Properly, maybe it’s not fairly regular, for the ROH has launched a novel programming sample usually involving two or extra casts performing every opera. Earlier than Christmas, we noticed a brand new manufacturing of Rigoletto and a revival of La Traviata, each massively spectacular, and already this 12 months now we have seen the identical Rigoletto brilliantly accomplished by a very new solid, and now that is adopted once more by Traviata, however this time with three casts.
This can be to offer compulsive opera-goers the prospect to check totally different high performers, however I think that the specter of attainable absentees via Covid might have contributed strongly to the brand new format. Having three nice casts all able to carry out should ease worries about having to seek out substitutes at quick discover.
On the finish of final 12 months, we noticed a stunningly good efficiency by soprano Lisette Oropesa within the main function of Violetta in La Traviata, and this time it was a delight to see the half sung virtually equally brilliantly by South African soprano Fairly Yende. She has an impressively heat voice which was good to deal with the various emotional calls for of the function, from carefree like to tragic early demise.
Three roles dominate this opera: Violetta is the Parisian courtesan who falls for the relatively naive and clumsy courtship of Alfredo Germont and vows to surrender her evil fun-loving days.
Their bliss, nonetheless, is interrupted by Alfredo’s father, Georgio Germont, who tells Violetta that she should go away Alfredo, as a result of the liaison, mixed together with her depraved previous, is ruining the fame of his household.
The center act of this opera is fantastically dramatic, with first Georgio confronting Violetta, then a tense scene between Violetta and Alfredo, with Violetta attempting to cover her despair, and eventually Alfredo meets his father and should face what has occurred. He’s livid, after all, and his behaviour confirms that he’s emotionally out of his depth.
Alfredo is a tough half to play as a result of he’s a lot a witless sufferer of his personal inexperience, however American tenor Stephen Costello exhibits conviction within the function, particularly in his duets with Fairly Yende.
Of their early conferences, the singers completely deliver out the distinction beween him being besotted with love, whereas she is caught between laughing at him and being fairly moved by his earnestness. Their efficiency at such moments completely brings out the magnificence and subtlety of Verdi’s music.
The third aspect of this tragic triangle is, after all, Giorgio Germont, sung by Greek baritone Dimitri Platanias, who introduced out the firmness and bigotry of the half, mixed with only a modicum of compassion.
That is the 18th revival of Richard Eyre’s lovely 1994 manufacturing of this opera, and if they will proceed to draw casts of this high quality, I believe we are able to look ahead to much more.
Tickets and knowledge: roh.org.uk or 020 7304 4000 (varied casts till 18 April).