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Thread: My favorite version of " La traviata"

  1. #76
    Senior Member Dongiovanni's Avatar
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    I've had the Kleiber/Cotrubas/Domingo CD for years and still love it. About 5 years ago (after some years of not following the development in classical music) I found out about the Salzburg production and the DVD impressed me a lot. Last year I attended a live performance of the Willy Decker production and of course it's a totally different experience than on DVD. But it works. It's a bold and brilliant production. It's my favourite now.

  2. #77
    Senior Member Bellinilover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattleoperafan View Post
    http://www.amazon.com/La-Traviata-G-...fo+la+traviata
    Moffo had it all for Violetta: looks, drama, high Eb, coloratura plus dramatic intesity. I also am very fond of Licia Albinese in the role. Tebaldi was incredible in the role when I heard her do it in a Met broadcast on Sirius. She was even quite wonderful in Sempre Libera, which one would not have expected.
    I just listened to some of Moffo's TRAVIATA. Though I agree she had all the basic ingredients for a great Violetta, for some reason her studio recording just doesn't satisfy me. I have a feeling I'd probably like her more in a recording of a live performance (I wonder if there's one on MetPlayer?). As for Albanese, I know many love her, but though I can hear, objectively, that she had a fine voice and was a great artist, I've never in all honesty enjoyed listening to her. It's hard to put into words, but to me her manner often seems overly aggressive or shrewish, and somewhat "old-fashioned."
    Last edited by Bellinilover; Mar-27-2014 at 19:50.

  3. #78
    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bellinilover View Post
    I just listened to some of Moffo's TRAVIATA. Though I agree she had all the basic ingredients for a great Violetta, for some reason her studio recording just doesn't satisfy me. I have a feeling I'd probably like her more in a recording of a live performance (I wonder if there's one on MetPlayer?). As for Albanese, I know many love her, but though I can hear, objectively, that she had a fine voice and was a great artist, I've never in all honesty enjoyed listening to her. It's hard to put into words, but to me her manner often seems overly aggressive or shrewish, and somewhat "old-fashioned."
    Moffo should be a great Violetta (she has all the right ingredients), but I too find her recording unsatisfactory. For me, she skates over the role's deeper emotions. There is also a film of her doing the role, and I had exactly the same impression watching her perform the role. She is nowhere near as inside the role as Stratas in the Zeffirelli film.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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  5. #79
    Junior Member Lt.Belle's Avatar
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    My favorite version of La Traviata is that of Cristina Deutekom.
    And im not really honest here...
    Cause Cristina never ever performed this piece of Verdi on stage.
    It was too emotional for her she would choke up she really loved this opera the most!
    Plus im a huge huge fan of Deutekom i think she's the best in every aria.
    But she did record and sung E' strano...Sempre libera so i dont know if my comment counts

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  7. #80
    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OperaJelle View Post
    My favorite version of La Traviata is that of Cristina Deutekom.
    And im not really honest here...
    Cause Cristina never ever performed this piece of Verdi on stage.
    It was too emotional for her she would choke up she really loved this opera the most!
    Plus im a huge huge fan of Deutekom i think she's the best in every aria.
    But she did record and sung E' strano...Sempre libera so i dont know if my comment counts
    Thanks for the great video.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

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  9. #81
    Senior Member sospiro's Avatar
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    I love this

    Ann

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    Senior Member BaronScarpia's Avatar
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    Anna Moffo, Anna Netrebko, Ileana Cotrubaș, Renée Fleming are some of my favourite Violettas (Violette?!). Overall, it would have to be Willy Decker's 2005 Netrebko-Villazón-Hampson production at the Salzburg Festival. Having said that, Mirella Freni and Franco Bonisolli were pretty amazing too! (1973 with Sesto Bruscantini as Germont)
    Last edited by BaronScarpia; Apr-02-2014 at 20:31. Reason: Adding an idea

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  13. #83
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itullian View Post
    Yes, we will.
    I'm a big Sills fan. Love "Bubbles"
    Love her Donizetti operas and this one.
    She's Callas light to me.
    "Callas light"... That's really charming! Light, as champagne is light - with bubbles. Sills' voice was very light - too light for much of the music she sang, and she had to push it, often to harshness - but with her generous spirit and great dramatic sense she somehow made it all acceptable. I have to say I'm a fan; never saw her live, but on video she was truly great.

  14. #84
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Most emphatically not the Salzburg 2005. The story of a prostitute sacrificing passion on the altar of respectability is culture-situated and becomes nonsensical in a twentieth-century setting. This is a period piece if ever there was one. I couldn't believe for one moment that a stuffy old man could walk in and talk slinky Anna Netrebko into giving up free love so that her boy toy's sister wouldn't be embarrassed. This, plus Ms. Netrebko looking awfully healthy almost to the end, plus some funny business with the scenery and such, plus a weird ending, was enough to drive me right into the alabaster arms of Garbo (not an unpleasant prospect in any case).

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  16. #85
    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    Most emphatically not the Salzburg 2005. The story of a prostitute sacrificing passion on the altar of respectability is culture-situated and becomes nonsensical in a twentieth-century setting. This is a period piece if ever there was one. I couldn't believe for one moment that a stuffy old man could walk in and talk slinky Anna Netrebko into giving up free love so that her boy toy's sister wouldn't be embarrassed. This, plus Ms. Netrebko looking awfully healthy almost to the end, plus some funny business with the scenery and such, plus a weird ending, was enough to drive me right into the alabaster arms of Garbo (not an unpleasant prospect in any case).
    I remember reading an interview with Netrebko, in which she came up with some nonsense about this being a modern reading of La Traviata, with a much more assertive Violetta, but the problem with this approach is there is absolutely no justification for it in the music. That is not to say, one could not update the opera to the present day. It is not so deeply rooted in the morals of the day as you might think. We still have a class system, and I doubt many upper class families would take well to the prospect of having a known prostitute marry into the family; and think of the repercussions if that woman were HIV positive. As long as one did not change the character of Violetta, who is a truly good woman despite her profession; that is surely the point of the opera. Thomas Hardy caused a lot of ruffled feathers when he gave his novel Tess of the d'Urbervilles, the subtitle The Story of a Pure Woman. Hardy, like Verdi and Dumas, understood that purity of spirit had nothing to do with sex.

    That updated productions can and do work is obvious from such wonderful productions as Jonathan Miller's Rigoletto, which was relocated to 1950s New York Mafia, the reason being that the updating did not affect the characters and their relationships to each other.
    Last edited by Tsaraslondon; Apr-04-2014 at 15:47.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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  18. #86
    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregMitchell View Post
    That updated productions can and do work is obvious from such wonderful productions like Jonathan Miller's Rigoletto, which was relocated to 1950s New York Mafia, the reason being that the updating did not affect the characters and their relationships to each other.
    In fact, it enhanced it. One of my favourite productions ever. I saw it 4 times.
    Natalie

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  20. #87
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregMitchell View Post
    I remember reading an interview with Netrebko, in which she came up with some nonsense about this being a modern reading of La Traviata, with a much more assertive Violetta, but the problem with this approach is there is absolutely no justification for it in the music. That is not to say, one could not update the opera to the present day. It is not so deeply rooted in the morals of the day as you might think. We still have a class system, and I doubt many upper class families would take well to the prospect of having a known prostitute marry into the family; and think of the repercussions if that woman were HIV positive. As long as one did not change the character of Violetta, who is a truly good woman despite her profession; that is surely the point of the opera. Thomas Hardy caused a lot of ruffled feathers when he gave his novel Tess of the d'Urbervilles, the subtitle The Story of a Pure Woman. Hardy, like Verdi and Dumas, understood that purity of spirit had nothing to do with sex.

    That updated productions can and do work is obvious from such wonderful productions like Jonathan Miller's Rigoletto, which was relocated to 1950s New York Mafia, the reason being that the updating did not affect the characters and their relationships to each other.
    I have to admit I'm having trouble envisioning a contemporary Traviata that would feel right to me. Perhaps the problem lies more in the music than in the story, the emotional atmosphere of the opera being so redolent of crinolines and pressed flowers. Still, when I am urged, by the device of scenery and clothing updated to look like my own society, to identify with the people onstage but see them behaving like people from an era long gone, I experience cognitive dissonance and incredulity. The dramatic situation of this opera may not be absolutely impossible nowadays, but it can hardly have the resonance for a modern audience that it had in earlier in times. Even in 1936, when MGM revived Camille for Garbo, it was a period piece that audiences embraced as such for the sake of its beautiful leading lady. The sensiblity of the Dumas story and of Verdi's opera, which may have been daringly contemporary in 1853, feels quite old-fashioned now, and I'm content to love it for exactly what it is.

    Updating or otherwise changing the mise-en-scene of old operas needs to be justified on grounds of enlarging our sense of what the works can mean. Too often their original meanings are confused or contradicted while nothing worthwhile is added. That was my feeling about the Salzburg Traviata, despite what I thought was some pretty good acting and singing.

  21. #88
    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    I have to admit I'm having trouble envisioning a contemporary Traviata that would feel right to me. Perhaps the problem lies more in the music than in the story, the emotional atmosphere of the opera being so redolent of crinolines and pressed flowers. Still, when I am urged, by the device of scenery and clothing updated to look like my own society, to identify with the people onstage but see them behaving like people from an era long gone, I experience cognitive dissonance and incredulity. The dramatic situation of this opera may not be absolutely impossible nowadays, but it can hardly have the resonance for a modern audience that it had in earlier in times. Even in 1936, when MGM revived Camille for Garbo, it was a period piece that audiences embraced as such for the sake of its beautiful leading lady. The sensiblity of the Dumas story and of Verdi's opera, which may have been daringly contemporary in 1853, feels quite old-fashioned now, and I'm content to love it for exactly what it is.

    Updating or otherwise changing the mise-en-scene of old operas needs to be justified on grounds of enlarging our sense of what the works can mean. Too often their original meanings are confused or contradicted while nothing worthwhile is added. That was my feeling about the Salzburg Traviata, despite what I thought was some pretty good acting and singing.
    I do know what you mean. One shouldn't forget, however that La Traviata was a modern opera when it was first staged, though the contemporary setting may have been one of the things that contributed to its initial failure. According to Budden, subsequent productions during Verdi's lifetime all placed the action in the time of Louis XIV, and, in fact up to 1914, all printed scores carried the injunction "Paris and its environs about 1700." The enormously successful and influential Visconti La Scala production of 1955 (with Callas) placed the action at the turn of the century, for one reason alone, according to Visconti. Because Callas looked superb in the gowns of that period, as indeed she does.

    callas.JPG

    To quote Budden.

    The truth is that it does not matter in the least in what epoch La Traviata is set. It is Verdi's most intimate music drama; and the feelings it portrays are those of individual humanity down the ages.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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  23. #89
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregMitchell View Post
    I do know what you mean. One shouldn't forget, however that La Traviata was a modern opera when it was first staged, though the contemporary setting may have been one of the things that contributed to its initial failure. According to Budden, subsequent productions during Verdi's lifetime all placed the action in the time of Louis XIV, and, in fact up to 1914, all printed scores carried the injunction "Paris and its environs about 1700." The enormously successful and influential Visconti La Scala production of 1955 (with Callas) placed the action at the turn of the century, for one reason alone, according to Visconti. Because Callas looked superb in the gowns of that period, as indeed she does.

    callas.JPG

    To quote Budden.

    The truth is that it does not matter in the least in what epoch La Traviata is set. It is Verdi's most intimate music drama; and the feelings it portrays are those of individual humanity down the ages.
    I suppose that is the bottom line. If it works convincingly, more power to them.

    I'd forgotten that early productions pulled back from the contemporary concept of the original. Do you think it was just habitually conservative tastes that weren't used to opera in contemporary dress, or a real discomfort with looking at certain elements in contemporary society?

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  25. #90
    Senior Member Marschallin Blair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaronScarpia View Post
    Anna Moffo, Anna Netrebko, Ileana Cotrubaș, Renée Fleming are some of my favourite Violettas (Violette?!). Overall, it would have to be Willy Decker's 2005 Netrebko-Villazón-Hampson production at the Salzburg Festival. Having said that, Mirella Freni and Franco Bonisolli were pretty amazing too! (1973 with Sesto Bruscantini as Germont)
    verdi_traviata_ICA5006.jpg

    Marschallin to Baron, over!

    Have you heard Callas' '58 Covent Garden Violetta?

    A life-altering experince awaits.

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