Grande Opera: La Traviata Performance Sunday March 4

March 3, 2012 0 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

The Artist Series, probably Jacksonville's most celebrated and luxe performance subscription is bringing Teatro Lirico D'Europa, a Jenny Kelly Production to the Times Union Performing Center for the Arts for a luscious, bombastic, bodice ripping, diva making performance of Verdi's La Traviata. According to the wholly inadequate and brief blurb on their ticket site: Verdi's La Traviata is the famous tragic love story set in 19th century Paris, telling the story of a young man, Alfredo Germont who falls deeply in love with Violetta Valery, a French prostitute. La Traviata, featuring a company of 60 including a full orchestra, will be brought to life on stage with all the passion and intrigue expected in a grand opera. Performed in Italian with English supertitles. More after the jump.


‘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

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

 Where Teatro Lirico D'Europa's, "La Traviata," is concerned there is only one way to describe it: "You look Marvelous"! - Paul Joseph Walkowski -

“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!”

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

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

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

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

A Note about Teatro Lirico D’Europa

Teatro Lirico D’Europa was created in 1988 by the late Yves Josse, a former ballet divo and brilliant French arts promoter, and Giorgio Lalov, a young Bulgarian opera singer who made his debut at Teatro alla Scala, Milan, at the age of 25 while participating in Scala’s famous international training program for young singers. The collaboration between Josse and Lalov was a huge success in a very short time, resulting in tours with over 250 performances a season throughout France, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal.

Lalov created the sets and costumes for the productions and organized the chorus and orchestra in Bulgaria. He drew soloists for the productions from a huge reservoir of operatic talent in Bulgaria, central Europe and the United States. Josse booked the performances for the company from his office in Paris. From the very beginning, the company established itself as highly competent in delivering traditional, full-scale productions featuring a large orchestra and chorus, and mature opera singers. The unusual chemistry of the company proved to be very popular with European audiences. Teatro Lirico D’Europa had completed over 2000 performances worldwide at the time of Josse’s passing in 1995. The death of Josse was a great loss. He was a gifted person who could never be replaced. His talent could never be duplicated.

But 1995 marked a new beginning for Teatro Lirico D’Europa with the birth of Lalov’s American son Christian. Lalov shifted his focus from touring in Europe, to touring in the United States, where he now lives with his wife, former opera singer and creator of International Classic Artists Mgmt., (now JENNY KELLY PRODUCTIONS) Jenny L. Kelly.

Teatro Lirico D'Europa had developed a firm history of success with a portfolio of hundreds of rave reviews for full-scale opera productions that had been presented all over Europe, in theaters and at important international festivals, as well as a collection of outstanding live CD recordings. Lalov's wife, Jenny Kelly, organized the materials and began to make offers to theaters in the United States. By winter 2000, she had booked the first major American tour for the company. The response to the debut tour from both press and theater management was very positive indeed. The February 2002 issue of OPERA NEWS presented a four-page article on Teatro Lirico D'Europa written by former BOSTON GLOBE opera critic Richard Dyer that stated:

"In the past couple of years the company has presented TURANDOT, AIDA and NABUCCO in Boston. The physical productions and Lalov's stagings were reassuringly traditional. Lalov's stagings tell the story clearly. The solo and ensemble singing in all three operas was lusty, whole hearted-full throated and honest. Something personal and passionate that is often missing from evenings of opera."
    OPERA NEWS - Richard Dyer – Feb. 2002

Book your tickets here:
Tickets start at $36.00 and can be purchased at or The Artist Series Box Office at (904) 632-3373.  Discounts are available for groups of 10+ by calling (904) 632-3228 or