Magazine article Opera Canada

Royal Opera, Covent Garden

Magazine article Opera Canada

Royal Opera, Covent Garden

Article excerpt

Baritone Gerald Finley has just acquired a fine new role at Royal Opera, Covent Garden: Giorgio Germont in La traviata. Despite a dusting of grey on his hair, he still looked rather young for the part, but vocally and dramatically, it suited him perfectly. Although the only other Verdi he has so far sung with the Royal Opera is a Flemish Deputy in Don Carlos (in his house debut in 1989), Germont Pere could be a staple in his repertory for years to come.

In this revival of Richard Eyre's excellent, 11-year-old production, the title role was sung by Norah Ansellem, who was at her best in the second act, so the great scene between Violetta and Alfredo's father was particularly well sung and moving. Finley's acute characterization of Germont, sympathetic yet utterly single-minded and set in his views, was further displayed in an arresting account of "Di Provenza." Charles Castronovo was a lyrical Alfredo, and Maurizio Benini the efficient conductor.

At the Coliseum, English National Opera mounted its first-ever production of Mozart's La clemenza di Tito. Naturally Paul Nilon's admirable Tito--together with Vitellia and Sesto, splendidly sung by Emma Bell and Sarah Connolly respectively--claimed the most attention, but the younger couple, Annio and Servilia, also deserved tribute. …

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