TOSCA Leaves Audience in a Good Mood, Wanting More!
"The traveling production of TOSCA by Teatro Lirico D'Europa left the
CAPACITY audience in a good mood, wishing for more. Soprano, Victoria Litherland,
was excellent in the title role. She has sung TOSCA before with the Austin
Lyric Opera and last week was in Seattle, starring in MANON LESCAUT. She was
paired well with tenor, Cesar Hernandez as Mario. Baritone, Valery Ivanov was
appropriately villainous as Scarpia, emphasizing the character's sadistic side
rather than his mock piety. The secondary characters were well sung. The sets
and costumes were first rate. Everyone deserved the long standing ovation at
the final curtain."
PRESS HERALD - Christopher Hyde - Feb. 2004
Teatro Lirico's TOSCA Comes Up Big!
"DAYTONA BEACH - Everything about Friday's TOSCA, the outstanding final
program in the Symphony Society's International Series, was big. From the moment
the curtain rose, it was clear that the nearly 50 members of Teatro Lirico's
orchestra were too many for Peabody Auditorium's pit. The result was a voluminous
sound, just right for the outsized passions in the opera and for the singers
who expressed them. Under the direction of Giorgio Lalov, the focus is always
firmly on the romantic tragedy TOSCA represents. Teatro Lirico’s cast,
elegantly costumed and supported by an orchestra able to express the operas
immense emotions, was tremendous in their ability to make every nuance felt.
In the title role, the young American soprano shone. Pearce's voice, rich and
warm, shifted with emotions that spanned the gamut, and her acting made marvelously
theatrical gestures entirely believable. David Corman (Cavaradossi) and Pearce
were deeply affecting. Their stunning voices had the greatest impact. They
were in every way, terrific." DAYTONA BEACH NEWS
JOURNAL - Laura Stewart - Mar. 2004
TOSCA for OPERA NEW HAMPSHIRE – Manchester,
NH - Oct.
“Hi Jenny! Thank you for an amazing and wonderful performance! Giorgio
and your people are great to work with, as seconded by the Palace staff...all
most accomodating. Your principle singers (and the rest) gave our audience
what they came for - a truly wonderful operatic experience. We rec'd
much positive feedback (even at intermission) and our supporters are looking
forward to Carmen and Aida already! Please thank your principles for attending
our post-opera reception. I hope that they experienced directly from
the attendees the appreciation of the hard work that they put into their art,
as well as the praise they deserved. We look forward to a nice, long
relationship with you - and so do our audience!”
Thank you again - Richard Bojko
Director, Opera New Hampshire
TOSCA in AMHERST, MA – Nov.
We've had nothing but wonderful comments about the performance
of Tosca last Sunday. We've had a request from a patron for the
names of the performers on that day. Unfortunately I did not write
it down from the announcement made that afternoon. Many thanks!”
Halina Kusleika, Assistant Director of Programming
Fine Arts Center, University of Massachusetts - Amherst, MA
TOSCA in New London, CT – Jan.
“All your cast were professionals!
What lovely voices - I had spent the weekend in NY, came home yesterday
at 2pm, went to the theatre, went home to change, went back to
the theatre, had the opera dinner and HAD TO STAY FOR THE WHOLE
SHOW BECAUSE I LOVED IT! Thank you for all your hard work in allowing
us to present fabulous operas in New London, CT.”
Garde Arts Center-New London CT
TOSCA in BOSTON – Jan. 2008
“Teatro Lirico d’Europa’s Tosca was the kind of production
in which Puccini’s villain (Baron Scarpia, lecherous chief of the Roman
police) wipes a tear from the cheek of the heroine (opera star Floria Tosca)
and then licks the tear off his finger. You’ve got to love it! I’ve
sat through my share of boring, passionless Toscas and this one was neither.
It was fun.
Russian soprano Olga Chernisheva was a
terrific Tosca, with her big voice (perhaps too big too much
of the time) and glamorous looks, whether boiling over with misguided
jealousy or nuzzling the painter Cavaradossi (even in church!),
terrorized by her sadistic tormentor (Scarpia will stop torturing
her lover only if she agrees to sleep with him) or plunging a
knife into his loathsome heart. Her big aria, “Vissi d’arte” (“I lived
for art”) was more impressive than heartrending, but find
me another soprano who can sing this demanding role so well and
also look so convincing in it.
As Scarpia, American bass-baritone William
Powers, snarling a menacing laugh as the first-act curtain descended,
was not the subtlest of actors. Chewing the scenery, silent-movie-style,
seems to be his meat and potatoes, but he responded vividly to
every phrase, and he’s got the vocal chops. Handsome Bulgarian
tenor Orlin Goranov was in better voice last season as Butterfly’s
Pinkerton. Still, the basic timbre of his voice should be the envy
of a lot of other tenors, and he and Chernisheva made a most convincing
pair of lovers. As the Sacristan, Constantine Videv turned every
fussy little gesture into a gem of comic characterization. And
Giorgio Dinev was very creepy as Scarpia’s henchman. “ BOSTON
PHOENIX – Lloyd Schwartz – Jan. 2008
TOSCA at Keenan Auditorium, Wilmington,
NC – Jan.
It was a smash hit, with the audience standing and shouting and
whistling, and their applause was no more than the company deserved
for a truly wonderful production - Act 2 being the outstanding
Act. Voices costumes, VERY good acting, great sets, and the Sofia
Symphony played really well in very cramped conditions. I
was particularly thrilled since this was the first of the productions
I've booked through you actually to arrive here, and it bodes very
well for the future. It was an absolutely sold-out house, by the
way. Speaking of the future, perhaps we can begin to think about
possible dates for your Moscow orchestra, and also to look at what
operas are available for 09/10. It seems quite likely that I'll
be taking two bookings from you again that season, and so I'd ideally
like to start to set them up, so that I can then plan the other
two events around them.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
Wilmington Concert Ass.
Keenan Auditorium - Wilmington, NC
TOSCA at River Center Theatre,
Columbus, GA – Jan.
“TOSCA it was wonderful. The voices, the sets and the orchestra
were top notch. Thanks so much for continuing to bring quality opera
to the rural communities.”
Enoch C. Morris Jr., Executive Director
River Center Theatre, Columbus GA
TOSCA at Lucas Theatre, Savannah, GA – Jan. 2008
Very well received, a great night all around. I spoke with Giorgio
briefly during load-in but I had to leave before the end of the
show (battling bronchitis) so did not see him afterwards. Please
pass on my thanks!”
Ken Carter, GM
Lucas Theatre, Savannah, GA
TOSCA in Jacksonville, FL – Jan. 2008
The show was great.
I thought this was one of the best sets. Certainly the set for
Act 1 was beautiful. The cast was great - some great actors in
addition to great voices. Scrapia was one of the best I have seen.”
Milton A. Russos, Executive Director
FCCJ Artist Series-Jacksonville, FL
TOSCA AND OPERA GALA – Vale, CO – Feb.
Great audience response. The soloist for TOSCA were all terrific
and the orchestra sounded the best it ever had.”
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, Vilar Performing Arts Center
TOSCA – Palm Desert, CA – Feb.
“Very nice production as always! Thanks for bringing it to us. Looking
forward to your new production of Aida next year!”
Director of Presentations and Theater Operations - McCallum Theatre
TOSCA – University Park, IL – Feb.
“Our Theatre Manager reports that the artist who played Flora (TOSCA)
was fantastic, and the tenor was also equally amazing. Our audience wanted
autographs from the cast, and apparently loved the show.
The Center for Performing Arts, University Park IL
TOSCA – Cedar Falls, Iowa – Feb.
All feedback I have heard this morning has been very positive. I
have heard a number of compliments on the high quality of voices
within the company, which is wonderful for us, as we have had negative
experiences with opera companies in the past. We will be
starting discussions for booking our 09-10 shortly. Please
send me your offerings for 09-10 whenever you have that set.
Molly Hackenmiller-Gallagher Bluedorn Perf. Arts Center
TOSCA – Clemson University, Clemson, SC – Feb.
Tosca was absolutely fabulous - everything you said it would be,
and I could not have been more pleased. Our house was about 80%
full, in spite of terrible cold and rain. I was thrilled
that people braved the elements to come to the performance.
The singers were incredible and I could
not believe how they projected. The
acoustics in our hall are fabulous, and really showed off the singers
to the max. I thought the orchestra was excellent as well.
I was mesmerized from the opening chord and just did not want the
evening to be over. Powers was fabulous - what a voice. I'm
sure he and Jennifer Larmore are quite a pair, and that's an interesting
bit of news for me to know that they are married because I was
so taken with her at Spoleto in 2006.
When is Teatro Lirico in this area in
08-09? You really
do have a wonderful company, and I have received amazing comments
- one yesterday from a very snoody and critical patron who has
seen many productions at the Met, and she told me that she could
not find any fault with the company.
My production supervisor said that your
crew was very easy to work with and I love to keep him happy.
Thank you for sending such a great show.”
Have a great day!
Brooks Center at Clemson University, Clemson, SC
Teatro "Tosca" a must-see
By HARRIET HOWARD HEITHAUS – NAPLES DAILY NEWS – Feb.
“Naples gave Teatro Lirico its best compliment Monday, standing through
four finale bows after the company and three guest stars sailed through “Tosca” at
the Philharmonic Center for the Arts.
When Michael Hayes - Mario Cavaradossi,
sang his defiant “Vittoria!
Vittoria!” the volume set a few ears ringing in the front
rows. Hayes slipped commandingly into the role of the ill-fated
rebel sympathizer, stoking a beautiful voice with good dramatics.
He delivered a wrenching execution-eve “E lucevan le stelle
(And the stars were shining)” farewell and duet with Tosca,
who has plotted, in vain, her lover’s escape.
In the last two years, Teatro has been
embedding guest stars into its productions and performing here
with the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra, a double injection of
quality. With Kallen Esperian in the title role, it was another
high: a lyric soprano with the acting ability to be the spitfire
Tosca. Esperian’s laurels,
like Hayes’, are extensive. She has had to hold her own against
Placido Domingo and the late Luciano Pavarotti, so she can be expected
to inhale a role like this one, as she did Monday.
Floria Tosca’s role isn’t a vocal gymnastic trial.
But it’s full of emotional moments such as “Vissi d’arte,” a
tearful rebuke to God for having left her in the clutches of Scarpia,
the corrupt and lecherous chief of police. For those who don’t
know the story line, God delivers, leaving a carving knife nearby
for Tosca to plunge into her would-be rapist’s heart. Esperian
delivered as well, singing a strong, poignant plea half-prone on
the floor, and executing her tormentor ferociously. As Tosca kneels
over the body, a horn report in the score sounds, and Esperian
snaps her head up, hitting the audience full-force with a look
of terror at what she has done. It’s a riveting scene.
As Scarpia, William Powers sounds so much
meaner than he looks. He’s got the requisite brutal baritone
to make us squirm, deep and dark.
Enabling this continuing roll toward professional
perfection is the Philharmonic, under the baton of a veteran
operatic conductor, Steven White. There’s no comparison between this orchestra’s
ability and any other we’ve heard behind opera, which is
going to be a fact of life with a full-time, professional symphony.
The Phil’s operas are becoming can’t-wait-for-the-next-one
TOSCA – Flynn Theatre, Burlington,
It was a very very good production. We were really thrilled. Olga was
wonderful, as were all the principals. Great singing and really good acting
as well. Jane and I couldn't have been happier. Thank you so much and kudos
to the company and crew.”
(Lane Series – Burlington, VT)
TOSCA – Flynn Theatre, Burlington, VT
“Everything went beautifully last night
and we were very happy with the performance...excellent singing
and acting. Please thank Georgio for us!”
Director, UVM Lane Series, Burlington, VT
Teatro Lirico gives compelling performance of 'Tosca'
“The touring company, which this season will put on at least 30
productions of the opera, always puts its best foot forward. For this show,
the voices were uniformly big and solid and the acting frequently kept pace
with the quality of singing. Russian soprano Elena Razglaeva as Tosca had a
lovely even range, luscious tones, and a clarity to her phrasing that was appealing.
All her arias were done well. She projected the greatest amount of emotion
in her second act aria in which she asks God why He rewards her this way. She
posed just long enough on the parapet before jumping at the end to allow the
huge crowd to get caught up in the moment. There was good chemistry with the
charming Bulgarian tenor Orlin Goranov as her lover Cavaradossi. His voice
soared easily through his famous arias. He was also light on his feet and ambled
about the stage in a comfortable and realistic way. Bass-baritone William Powers
projected the lecherous, rapacious character of Scarpia through an expressive
face and a nonchalant manner that quickly became malevolent. Except for his
sardonic laugh at the end of Act I he never satirized Scarpia. Rather, he seemed
to gather all the light around him like a black hole. His superb singing was
smooth and elegantly phrased and he colored it with edge or crooned to good
effect. Sets, by necessity, were basic but provided enough of a locale. Scarpia’s
red and orange “office” was more like Hades but the final parapet
with the twilight/dawn light was evocative. The orchestra under Krassimir Topolov
did well and gave the singers plenty of space. The principal clarinet was particularly
good in the opening of the final big aria in Act III. Supertitles, too, were
cogent and well timed. “
Gazette – Geraldine Freeman – Mar. 2008
TOSCA – NEW JERSEY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER – Newark,
On behalf of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, I would like
to thank you for Teatro Lirico D’Europa’s TOSCA on
November 11, 2007.
As expected, the performance was simply echilarating for al the
The 2007-2008 season mark the Tenth Anniversary of NJPAC. From
the very beginning we set out to establish a world-class performing
arts venue. Teatro Lirico D’Europa’s performance was
certainly in the spirit of that mission. It’s no surprise
that Jenny Kelly Productions and NJPAC have developed a great relationship
through the years. Here’s to a future of many more memorable
Assistant Vice President, Programming - NJPAC