24 July 2011 | TheLittleSongbird
A La Traviata to treasure
La Traviata is one of my favourite ever operas, for its heartfelt story and sublime music. This production is one of my favourites alongside the Zeffirelli film, the La Traviata with Anna Moffo and the 2006 production with Renee Fleming.
The costumes and sets are simply stunning, and the video directing and lighting are excellent. In terms of staging, the chorus scenes are done very well and never too subdued, Sempre Libera filled me with joy, Parigi O Cara and Addio Del Passato moved me to tears, Lunge Da Lei and Di Provenza are very understated and Ditta Alla Giuvine is sublime.
The orchestra do a superb job, the prologues are intelligently and musically played, they are careful not to overshadow the leads in Parigi O Cara and Ditta Alla Giuvine and Sempre Libera and Bindisi are suitably playful and rousing. The conducting is intelligent and precise and the chorus are very well balanced.
The three leads are never less than wonderful. Edita Gruberova is past prime, but still manages to give a very moving performance as Violetta. Neil Shicoff surprised me as Alfredo, his chemistry with Gruberova is quite remarkable, he sings and acts beautifully and his reaction to Violetta's death is one of the more genuine ones I've seen. The ever-reliable Giorgio Zancanaro is a truly excellent Germont, and I just loved his performance of Di Provenza while his Piangis in Ditta Alla Giuvine are some of the most sympathetic of any Germont.
Overall, I have seen many operas and many La Traviatas, this one is one to treasure. 10/10 Bethany Cox