Sunday, January 27, 2008

La Traviata, ROH 26. January 2008 - Anna Netrebko, Jonas Kaufmann, Dmitri Hvorostovsky

Only a few opera houses in the world can afford a cast such as the one I have been enjoying last Saturday at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in London. Anna Netrebko as Violetta Valéry, Jonas Kaufmann as Alfredo Germont and Dmitri Hvorostovsky as Giorgio Germont. The fabulous chorus and orchestra of the Royal Opera House were conducted by Maurizio Benini. On the stage a revival of the beautiful production created by Richard Eyre.

After Anna's huge success on the first performance on 14. January, she was obliged to cancel the three next performances on 17, 20 and 23th January, due to a bronchitis. I had a ticket for the performance on 26. January and I went to London on Friday 25th January, without to know if she would be recovered or not. Friday night I went with a friend to the ROH to look for some, hopefully not bad, news about Anna. There was no cancellation announcement and people at the ROH told us that Anna will sing on Saturday. Thanks God!!!

On Saturday, around 2 hours before the start of the performance, we went to the stage door to look for Anna's arrival. Yes!!! Anna arrived 1 hour and half before the performance starts. So, this was the definitive confirmation!!! Anna was there!!!

The performance began and Anna was better than ever. Her powerful diamond-like voice came across the whole orchestral mass density, filling everything. While at other moments, she did wonderful pianissimi. I was completely moved. At the end of the first act, people began to clap and to scream "Brava!", "Bravissima!". At the curtain calls, a long standing ovation and more and more "Brava!", "Bravissima!". It was the best opera performance I have ever seen. Anna was a true goddess.

Jonas Kaufmann was also very good, brilliant at some points, and I liked very much Dmitri Hvorostovsky. It was the first time I saw him live and I really got a very good impression. We have to keep in mind the concerts that Anna and Dmitri will have the next season. Great orchestra and conductor.

Remember that this performance will be broadcast on BBC 3 radio on 9. February and that there is a last opportunity to see this Traviata cast live at the ROH on 29. January.

We were to the stage door after the performance. After a while, they told us that the cast had a dinner at the ROH and they would not come to sign in. But, apparently, Dmitri changed his mind and he came out to the door leaving the ROH. He signed me the program. After a while we went to dinner at the Bertorelli, just in front of the stage's door. At 11:30 PM I saw Anna and her IMG general manager leaving the ROH, with a flower's bouquet each one. She was looking great. Thanks Anna!!!

Press Reviews
"the first thing that I was struck by was the sheer size of the voice: this is a huge and luscious instrument", "She could shade it for expressive subtlety and fine it down for a heart-stopping pianissimo, as she did for the start of the second verse (sic) of Addio del passato”
La Traviata with La Netrebko, Alnwickian, 28. January 2008

Anna Netrebko and Dmitri Hvorostovsky at the final curtain call. La Traviata, ROH, London 26. January 2008. Photo: Olga

Anna Netrebko at the final curtain call. La Traviata, ROH, London 26. January 2008. Photo: Olga

Anna Netrebko at the final curtain call. La Traviata, ROH, London 26. January 2008. Photo: Olga

Anna Netrebko, Jonas Kaufmann, Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Maurizio Benini at the final curtain call. La Traviata, ROH, London 26. January 2008. Photo: Olga

Anna Netrebko, Jonas Kaufmann, Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Maurizio Benini at the final curtain call. La Traviata, ROH, London 26. January 2008. Photo: Olga

Anna Netrebko, Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Maurizio Benini at the final curtain call. La Traviata, ROH, London 26. January 2008. Photo: Olga


  1. Hummmm, the "dinner" excuse was also told to us on the first day...I think I will not believe it next time and wait to see Anna XD
    I'm so happy for you, Carlos!!!

  2. I'm so glad she's feeling better and that you got to hear her sing!

    Interestingly, on the blog "Mad Musings of Me", on the second day (17th) they were told something similar when they went backstage as well. Hmm...

  3. I completely forgot to ask you a couple of questions. I heard that Anna sang Violetta as being more ill than usual right form the 1st Act and that her "Sempre Libera" was sung this way and also in a way that showed that she was already in love with Alfredo and didn't mean a word of it. Did you get that impression?

    Also, I truly love a singer who can truly sing "Amami Alfredo" with the power of emotions that is refected in the music. A pet peeve of mine is that too many times singers seem chosen for their ability to sing the flashier 1st act and then can't handle the 2nd act. I'm, of course, assuming that this was NOT the case with Anna.

    Oh, and the "Addio del passato" I've heard was maginificent too, no?

  4. Her "Addio del passato" was just thrilling!!! Not to mention the way she falls on the floor at the end...she left me breathless!

  5. I am so jealous of you both. I wish I could have seen this performance.

    Leí tu blog, La Verbena. Carlos me lo refirio. Me encantó leerlo. Me sentí como si yo estuviera allí.

    I read and speak Spanish better than I write it. :(

    Thanks both of you for the great accounts of your experiences.

  6. Rock in the Pond, I think you are right. I have also got the impression that Violetta was somehow more ill since the 1st act (I thought that at the performance). I did not thought she was more in love with Alfredo than in other performances.

    In my opinion Anna has been usually better as far as the opera goes on, better in 2nd act, and better in the 3rd one. This time she was extremely good since the beginning. You read Papagena's report and she wrote perfectly what it happened since the beginning.

    About the stage door, when they told us about the in-house dinner, nobody moves on. Ten minutes later, Dmitri came and we got some signatures. Later on they told us again about the in-house dinner and everybody laughs and tell him about Dmitri. They told us that Dmitri changed his mind, People was still waiting around 20 minutes or so. As I went to the restaurant just in front of the stage door, I was able to see the stage door from my table. Finally everybody left the door and as I said before at 11:30 (1 hour and hald after the performance ends) I saw Anna and her manager leaving the house through the stage door. We did not saw Jonas Kaufmann leaving the house.

  7. Hey Carlos, good for you - I'm really pleased Anna was better for Sat's performance. Will you be going to Paris for Bellini in June?

  8. Hi Dog Brook,

    Thanks, it was really an unforgetteable performance!

    About the Capuletti in Paris, yes I hope so! On 13. February tickets will be available. I will look for a ticket on 24. May, or as an alternative, on 31. May, both on saturday and convenient dates to travel for. I have also asked for tickets to Manon in Wien and Roméo
    et Juliette in Salzburg, but I have to wait for confirmation. But this Traviata was the one I had on the top of my list of performances, and it was really worthing. It is a pitty that ROH did not recorded it for video. I understand there is the Angela recording with the same production, but with such a cast and Anna on the top, they should have recorded it and released as a dvd.

    After the wonderful Traviata of Salzburg, many of us were waiting to see Anna in a classical performance of La Traviata. I saw her in the St. Petersburg performance on 2003, but obviously the rest of the cast was not the best cast available. Usually I do not like at all modern productions (this apply in particular for Wagner productions), but I love the Salzburg's Traviata. Now, haveing seen Anna in this classical one, and with such a cast and orchestra, I would die for to have a video recording.

    Now waiting for the radio broadcast on BBC 3.

  9. We just got home from London!

    What a fantastic experience!!!

    We were SO happy to see (and hear!) Anna on Saturday - she was absolutely gorgeous - the moment she started singing, it was unbelievable, I've never heard anything like it before - not a single 'trace' of her illness - she sang better than on any of the cds and dvds, I have.

    I definitely have to experience that again, when I have the opportunity!

  10. Glad you have also enjoyed the saturday's performance! Did you go to the stage door after the performance? I have in mind that you had travelled from Denmark to attend the performance.

  11. Thank you, rock in the pond!!I'm glad you liked what I wrote :-D

    Carlos, I'd die for a video recording of this Traviata too. Why hasn't anybody thought about it? Three real stars, wonderful singing, great conductor, nice classical production and furthermore they're good looking!! This production was much better than the Salzburg one, Anna's singing was better too (probably because she doesn`t have to jump around all the time or sing upside down >:-( )not to mention Germont (Hampson doesn't even get close to Hvorostovsky's skills)
    What were they thinking of at DG????

    Congratulations, gawinskifoto, I know exactly how you feel ;-)

  12. I love hearing all these great stories. :)

    I certainly hope you can get at least some of the tickets you're wanting, Carlos. According to this article, the demand for tickets to the Salzburg Festival is on a record pace:

    They already know that the demand is far greater than the seats for some productions. Of course, the main culprit for all this: The 'Romeó et Juliette' with Anna and Rolando. They are comparing it to the situation that happened in 2005 with the 'Traviata' tickets.

  13. Thanks for the article. I have never been to the Salzburg Festival. I did ask for a ticket during the first hour of the first day of the booking schedule. Let us see, if there is a chance!

    DG should have planned to release a video of this Traviata. With such a cast and Anna better than ever!

  14. I actually enjoy the Salzburg Traviata. I accept what the director is trying to do and understand that the singing will be affected. There is something immediate and intense about it. It's an all out rush of feeling. But I do understand those that don't like it.

  15. I love the Salzburg Traviata - and even after seeing the live performance in London which of course was very special because it's better to hear her live - I prefer to see the 'modern' version because she seems more 'free' moving around without those big dresses - they are beautiful, but not very 'practical' ;-)

  16. Well I had a ticket for the January 20th performance that was cancelled so I was hoping to catch Anna in Paris, but I doubt, with the happy news of her pregnancy that I will see her there either. Oh well, patience is a virtue, so they say.

  17. Thanks Olga for your fantastic photos!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...