancers. Resulting was an entertaining AIDA. The many huge sets and backdrops
marvelously recreated the beauty and awesomeness of the era of the Ancient
Egyptian pharaohs and the sets were effectively illuminated with special spots
at crucial scenes. The varying colorful and imaginative backgrounds added much
to Friday's staging, even eliciting applause when the curtains were drawn open.
An exceptionally smart logistical decision came about when Teatro Lirico used
the ballet corps to entertain as the celebration focus during the Triumphal
March music. A superb ballet performed by both male and female dancers. Moreover
director Lalov benefited from good singers. A genuine find was the stirring
tenor, Roumen Doikov, as the heroic warrior Radames. Blessed with the clear
clarion sound of previous purveyors of the role, young Doikov shone brightly
throughout. All his notes could be heard without exception-and they were worth
hearing as well. The young Yugoslavian basso Ivicsa Tomasev acquitted himself
handsomely as the high priest of Isis, thanks to a marvelous low range. Another
solid lead was mezzosoprano, Judith Engel, as the Egyptian Princess Amneris.
Performing in the tradition of many Amneris before her, the American born and
trained Engel sang the bejeeebers out of her part!" KALAMAZOO
GAZETTE – Mar. 2001
A Grand 'Aida' Is Triumphant at The Garde!
"In its first performance in the region, the touring Teatro Lirico d'Europa
staged an 'Aida' in its full glory at The Garde Arts Center. The 50-piece orchestra,
the commanding Egyptian sets, a 40-voice chorus in splendid costumes, a corps
de ballet and a cast of robust, Verdi-sized voices successfully brought a big-city
opera experience to New London. The production did full justice to the majesty
and boiling passions of Verdi's work. As Radames, Roumen Doikov was a perfect
fit for the drama. Supple throughout the range and hair raising at the top,
he announced his mastery early with a stellar "Celeste Aida" and
in the later ensembles, rang true atop the big chorus and full orchestra, even
at the most towering crescendi. As Ramfis, bass, Ivan Tomasev, was a towering
presence, both physically and vocally and the two warring kings, Egypt's sung
by bass Emil Ponorsky and the defeated Ethiopian sung by American baritone
Theodore Lambrinos, were equally commanding. Tatiana Ishemova, (Amneris) warmed
to the task and in the final act, her anguished outcries were terrific vocal
theater. Along with the monumental sets evoking ancient Thebes and gold-be-dazzled
costumes, the large orchestra was crucial to the score's success. The dance
scenes were high points."
DAY – Mar. 2001
"Friday night's AIDA at the Flynn Center for
the Performing Arts featured Teatro Lirico D'Europa; an international
company of excellent soloists, musicians, singers and dancers.
With strong principal voices, a full competent choir, a stellar
orchestra and stunning costume and set design, Teatro Lirico D'Europa
presented a superb rendition complete with projected English super
titles. Set designer Valentine Topencharov created an impressively
monolithic Egyptian set of obelisks, trompe l'oeil columns and
gargantuan pharaoh statues. The three principals are first rate.
As Radames, tenor Roumen Doikov was simply outstanding. His full
tenor voice intertwined beautifully with Amneris and Aida-Italian
soprano, Rosella Redoglia. Other standouts included bass Ivica
Tomasev as a high priest of Isis, bass Emil Ponorski as Egypt's
King and the strong corps de ballet, which added more spectacular
costumes...clearly accomplished dancers."
FREE PRESS – Mar. 2001
A Trip down the Nile
"Considering the compromises usually made by touring opera companies,
the sets for this AIDA were far above the norm, with appearance of solidity
and a strongly traditional Egyptian feeling. A large suspended terra cotta
pharaoh's head flavorfully dominated several scenes while a stunning black
and gold tapestry of a flat profiled Egyptian dancer dominated Amneris's suite.
A shimmering moon reflection on the water and silhouettes of pyramids made
the third act evocative. The beautiful static tableau of dancers was welcome
to the eye, even more so when it gradually came to life with very graceful,
idiomatically Egyptian dancing." BUFFALO
NEWS – Mar.
'Aida' - a Grand Opera at the Grand!
"Patrons of Opera Delaware had a great treat recently when the Teatro
Lirico D'Europa presented its version of Verdi's AIDA in our own Grand Opera
House. The combination of thrilling voices, glorious music, gripping drama
and magnificent settings provided stimulating entertainment." GREENVILLE
COMMUNITY NEWS – Mar. 2001
AIDA Wins New Fans in Heartfelt Lied Center Show!
"Teatro Lirico D'Europa put the "grand" in grand opera with
impressive sets that placed us cheek to jowl with the Sphinx and the pyramids.
A large and impressively costumed cast of royals, priests, priestesses, captains,
foot soldiers, functionaries, slaves and Ethiopian prisoners was likewise impressive.
The spectacle was further enhanced with on-stage trumpeters and a sultry ballet
danced by 8 exotic sylphs. Also noteworthy is the spectacular phenomenon of
the trained opera voice capable of filling a huge theater like the Lied. Ofelia
Hristova, (Aida) Roumen Doikov, (Radames) and Judith Engel, (Amneris) were
key in bringing Verdi's impassioned musical drama to vivid dramatic life. It
was a wonderful night. A full and enthusiastic house stood and cheered at the
final curtain." TOPEKA CAPITAL JOURNAL – Mar.
Verdi's Classic AIDA Takes Full House Captive!
"Teatro Lirico D'Europa's production of Verdi's classic tale AIDA was
magnificent in every sense of the word...a performance finely tuned and beautifully
JOURNAL WORLD – Mar. 2001
"Brilliant tapestries, gold brocade fabrics and monumental
statues created the opulent, regal ambiance this work demands.
Set in stone the elaborate sets for 'Aida' created the regal atmosphere
of the ancient Egyptian court." ROCHESTER
"Remarkable voices! Strong conducting!
A well planned production. All the lead singers had better than
modest voices, with promising international careers ahead of
them. The orchestra was about the size you'd find in the pit
at the Metropolitan Opera, giving full value to Verdi's musical
intent, including onstage trumpets. Giorgio Notev conducted with
solid control and even a touch of grandeur and passion. Soprano
Ofelia Hristova did not have to push. She sang with distinction.
Her 'O Patria mia' was beautifully phrased, tonally radiant.
Lev Kuznetsov sang Radames with stoic projection. Mezzo soprano,
Stefka Mineva acted with her voice. Her scene at the end was
"Complete with a splendid chorus, a well schooled orchestra,
and a cast of soloists with big sumptuous voices...this 'Aida'
has genuinely thrilling moments! It's well worth hearing. The number
of people traveling with this 'Aida' is unusually large for a touring
opera company. This pays off in the number of musicians in the
pit and the full-throated chorus. Such numbers are of particular
importance in the triumphal concerted scenes with which 'Aida'
abounds. All benefit from the close rapport between the astute
conductor, his polished orchestra, and the singers and dancers.
The production is elaborately set with ancient Egyptian scenery." VARIETY-
AIDA Lives up to Billing as Opera to see this Year!
"This 'Aida' was great. Teatro Lirico D'Europa created the illusion of
magnitude with big props, large backdrops painted with the perspective depth,
and the largest ensemble of singers and musicians to ever accompany a local
opera. The grandiose music, conducted with passion, was more than enough to
make this 'Aida" memorable. The choirs attained a mystical quality with
wondrous harmonies. Individual vocal honors go to Roumen Doikov as Radames.
He deftly negotiated each change and projected each passage clearly. Ofelia
Hristova as Aida did shine in the soprano register. She executed the beautiful
'O Patria mia' with conflicting emotions."
DESERT SUN - Bruce Fessier – Feb. 2000
Traveling Aida Lives up to Lavish Description!
"Teatro Lirico D'Europa's touring 'Aida' provided plenty of spectacle
for ticket buyers. Elaborate sets, gorgeous costumes, superb musical direction
of the 50 - piece orchestra and an excellent corps de ballet added to the production's
elegance. Singing by the principals was very good and they received strong
assistance from a cast of more than 40 supporting singers. Tenor Roumen Doikov,
who opened the show with a well-sung version of "Celeste Aida," was
an audience favorite. As Aida, soprano Ofelia Hristova sang powerfully in the
upper range and sweetly in the pianissimo section of the role's signature aria "Ritorna
Vincitor" and "O Patria mia." Her passionate and very well sung
duet with Doikov in the 3rd Act was the highlight of the evening. The conductor
led a well-prepared and lushly appointed orchestra in a flawless performance.
Judging from the enthusiastic reception the company received from the sold
out audience, let's hope Teatro Lirico D'Europa will be back with more."
COUNTY TIMES - Pam Kagan – Feb. 2000
"Teatro Lirico D'Europa puts on a good show, as witness
this 'Aida.' Verdi's masterpiece score is treated with
respect, beginning with a 60-member orchestra in the Cerritos
pit. The singers in this production performed solidly. Roumen
Doikov, the Radames, possesses a thrilling and consistent tenor
voice of healthy, Italianate ring. The staging by company artistic
director, Giorgio Lalov, is direct and practical. Aida, Ofelia
Hristova rose to the Verdian challenges with dramatic color,
technical ease and beautiful high notes." LOS
ANGELES TIMES – Feb. 2000
AIDA Comes Up Big, On the Stage and Off!
"This AIDA was the most exciting production to come to Scranton in a dozen
years. The 45 piece orchestra played gorgeously, the 40 voice chorus was more
than able to acquit itself, and the six principals were really quite wonderful." SCRANTON
TIMES – Mar. 2003
NOTE from OPERA NEW HAMPSHIRE - Manchester, NH
About AIDA presented Jan. 11, 2009
“Hi Jenny -
The performance was wonderful, - best yet! Best attendance in years
also, despite the snow. The audience gave overwhelming applause - and
commented that it was worth the wait. We did brisk advanced sales for our 2009-2010
season so we are really looking forward to our next performances, and can't
wait for your selections for 2010-2011! Thanks again for a great performance. Opera
New Hampshire looks forward to a long relationship with you.”
Opera New Hampshire
Troupe in fine voice for Verdi
By CHRISTOPHER HYDE - PORTLAND
January 17, 2009
A large audience at Merrill Auditorium was transported to sultry
ancient Egypt on Thursday, one of the coldest nights of the year,
courtesy of PCA Great Performances and Teatro Lirico d'Europa.
The traveling opera company has brought many excellent and fully
staged performances to Portland over the years. Their "Aida … was
Mezzo-soprano Tatyana Kaminskaya, who sang the role of Amneris,
Pharaoh's jealous daughter became its most powerful and interesting
figure, dramatically and vocally. Olga Chernisheva was equally
at home in the title role of a woman caught between her love of
country (Ethiopia) and the military leader of the Egyptians, Radames,
sung by tenor Rumen Doikov. Baritone Marian Jovanovsky made a strong
Amonasro, King of Ethiopia and Aida's father. All of the voices
were distinctive enough to combine well in Verdi's famous duets
and trios. Although the principal voices were first-rate,
most striking about the production were its ancillary features – the
live orchestra conducted by Krassimir Topolov the lovely and graceful
corps de ballet, which substituted for a phalanx of priests, the
distinctive costumes, and a monumental set design that did quadruple
duty through all four acts. The small male and female choruses,
which Verdi makes as important to the action as those in Greek
tragedy, demonstrated once again that power does not reside in
Majestic - January 16, 2009
Teatro Lirico’s “Aida,” a solid blend
of color, realistic sets, superb costuming, and strong vocal
and orchestral heft.
BY PAUL JOSEPH WALKOWSKI
“Aida is a triumphant opera in four acts, only two of which (the first
two) contain any memorable arias or music. Still, it is considered one of Verdi’s
most popular. The audience at the opening night performance of this venerable
classic at Emerson’s Cutler Majestic in Boston was treated to an
impressive display of mighty vocal talent, solid musical accompaniment,
and impressive visual sets color, lighting and costuming.
The clear standout performer in this production was soprano Elena
Razgylyaeva, who sang the role of Aida. She had a strong, nuanced
vocal delivery that carried well throughout the theater, and delivered
a performance that was natural and relaxed. The orchestra was always
well modulated, and never in competition with the singers. Kudos
to conductor, Krassimir Topolov. The audience seemed to particularly
enjoy the performance of Marion Jovanovsky, who brought to the
role of the King of Ethiopia, a palpable energy and sense of purpose.
His delivery was kinetic, his acting was superb and his presence
was commanding. And we might add to this fine job the strong ensemble
performance of bass Vladimir Hristov, singing the role of the King
of Egypt and bass Dimiter Stantchev, who gave a superb performance
as high priest, Ramfis.
The entire cast, as well as the Sofia
Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and ballet dancers, who were magnificent,
I might add, gave this show a big show feel and a big show sound,
as we have come to expect from Teatro Lirico D’Europa.”
NOTES from Daytona Beach Symphony Society about
AIDA – Jan. 2009
We didn't have a chance to see Giorgio after Aida because he was talking
with the school children, but this was a WONDERFUL production! The singers
were first-rate, most notably Elena Razgylaeva. What a voice! We loved the
sets, the costumes, the dancers, everything was just great. It is amazing to
us that the group can do this night after night with such excellent results.
Our thanks to you, Giorgio, and the whole company for doing this wonderful
work for us. It was the perfect ending to our "Winterfest." We look
forward to La Boheme.
Nancy and Dallas Weekly
Daytona Beach Symphony Society
“I just want to tell you what a wonderful performance of AIDA we
had this afternoon. It was exquisite and flawless and everyone in the audience
was entranced. It was our best opera yet! Thank you, thank you and we are very
much looking forward to LA BOHEME next month.”
Daytona Beach Symphony Society
NOTE from Ruth Eckerd Hall, Director – Clearwater,
FL – about AIDA – Jan. 2009
“The performance was excellent and a great audience response. The
new set looked really fine. “
Ruth Eckerd Hall
Note from GM of River Center Theatre,
Columbus, GA – Jan.
2009 about AIDA
“Wonderful!!!! Great production...thanks.”
Enoch Morris, GM
Note from GM of Sunrise Theatre,
Ft. Pierce, FL about AIDA – Feb. 2009
“The production was fantastic - as all of your productions you have delivered
to me. I would like to go with another production next season to try
and build the market here in Fort Pierce. Again, Jenny, the production was
as expected, great. Will speak with you next week.”
Note from GM of venue in Prescott,
AZ about AIDA – Feb.
The vocalists, orchestra and dancers were all ON for the performance
in Prescott and performed beautifully.”
Yavapai College Performance Hall
Note from GM of Vilar Center,
Vale, CO about AIDA and Opera Gala – Feb. 2009
It was very well received, as was the Great Moments in Opera evening. The
orchestra was very tight, perhaps the best they have ever sounded.
Elena (Razgylaeva) has such beautiful voice and she makes it seem
so effortless, our donors can’t stop talking about her.
Thanks so much to you and Giorgio for making it possible for us
to present such a wonderful company in our community. It
really means a lot to us.”
Vilar Performing Arts Center, Vale, CO
NOTE from GM of venue in St. George,
Utah about AIDA – Feb.
“Hi Jenny -- oh my! The show was absolutely marvelous!! As you
know, this is our 50th year anniversary in which we've been presenting professional
artists and one of our very discerning and distinguished patrons gushed, "This
is the very best thing this community has EVER seen!" Not
a bad comment huh?”
Cox Performing Arts Center
St. George, UT
NOTE from GM of McCallum Theatre,
Palm Desert about AIDA – Feb.
Everything was wonderful!
I have a friend who is the chairman of an opera company that
is about to go bankrupt. I told him about you and I think you
guys will be the answer for them to bring opera to their community. I
will keep you posted and put him in touch with you. Thanks!
Director of Presentations and Theater Operations
AIDA - Cerritos Center for the
Perf. Arts – CERRITOS
LINK – Feb. 2009
By Glen Creason
“Teatro Lirico D’Europa returned to the Cerritos Center for the
Performing Arts over the weekend bringing more grand opera in the form of Giuseppe
Verdi’s great Aida which filled the stage with action and angst along
with three glorious hours ofsinging.
Sofia Symphony Orchestra and chorus (who were onstage in costume) gave excellent
support to the half dozen principal singers and the big scale set was certainly
good enough for the hall. The singing was decidedly first-rate from the key
roles of Radames, the hero then villain to his object of adoration Aida. There
is an awful lot to see on the stage with the different levels of sets, the
large chorus singing parts like a character in the plot and dancers who perform
ballet in several sequences. We are talking about pyramids and Sphinxes here.
This production did have strong performances from the critical roles: Olga
Chernisheva as Aida was delicate and beautiful but with soprano voice enough
to sing this demanding role over the length of large opera. Tenor Gabriel Gonzalez
returned from his earlier triumph at Cerritos, singing Radames extremely taxing
character while gaining admiration for the music and sympathy for his acting
of the complex soldier. Lastly, Tatiana Kaminskaya wrapped herself around the
double-edged persona of Amneris making her evil in her jealousy and heartbreaking
in her remorse. The two ladies singing on “Fu la sorte dell' armi a'
tuoi funesta” when Amneris gets Aida to reveal her love for Radames was
exceptionally moving and Radames profession of love “Pur ti riveggo,
mio dolce Aida” was strong enough to have some in the audience reaching
for handkerchiefs. Aida is a lot of opera, a large scale show with an exhausting
amount of dialogue but in the end it is very much worth staying to hear the
telling of this tragic story.”
Note from GM of Cerritos Center
for the Perf. Arts – AIDA – Feb.
It was a very successful performance for us. Thanks for bringing
us popular products year after year.”
Craig M. Springer, Ph.D.
Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts
THRILLING AIDA from Prescott, AZ
Susan Hampton – Music and Vision Daily – Feb.
“Staging "Aida" is a huge undertaking. It requires a large
orchestra and good-sized chorus along with dancers and a full complement of
soloists. Few regional companies can afford to do it justice, so it was quite
an amazing feat when the touring company Teatro Lirico d’Europa brought
this opera in all its complexity to Prescott, Arizona on 6 February 2009. It
was the same show that had already received great critical approval on the
east coast and would soon be enjoyed in California. The brand new traditional
Giorgio Lalov featured structures resembling museum pieces from
the age of the Pharaohs that were decorated with copies of Ancient
Egyptian art, as well as attractive, well-tailored costumes.
Olga Chernisheva was a poignant Aida. She has
already proven to be a consummate actress. Here, she sang with
power and finesse. Russian born and American trained, she has the
right sound for Italian opera. She was passionate in her duets
with Rumen Doikov, her Radames, while her top notes radiated above
this opera’s huge ensembles.
In the quieter moments, she sang with sweet plangent tones and
an intimacy that made a real person of her character. Doikov was
somewhat less of an actor, but he had the robust high notes that
his role demanded and he was a commanding military leader.
Tatyana Kaminskaya who sang the role of
Princess, Amneris, Aida’s
rival for the love of Radames, has an enormous voice of great beauty
and distinctive coloration. She easily surmounted the full
orchestration of the Judgment Scene and her enthralling sound rolled
out over the audience like the waves of an ocean. The most interesting
young singer in the cast was the Amonasro, young Macedonian baritone
Marian Jovanovsky. With his easily produced, sizeable dark voice
and its glinting bronze overtones, he conveyed the bite of the
Vladimir Hristov was a properly overbearing king, while his high
priest, Ramfis, sung by bass, Plamen Dimitrov, was menacing and
dismissive of foreigners. Both of them added much to telling the
details of the sad love story. Sweet voiced soprano, Snejana
Dramcheva, offered a few moments of respite from the melodramatic
story with her lovely invocation of the Egyptian gods while the
Sofia Symphony Chorus, augmented with voices from a Colorado conservatory,
sang with exquisite harmonies. Krassimir Topolov conducted with
brisk tempi and the Sofia Symphony, played Verdi’s gloriously
orchestrated score with accuracy and precision. Needless to say,
this excellent performance of the Verdi grand opera was a rare
treat for the people of Prescott Arizona.”
NOTE from GM of Tilles Center,
Long Island – AIDA – Mar.
“Dear Jenny: Thank you bringing us AIDA
yesterday afternoon at Tilles Center. The performance was a real
delight, and the AIDA in particular was wonderful. In the end the
house was not bad--something like 1300 sold; both the general audience
and our sponsors (a wonderful family, opera-lovers) were very pleased. Hopefully
we can do something with you in 2010 - 2011.
Best regards to Giorgio.”
Tilles Center, Long Island