Reviews – La Traviata 2015

Reviews – La Traviata 2015

REVIEWS – LA TRAVIATA 2015

Opera på Skäret’s production of La Traviata last summer was an immediate success among audience and critics. The singers of the two premieres received standing ovations, and critics joined in the chorus of praise. “Verdi and the singers are worth a trip to Skäret,” declared Svenska Dagbladet in its review.

In this production, soloists from ten different countries sang and each of the three main roles were held by two singers who alternated performances. After the two premieres, Stockholm-based Svenska Dagbladet wrote that “Ania Jeruc shines as Violetta.” Nerikes Allehanda (NA), the region’s largest newspaper, concurred with this praise of the Polish soprano in saying, “One of the best soprano voices I have heard live,” and “On a scaled-down stage… Jeruc gets tears flowing, both her own and the audience’s…”

Stockholm newspaper Dagens Nyheter’s reviewer was one of those strongly affected by her singing: “Just like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, I had a hard time holding back my tears…” he wrote. In his review, he also called Jeruc the performance’s strong point:

“She not only has strength and total control over her voice – especially in the breakneck scene at the end of the first act – she has a beautiful sound and is in her role the whole time.”

Ania Jeruc played opposite the American tenor Dominick Chenes, “a lyric tenor with fervour and a romantic glow” and the Belarusian baritone Pavel Yankovsky, who played his role with “bated authority” according to Svenska Dagbladet’s reviewer. For NA’s critics, the duets between Jeruc and Yankovsky were the evening’s “absolute highlights”.

Jessica Rose Cambio, who alternated in the role of Violetta and sang at the second premiere, received high praise from Dalarna newspapers’ critics who wrote that “she excels…with her apparent intimacy in the third act’s extended death scene.”

The same critics felt that tenor Won Whi Choi “was consistent across the register and especially good in De’miei bollenti Spiriti,” noting that “the biggest applause was justly received by baritone Valdis Jansons after di Provenza il mar. Jansons does some beautiful things when he extends phrases without breathing, something that conductor Marcello Mottadelli, an old hand at Skäret, facilitates through a consistently amplified tempo.”

The orchestra director, choir and set designer received their fair share of praise. “The harmonious Swedish Chamber Orchestra from Örebro highlights the soloists,” wrote Svenska Dagbladet. “Strong interpretation,” stated DN while NA wrote that “Under Marcello Mottadelli’s secure leadership, the singers are backed by a united and pure orchestral sound that makes it impossible to do anything but enjoy. Also, the choir sounds better than it has in several years and through the steady direction of Alexander Niclasson, the major party and masquerade scenes are clear and structured.” Both NA and DN also emphasized Sven Östberg’s clean and simple design: “The stage design is simple but functional, with small things transforming the stage between every act,” writes DN.

“A production not to be missed!” wrote the critic from English-language Seenandheard International. The critic continued, “This is a production where every individual is three-dimensional and alive. Alexander Niclasson has created an intimate chamber play, so sensitive to Verdi’s ambitions.”

The reviewer also highlighted the singers in general, and particularly Ania Jeruc: “It should also be said that the production team has been very successful in their headhunting for suitable singing actors for the characters. During forty-five years of opera-going I have never encountered a Violetta who so completely fulfils all the requirements of the role – she has them all.”

Seenandheard International (English)