My favourite Traviatas are the 1982 Zeffirelli film, the 1968 film with Anna Moffo and the 2006 production. I am also fond of the 1977 recording with Placido Domingo, Ileana Cotrubas and Sherrill Milnes.
This Traviata is one of my new-found favourites. All the coughing, clapping and spluttering of the audience is there as you would find in a live performance, but this adds to the experience here at least to me. The costumes and settings are gorgeous, and the video directing and sound and picture quality don't mar the production values in any way.
La Traviata is a superb opera not just for the amazing music, where everything about the score is memorable, but also for the story and characters. Musically this Traviata can't be faulted. The orchestra play beautifully and with pathos and the chorus are on pitch and appropriately balanced. But Riccardo Muti's conducting is the real star, it is as taut and precise as it ever was while bringing out the romance and poignancy of the score seamlessly.
I can't fault the cast either. Of the support cast, Nicoletta Curiel and Antonella Trevisan stand out as Flora and Annina. And the three leads are superb. Tiziana Fabbricini is a magnificent Violetta, with a wonderful voice shown in full flight in Sempre Libera, Addio Del Passato and Ditte Alle Giuvine and she is a very moving actress. As Alfredo, tone-wise Roberto Alagna sings the warmest he's sung and his partnership with Fabbricini is more than believable. Paolo Coni is very good as Germont, he meets the character's characteristics excellently, he blends wonderfully with Fabbricini during Ditte Alle Giuvine and his Di Provenza is musical and nicely phrased.
And to top things off, the final scene is very poignant as it ideally should be. In conclusion, a superb Traviata. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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