Carmen Di Giannattasio as Violetta and members of the chorus in Act II of Verdi's 'La traviata' at Teatro di San Carlo. Photo © 2012 Luciano Romano. Click on the image for higher resolution Most likely, the performance success was due to its excellent musical aspects. The young (thirty-three-year-old) conductor Michele Mariotti has been recently acclaimed in New York for his handling of Carmen. This is the third time I have listened to live performances of La Traviata under his baton. Each time, he showed different nuances of the score. This time, he conducted a rarely heard full unabridged version, including sections often cut either to give a faster pace to the action or to make life easier for the singers; eg the second act 'cabalettas' for tenor and baritone, and a few bars of the taxing soprano aria Addio del Passato in the third act. Also, he was very careful in the coloratura aria Sempre Libera in the first act to replace the sovracuto (never written by Verdi but made part of the tradition by a spirited 'prima donna') with the high notes as conceived by the composer. More significantly, such a philologically correct interpretation of the score was fully appreciated by the orchestra which, fully in-tune with Mariotti, gave the right musical tint to the tragic plot.
Carmen Di Giannattasio as Violetta and Saimir Pirgu as Alfredo in Act II of 'La traviata'. Photo © 2012 Luciano Romano. Click on the image for higher resolution The singing cast was very good. Carmen Di Giannattasio switches easily from 'coloratura' to 'mezza voce' (as in Dite alla Giovine) to dramatic high notes (as in Amani, Alfredo). Saimur Pirgu is Alfredo with a clear timbre, a generous acute and perfect phrasing, and Vladimir Stoyanov is a moving Germont, especially in the grueling Di Provenza il mare, il suol. Copyright © 23 December 2012 Giuseppe Pennisi, Rome, Italy GIUSEPPE VERDI LA TRAVIATA NAPLES ITALY PARIS ISTANBUL << M&V home Concert reviews Handel's 'Messiah' >>