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David Reynolds
American Record Guide, July 2017

Traviata stars Renée Fleming, considered by many the Violetta of our time. …she looks terrific and sings her heart out. She easily encompasses the coloratura in Act I and she finds the vocal pathos in the last act to make the tears flow. Perhaps her acting is a little generalized…but her sincerity and identification with the role are never in question.

Joseph Calleja sounds fantastic and is a handsome man though he looks a little beefy for Alfredo. Thomas Hampson sings and acts Germont convincingly…

Elijah Moshinsky’s production of Trovatore is a gripping piece of theater. He actually takes the opera seriously and offers specific motivations for his singers. Jose Cura looks fittingly macho and hot as Manrico, …Dmitri Hvorostovsky sings a beautiful Di Luna and matches Cura in handsomeness. Veronica Villarroel was an excellent soprano that producers were pushing into this repertoire whether she was ideally suited to it or not. …She does well both in her singing and acting. …Naef has been well-coached and performs expertly. She doesn’t have the Italian guts that Fiorenza Cossotto or Giulietta Simionato could supply, but she always stays in the picture.

Sir Simon Keenlyside acts well as Macbeth… Liudmyla Monastyrska became a major player on the world opera stage after these performances. She offers exciting singing, and her acting fits well into Lloyd’s concept. Raymond Aceto and Dimitri Pittas are very good in their rather thankless roles.

Antonio Pappano offers stirring leadership, and Carlo Rizzi’s conducting in the Trovatore is accommodating of the singers without allowing them to take over. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

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