|On Sunday, June 1, 2003, Concert Opera Boston and
Chorus pro Musica presented a concert performance of Verdi's La Traviata starring
Marcie Ley as Violetta, Yeghishe Manucharyan as Alfredo, and Jason Stearns as Germont.
Critics and the audience hailed the performance.
"Sunday's 'La Traviata' was the eighth concert opera production
presented by conductor Jeffrey Rink and the Chorus pro Musica and one of the best . . .
Yeghishe Manucharyan . . . has developed into an excellent singer, with style, line, and a
beauty of tone that becomes exceptional when he filed it down to a sweet and elegant
half-voice. The most beautiful singing of the afternoon came in his verse of the last-act
duet. It's easy to understand why he's building a significant career . . . Marcie Ley was
vocally impressive as Violetta . . . Ley is attractive, strong-voiced, and well trained,
with sound vocal and dramatic instincts . . . Her soft singing was pure and glowing . . .
The supporting cast was youthful, engaging, and uncommonly persuasive. . . Chorus pro
Musica sang everything with tremendous zest. The orchestra played eloquently for Rink, the
real hero of the enterprise. He knows what singers need and what Verdi needs; under him,
the music of 'La Traviata' poured its heart out. "
Richard Dyer, Boston Globe
"Jeffrey Rink is about he best thing that's happened to Verdi
since James Levine. He assembles casts of capable and sometimes extraordinary singers, a
first-rate orchestra, and, of course, a terrific chorus for operas in which the chorus
plays an important role. So even without scenery and costumes, everyone involved puts on a
great show. "
Lloyd Schwartz, Boston Phoenix
"Jeffrey Rink, the music director of Chorus pro Musica, which
presented this performance with Concert Opera Boston, has established an annual
opera-in-concert as part of the choral group's regular season. And though previous
ventures have had considerable merit, this was the most thoroughly polished of them yet .
. . Rink drew an exemplary performance from the orchestra. And his supple, responsive
guiding of the voices reminded that he's an opera conductor of uncommon wisdom and
skill... Marcie Ley possesses the youth and beauty of an ideal Violetta. She easily
met the role's challenging vocal demands . . . she's a naturally sincere, engaging actress
. . . Yeghishe Manucharyan [sang] his ardent music with consummate style and a thrilling
golden-age gleam in his voice . . . Jason Stearns gave an impressively big-voiced
performance as Alfredo's father, Germont... The large chorus sang with not only beauty and
power but also with the animation that comes from taking not just every note but also
every word seriously. "
T.J. Medrek, Boston Herald