After this excitement La Traviatta [Verdi] seemed less savage but no less tragic. The lovely courtesan Violetta falls in love with Alfredo and gives up her life of pleasure in Paris to live with him in the country. His father visits her and pleads for her to give up his son as the relationship dishonours his family and prevents his daughter gaining a successful marriage. Violetta does so, but Alfredo has no idea why she has left him and spurns her viciously at a Paris party. Violetta is dying of consumption in Paris when Alfredo learns the truth and rushes to her side only to have the chance of singing one aria with her before she dies. This production by Zefferelli with Placido Domingo as Alfredo and Teresa Stratas as Violetto was outstanding.
Finally we viewed a modern interpretation of Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte [Women are always like this]. This jolly story of two soldiers who swap their girlfriends by pretending to be Albanian noblemen explores the various things that can go wrong when you try to test your fiancés’ loyalty in this way. The moral is “Don’t try this!” Things are bound to go pear shaped. The two teenaged girls are no match for the cunning counts. Somehow everyone gets married to the right person at the end. mThis Netherlands Opera Production was beautifully filmed and almost made us believe this could happen in the 1960s.
Meg Dillon – Coordinator