Saturday, June 13, 2009

La Traviata, San Francisco Opera, San Francisco 13. Jun 2009

La Traviata
Giuseppe Verdi
Francesco Maria Piave

War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco
Saturday 13. June 2009

Conductor: Donald Runnicles
Director and Designer: Marta Domingo*
Choreographer: Kitty McNamee
Chorus Director: Ian Robertson
Lighting Designer: Mark McCullough

Violetta Valéry: Anna Netrebko
Alfredo Germont: Charles Castronovo
Giorgio Germont: Dwayne Croft
Flora: Leann Sandel-Pantaleo*
Gastone: Andrew Bidlack
Baron Douphol: Dale Travis
Marquis D’Obigny: Austin Kness
Grenvil: Kenneth Kellogg
Annina: Renée Tatum*
Giuseppe: Dale Tracy
Messenger: Bojan Knezevic
Flora’s Servant: William Pickersgill
Matador: Jekyns Pelaez*

Orchestra and Chorus of the San Francisco Opera

About the Opera
The Traviata Saga


Press Reviews
When she sashays across the stage, it is a star's entrance. And at Saturday's opening performance in War Memorial Opera House, the Russian diva delivered a searching and often spectacular performance as Violetta Valéry, the Parisian demimondaine who is the heroine of Verdi's tragedy. There was the sheer beauty of her voice to consider: pouring like liquid amber, then bubbling up to all those high A-flats and Cs.
San Jose Mercury News, 14. Jun 2009
In superb voice, used impressively through the evening, and with a believable, moving portrayal of Violetta, Netrebko tonight earned respect and admiration. I don't recall a more convincing Act II performance in the heroine's psychologically and practically bizarre capitulation to the demand to leave Alfredo than in Netrebko's - and in Domingo's direction of plausible body language supporting the plot and the music.
San Francisco Examiner, 15. June 2009
Netrebko’s sculptural approach to the musical phrasing is informed by her natural understanding of the character she depicts, and buttressed by her assured vocal abilities. The voice is voluptuous and balanced in all registers, with a fascinatingly complex range of vocal colors. This is a soprano with grande abbandono in her forte notes, and a genuine pianissimo that’s natural to her voice — not a fake falsetto requiring a shift into another gear. Over the years the voice has grown richer and more powerful. The lower register has acquired a dark, Slavic hue. I hope the temptation to accent this sensual register will not lead to an unbalancing of her magnificent voice.
San Francisco Classical Voice, 16. June 2009

On-line Press Reviews
Splendid Netrebko-Castronovo "Traviata" by Janos Gereben, Opera-L Archives, 14. Jun 2009, San Francisco Examiner, 15. Jun 2009[English]
Review: Anna Netrebko brings glamour and star power to 'La Traviata' at S.F. Opera by Richard Seinin, San Jose Mercury News, 14. Jun 2009 [English]
Anna Netrebko returns to S.F. in 'La Traviata' by Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, 14. June 2009 [English]
Anna Netrebko's jazzy opening of Verdi's "La Traviata": Diamond tiara and sparkling performances by Cindy Warner, San Francisco Opera Examiner, 14. June 2009 [English]
Embracing Abandon at S.F. Opera by Olivia Stapp, San Francisco Classical Voice, 16. June 2009 [English]
Verdi: La Traviata by Harvey Steiman, Seen and Heard Opera International Review, 16. June 2009 [English]
Patricia Zohn: A Girl’s Guide to Love and Opera: La Traviata, 19. June 2009 [English]

Video excerpts from rehearsals by San Francisco Opera. Uploaded to Youtube by Sfoperamedia

Video excerpt from rehearsals. "Libiamo ne'lieti calici (Brindisi)" uploaded to Youtube by tactus72

Video excerpt from rehearsals. "Un di felice, eterea" uploaded to Youtube by tactus72

Anna Netrebko on the stage, behind the curtains, just after La Traviata's premiere at the San Francisco Opera. Video uploaded to Youtube by madonna4president

Radio Broadcasts
La Traviata will be broadcast on Saturday, October 17, 2009 at 10:30 AM on WFMT and Sunday, December 06, 2009 at 8:00 PM on KDFC.

Related posts
Anna Netrebko lights up stage in "La Traviata", San Francisco Examiner 8. Jun 2009
Sultry soprano Netrebko prepares for "Traviata" in S.F., Mercury News 8. Jun 2009
Anna Netrebko - an opera star but not diva, San Francisco Chronicle 12. Jun 2009

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  1. Which review are we supposed to believe? The San Francisco Chronicle gives Anna the worst review I can ever recall, and compares her performance very unfavourably to her last appearance at the San Fran Opera five years ago, when she played the role of Musetta in La Boheme.

    On the other hand the San Jose Mercury News gives a very favourable review and concludes that the five year wait since her last appearance in San Fran was definitely worth it.

    So much for the critics - I suppose it was ever thus.

  2. Janos Gereben has also a very good review, pre-viewed at Opera-L and later on published at the San Francisco Examiner.

    I did not heard (yet) the San Francisco performance, but in Wien Anna was stunning!

  3. Talking about a lame performance of La Traviata: I just saw Jonas Kaufmann (Alfredo) and poor Elaine Alvarez (Violetta), who had to replace Angela Gheorghiu, who had canceled once again, and Anja Harteros, who fell ill. Compared to Anna Netrebko and Piotr Beczala in Zürich and Anna + Joseph Calleja in Vienna, this was a real tranquilizer... Thanks to phantastic Simon Keenlyside (Giorgio Germont), I did not fall asleep. So Anna and Charles Castronovo can't be that bad - no way!

  4. Here is another good review for Anna, from Olivia Stapp :


  5. And another one...


  6. It appears that the good Vs bad reviews suggest that it wasn't the shocker that the San Fran Chron critic made it out to be.

    But one thing I can say with confidence is that whoever decided the tiara was a good idea needs their head examined - it looks as though it's a size too big and is about to fall over Anna's eyes...

  7. I do not like ery much the production. I don't see the point to set the production on the 1920's, jazz-age in USA. I do not like the tiara, the dressing...



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