A very nice release on Virgin Classics: La Traviata given at the Festival d’Aix, last summer, with Natalie Dessay, Charles Castronovo (Alfredo) and Ludovic Tézier (Germont). Jean-Francois Sivadier signing the staging and the excellent Louis Langrée conducting the London Symphony Orchestra.
La Dessay is always amazing, exalted, fragile, shattering. Castronovo is doing very well, fully in the project stage, and the complicity of the singers is good to see. Tézier, very “statue of the Commander”, convinces from start to finish.
Violetta and Alfredo, lost in a society that crushed them. Like Romeo and Juiette, La Traviata is a very topical drama, universal and timeless; it’s probably why the opera resists so well to transpositions into another era, and perhaps even calls it. “La Traviata is a romantic drama, it’s a Greek tragedy,” said Jean-Francois Sivadier. It’s perfectly true.
Relieving Traviata of red cushions and feathers, the production of Aix is anchoring the drama in our time by giving it his universal dimension. Bias totally accepted by singers, both in their expression and in their vocal technique. Of course, it is far from Callas – Di Stefano, but the strength of Verdi’s masterpiece is to comply with very different approaches. And when the interpretation and the scenic approach are so close to fit the truth of the drama, we can say that the show is successful.