• La Traviata: They were Violetta - the 1970s



    Beverly Sills

    Sills was already singing Traviata touring America while still very young, in the 1950s. But it's not until almost twenty years later that she was recognized as a leading Violetta, especially in Italy, where a performance with Alfredo Kraus in Naples, was a big success. Her studio recording in 1970, is also interesting. It's clear Sills voice was not Violetta's, however. Her coloratura is precise, spectacular and sober at the same time, but regrettably Traviata is not over after "Sempre Libera".

    E' strano! è strano - Sills, 1972

    Madamigella Valery - Sills with Ettore Bastianini, 1955

    Sills with Alfredo Kraus in Naples, 1974




    Ileana Cotubras


    With Cotubras we are facing again a soprano whose voice was not ideal for the role, and also her peculiar timbre was a little bit off the mark, so she had to rely on her acting skills often to hide these facts. Very succesfully in some passages, not so convincingly in others. However, her recording with Kleiber was hailed by some as a great addition to the Traviata lore, and using her charm, her spontaneity she offered a lively portrayal of Violetta.

    Follie, follie.. Sempre libera - Cotubras, 1977

    Finale Second Act - Cotrubas with Placido Domingo and Cornell MacNeil - 1983

    Addio del passato - Cotrubas, 1983




    Sylvia Sass


    When, still very young, she started her singing career, her vocal talent, her acting ability, were compared to those of Maria Callas. Regrettably, there was not a second Callas (neither her, nor Aliberti, nor Suliotis,...) but only the first Sass, and not for a long time, either, as her voice was soon declining. However, she had time to sung some beautiful Violettas, like the one linked below.

    Sempre libera - Sass, 1976

    Dite alla giovine - Sass with Yuri Mazurok, 1976

    Addio del passato - Sass, 1976


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