12-20 Nov 2004. La Traviata by giuseppe Verdi. Conducted by Lorin Maazel, directed by Robert Carsen, with Patrizia Ciofi, Roberto Sacc, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Luca Grassi.
The Fenice Opera in Venice has returned to life after an eight-year wait, risen from its own ashes, exactly it was before the fire, just like the mythical bird whose name it bears.
Verdi's La Traviata inaugurated the first season of the reconstructed Fenice, rich in its stucco-work and gold. The opera was presented in its 1853 version, the one that was received unsuccessfully at La Fenice, rather than the 1854 modified one that is usually presented in major opera houses.
This original version found its strength in Robert Carson's direction, which centred on the tale of the destruction and corruption of money, set in contemporary times as it was in Verdi's day.
Patrizia Ciofi, a very good protagonist both vocally and on the stage, gave an intense and active interpretation, that left the audience overwhelmed and moved. Lorin Maazel's conducting brought out both the dramatic and the lyric elements of the work. The orchestra, the chorus and the supporting parts were also good.
The two male singers, Dmitri Hvorostovsky (Germont) e Roberto Sacc, (Alfredo) presented various vocal weaknesses, but helped by the Carson direction they ended by giving convincing interpretations. The feeling in the theatre was intense and every seat was taken.
Paolo di Nicola.