|  Critical Acclaim

The Metropolitan Opera - Musetta, La Bohème

Vivien Schweitzer, The New York Times

The rich-voiced soprano Jennifer Rowley made a splash in her house debut as Musetta, maneuvering flirtatiously through the crowds and singing with a vibrant, agile voice in “Quando me’n vo.””

– Vivien Schweitzer, The New York Times, March 24, 2014

“Also new this season is another soprano, Jennifer Rowley, who has previously made strong impressions in offbeat repertoire locally with New York City Opera and Bel Canto at Caramoor. Her healthy, rollicking voice was a neat fit for the role of the madcap playgirl Musetta, and she brought a welcome extra layer of gravitas to the final act. Usually, we have to take the character’s heart of gold on faith, but Ms. Rowley took the trouble to enact it.”
– New York Observer, James Jorden, March 31, 2014

“Also making a mark was another debutante, Jennifer Rowley, who as Musetta sang with a creamy soprano that embraced the music firmly and comported herself with a large-scale flirtatiousness that accorded with her Zeffirelli-conceived surroundings.”

– Opera Magazine, June 2014

““The New York Times” of March 24 said of American soprano Jennifer Rowley that she “made a splash in her house debut” as the voluble yet compassionate Musetta. Absent in Act I, she makes up for lost time during Act II’s Café Momus scene. Her aria “Quando me’n vo” capped the sequence of scenes she stole, from her flamboyant entrance in a horse-drawn carriage, through countless flirtations with cast members and supernumeraries alike. Yet she conveyed Musetta’s humanness in Act III and her humanity in Act IV with sincerity equally convincing as her initial shallowness.”

– Richard Carter, Examiner.com, April 11, 2014

“Jennifer Rowley, this cast’s second debutante, showed off a rich, dark, but nimble voice in her performance of Musetta’s Waltz. She threw herself into the scene, playing freely with time and phrasing, and reveling in her naughtiness.”
– New York Classical Review, Eric C. Simpson, March 20, 2014

“Even among this tumult and distraction, Jennifer Rowley, making her house debut as Musetta, held the stage and our attention with her extraordinary stage presence. She captivated Marcello and the audience with a lush rendering of Musetta’s aria, “Quando me’n vo”. Her voice is dark and rich but also extremely flexible and clear. She is a fine and versatile actress. She has a talent for broad comedy (displayed in her act 2 interplay with Marcello) but she is also able to convey real emotion. In the death scene, Rowley made the shift believable – not always the case with this character.”

– Arlene Judith Klotzko, ConcertoNet, March 27, 2014

“Jennifer Rowley’s Musetta, audible even amidst throngs, was more accurately and vibrantly sung than most; if she went for brash vulgarity in Franco Zeffirelli’s circus-style Act II, it’s hard to blame her. Act IV’s prayer augured well for more substantial assignments.”

– David Shengold, Gay City News, May 14, 2014

“… it was his partner, debutant Jennifer Rowley, who made the bigger impact. With a supple instrument and shimmering high notes, the audience could not help but fall under her spell. She was electric onstage, filling out Musetta’s oversized persona with a wealth of spunk and charm.”

– Chris Browner, Columbia Spectator, March 28, 2014

“Jennifer Rowley was a charismatic Musetta. Her entrance in Act 2 was marked by terrifically rambunctious behavior that included a piercing, but appropriate, scream when she pretended to have pain on her foot. In that same act she toyed with Marcello to emphasize her power; at one point she twirled her arm around him and watched his head spin around in circles. The singing in the “Quando men vo soletta per la via” had sensuality in the silky legato lines that occasionally featured pointed accents and excited high notes; there was certain frenzy at the apex of the phrases that further emphasized her excitable nature. There was also a viciousness in the character as she threw plates on the floor and bullied Marcello in the third act argument; during this particular scene she seemed to relish the insults that she tossed his way. In many ways it seemed that she was playing with him; it was a truly refreshing approach to the comical scene. Rowley’s appearance in the final act showcased a completely changed Musetta. She was gentle in her singing and pleading in her gazes toward Marcelo. Their hug in the final moments of the opera, provided some hope for their reconciliation, but also emphasized the pain they were both enduring.”

– David Salazar, Latinos Post, March 31, 2014

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