Martin Mayer in opera:
The Metropolitan Opera’s new manufacturing of “La Traviata” (March 17) takes a step backwards into conventionality – which is all proper, I suppose, contemplating the place the steps ahead have been main us recently. John Dexter seems to have had extra bold plans for this manufacturing; the issue was that no person favored them, together with among the singers, it’s rumoured. Having commissioned units and costumes, Mr. Dexter turned the route of the opera over to Colin Graham. Sadly, Mr. Graham didn’t just like the units and costumes – he had the third-act set rebuilt as a result of the deliberate round staircase didn’t present the doorway he needed for Giorgio Germont – and his distaste for what he discovered in all probability contributed to the “I’ve-somehow-got-to-get through-this” ambiance that plagued the efficiency. . . .
Mr. Graham made a number of minor errors in his staging. Violetta ought to absolutely not pluck a crimson camellia to provide to Alfredo if she is inviting him again the following day: the white flower is required. And the choristers actually mustn’t peep by the curtains to watch the lovers in the direction of the tip of their duet – their return to the gaming room within the second act doesn’t must be defined or foreshadowed. Germont pére mustn’t stand as a placid observer of the complete scene wherein Alfredo insults Violetta, intervening solely when it’s too late – and I doubt if he would have been admitted to this trendy salon within the gray swimsuit he had worn within the nation. (At the very least, the footman would have insisted on consulting Flora, which might have given the sport away.) To precede Alfredo’s “Brindisi” with the spectacle of drunken aristocracy chasing the ladies makes the music libidinous in methods Verdi didn’t intend.
For the remaining, Mr. Domingo sang fantastically, although he suffered two tiny reminiscence lapses: however he moved stiffly, nearly stumblingly: there was no passion in his efficiency. Miss Cotrubas lacked gaiety vocally in addition to dramatically, however she is, as Europeans already know, a distinguished Violetta. Each of the singers within the feminine comprimario roles – Ariel Bybee as Flora and Geraldine Decker as Annina – made a bigger than typical contribution.
The units by Tanya Moiseiwitseh pushed the motion to the entrance of the stage, all the time a good suggestion on this home, and I somewhat favored the second-act chateau salon, with its French home windows [viewing] into the backyard. The costumes, which have been presupposed to set the work within the nineteenth century, have been largely excessive camp. Typically, I feel one must say that this “Traviata” improves on the Cecil Beaton model it replaces, however not by a lot.
Pleased 81st birthday bass Samuel Ramey.
Birthday anniversaries of mezzo-soprano Sabine Kalter (1890), librettist Myfanwy Piper (1911), soprano Clara Petrella (1914), baritone Anselmo Colzani (1918), soprano Hanne-Lore Kuhse and baritone Dmytro Hnatyuk (each in 1925) and composer Robert Ashley (1930).
Pleased 91st birthday contralto Elizabeth Bainbridge.
Pleased eightieth birthday tenor Nicola Martinucci.
Pleased 52nd birthday mezzo-soprano Daniela Barcellona.