«Renée Fleming was Violetta in this largely American cast, and she is very much the star. Verdi soprano roles require beautiful voices but also strong backs. Ms. Fleming’s has not quite the muscle to stand up to the booming male principals around her, but she has other ways of getting attention.
She looks good. The sound is pure and unassailably well tuned. The attention to musical matters includes a near-infinite variety of dotted rhythms, each adjusted to the vowel or consonant at hand. She is determined that every note and every gesture will correspond to the flesh-and-blood drama onstage, and she is helped by the very sensible stage direction for this season’s revival by Kristine McIntyre.
In the fireworks of Act I the high notes are there, though a little thinned by the pressure. My enduring problem with this talented soprano is the overload of interpretive details that, at their worst, sound like the virtuoso’s bag of vocal tricks. Yet after Act I Ms. Fleming comes to inhabit the part with touching communicativeness. When Violetta is unhappy, which is a lot of the time, Ms. Fleming does exceedingly well.
I very much liked Matthew Polenzani’s Alfredo. His tenor is clear, resounding if a little tough, sometimes more angular and abrupt rather than smooth of phrase, but convincing enough musically and easily able to command this big house. Dwayne Croft’s Germont was a textbook of beautifully modulated baritone singing, although I wish the humanity behind the sound had not left behind such an impression of coldness.»
São inúmeras as Violettas falhadas, mais pela fragilidade técnica do que pela ausência de talento dramático.
No capítulo das notáveis, pessoalmente, há três. A da Callas, que era monumental, a da Cotrubas, de uma fragilidade notável e a da Scotto, arrebatadíssima.
Depois há as pirotécnicas, onde figura a da Sutherland, absolutamente desabitada, a da Caballé e a da Swenson.
Noutro quadrante, há as grandes, grandes… actrizes: Stratas, Moffo e Theodossiou.
Medíocres há para todos os gostos! Gheorghiou é uma de entre muitas, inexplicavelmente célebre… A Cura dos sopranos, claro está.
No meio de tudo isto, não sei onde colocar a da Fleming...
Embora nunca a tenha visto, neste papel, ouvia-a e deleitei-me!