[Met Performance] CID:266020
La Traviata {678} Metropolitan Opera House: 09/23/1981.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
September 23, 1981


LA TRAVIATA {678}
Giuseppe Verdi--Francesco Maria Piave

Violetta................Catherine Malfitano
Alfredo.................Giuliano Ciannella
Germont.................Cornell MacNeil
Flora...................Ariel Bybee
Gastone.................Dana Talley
Baron Douphol...........John Darrenkamp
Marquis D'Obigny........Julien Robbins
Dr. Grenvil.............William Fleck
Annina..................Geraldine Decker
Giuseppe................Emil Filip
Gardener................Donald Peck
Dance...................Naomi Marritt
Dance...................Jack Hertzog

Conductor...............Nicola Rescigno

Production..............Colin Graham
Designer................Tanya Moiseiwitsch
Lighting designer.......Gil Wechsler
Choreographer...........Zachary Solov

La Traviata received fifteen performances this season.

Review of Shirley Fleming in the Post

'Twas Verdi good 'Traviata'

You would have to go far to find a better show than the Met's year-old production of "La Traviata," sumptuously set off with sets and costumes by Tanya Moiseiwitsch, and cast from strength from top to bottom. There were no surprises in the familiar cast last night in this first Verdi opera of the season, but "Traviata" is not the kind of work in which one particularly wants to be surprised.

One wants a touching Violetta who can be tender and languish convincingly and, at the same time, negotiate spectacular coloratura, and Catherine Malfitano is surely such a one. Her voice is not an especially warm one, but its diamond glitter is capable of both agility and nuance, and her personal magnetism is unmistakable.
The flashing intensity of her own temperament had a good chance to show in a ringing "Sempre libera" full of bite and defiance.

Giuliano Ciannella was a boyish Alfredo, efficiently if not heroically sung, and somewhat narrow in emotional range. He was a pleasant if slightly ineffectual-seeming lover. The elder Germont was Cornell MacNeil, whose uncomplicated dignity and straightforward vocal style added a palpable dimension of sympathy to the character. He and Miss Malfitano worked beautifully together as they warmed in mutual understanding in the second act.

The Flora of Ariel Bybee was bright and spirited, and the Annina of Geraldine Decker human and sympathetic. The supporting men included John Darrenkamp as the Baron, Julien Robbins as the Marquis, and Dana Talley as Gastone.

The new element in the proceedings last night was conductor Nicola Rescigno, who led a taut, generally quick-tempo performance. But he provided a firm underpinning and never pushed. He never once covered anybody on stage. That in itself is a rarity.



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