Good Show Teatro Lirico!
"Puccini's final masterpiece 'Turandot' was given a grand presentation
by the Teatro Lirico D'Europa Saturday evening. What a joy to hear it all unmarred
by intrusive electronics! To have performers as professional as Teatro Liricos
travel here to McCain strikes me as a blessing to be most grateful for."
MERCURY NEWS - Ben Nyberg - Mar. 2000
TURANDOT Explores the Poles of Passion
"Teatro Lirico D'Europa boasted a fine orchestra, a well coached chorus
and strong voices from both the demanding principal roles and smaller secondary
parts. All the singers acquitted themselves honorably starting with Leslie
Morgan as Turandot. Roumen Doikov sang the prince with a robust tenor that
rang true and clear. He drew bravos from the crowd for "Nessun Dorma," the
opera's famous aria. Qilian Chen won the audience's heart as Liu. After the
final chorus: "Gloria a te!" the audience rose to give the entire
ensemble a warm ovation." NEWS LEADER - Larry T. Collins - Mar.
TURANDOT Shows that Opera can be Exciting, Entertaining...
"A beautiful performance by talented actors captivated an entire hall
full of viewers. The costumes were absolutely gorgeous. The story takes place
in ancient Peking and the garments reflect that era with beautiful shades of
gold, jade and crimson. The lighting effects added to the perfection of the
costuming, causing their garb to fluctuate in hues, depending on the color
they stepped into. The beautiful Chinese soprano, Qilian Chen, has an exquisite
soprano voice, which combined with her beautiful facial and bodily expression,
evoked several ovations, and on one particular occasion, brought tears to the
eyes of yours truly." SOUTHWEST STANDARD- Bobbilynne
Shackelford – Mar.
"For music lovers, it was a stellar
weekend, for Saturday night's production of TURANDOT was
magnificent. What a thrill to hear the full Teatro Lirico D'Europa
orchestra accompany a cast of sixty singers! Chen's (Liu) two
arias proved to be shining moments as she floated her pianissimo
high notes impossibly above the orchestra. Leslie Morgan sang
an excellent Princess with just the right degree of ice in her
voice, while Roumen Doikov's glorious tenor gave the role of
Calaf an extra dimension. His "Nessun dorma" was outstanding. The sets
were beautifully done, costumes were lavish and the voices outstanding.
They used no microphones! All the voices projected above the large
orchestration." ILLINOIS TIMES - Ann Kerr - Mar.
TURANDOT Production Expertly Performed
"G. Puccini's final opera presented at the Sangamon Aud. by Teatro Lirico
D'Europa embellishes the classic story of the ice princess thawed by a dedicated
swain. Doikov expertly conveyed that Calaf is essentially a steamroller with
a deep soul. The yearning conveyed by his tenor voice emphasized Calaf's unstoppable
quest to win the princess and pierced through the orchestral and vocal accompaniment.
Morgan's Turandot attained the right degree of hauteur, using her formidable
voice to intimidate. Qilian Chen as Liu, the slave girl exquisitely sung portrayal
foreshadowed her character's tragic fate. "Nessun dorma" is a terribly
difficult piece, and happily Doikov did not disappoint. The sets were quite
effective and colorful, as were the oriental costumes."
STATE JOURNAL REGISTER - Jacqueline Gerber – Mar. 2000
TURANDOT generous with voices, emotions
"The Teatro Lirico D'Europa's production of Puccini's 'Turandot' had a
generous display of voices and emotions. Roumen Doikov's Calaf was at
the head of the list. The Bulgarian tenor looks young and eager, phrases with
musical sensitivity and flaunts terrific high notes. The others were firmly
on the plus side. Chinese soprano Qilian Chen, a sophisticated vocalist who
securely perched series of radiant high pianissimos...made a sympathetic stage
personality. Avalee Beckman...hurled out the top tones like firebombs. She
also had good musical instincts and theatrical imagination; she attempted a
characterization, which is more than most Turandot's do. The orchestra played
with skill, enthusiasm and confidence born of lots of experience of 'Turandot.'
The chorus poured out quality sound that joined with the orchestra to create
a solid musical superstructure for the performance. The high energy American
conductor Joseph Illick was always there for his singers; both he and the players
were attentive to the wonderful details of color and atmosphere in the scoring.
The public got its money's worth. Beckmann and Doikov...were miles ahead of
the last Met-touring cast. The audience loved it. Boston has been more than
a decade without big opera and uninhibited Italianate singing. Next season
Teatro Lirico proposes longer runs for both 'Aida' and 'Nabucco.' If they do
people will come.”
GLOBE - Richard Dyer - Mar. 2000
Lirico's Turandot is a grand evening in small setting
"The Teatro Lirico D'Europa proved Monday night that it is possible to
produce an opera as big as Puccini's 'Turandot' at the Emerson Majestic Theatre.
With savvy and heart this European based touring company directed by Giorgio
Lalov did itself proud in the best American "let's put on a show" tradition.
Both Monday and Tuesday night performances were sold out in advance. There
were people at the ticket entrance holding signs asking to purchase extra tickets,
and one audience member reported hearing an offer of $200. for one. Illick's
orchestra played well, sometimes beautifully. Tenor Roumen Doikov gave the
evening's finest performance as Calaf. His big sturdy voice grew in warmth
throughout the opera...he didn't disappoint those who were in the audience
mainly waiting for his hit tune, the aria, "Nessun dorma."Soprano
Avalee Beckmann from Canada raised the roof-and peeled the paint-with a huge
strident voice...and Chinese soprano Qilian Chen used intelligence and heavenly
pianissimo...a performance of distinction. Lalov hopes to bring the company
back to Boston next year. I'd get my tickets early if I were you." BOSTON
HERALD - T. J. Medrick- Mar. 2000
"This company has been touring Europe for 14 years, giving
thousands of performances with professional, grown up casts. Now
on it's first American tour, TLD packed the Emerson Majestic with
an audience hungry for old-fashioned, ungimmicky, pour your heart-out
opera and delivered exactly what the audience wanted. Evocative
sets filled the stage. The chorus was both vocally and dramatically
impressive. The competent and enthusiastic musicians were led with
zest and musical imagination by gifted, young Joseph Illick. Teatro
Lirico's stage director, Giorgio Lalov who has sung at La Scala
never left you in doubt about what was going on. Leslie Morgan
who has sung the role with several regional opera companies and
orchestras was an effective, neurotic Princess. The sturdy Doikov
(Calaf) had a real tenor ring. The major crowd pleaser was Chinese
Soprano Qilian Chen as the slave girl Liu. She acted with touching
dignity and had more than a serviceable voice that was capable
of scene-stealing high pianissimos. Teatro Lirico D'Europa promises
to return to Boston next year with Verdi's 'Aida' and his rarely
performed, utterly uninhibited third opera 'Nabucco.' People will
be lining up early."
PHOENIX - Lloyd Schwartz- Mar. 2000
"Tamara Kutsenko, who took the role
of Turandot in
the Teatro Lirico D'Europa production Wednesday at the Cerritos
Center for the Perf. Arts and handled it as persuasively as anyone.
Roumen Doikov sang Calaf with a bright, strong, Italianate tenor.
Kenneithia Mitchell was a gentle, effective Liu. Conductor Krassimir
Topolov kept the score moving briskly. The orchestra played with
ANGELES TIMES - Chris Paslis, Feb. 2001
Turandot provides a taste of real Italian culture
"The performance brought to life Puccini's beautiful music and the intriguing
libretto. Tenor Roumen Doikov brought an almost athletic vigor to the role
of Calaf and drew a standing ovation for his hearty rendering of 'Nessun dorma.'
The best vocal performance may have been by Kenneithia Mitchell as Liu. Her
voice doesn't cut through the airwaves. It gently separates them. Director
Giorgio Lalov conveys the magical message of transformation in 'Turandot.'
His staging makes it clear that not only must Calaf conquer Turandot, he must
allow Turandot to conquer him to find mutual love. It's interesting that the
program notes quote Joseph Campbell's "The Power of Myth" to elaborate
on the libretto's themes of transformation." THE DESERT SUN
- Bruce Fessier - Feb. 2001
“Some super singers! Oh those featured singers! Russian soprano Irina
Bozhedomova and Bulgarian tenor Roumen Doikov could knock your socks off with
their voices leaving you drooling at every sparing note. Bozhedomova's voice
easily captured attention and her combination with Doikov was shattering. Kenneithia
Mitchell sings Liu with a mellifluous, finely etched voice. The audience gave
the players a rousing reception.”
UTICA DISPATCH OBSERVER - Jonas Kover
- Feb. 2002
“The touring Teatro Lirico put on
a solid, moving TURANDOT at
Veterans Memorial Auditorium last night. Fans couldn't get enough
of Roumen Doikov's soaring tenor. He got a huge ovation for his
searing rendition of ‘Nessun Dorma,' the heroic aria. Real
artistry came from a young American soprano, Kenneithia Mitchell,
as Liu who gave us a fleshed out character and managed to blend
tenderness and defiance. As a vocalist she was stunning. Mitchell
proved a master of the sweet caress. Teatro Lirico is one of the
few touring companies that dares, or can afford to put on large
JOURNAL - Channing Gray - Feb. 2002
Turandot warms hearts of local opera buffs!
“Local opera buffs came out en masse Thursday to the Philharmonic Center.
Teatro Lirico's full-scale production's clever sets beautifully evoked the
royal palace pavilion - the Forbidden City in Peking. With its orchestra of
50 musicians, chorus of more than 40 trained singers, and soloists that have
already launched international careers, Teatro Lirico successfully interpreted
the work's legendary Chinese characters. Puccini's masterpiece is known as
a soprano-killer, with the role of Turandot as difficult as Wagner's Isolde.
Russian soprano Irina Bozhedomova's penetrating voice evoked just the right
balance of fire and ice that the role requires. As Calaf, tenor Roumen Doikov
is a find. His rich, vibrant voice filled the hall, and his famous aria, “Nessun
Dorma,” aroused cheers and bravos from the audience from the sheer beauty
of his voice. Another performer who was a favorite with the audience was the
American soprano, Kenneithia Mitchell, who played Liu. It is no wonder she
has won so many scholarships and awards. A performance that was certainly above
average for a touring company.”
DAILY NEWS - Corinne Dunne - Feb. 2002
Teatro Lirico Entertains a Packed House!
“The Charleston Concert Association presented Teatro Lirico D'Europa's
production of G. Puccini's ‘Turandot' to a packed house on Thursday night.
It is a feat itself to tour a fully staged production of Turandot' with an
orchestra of 50, a 40-voice chorus and massive sets, not to mention providing
singers with the physical stamina to meet the vocal demands of the lead roles.
The Teatro Lirico D'Europa has put together a production that is professional,
credible and entertaining. The Turandot, Irina Bozhedomova, has a trumpet-like
voice that cut through the house with ease. Her “In questa reggia” filled
the house with icy fury. Roumen Doikov, Calaf, has a full, dramatic tenor voice
that excited as well as also carrying in all his quiet moments. Kenneithia
Mitchell as Liu possesses a lovely lyric voice. The orchestra conducted by
Krassimir Topolov proved quite up to the task and the chorus sounded fully
professional. The sets were attractive and highly functional and the performance
moves at a good pace thanks to artistic/stage director Giorgio Lalov.” CHARLESTON
POST AND COURIER - Jenni Johnson - Mar. 2002
is a very good production-even good to look at, efficient and
smart. The orchestra glistened with color and the chorus resonated
with power and bloodthirsty urgency. Doikov nailed “Nessun dorma,” threw his arms up in
a victorious V, and brought down the house. As Calaf, he inhabits
the role and is consistently believable. He's a generous and vivid
singer. The 32-year-old Russian soprano, Irina Bozhedomova, has
a firm, focused, sometimes even blazing voice, which the high tessitura
of the title role demands. Liu was the young Korean soprano Su-Jin
Lee, who can pull her big voice back into the most delicate pianissimo.
She has an expressive face too.” BOSTON
PHOENIX - Lloyd Schwartz - Mar. 2002
It's no riddle why TURANDOT is a treat!
“Puccini's TURANDOT was the opera that introduced Teatro Lirico D'Europa
to Boston two years ago. Once again the Teatro Lirico proved that it's got
exactly the kind of voices-and the kind of nerve-that make this difficult to
cast opera really sing. Conductor Krassimir Topolov led a musically passionate
performance with company stalwart tenor Roumen Doikov on hand as the exiled
Calaf and two most promising young sopranos as the women vying for his affections.
As the royal riddler, Russian soprano, Irina Bozhedomova, displayed an attractive
stage presence and sang with a bright, surprisingly girlish tone. Her voice
projected easily. She vividly conveyed the character's pride, fear, and finally
love, through sensitive facial expressions. Doikov, of course, kept his head,
and his splendid rendition of “Nessun dorma” brought down the house.” BOSTON
HERALD - T. J. Medrek - Mar. 2002
Russian Soprano lifts stellar TURANDOT
“Wednesday night's TURANDOT is the best performance the Teatro Lirico
D'Europa has brought us so far, better even than the production of this same
opera two years ago. Irina Bozhedomova (Turandot) has an expressive theater
face and the soprano has a fascinating voice with a girlish timbre she can
shoot through a magnifying glass so that high notes burst into flame. She sings
with imagination. Liu, the American soprano, Kenneithia Mitchell, offered a
compelling contrast to Bozhedomova's voice. It is ample, warm and vibrant and
she has the ability to perch a soft high note with perfect poise. Best of all,
she suffuses every phrase she sings with emotion. The audience adored her.
Roumen Doikov rose to the occasion, acting with concern and conviction, and
singing with power, breadth of phrase, and passion. He concluded “Nessun
dorma” with a sweeping vocal flourish and wide-flung arms, and the audience
went crazy! The handsome production was spruced up, and the staging is the
most persuasive work company director Giorgio Lalov has given us to date. The
splendid chorus could have walked away with the show if Doikov, Mitchell and
Bozhedomova hadn't been there.”
GLOBE - Richard Dyer - Mar. 2002
TURANDOT, Another Great Catch for Portland Concert Association!
“The TURANDOT by Teatro Lirico D'Europa was one of the best touring shows
brought to Merrill Auditorium… in terms of singing, staging and musical
values. One doesn't usually find singers in a touring company that make the
audience jump up and shout bravo but Teatro Lirico has found one in tenor Roumen
Doikov who plays Prince Calaf. Soprano, Irina Bozhedomova was imposing as Princess
Turandot but soprano, Su-Jin Lee, stole the show as the slave girl Liu. The
sets were marvelous for a touring company. The orchestra was excellent in Puccini's
difficult score. Merrill Auditorium was filled in spite of a sloppy spring
snowstorm. The audience applauded individual arias and choruses and gave the
company a long standing ovation at the final curtain.”
PRESS HERALD - Christopher Hyde - Mar. 2002
CAST EQUAL TO THE CHALLENGE OF TURANDOT
“Turandot is grand opera with large -- massive crowd scenes, exotic settings,
heroic arias that require voices of steely brilliance. Gold Coast Opera (in
collaboration with the touring company Teatro Lirico d'Europa) made a valiant
effort to present Puccini's massive canvas and managed to field a cast that
was equal to the challenge on Jan. 22 at the Coral Springs Center for the Arts.
The production offered some impressive vocalism. Victoria Litherland (a well
traveled soprano who has sung leading roles at the New York's Metropolitan
Opera) was every inch the imperious Princess Turandot, whose penalty is death
for suitors who fail to solve her three riddles. By the final duet, her large
dramatic voice unfurled lustrous vocalism, capped with thrilling high C's.
As Liu Barbara Quintalini’s sizable lyrico-spinto soprano embraced Puccini's
vocal line with impassioned fervor, bringing great poignancy to Liu's death
scene. As Prince Calaf, Gabriel Gonzales displayed an ardent lyric tenor with
no sign of strain in the upper range. Nessun Dorma was sung with taste as well
as passion. Dimiter Stantchev brought unusual stature to the often, innocuous
role of Timur. Stantchev's dark Slavic bass (in the manner of Ivan Petrov and
Boris Christoff) exalted in rotund declamation.”
- Lawrence Budmen – Jan. 2007
“This "Turandot" was produced by Teatro Lirico
D'Europa, which has brought "Tosca," "The Marriage
of Figaro" and other fine operas to Daytona Beach, went all
out with glorious sets, lavish costumes, good casting and lively
choreography and direction -- not to mention the orchestra's rousing
performance. Liu's arias in Act I, when she sings of her love for
Calaf, and before her death in Act III were superb: rich, ringing,
inspired. And the tenor brought the house down with his "Nessun
dorma." "Turandot" left its audience delighted.” DAYTONA
BEACH NEWS JOURNAL – Laura Stewart – Jan. 2007
Turandot was FABULOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The audience did not want to leave the theatre! They were so thrilled.
We have many opera "buffs" and they all were raving.
Many said they never had the opportunity to see Turandot live and
were thrilled that they could see it in "their" theatre.
Thank you (and Giorgio - who by the way is a hit at our dinners)
for all you do to bring wonderful opera to the US.”
Jeanne Sigal - Garde Arts Center, New London, CT - Feb. 2007
Glorious voices answer in 'Turandot'
“For spectacle, Puccini's "Turandot" is exceeded only by Verdi's "Aida." It
would seem an iffy choice for a touring production. It was hardly to be expected,
therefore, that Teatro Lirico D'Europa's production at Cutler Majestic Theater
on Friday would have half the audience on its feet. It triumphed by having
principal singers with glorious voices and considerable stage savvy. Puccini's
genius helped, too.
"Turandot" was Puccini's last
opera, and his most fantastical. The story, like many fairy tales,
is built around a princess with a problem. For Princess Turandot,
daughter of the Chinese emperor, the problem is the rape and
murder of a distant ancestor, another princess, which has left
her (never mind how) with an implacable anger at men. Princes
try for her hand and, when they fail to answer her riddles, find
themselves headless. Enter Calaf, a prince in disguise, to break
the ice princess's resistance and make her his bride. With its
seamless construction and delicate Oriental touches, Puccini's
score creates an atmosphere of myth and magic while advancing
the emotional tale with great economy. The central love story is
shrewdly interlaced with two subplots, one involving Calaf's father
and the slave girl Liu, who have come to Peking looking for Calaf,
and the other, the comic ministers of the executioner, Ping, Pang,
and Pong. As a result, our attention moves back and forth between
the simple, tender emotions of the secondary characters -- affection,
devotion, humor -- and the mythical erotic duel of Calaf and Turandot.
Teatro Lirico is a touring company of mostly eastern European
singers that has visited Boston often since it began touring in
the United States in 1998, after a decade in Europe. Founding director
Giorgio Lalov imports an all-Bulgarian chorus and orchestra and
hires most of his leading singers from the opera houses of Sofia
and other eastern European capitals, which seem to be bursting
with big voices.
Heroic ones are needed for Calaf and Turandot. The Bulgarian tenor
Roumen Doikov as Calaf has a tenor of bronze, and uses it skillfully.
He was not a romantic ideal; he wandered around the stage like
a professional wrestler, challenging anyone to a fight. As Turandot,
the Russian-born Olga Chernisheva is tall and achingly beautiful,
with an appealing, dark-hued voice. It lacks the ideal sword-point
gleam at the very top, but she managed the torturous high line
and drew and kept your eye.
The Liu of Elena Razgylyaeva, another Russian, was touching and
rose to tragic grandeur in her Act II confrontation with Turandot.
Hristo Sarafov, Yuri Nikolov, and Georgi Dinev, as the comic ministers,
were superb in their long Act II trio, sung before the curtain.
Krassimir Topolov conducted with taut discipline.
What more could one want? Teatro Lirico aims high, and comes very
close to its mark.”
Perkins – BOSTON GLOBE – Feb. 2007
Turandot appropriately lavish
“Where sweet lovers come to die.” Now there’s
a great definition of opera. Actually, it’s a line, translated
from the Italian in Puccini’s “Turandot,” which
was performed by the Teatro Lirico D’Europa on Tuesday night
at Proctor’s Theatre. Love and death were in ample supply.
It’s probably written down somewhere that the titular princess
Turandot must sport a huge shining headdress and soprano Olga Chernisheva
came well supplied, with about 10 inches of gold and rubies. But
more importantly, any singer taking on the role must have strong
high notes and plenty of power to sustain them.
Chernisheva was equipped there too. Tenor Roumen Doikov, too delivered
the goods vocally, especially in the crowd-pleasing hit `Nessun
Dorma.’ As Liu, soprano Elena Razgylyaeva confessed her anguished
love with an unbridled and beautiful sound, pitch perfect in its
legato soar upward. She was a soft counterpoint to Turandot’s
severity. Ping, Pang and Pong gave the best ensemble performances
of the evening. The orchestra was impressive in the exposed fanfares
and thunderclaps of act two. Conductor Krassimir Topolov always
kept Puccini’s pacing in full tilt.”
TIMES UNION – Joseph Dalton – Feb. 2007
“Teatro Lirico D’Europa presented Puccini’s
final opera TURANDOT on Tuesday night at Proctor’s
Theatre. There were many good things about the production. Tenor
Roumen Doikov as Calaf, the prince showed solid stamina, projected
with strength and thrilled
the large crowd with the famous third act aria, ”Nessun dorma.” As
Princess TURANDOT, soprano Olga Chernisheva sang with intensity
and forcefulness. Her voice was quite dramatic in its color. Dimiter
Stantchev as Calaf’s father Timur had a resonant smooth bass
that projected easily over the orchestra. Soprano Elena Razgylyaeva
as Timur’s slave girl was fabulous. Her voice was of such
clear purity and she sang with such immaculate phrasing, diction
and superb control of her range that her two big arias didn’t
seem enough. She was also the best actress. Costumes in the royal
court were appropriately ornate in a palette of ivory, coral and
blues. And the dragon scrim was terrific. The orchestra under Krassimir
Topolov was energetic.”
GAZETTE – Geraldine Freedman – Feb. 2007
About TURANDOT at Rockford’s
Jenny, the opera was simply wonderful. The singing was wonderful,
the sets and costumes were wonderful, and your company is gracious
and lovely to work with. We look forward to future engagements. THANK
Mary Ann Smith
Coronado Theatre, Rockford, IL
“Turandot was Puccini's final opera, and,
appropriately, the final operatic performance by Teatro Lirico
d'Europa this season at the Blanche Touhill Performing Arts Center.
After having seen all three of the productions-Madama Butterfly,
Lucia di Lammermoor and Turandot-I was most impressed and overwhelmed
with Turandot. From its gorgeous and vivid performances to the
beautifully detailed set, Turandot was a stunning spectacle and
a captivating emotional experience. This production of Turandot
featured breathtaking and passionate performances by its entire
cast. In particular, Soprano Olga Chernisheva gave a strong, vibrant
performance as the cold Turandot. Her physicality and facial expressions
were honest and colorful, and her voice a myriad of melodic sounds
and strong emotions. Rouman Doikov provided Prince Calaf with a
strong, vibrant voice, rich in texture and powerful in emotion.
His egotism and self-confidence command the whole stage, giving
the role a powerful and engaging quality.
Visually, Turandot was spectacular. The costumes were colorful,
vibrant, and added a gorgeous contrast to the beautiful set design.
The lavish set featured a beautiful scrim painting of a Chinese
village, along with a striking palace that boasted incredible detail
and even more luminous colors. The lighting effects were also noteworthy;
various light changes and the use of colored lighting thoroughly
set the mood throughout the performance. In particular, the use
of a red spot to draw attention to the executioner was solemn and
especially effective in setting the appropriate mood.”
Kelly Levins – Moore – Feb. 2007