G. Verdi's IL TROVATORE
"Verdi's IL TROVATORE is pure melodrama, an opera told through glorious, often demanding music. If the cast is strong it is easy to bask in that music. That was the case Wednesday night at the Lila Cockrell Theater when Teatro Lirico D'Europa presented the Verdi classic. Artistic Director and Stage Director, Giorgio Lalov, assembled an impressive ensemble-including a full orchestra and chorus. The find of the evening was young baritone, Nicolai Dobrev, whose powerful steel edged instrument perfectly reflected the menacing Count di Luna. Mezzo soprano, Tatiana Sparacino, revealed an enormous, well schooled dramatic voice as Azucena. Bronze-voice tenor, Roumen Doikov, hit his stride as Manrico, the troubadour. Krassimir Topolov led a responsive, nicely balanced orchestra and the performance had more than the expected share of musical bright spots."
SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS NEWS - Diane Windeler - Mar. 2002
(Performance at Lila Cockrell Theatre - San Antonio, TX)
"A finely sung production of Verdi's IL TROVATORE. Teatro Lirico's singers are wholeheartedly passionate, straightforward, and musically accurate, and their chorus work is exceptional, easily the envy of larger, less itinerate companies. As Azucena, mezzo Tatiana Sparacino was outstanding. Her second act description of her mother's death at the stake was appropriately bloodcurdling, dramatically plausible and sung with a fine juxtaposition of contralto chest tone and the high Gs of a dramatic mezzo. The role of Manrico was beautifully sung by Roumen Doikov. He gave a ringing account of the celebrated and demanding cabaletta "Di quella pira" complete with high Cs. The Leonora of Rumanian Soprano, Melania Isar, was musically accurate, her "D'amor sull' alle rose" was beautiful. Baritone, Nicolay Dobrev's Count di Luna's Act IV cantilena of love for Leonora was lyrical and note-perfect. IL TROVATORE abounds with ensembles and it was here that the vocal excellence of this company repeatedly showed itself. Leonora's duet cabaletta with Di Luna was genuinely exciting. Music Director Topolov gave a fine reading of the score from the pit."
ITHACA JOURNAL - Stephen Landesman - Mar. 2002
(Performance at Syracuse Civic Center - Syracuse, NY)
"For the 3rd year in a row the company [Teatro Lirico D'Europa] has arrived at the Emerson Majestic Theatre, this time with three operas, to remind us that big voices singing big music never really goes out of style. Tenor, Roumen Doikov, offered a ringing heroic Manrico, possibly the best I've heard live in years or even decades. Dobrev's di Luna was big-voiced and sonorous, and so was Sparacino's Azucena. Melania Isar[Leonora] like all of her colleagues displayed the kind of instincts that are essential Verdi style, principally the ability to launch and shape a long, expansive phrase. That's a rare commodity today, and these singers all have it. So do conductor Krassimir Topolov and the excellent orchestra and chorus."
BOSTON HERALD - T. J. Medrek - Mar. 2002
(Performance at Majestic Theatre, Boston, MA)
Simply Grand! Touring Company Delivers Splendid IL TROVATORE!
"In a few short years Teatro Lirico D'Europa has become the vendor of choice for traveling opera in this area. Other companies offer solid entries, but... no one else comes near grand opera on the road than this 16-year old company. The company directed by Giorgio Lalov offered a splendid new production of Verdi's IL TROVATORE that was as fine a vocal production as any regional company might present. In Soprano Su-Jin Lee, he found a compelling Leonora. She had a full, rich sound and was in command of the emotional temperature of this most incomprehensible of Verdi's plots. Opposite her was Bulgarian tenor, Roumen Doikov as Manrico, a mighty singer possessing a bright sound and able to milk a Verdian melody for all it can deliver. Other jewels in the cast were Bulgarian baritone, Nicolai Dobrev, with his clear but dark sound, a tempered Count di Luna. Russian bass, Alexi Ivanov, a thoughtful, solid Ferrando, and Italian mezzo, Ambra Vespasiani, sang Azucena with convincing pathos and a metallic, covered vocal quality that somehow suited the part. The chorus, so textured, rich and precise, should be the envy of most smaller American companies, and the sets, simple yet artistically drawn, are a cut above the typical traveling fare. Then there is the orchestra. How this company affords to travel with this big an ensemble is a mystery, but the presence of a fairly large and even sounding orchestra in the pit made all the difference here and certainly they are the crème that makes this confection worth sipping. This combination of Eastern and Western European and American musicians and singers creates a lively, earthy ensemble that is appealing ..."
NEWARK STAR LEDGER - Willa J. Conrad - Feb. 2003
(Performance at State Theatre - New Brunswick, NJ)
"On Feb 13, 2004 Cerritos Center presented Teatro Lirico D'Europa's production of G. Verdi's IL TROVATORE. Stage direction by Giorgio Lalov brought out the opera's dramatic scenes in a traditional treatment of the action. Conductor Metodi Matakiev is absolutely first rate and the players of the Sofia Symphony orchestra were skilled enough to play this difficult score with ease. Philip Webb was an ardent, heroic sounding Manrico with bright, ringing high notes and excellent diction. His was a dramatic interpretation that engaged the audience with its fire. As Leonora, Adelina Kaneva sang with an attractive, creamy soprano sound. Her acting was skillful and she gave a poignant rendition of her role. Although Azucena is a difficult part, Rumiana Petrova filled the bill with her well controlled, sonorous mezzo soprano, and virtuoso singing. She sang with immense conviction and her anguished outpouring of emotion convinced the audience of the truth of her strange tale. Sergei Moskalkov interpreted the role of Count di Luna with stenorian tones. He was a worthy villain and showed a solid command of his role. Alexi Ivanov sang Ferrando with a fine technique and beautiful resonant tones."
OPERA JAPONICA - Maria Nockin - Feb. 2004
(Performance at Cerritos Center for the Perf. Arts, Cerritos, CA)