Just thought I point out that LA Opera’s production of La Traviata is now available on DVD – somehow I did not see it before, so I just ordered it, it looks like a very traditional production and it features Villazon and Fleming. Here is some quick information from Musical Criticism (check out their website for more reviews of CDs and DVDs)
Verdi: La traviata
Renee Fleming, Rolando Villazon, Los Angeles Opera/James Conlon (Decca)
Release Date: December 2007
Featuring the American soprano Reneé Fleming in divine form, this excellent DVD of Verdi’s La traviata is sure to beat off the winter blues.
With stiff competition from earlier recordings in the catalogue, one might not think there was a need for yet another. Yet Fleming’s strong track record in Verdian repertoire (she is also an excellent Amelia Grimaldi and Desdemona) continues with this new release, documenting her portrayal of Violetta at the Los Angeles Opera in 2006.
For me, her voice is particularly suited to works by nineteenth-century composers such as Tchaikovsky and Verdi, who wrote with a sense of classical line and sensitive orchestration yet infused their music with potent drama. Fleming doesn’t always convince me in Mozart and especially Handel, where a more fluid and less mannered approach is required in some of the legato passages, but here in Verdi the mixture of a beautiful sound with a highly developed dramatic instinct – both in the acting and in the voice –is rarely less than compelling.
The rest of the review (and more production photos) is here.
P.S. In other (more philosophical) news, I think I am going to forego my re-reading of Hegel’s PhG and join N. Pepperell (RoughTheory.Org) in her reading of Hegel’s Science of Logic. This should be an excellent way to kick in this new year!