Verdi’s best-loved work, is performed here by a star cast in a revival of Richard Eyre’s highly acclaimed 1994 production. Music Director Antonio Pappano conducts La traviata for the first time at Covent Garden. American soprano Renée Fleming returns to Covent Garden to sing Violetta for the first time with The Royal Opera. La traviata was first performed at the Teatro La Fenice, Venice in March 1853.
Vivacious, young soprano Marie McLaughlin is magnificent as the ill-fated courtesan Violetta in this passionate production of Giuseppe Verdi's timeless classic, directed by the internationally renowned Sir Peter Hall and conducted by one of music's all-time greats, Bernard Haitink. Walter MacNeil brings to striking life the role of Violetta's lover, Alfredo, and Brent Ellis shines as Alfredo's father, Germont. Set in 19th century Paris, this moving story of doomed love and its dramatic deathbed reconciliation remains one of Verdi's most popular operas.
La Traviata, Giuseppe Verdi very personal opera, was premiered in 1853 at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice. The first night was a fiasco, but after a few revisions the opera set out to conquer the world. La Traviata offers no scope for grandiose crowd scenes or historical pomp. In keeping with the intimate nature of the action, Verdi’s music reflects the inner feelings of the protagonists. The heroine, whose emotional state is determined by external circumstances, is in the centre of the story of emotional upheavals. Jürgen Flimm haunting staging stays close to Verdi’s intent. He focuses on the protagonists, showing their shakiness, emotions, despair, love, sacrifice and tragedy rather than concentrating on the abysses of the Parisian demi-monde. Eva Mei and Piotr Beczala are a perfectly matched couple. Her soft and flexible soprano and his lyrical tenor, marked by excellent diction, work very well together, joined by the “golden” voice of outstanding Thomas Hampson.
Diana Damrau’s primacy as an interpreter of Violetta Valéry in La traviata can be inferred from the names of theatres where she has performed Verdi’s most popular opera: the Metropolitan, New York; La Scala, Milan; London’s Royal Opera House; the Bavarian State Opera in Munich and the Zurich Opera. Paris’s Opéra Bastille joined that list of leading houses in June 2014, when the German soprano appeared in a new production by the film director Benoît Jacquot.
Diana Damrau’s primacy as an interpreter of Violetta Valéry in La traviata can be inferred from the names of theatres where she has performed Verdi’s most popular opera: the Metropolitan, New York; La Scala, Milan; London’s Royal Opera House; the Bavarian State Opera in Munich and the Zurich Opera. Paris’s Opéra Bastille joined that list of leading houses in June 2014, when the German soprano appeared in a new production by the film director Benoît Jacquot. Conducted by Francesco Ivan Ciampa, it is presented on this DVD release from Warner Classics, which joins a DVD of Verdi’s Rigoletto, with Damrau as Gilda, recorded in Dresden and released in 2010, and the recent CD release of the soprano’s spine-tingling interpretation of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, recorded live in Munich.
“The first of Scotto's two studio recordings of Traviata finds her in fresher voice than her later attempt under Muti, though her colleagues here are less distinguished.”
"This is the story of a dying woman. It is written as such. This is what it tells. During the performance, this woman dies before your eyes, in what is practically a live event. There is no way to conjure the fact away. The main subject of this opera is death and there is no way to avoid that. Death with love. Love with death. One and the other, one in the other." (Peter Mussbach)
…Aside from the staging issues, the singing and acting of Cinzia Forte as Violetta was excellent and probably helped carry everyone else along. Tenor Saimir Pirgu was a pretty fine Giorgio Germont and he gets second place for acting. Giovanni Meoni, who played Giorgio Germont, the meddling father, was an excellent singer, but stiff as a board in his delivery. Chris De Moor as the baron is most memorable for his ghastly makeup and attire. Same comment for Flora, played by Tineke Van Ingelgem. The chorus sang beautifully. At the party where the gypsies and bullfighters appear there was the nowadays usual wardrobe malfunction leaving one woman briefly topless–as if this opera needed something risque.By P. Sutherland (Berea, Ohio, USA)
Opera superstars Renée Fleming and Rolando Villazón star in the sumptuous 2006 Los Angeles production of Verdi's tragic masterpiece.
"Violetta has lately become one of Fleming's signature roles, and she acted the part as compellingly as she sang it, which was warmly, with sparkling top notes and an ease with the vocal line that any singer would envy." (Los Angeles Times)