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95 of 100 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars As good as it gets..pretty much, 29 Dec 2003
This review is from: Verdi: La Traviata -- Royal Opera House [DVD] [NTSC] [2001] (DVD)
Some opera buffs of a bygone era relentlessly claim that "Callas will always reign supreme as Violetta".Be that as it may, the truth is that is is hard indeed for us belonging to a new generation of opera lovers to imagine a better interpretation, vocally AND dramatically, than the one provided by Angela Georgiou on this very fine DVD. Good-looking she certainly is (beats Callas here by a slim margin, a man's humble point of view..) and her acting is supreme and utterly convincing as well. And as for her singing, her natural coloratura skills are very impressive indeed, although perhaps not as naturally flowing as they were for the Greek-American soprano. And her intonation is much more reliable (few would disagree on that one!).
Lopardo does a good job as the young Germont. Not in the same league as his mistress, of course... but quite reliable most of the time.
Nucci is good, well, actually more than good.
The production is devoid of disturbing anachronisms such as punk rockers, AIDS-replacing-TBC-as-cause-of-death inventions and that sort of garbage. We are grateful for that.
Solti is in very good form, not at all hard-driven but sensitive and precise at the same time.
In all, as much as I admire the legacy of the great Maria Callas: Buy this DVD and meet a new generation of very capable and very convincing performers on the operatic stage. And above all: Meet Angela Georgiou in a role that suits her perfectly!
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 25 Jul 2009 14:05:15 BDT
As I, too, hate performances with anachronistic production, I was very pleased to learn that this one does not stoop to these unacceptable practices. Thank you!

Posted on 28 Jul 2009 19:13:30 BDT
Per Nyberg says, quote: "And as for her singing, her natural coloratura skills are very impressive indeed".
Dear fellow; Angela Georgiou IS NOT A NATURAL SOPRANO COLORATURA and has no real coloratura skills...She is a 'Spinto soprano' (lyric soprano for the layman...). Her voice is wonderfully tuned, full of expression, warmth and melancholy... that's the trade mark of her singing. That she can reach very high notes without wobbling is due to her training, but certainly she is not a coloratura soprano. To wit: She does not end the Sempre Libre aria with the high D (as Callas did when young, as Beverly Sills, as Sutherland, as J. Gruberova, Lilly Pons, or Mado Robin the French coloratura which could 'drill into' even the high F...!.
Some sopranos will use the lower note alternative: De Los Angeles, Tebaldi, Rene Fleming, Angela Georgiou, and others. But a true coloratura they are not.
Hope this makes it clear to you and to other readers.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Feb 2010 16:36:15 GMT
lionheart says:
Judy Spotheim makes a great deal out of little. There is no such thing as a NATURAL coloratura. One has to train a voice to sing it as the compser intended. And Sempre Libera sometimes has a high E flat in altissimo at the end, not a D. Singing an E flat (or a D) does not a coloratura make! Either way, Gheorghiu's voice is very efficient and lovely in the coloratura passages but as the role requires much more, she is well equipped for the other demands too.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jun 2010 18:30:13 BDT
Eli Crund says:
Staging a production in modern dress is a perfectly acceptable and accepted. Not everyone is a dionsaur and looks forward to innovation.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Mar 2011 10:50:21 GMT
Edward Parry says:
My dear Ms. Spotheim, Angela didn't put in the top E flat because Sir Georg wouldn't allow her to - it isn't written & he didn't want her to sing it! It's as simple as that. Mind you I am not for a minute disagreeing with you about Angela's voice type, although I feel at this stage of her career she was a lyric with a good coloratura facility. It has of course developed since then into a lyrico spinto.

I was in the Chorus of the Royal Opera when this production was first mounted. I worked with Angela several times throughout the 1990s and loved every minute of it. She was a generous colleague who treated her fellow performers with respect.
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