Giuseppe Verdi: La Traviata
Chorus&Orchestra of the Zurich Opera House, Franz Welser-Möst
Jürgen Flimm (stage director)
Arthaus Musik 2006
La Traviata, Giuseppe Verdi’s very personal opera, was premiered in 1853 at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice. The first night was a fiasco, but after a few revisions the opera set out to conquer the world.
La Traviata offers no scope for grandiose crowd scenes or historical pomp. In keeping with the intimate nature of the action, Verdi’s music reflects the inner feelings of the protagonists. The heroine, whose emotional state is determined by external circumstances, is in the centre of the story of emotional upheavals.
Jürgen Flimm haunting staging stays close to Verdi’s intent. He focuses on the protagonists, showing their shakiness, emotions, despair, love, sacrifice and tragedy rather than concentrating on the abysses of the Parisian demi-monde.
Eva Mei and Piotr Beczala are a perfectly matched couple. Her soft and flexible soprano and his lyrical tenor, marked by excellent diction, work very well together, joined by the “golden” voice of outstanding Thomas Hampson.