Moonsigns  |  Band Guide  |  Blogs  |  Adult
Boston  |  Portland  |  Providence
CD Reviews  |  Download  |  Live Reviews  |  Music Features  |  New England Music News

A Violetta to die for

Teatro Lirico I at the Majestic Theatre, March 2, 2008
By LLOYD SCHWARTZ  |  March 4, 2008
LA TRAVIATA: Marina Viskvorkina’s Violetta would satisfy the most demanding audience of any
great opera house.

"A not-so-merry Widow: Teatro Lirico II at the Cutler Majestic Theatre, March 1, 2008." By Jeffrey Gantz.
Teatro Lirico d’Europa was back for its second weekend this year, and in Verdi’s La traviata, Ukrainian soprano Marina Viskvorkina gave an extraordinary performance as the consumptive courtesan Violetta Valéry. Viskvorkina’s got just about everything: she’s a voluptuous blonde with a big, creamy voice of pinpoint accuracy, and she can act. She began by depicting a very flirtatious Violetta, though her famous first-act coloratura aria, “Sempre libera” (“Always free”), was a little pedestrian. Verdi’s Violetta at first rejects the true love offered by Alfredo Germont, her naive suitor, because she’s terrified of the risks of real feeling. Her “Sempre libera” was about a person who just wants a good time, not about the desperation of someone whose entire way of life is threatened. Her performance became increasingly inward and moving, conveying real dignity as Violetta confronts Alfredo’s father, who wants her to give up his son, and anguish at Alfredo’s public humiliation of her in the party scene. But it was in the last act, with the dying Violetta trying to rally when Alfredo returns, that Viskvorkina ascended to tragic stature. She’s one of the rare Violettas who sings the notes yet still convinces you that she’s physically failing and feverish. And she was heartbreaking. Her performance would satisfy the most demanding audience of any great opera house.

As Alfredo, Mexican tenor Gabriel González revealed a likable personality, bare-bones acting skills, and an impressive voice that slid too often off the pitch. Alfredo’s father, Bulgarian baritone Plamen Dimitrov, didn’t have either the vocal heft or the dramatic imagination for this crucial role. He wasn’t embarrassing, but he mainly just stood there. One of my favorite Teatro Lirico singers, mezzo-soprano Viara Zhelezova, as Violetta’s friend Flora, was an object lesson in how to bring a character to life, even if it’s a small role. Character singers Hristo Sarafov and Vladimir Hristov were also exemplary. And an uncredited young male dancer was outstanding in the Gypsy number. The orchestra played better for Krassimir Topolov than it did in January’s Tosca, but he’s hardly anyone’s idea of an inspired conductor.

  Topics: Live Reviews , Giuseppe Verdi , Entertainment , Music ,  More more >
  • Share:
  • RSS feed Rss
  • Email this article to a friend Email
  • Print this article Print

Share this entry with Delicious
  •   NIGHT MUSIC  |  July 01, 2008
    The Pops aces Sondheim
  •   GRAND FINALES  |  June 03, 2008
    The Cantata Singers’ Weill retrospective, Mark Morris leading Dido , Chorus pro Musica’s Carmen
  •   MAESTRO!  |  May 19, 2008
    Interview: Mark Morris picks up the baton
  •   EPIC UNDERTAKING  |  May 12, 2008
    Berlioz’s Les Troyens at the BSO; Opera Boston attempts Verdi’s Ernani
  •   ON (AND OFF) TRACK  |  April 29, 2008
    Boston Lyric Opera’s Seraglio , BU’s Barbiere di Siviglia , Andy Vores’s No Exit , the BPO’s Bartók and Brahms

 See all articles by: LLOYD SCHWARTZ

 Most Viewed   Most Emailed 

Featured Articles in Live Reviews:
Sunday, July 06, 2008  |  Sign In  |  Register
Phoenix Media/Communications Group:
StuffAtNight Latest:
Copyright © 2008 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group