|  Critical Acclaim

Royal Opera House, Covent Garden - Musetta, La Boheme

Richard Morrison, The Times

The other bohemians – are strong singers, characterized conventionally. No surprises there, but the best comes from Jennifer Rowley who plays Musetta as an over-the-top, bottom-wiggling, good time girl who ends her show stopper by snapping a billiard cue across her thigh. Strong girl, but she melts affectingly in the final act, which Copley stages as tenderly and unfussily as the fabulously multi-leveled Cafe Momus scene is farcical and bustling.”

– Richard Morrison, The Times, May 26, 2015

“Jennifer Rowley might have been allowed a case of the jitters: she was making her Royal Opera debut after having been dropped from Robert le Diable in 2013 and she had to compete with Anna Netrebko. But no jitters were detectable. She got everybody’s attention with her flirtation but also, crucially, with her voice. It’s a sizable soprano, attractive high and low and well under control, and she used it cannily. Actually, there may have been a bit of competition. At the end of the great second act ensemble, a Pavarotti will some times seize the chance to crown the penultimate chord with a blazing high note: this time, Musetta sailed up…and held it, loudly, while Mimi, not to be out done, hurled the same note into the hall at the same full strength, and held it too. It was a rousing moment.”

– Russ McDonald, Opera Magazine, July/August Issue 2015

“With the newcomer Jennifer Rowley and Lucas Meachem making strong impressions as Musetta and Marcello, Copley’s staging goes out on a high.”

– Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times, June 7, 2015

“The American Soprano Jennifer Rowley, making her house debut, had a great success with Musetta.”

– George Smart, Harpers Bazaar, May 27, 2015

“His bohemian friends are a rather surly lot…Jennifer Rowley’s Musetta supplies the fun, also some gleaming top notes.”

– Richard Fairman, The Financial Times, June 3, 2015

“The iconic Café Momus scene shines as brightly as it ever did, and on this occasion benefits from a splendid performance from Jennifer Rowley, making her Royal Opera debut as Musetta. She does not just reveal a sense of expectancy in the way that she treats Alcindoro and Marcello, but positively tests the limits to which she can push them as she smashes plates, hurls chalk and sprinkles salt and pepper over them. Her ‘Quando me’n vo’ reveals such a full, rounded soprano voice…”

– Sam Smith, Music OMH, May 26, 2015

“Another import American soprano Jennifer Rowley was a suitably fickle and fiery Musetta with an open, bright, and attractively toned voice that sounded as if she might step up to become Mimì one day.”

– Alastair Muir, Seen and Heard International, May 23, 2015

“Royal Opera audiences were deprived of an earlier chance to hear American soprano Jennifer Rowley when she was summarily dropped, amid unwelcome publicity, from the cast of Robert le Diable. That was in 2012. Three years on she’s back, a ravishing vocal presence, to sing a bewitching Musetta alongside the expressive and deftly characterised Marcello of her fellow-countryman Lucas Meachem.”

– Mark Valencia, What’s on Stage, May 28, 2015

“Just about keeping up with the lovers’ compelling romance, a brilliant support cast were led by Jennifer Rowley, magnificent as tart-with-a-heart Musetta…

– Gary Naylor, BroadwayWorld.com, June 11, 2015

“…and Jennifer Rowley was a brassy Musetta, with a touch of Ethel Merman about her gusto.”

– Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, May 24, 2015

“…It’s a first-rank partnership, well-matched by impressive turns from Americans Jennifer Rowley (Musetta) and Lucas Meachem (Marcello).”

– Graham Rogers, The Stage, May 26, 2015

“The second couple were American. Lucas Meachem is becoming a firm favourite at this house and his burly Marcello looked and sounded handsome, his disbelief at the end Act 4 very touching. Musetta was Jennifer Rowley, making an overdue house debut. She gave notice of an important singer—brassy and comic (and a dab hand at billiards) in Act 2, moving and sincere later on, delivered with a bright and ample soprano of which I would be happy to hear more.”

– Ed Beveridge, Tamonophile.com, May 23, 2015

Back to Press