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La Traviata (Fleming, Calleja) 2011

  • Richard Eyre
  • May 31, 2011
  • 154 mins
  • Italian
As an aging opera fan, this version of this great opera shows what you can have when the baritone is absolutely first rate.
Renée Fleming has matured into one of the finest sopranos around at the moment, a true star with a sparkling personality and a velvet-toned voice that is capable of wringing the finest emotions out of works by Strauss and Tchaikovsky that from a lesser singer could sound rather cold and clinical. I wouldn't have thought her voice would be so well suited to Violetta Valéry in La Traviata, and it does take some getting used to, but I think she at least brings a distinct quality to the role with an emotional heart that isn't always necessarily there when a leading diva uses it primarily as a display for her vocal talents. It's served well also by Antonio Pappano's conducting of the Royal Opera House Orchestra in a traditional, but effective production by Richard Eyre.

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