|June of 2001 brought another Verdi opera to Jordan
Hall, Macbeth, again a Chorus pro Musica production sponsored by Concert Opera
Boston. Jason Stearns of the Metropolitan Opera and Linda Roark-Strummer of the New
York City Opera and many international companies, sang Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. This was
another memorable performance.
"Macbeth may well be Verdi's most under-appreciated
opera. Thanks to the Chorus pro Musica and conductor Jeffrey Rink, Boston listeners
got a rare opportunity to hear just what a thrilling work it really is ... Rink fielded a
performing team of considerable strength and depth. The chorus sang its heart out
... entering into the drama with commitment. The orchestra ... created an atmosphere
of tragic doom. Burning up the stage as Lady Macbeth, soprano Linda Roark-Strummer
brought volcanic tone and temperament to the performance ... At the highest volume levels
and pitches, the voice erupts thrillingly .. the soprano is alert to every nuance of every
word. Her Lady Macbeth was at once seductive, ruthless, castrating, and finally,
pitiable. I just loved it when, in her first-act aria, she planted her feet wide
apart, spread her arms, and exploded with ambitious fury. As Macbeth, Jason Stearns
sang with great warmth and nobility of tone ... he sang with heartbreaking
resignation." Ellen Pfeifer, Boston Globe
"A decade ago, when Jeffrey Rink became Music Director of
Chorus pro Musica, who'd have guessed he'd become Boston's pre-eminent Verdi
conductor? But his concert version of Otello last year was thrilling.
So why not more Verdi, in this centennial year of the composer's death ... Why not Macbeth?
... Rink provided excitement... The chorus was splendid. So was the orchestra
... Jason Stearns ... sang the title role with a ringing yet elegant voice that never
tired ... [Linda Roark-Strummer's] voice has stunning power, and she used it with such
dramatic intelligence, such palpable irony ... her movement was always in character ...
Rink provided a clear sense of Verdi's dramatic and musical design." Loyd
Schwartz, Boston Phoenix