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La Traviata

Palazzo Pitti, Florence

It must be a dream for every opera lover the watch Verdi’s wonderful La Traviata, in the courtyard of a medieval palace and under the open sky. The opera in Florence allows us to enjoy such a spectacle during their summer break. This spectacle threated however to be canceled due to bad weather. Thank god the rain stopped an hour before the performance started and we, where able to enjoy a very impressive evening..

We all have to owe this evening to the soprano Maria Mudryak, who sang a phenomenal Violetta (Traviata). Without each strives itself she sang herself through the hair-raising part of Violetta. Her top tones where, as flawless, as her timbre and she wonderfully co-operated with orchestra, choir, as well as with the acoustics. When I after the opera heard, that she is only 22 years old, I was speechless. How can a 22 year old woman sing the part of La Traviata like Anna Netrebko, or even better? I’m sure, she is going to be famous, because her singing and the way she played this tragic role of Violetta with all her facets, is simply unique.

La Traviata tells the tragic story of an upper class prostitute, who suffers from the then incurable tuberculosis. When she gets to know once, on one of her famous parties, the young attractive Alfredo Germont, they both feel immediately to each other drawn. Their luck seems to be perfect, if  not Alfredo’s rich father Giorgio Germond came and had objections against their relationship, because he thinks, that Violetta is a bad influence. Her health gets worse, more and more, she doesn’t wants to live anymore. Her last wish is to see Alfredo before her death. At last Alfredo arrives she finally finds her salvation.

The Italian director Alfredo Corno moves the action into the time of the great Federico Fellini movies. Violetta is a blonde-haired movie diva, who is loved by everyone. One loves and lives in front of the camera, but as soon as the camera is switched off the audience can see the real life of Violetta. Left alone she is sitting in the empty movie backdrops and lets her feelings run free. This idea is actually quite good, but Corno had a few problems with the implementation. His personal direction was very precise in the first act, then got lost, however, in runs of the piece. For example as Giorgio tells Violetta, that she could not remain together with Alfredo the two characters almost never look at each, others faces and live, so to speak past to each other. The longer the opera goes, the less will the character a to each other , which is a shame , especially in the very moving scene at the conclusion die. It is a pity, but Verdi’s music radiates so much personality and passion of, that one not always have to focus on Corno’s personal direction. The conductor Fabrizio Maria Carminati manages to conduct his orchestra so precise, that Verdi’s music completely comes to retribution. Sometimes the whole sounded sharp as a knife, then feather soft again, but always completely accurate. One often notices, that here a real Verdi specialist is conducting. His amazing interpretation, gave me especially in the last act goosebumbs. Bravo Maestro. Francesco Marsiglia sang with his pure tenore a nice Alfredo. Unfortunately he sometimes had some problems, because his voice could not fill the whole auditorium and in duet with Maria Mudryak he often tried to sound as loud as she sounded and forced his voice, what made him crack in their last duet. Francesco Landolfi’s bass-baritone was perfect for the role of Giorgio Germond. His very powerful voice was very suitable for Verdi. His duet with Violetta in the second act was one of the best parts of this evenings. The Choir of the opera in Florence rounded this ensemble perfectly. They produced a wonderful sound. Even in the most difficult passages they remained stehts rhythmically precise and harmonized beautifully with the orchestra.  The audition honored this production, especially the absolutely fantastic Maria Mudryak with thunderous applause. A wonderful evening under the beautiful night sky of Florence and in middle of the wonderful Palazzo Pitti.

  • Opera
  • By Giuseppe Verdi
  • Librettist: Francesco Maria Piave
  • Director: Fabrizio Maria Carminati
  • Opera di Firenze
  • Palazzo Pitti, Florence
  • Review by Fabio A. Rickenmann (15 years old)
  • 27 July 2016

About The Author

Young Opera Critic

I was born in Zürich, Switzerland. My passion for the opera began at an early age during a performance of Mozarts "Die Zauberflöte“. I’m trying to bring opera closer to people who might not have had many encounters with this art form before, by writing about performances and pieces that fascinate me. For nearly 10 years I was a member of the Zürich Opera Children’s Choir. Since 2019 I'm enjoying the opera world as an extra at the Zurich Opera. Apart from opera and theatre, I enjoy literature, languages and nature. In 2021 I started studying musicology and law at the University of Zürich but still enjoy watching and writing about many opera performances. It’s never too late nor too early for anyone to start exploring this fascinating art form!

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