Excitement is building about the production of Tancredi from Opera Boston, being held tonight (October 23) and on October 25 and 27. Boston opera fans by now know Amanda Forsythe, and recent media coverage had touted Eva Podles. For good reasons.
But Yeghishe Manucharyan is also a singer who is, or certainly should be, eliciting excitement locally. He was a finalist for the Met New England region in 2002 and, as a graduate student at Boston University’s Opera Institute, sang the title role in Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito and two Puccini roles: Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi and Rodolfo in La bohème.
Other Boston appearances were in the Dvorak Stabat Mater with the Masterworks Chorale; in Lukas Foss’ Griffelkin with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, performed both in Boston and at Tanglewood Festival; as tenor solo in Verdi’s Messa da Requiem with the Boston Cantata Singers; as guest soloist in a concert celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the birth of composer Aram Khachaturian, and as (his first) Alfredo in La traviata in 2003 with the Chorus Pro Music and Concert Opera Boston (another local opera group, which started in 1995). With Opera Boston, he was Nadir in Les pêcheurs de perles.
Our local reviewers were on to his ability. The Boston Globe’s former classical music critic, Richard Dyer wrote of that La traviata performance, “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 . . .”
Besides, anyone who reminds opera lovers of Giuseppe di Stefano, as a Newsday writer did following his Carnegie Hall debut as Percy in Donizetti’s Anna Bolena in December 2003, must be wonderful. (Editorial admission. My maiden name is di Stefano, but I was told by a very cultivated uncle, to my dismay, that we are not related).
His list of roles, lyric and bel canto, at various opera performances throughout the United States is impressive: Donizetti roles include Riccardo in Maria di Rohan, Leicester in Maria Stuarda, and Potoski in the world premiere of Donizetti’s long lost opera Elisabetta (based on his Otto Mesi in Tre Ore — “eight months in three hours” ? from his student days); Mozart roles, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail; and for Rossini, Rodrigo in La donna del lago and Count Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia.
He has also sung the Duke in Verdi’s Rigoletto, Rodolfo in Puccini’s La bohème, Gerald in Lakmé, Lenski in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin.; and he has been tenor soloist in Verdi’s Messa da Requiem, Berlioz’s Requiem, Bruckner’s Te Deum, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and Missa Solemnis.
A native of Yerevan, Armenia, Yegishe Manucharyan graduated from the Tchaikovsky Central Music School in Moscow in 1988, earning a Bachelor of Music in French Horn Performance. He returned to Yerevan to continue his studies at the Komitas State Conservatory, where he earned a Master of Music in French Horn Performance (1993) and in Vocal Performance (1995), before pursuiing his studies at Boston University.
Opera Boston is deliriously happy with the response to this production. But there are still a few tickets to tonight’s performance, and more to subsequent ones.