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If I had caught this performance live at the Graz Opera in Austria, I would have been quite happy; but I cannot see why it was particularly worthy of recording for posterity. On the plus side Marlis Petersen is a very good Violetta. Her voice lacks the tonal depth we are used to in this role, but she surmounts all the technical demands it requires, and is a remarkably vivid vocal and physical presence. No doubt she worked long and hard with director Peter Konwitschny, whose insight helps strip away the accretions of tradition without throwing the baby out with the bathwater; interesting, sometimes annoying and not always comfortable viewing. Alas Giuseppe Varano’s Alfredo is vocally wayward and often painfully under the note, and his physical presence is hangdog, and James Rutherford barks his way through Germont’s music with no sense of Verdian line. Tecwyn Evans conducts straightforwardly.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica

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