If I had to have a top 5 of my favourite Verdi operas, La Traviata would definitely be there, alongside Otello, Don Carlo, Aida and Rigoletto. The story is heartfelt and poignant, the characters beautifully realised and the music my favourite always being Ditta Alla Giuvine is sublime.
The Zeffirelli film will always be my favourite La Traviata, however this is a beautiful production with lavish costumes and sets and excellent video directing. Of the staging, my favourites were Sempre Libera, Ditta Alla Giuvine, the end of act 2 and the final scene, the latter of which moved me to tears. The conducting and orchestra are top notch once again.
The performances are great, Ariel Bybee stands out among the support cast, but the three leads captivate. Placido Domingo is in particular wonderful, his voice is stunning and so is his acting. When it comes to the final scene, Domingo's reaction to Violetta's death has always come across to me as the most genuine, here is no exception. Ileana Cotrubas sings beautifully and is very touching, she is very good in the first two acts but it was the final act where she really shines. Cornell MacNeil is not in his best voice, his vocal production has a more open sound than it did in its prime(1950s-early 1970s) however he does sing consistently and his characterisation of Germont is suitably sympathetic and distinguished.
All in all, beautiful. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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