Verdi: La Traviata

Verdi: La Traviata

5.0 2
by Anna Netrebko, Rolando Villazón

Casting two of opera's fastest-rising stars in La Traviata is a surefire way to attract attention, and so the pairing of Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazón in the leading roles proved to be the hottest ticket of the 2005 Salzburg Festival. It was an occasion tailor-made for liveSee more details below


Casting two of opera's fastest-rising stars in La Traviata is a surefire way to attract attention, and so the pairing of Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazón in the leading roles proved to be the hottest ticket of the 2005 Salzburg Festival. It was an occasion tailor-made for live recording, and just a few months later, we're lucky to have the results already in hand. Both vocally and dramatically, it's an excellent effort; above all, it's worth hearing for Villazón's Alfredo. This is the tenor's first starring role in a complete opera recording, and it's everything you would expect from hearing his two recital CDs. On those albums, Villazón showed a real dramatic gift on the concentrated level of the single aria, while here he holds our attention with a similar command across the length of a full opera, his richly hued voice reaching a series of expressive crests as the romantic plot develops. Netrebko is just as successful, and while she may not displace Angela Gheorghiu as the leading Violetta of recent years, she does deliver a deeply persuasive performance, from the sparkling "Sempre libera" of Act I to the resigned "Addio del passato" in Act III, and especially in the impassioned dialogue of Act II with Alfredo's father. (Thomas Hampson is quite satisfactory in the latter role here, but it's not his most distinguished performance; there's a cool solemnity to his singing, though the voice does sound marvelous.) The ensembles and choruses in the party scenes are exceptionally well balanced for a live recording, a tribute both to DG's engineers and to conductor Carlo Rizzi. But the strongly charismatic lead performances are the main attraction here, and Netrebko and Villazón are sure to please their fans -- and make many new ones -- with this release.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
This fine recording of "La Traviata" comes from a production at the 2005 Salzburg Festival. With an all-star cast featuring Anna Netrebko, Rolando Villazón, and Thomas Hampson, the performances generated an ecstatic reaction from the Salzburg audiences, and the recording captures the excitement of the experience. The soloists, orchestra, and chorus perform with a vibrant energy that propels the drama with unusual urgency. Netrebko sings flawlessly with a sumptuous, velvety legato, and she is completely engaging as Violetta, beautifully capturing her high spirits, her inner strength, and her physical frailty. "Ah, fors'è lui" and "Addio del passato" are particularly moving. Villazón is a fine foil for her, with a dark, burnished tenor and an impetuous, sometimes explosive temperament. Hampson's Germont is vocally superb, but he seems somewhat disengaged and doesn't bring the same level of emotional investment to his role as the romantic leads. Carlo Rizzi leads the Vienna Philharmonic with meticulous attention to the details of Verdi's scoring, giving the music a punchiness that tends to get smoothed out in many performances. The orchestral balances are exceptionally fine, so that each scene is distinctively shaded and colored. DG Deutsche Grammophon's sound is wonderfully clear and present, capturing the positive elements of a live performance without the distractions or limitations that frequently mar live recordings.
Gramophone - Alan Blyth
Nobody is going to gainsay the fact that Netrebko has a glorious voice, even through a large range, flexible enough for the Act 1 pyrotechnics and warm enough for the tragic happenings thereafter.
BBC Music Magazine - George Hall
An undeniably powerful presentation of the old favourite – a Traviata for our times.
Stereophile - Robert Levine
[March 2006 Recording of the Month] This stunning new Traviata, fresh from last summer's Salzburg Festival, is a performance to live with.... Netrebko's Violetta and Villazón's Alfredo are extraordinary and can stand up to the best.
The Guardian - Tim Ashley
This is a recording that challenges many of our assumptions about the work itself.... Ultimately an idiosyncratic, imperfect Traviata, though one that is also disturbingly gripping and revealing.
Fanfare - David Kirk
Anna Netrebko has a beautiful voice. Throughout her range, it is rich and mellow. One of the highlights is her lovely, heart-rending "Addio del passato." Rolando Villazón has a youthful energy, a joie de vivre in the first act that is engaging and plays well against Netrebko’s somewhat jaded Violetta.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Deutsche Grammophon

Related Subjects


  1. La Traviata, opera  - Giuseppe Verdi  -  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  - Paul Gay  - Thomas Hampson  -  Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor  -  Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra  - Fred Munzmaier  -  Francesco Maria Piave  - Carlo Rizzi  - Luigi Roni  - Helene Schneiderman  - Anna Netrebko  - Rolando Villazón  - Salvatore Cordella  - Bogdan Roscic  - Herman Wallén  - Robert Huber  - Dritan Luca  - Diane Pilcher  - Friedrich Springer

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