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Winning ‘Australian Event of the Year 2012’, Francesca Zambello’s production certainly cuts a dash. If you attended one of the performances this would be a great souvenir – it’s slick, well filmed and has an extrovert sense of fun, plus the extras are interesting – but otherwise it doesn’t add much to the canon. Filmed on a floating stage in Sydney Harbour, a giant chandelier suspended over it, fireworks, Flora’s party guests arriving by boat, 1950s frocks galore, it’s never going to be a production that probes the inner psyche of its characters. Emma Matthews is a good Violetta, her soprano confident if slightly glassy, and considering she has to communicate the smallest details with a rather distant audience as well as dominate an enormous stage, she builds a credible and touching portrayal. Gianluca Terranova’s Alfredo is strained, Jonathan Summers’ Germont very rusty, and Brian Castles-Onion’s conducting routine. An oxymoron – a fun Traviata.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica


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Opera Now, 2012 - ©Rhinegold Publishing