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This new Traviata belongs near the top of the fine recorded versions of the opera despite a serious vocal problem in the middle. The great news is in the casting of the two lovers: Rolando Villazón’s Alfredo is just about perfect. He sings with handsome, shaded tone, great attention to the text–his anger feels as real as his grief and passion–and absolute freedom throughout the range. He partners the stunning Anna Netrebko beautifully in their duets as well. She is breathtaking–delicate, sincere, proud–singing with beautiful tone and intelligent, graceful musicality. They’re an unforgettable couple. Baritone Thomas Hampson, on the other hand, despite his usual attention to detail and wise dramatic choices, is in very poor voice and he sounds strained and out of sorts all the time. Carlo Rizzi leads a very energetic performance and the orchestra and chorus, except for a few moments of being out-of-sync with each other, are splendid. The rest of the cast are fine and the sound from this live recording is excellent. Very highly recommended. –Robert Levine

Album Info

Label: ‎ Deutsche Grammophon
Original Release Date: September 2, 2000
ASIN: ‎ B000B6695S