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Review: Sold Out La Traviata at NJPAC
"The New Jersey Perf. Arts Center is a facility in a diversely populated area where opera is a family affair. Some attendees took advantage of the early curtain and brought their children to this SOLD OUT performance. LA TRAVIATA is a unique opera that needs a singer with true star quality. Ukrainian soprano, Marina Viskvorkina filled the bill to perfection. A slim, attractive blonde who sings at the Prague State Opera and has performed this role at the Vienna State Opera, Viskvorkina has the necessary appearance of fragility for this heroine. Her voice however, is robust and she had the precise coloratura for Act I. She lit up the stage and made the world of the 19th Century courtesan, come alive. Valentine Topencharov designed the effective, practical scenery and the costumes, unusually ornate for a touring production. Alfredo was sung by Russian tenor, Evgeni Akimov who also appears with the Mariinsky Theatre, the Metropolitan Opera and Covent Garden. He was a carefree playboy with a rich even voice and sang with warmth and virility. Vladimir Samsonov was a properly bourgeois Germont with ringing top tones. Casting bass Viacheslav Pochapsky of Opera Bolshoi as Dr. Grenville was a true luxury. Conductor Topolov drew a balanced, expansively romantic reading of the score from the Sofia Symphony. At the end of the evening the audience responded with a standing ovation for all the artists involved in this fine performance."    

‘Strayed Woman' - High Drama Parisian Story Thrills GSU Crowd!
"UNIVERSITY PARK -- The craftsmanship of Teatro Lirico D'Europa and the flawless conducting of Metodi Matakiev generated enough heat Sunday afternoon inside the Center for the Perf. Arts to temper the wind chill outside. Attendees at Governor's State University 's SOLD OUT matinee were treated to a lush spectacle of 19th century drama that dazzled the ear and eye. Soprano, Melody Alesi (Violetta) delivered a particularly notable performance, soaring in sustained flights in this melodic and romantic opera."
DAILY JOURNAL - Dennis Sullivan - Feb. 2004

LA TRAVIATA Enthralled Sold-out GSU!
"Governors' State University hit a home run Sunday afternoon with a stunning performance of LA TRAVIATA before an enthusiastic SOLD- OUT house. The return of Teatro Lirico D'Europa can be seen as nothing short of a triumph. It was also an affirmation of the Pasquinelli Family Foundation's support, and the chance it took on bringing the opera to the Southland. Reid's statement "They will be back with LA BOHEME in 2005 received applause even before the curtain went up on the current production. Most impressive was Melody Alesi, who presented the torn personality of Violetta. Violetta's lover, Alfredo, played by John Fowler, sang with conviction and stamina. Valery Ivanov was most convincing as Alfredo's father and his rich baritone filled the hall. Act II brought the opera to a dramatic peak as the sound of the chorus rated first class and the dances by the gypsy princess and matador were fun and enthusiastic. This was a great performance. It's hard to believe that this opera company had just spent 5 days in 5 different cities performing 4 different operas! This critic doesn't know how they keep up their strength and enthusiasm, and can't wait to see them again next year."
THE STAR (Chicago Heights) - D. K. Luksetich - Feb. 2004

Verdi Hip to Pop Culture!
"Dubbed "Road Warriors" by OPERA NEWS, Teatro Lirico proved itself worthy of its international reputation Friday night at the Leid Center with Verdi's LA TRAVIATA. The show was fantastic. All three lead roles were brilliantly cast and executed."
LAWRENCE JOURNAL WORLD - Emily Criqui - Mar. 2004

Teatro Lirico Shows No Signs of Fatigue!
"Last night's LA TRAVIATA was the 41st performance of a staggering 52-performance American tour of six different operas but there was no lack of energy, spirit and heart. No wonder audiences love this company. Bulgarian soprano, Veselina Vasileva is a tiny beautiful creature with expressively floating hands and eyes that tell the truth. She restores the nearly forgotten tradition of light voices in the role: she uses her crystalline soprano with feeling and exquisite musical taste. She has adequate virtuosity for the hurdles of the first act but it was later that Vasileva really came into her own. Vytautas Juozapaitis poured out molten streams of baritone sound as the stern, elder Germont. Cesar Hernandez (Alfredo) is a pro who knows what to do, and did it with assurance. The chorus is one of Teatro Lirico's greatest assets."         
BOSTON GLOBE - Richard Dyer - Mar. 2004

TRAVIATA in Prescott Arizona
 “The show was great, as usual!  I let the audience know that we were trying to bring Aida for next season and they were quite excited.
Deb McCasland, Director, Major Gifts and Artistic Programming
YC Foundation, Yavapai College - Prescott, AZ

The performance was wonderful.  I thought each one of the singers was very special.  The soprano was everything you said she would be and more.  The audience absolutely loved her.  Alfredo and the father were especially strong as well. Congratulations and thank you for bringing another strong opera performance to our community.”
Robert A. Freedman
President and CEO
Ruth Eckerd Hall, Inc.

TRAVIATA – Daytona Beach, FL – Feb. 2008
Tonight was FABULOUS. Everyone LOVED La Traviata. Thank you so much!!!!!
A triumph!!”
Carolina Anderson
Daytona Beach Symphony Society

“Hi Jenny,
We had a wonderful performance tonight! Your Violetta had an amazing voice, she was a wonderful actress, and was such a beautiful young woman. Everyone was so happy with the entire production. Kleenex and hankies were abundant in the audience, as it was so touching, due largely to "Violetta." We didn't see Giorgio, so please pass the word to him that we are so happy with this production. Thank you all!”
Dallas and Nancy
Daytona Beach Symphony Society

Marina Viskvorkina’s Violetta would satisfy the most demanding audience of any great opera house
“Teatro Lirico was back for its second weekend this year, and in Verdi’s LA TRAVIATA, Ukranian soprano Marina Voskvorkina gave an extraordinary performance as the consumptive courtesan Violetta Valery. Viskvorkina’s got just about everything: she’s a voluptuous blonde with a big, creamy voice of pinpoint accuracy, and she can act. She began by depicting a very flirtatious Violetta. Her performance became increasingly inward and moving, conveying real dignity as Violetta confronts Alfredo’s father who wants her to give up his son. But it was in the last act that Viskvorkina ascended to tragic stature. She’s one of the rare Violettas who sings the notes yet still convinces you that she physically failing and feverish. And she is heartbreaking. Her performance would satisfy the most demanding audience of any great opera house.”
Lloyd Schwartz – BOSTON PHOENIX – Mar. 2008

Boston TRAVIATA – Mar. 2008
 Where Teatro Lirico D'Europa's, "La Traviata," is concerned there is only one way to describe it: "You look Marvelous"! - Paul Joseph Walkowski - OperaOnline.us

“Sunday afternoon's performance of Verdi's "La Traviata," performed by Teatro Lirico D'Europa, at Emerson's Cutler Majestic in Boston, was one of the company's most moving and flawless productions. It oozed emotion and sentimentality and boasted wonderfully colorful sets, expert use of lighting, sumptuous costumes, a powerhouse cast, and effective and evocative orchestration conducted by Maestro Krassimir Topolov - and this isn't my view alone. During intermission I spoke with a friend who recently retired from the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and he observed that in his opinion this performance was "near flawless." And it was.

This was one of those productions that came together and kept rising as the story of Violetta and Alfredo's lives unfolded. Much of the credit has to go to some pretty strong vocal performances by four leads: the gorgeous and vocally gifted soprano Marina Viskvorkina, who sang the role of Violetta, baritone Plamen Dimitrov, who sang the role of Giorgio Germont, the gifted and always dependable baritone Hristo Sarafov, and tenor Gabriel Gonzalez.

 The audience loved this performance and for good reason. The stage direction by Giorgio Lalov was right on mark and every technical and visual queue was timed perfectly. A "tip-of-the hat" must also be given to the wonderful chorus of this company. It shone and performed magnificently as did the ballet dancers that performed in each of the two previous weekend shows I attended: "The Merry Widow," and "La Traviata."

I rave when I see a particularly strong performance and this production of "La Traviata" falls into that congratulatory category. As comedian Billy Crystal used to say when he played the actor Fernando Lamas on Saturday Night Live: "You look marvelous." Well, for this production of Verdi's "La Traviata," I say: "You looked Marvelous" Sunday afternoon, keep it up!”

Year in Classical- Celebrate
Operas to Treasure “Topping the list, James Levine leading Berlioz's two-part Trojan War epic, Les Troyens, with an impressive international cast. I heard the one performance at which both parts were done the same day and was flattened. The touring Teatro Lirico d'Europa brought a satisfying La Traviata, with glamorous Ukrainian soprano Marina Viskvorkina as Verdi's tubercular courtesan. Guerilla Opera offered the economical yet hair-raising premiere of Andy Vores's setting of Sartre's three-person horror comedy, No Exit. “

Touhill Perf. Arts Center, St. Louis, MO – Jan. 2010
“Jenny, The performance (of LA TRAVIATA was wonderful! We had many positive comments from patrons at the end of the night. They enjoyed the production thoroughly.”
John Cattanach, GM
Touhill Perf. Arts Center
St. Louis, MO

Touhill Perf. Arts Center, St. Louis, MO – Jan. 2010
“Throughout the opera (LA TRAVIATA) the music conducted by Krassimir Topolov was first-rate. The instrumentals, the sets and the onstage work of Snejana Dramcheva (Violetta) was impeccable, her acting believable. When she was onstage, she compelled attention with her personality, performance and
beauty. Her costumes were knockouts as well.”
St. Louis Classical Examiner - Bill Townsend

Naples Phil. – Feb. 2010
“Dear Jenny, It was a great pleasure to attend the sold out performance of LA TRAVIATA at the Naples Phil. yesterday! Your sales are better than many other events there! Did you know that? Marina Viskvorkina is a world class Violetta and Rafafel Davila is a major opera star on the rise. We have seen him in
Sarasota a lot. It was also great to see Gary Simpson as Germont. We know him and his wife, Kathy Olsson from Orlando Opera. See you all again soon in Naples for RIGOLETTO!”
Love, Dr. Getraud Renner

Wilmington Concert Ass. – Feb. 2010
“Wonderful. 830 seats filled (theatre seats 1016) and people leaping to their feet, with “brava, brava”! All the principals in very wonderful voice; costumes, set, all beautiful. Thanks so much!”
Keenan Auditorium, Wilmington, NC

McCallum Theatre, Palm Desert, CA – Feb. 2010 – SOLD OUT!
“Wonderful performance (of LA TRAVIATA)! Thank you again. Looking forward to Turandot next year!”
Mitchell Gershenfeld, Director of Presentations and Theater Operations, McCallum Theatre, Palm Desert, CA

Cerritos, CA – Feb. 2010
Teatro Lirico D’Europa’s “La Traviata” February 13, 2010
La Traviata Translates: Tragic Love at Cerritos
By Glen Creason

“It might be appropriate that Teatro Lirico D’Europa staged the great Giuseppe Verdi’s “La Traviata” on lover’s weekend at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts. Like many well aimed cupid’s darts and valentine sentiments La Traviata starts with grand hope but ends in a heap of regrets and sorrow. While love may be divine and the bond between Violetta and Alfredo seems eternal, the soap opera-esque intrigues that keep them apart in this life end up making a grand statement of fidelity but then again somebody is dead at the final curtain. Despite the agonizing d’amor the music and singing along with dazzling costumes make for a rewarding day at the old operatic heartbreak hotel.
This company has visited Cerritos several times before and the principals are all top drawer to match the memorable arias contained in this most popular work. Ms. Dramcheva (Violetta) was especially impressive in this monumentally demanding role that sees her singing throughout the two and a half hours of the unraveling of her undoing. In Act II the happy couple is cohabitating blissfully but in opera bliss is often obliterated, as is this state by the father of Alfredo who fears the breakup of his family because of this tryst. Baritone Peter Danailov was excellent in the thankless role of the father and indeed his “Dite alla giovine” is the persuader that moves Violetta to make the ultimate sacrifice for her love. While she pretends to leave him for her former lover she suffers terribly as heard in “Amami Alfredo” that demonstrated some of the soprano’s finest singing.”

Cedar City, UT – Feb. 2010
“Jenny, The show (LA TRAVIATA) was just marvelous. The audience was amazed at the musicianship of both singers and orchestra. I think that there were at least 5 curtain calls from a standing audience. Thank you so much for sending us such quality. I look forward to working with you again.”
David Nyman
Heritage Theatre, Cedar City, UT

Vail, CO – Feb 2010
“Jenny…The La Traviata was beautiful. Very well received. I was speaking with a woman from the DC area who said this was the first time she ever cried during Act 3 in all of the times she’d seen Traviata. Die Fledermaus also well received and lots of fun. Thanks for everything!”
Kris Sabel, Executive Director – Vilar Perf. Arts Center

Sunrise Theatre, Ft. Pierce, FL – Mar. 2010
“Hi Jenny! What a voice on that Violetta! WOW! I’ve seen some great opera from you guys but that was a truly superlative Traviata!”.
Marty Petlock – Sunrise Theater

Sunrise Theatre. Fort Pierce, FL
“Jenny! Traviata was just another incredible show from two incredible people.....you and Georgio. The audience loved it (and so did Marty...I believe he sent you an email)…hence our booking the three shows next year. Thanks for the follow-up Jenny. You a very good at what you do.”
Cheers! John Wilkes – GM Sunrise Theatre


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