Eva Mei's voice has matured, gaining body and expressive power, and here she manages to go to the heart of the character in a powerful, subtle and beautifully sung Violetta. She has all the notes and sings them with feeling and full dramatic awareness. In fact she could teach a lesson or two to more promoted divas of today as Fleming or Gheorgiu. Beczala is a marvelous Alfredo, with a powerful lyric voice and plenty of "squillo", used with great sensitivite and, though he is not as good dramatically as Mei, he certainly creates a credible character. The big dissapointment for me is the Germont of Thomas Hampson. He's a great singer and I have enjoyed many of his recordings, but he never seemed entirely right for Verdi. Here he offers a very stentorian and unidiomatic performance, failing to catch the moral nastiness of the character and portraying a feeble bourgeois, often aimlessly moving around the stage and confusing being forceful with being plain loud. Subtlety seems foreign to him this night. The producction is not intrusive, but not particularly interesting either. The orchertra sounds well. Still a top rate for the excellence of the two central characters.