This is a recording of Angela Gheorghiu's debut at Covent Garden and it lives up to its reputation. Gheorghiu is sensational as Violetta, particularly in the final act. She is ably supported vocally by Frank Lopardo, who makes a slightly stodgy Alfredo. Leon Nucci sings Germont in a performance which, in less exalted company, would have stolen the show. This is a lavish and beautiful production and as a record of a staged performance of La Traviata it is unequalled.
I wrote that some time ago and, now, I have to take back the unequalled bit. Angela Gheorghiu's 2007 performance of the same role at La Scala is more mature and at 42 years of age she looks more suited to the role. Also, inevitably, with the passage of time the 1992 film looks a bit dated compared with the widescreen, high-definition 2007 version. So we have two excellent performances from Angela Ghiorghiu but, if you have to pick one, go for La Scala.
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