“This complete recording of La Traviata testifies to the prominent place that the Latvian soprano now occupies in the international operatic landscape. And in the role of Violetta Valéry, where the most prestigious comparisons are legion, she succeeds in bringing her personal mark.” —Opéra, France
“One might wonder what is the reason for yet another recording of La Traviata, but the answer is almost evident: to keep the Violetta of one of the greatest living singers in the best possible conditions, a singer without comparison with any other in terms of purely vocal achievements, as I wrote on the occasion of Ms. Rebeka’s performances at La Scala.” —Rivista Música, Italy
“Marina Rebeka’s Violetta is vocally confident and expertly articulated, offering a clear dramatic understanding of the role” –BBC Music Magazine, United Kingdom
A new studio recording of Verdi’s La Traviata is released by Prima Classic, soprano Marina Rebeka’s own label. Believed to be the first complete recording of the opera for 26 years not based on an existing production, it is certainly unprecedented for a small independent label to take on such a massive project so early in its existence. This studio recording, released on 1 November, is only Prima Classic’s third release and its first full opera.
The stellar cast for La Traviata is headed by Marina Rebeka as Violetta, Charles Castronovo as Alfredo, and George Petean as Germont, along with the recently formed Latvian Festival Orchestra and the world-renowned State Choir Latvija under the baton of Michael Balke.
La Traviata is one of the top three most famous and performed operas worldwide, and Marina Rebeka has been singing the role of Violetta to great acclaim almost every season since 2007. She has performed the role in seventeen different productions of La Traviata, singing in houses such as Teatro alla Scala in Milan, The Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London, Operá National de Paris, Vienna State Opera, Bavarian State Opera, and the Hamburg State Opera, among many others in Europe, Asia, and the USA.
This ambitious project involved musicians from Latvia, Romania, Spain, Germany, the USA, and Russia. The newly-formed Latvian Festival Orchestra is made up of the best players chosen from several Latvian chamber and symphony orchestras. The VAK State Choir Latvija is widely known the world over for upholding the high standards of the great Baltic choral tradition. The three leading singers – Marina Rebeka, Charles Castronovo, and George Petean – are also cast in the upcoming La Traviata production, conducted by Zubin Mehta, at La Scala, Milan in 2020.
The full opera, in its uncut version, was recorded specifically for this album, meaning that it is not a live performance that has been put onto disc, as is usually the case with most opera recordings nowadays. The closed-doors recording took place at the picturesque and iconic Great Guild Concert Hall in Riga, Latvia, between 24 March and 3 April 2019. Recorded using some of today’s most advanced audio technology, the set aims to shed fresh light on La Traviata. “We hope it will become the current times’ chapter in the long line of great recordings of this timeless masterpiece,” says executive producer Edgardo Vertanessian.
“A new complete recording of “La Traviata”, with Marina Rebeka as Violetta, well represented on international stages, and united to a fine to extraordinary cast.” —Opernglas, Germany
“Marina Rebeka is quite dazzling, it must be said, and displays the majesty of a sovereign, and even more, the supreme ease of a demi-mondaine accustomed to seeing all men at her feet.” —Forum Opera, France
“A striking new recording of Verdi’s classic from Latvia, a studio recording with lots to recommended…which combines musicality and drama…an impressive achievement and recorded in fine modern sound.” —Planet Hugill, United Kingdom
“She delicately colors the melancholic phrases, her coloratura flows with the utmost fluency, and her high notes fly with verve but without audible exertion… Marina Rebeka, as Violetta, has set a vocal monument of lasting value here””—Oper!, Germany
“Marina Rebeka makes a gripping role interpretation, mixing beautifuly sensual lines with furious outbursts; all this colored by her very personal and expressive soprano. Alfredo in this recording is sung by American tenor Charles Castronovo, who in turn makes a very convincing and passionate Alfredo. Equally impressive is the Romanian baritone George Petean as Germont” —Capriccio, Sweden
“Michael Balke signs a Traviata without a single “but”, with extraordinary fidelity to the text and the music, a recording which includes every single reprise, as they were written.” —Ópera Actual, Spain
“In Marina Rebeka’s voice, the role of the young Parisian courtesan feels organic, as if it was written for her. Castronovo makes a dark Alfredo, succeeding in giving to the character a strength that few tenors can, and listening to Petean in the role of Germont is pure pleasure.” —Pro Opera, Mexico
“Absolutely boundless praise…the singing seems not to come from the lungs, but from the heart, and the performance’s spontaneity, despite the studio record, is perhaps more pronounced than with many live recordings.” —Elegant Classics, Czech Republic
“Rebeka is the star of the recording: with a flaming heart and great vocal technique, she sings the part and has the infamous three types of voices that are needed—and dies a heartbreakingly triumphant death.” —Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Switzerland
PRESS & REVIEWS
Prima Classic PRIMA003 – UPC 850000325050 Release date: November 1, 2019
Conductor – Michael Balke
Latvian Festival Orchestra
State Choir Latvija
Violetta Valéry – Marina Rebeka
Alfredo Germont – Charles Castronovo
Giorgio Germont – George Petean
Flora Bervoix – Elisabeth Sergeeva
Gastone de Letorières – Gideon Poppe
Marchese d’Obigny – Isaac Galán
Barone Douphol – Rihards Mačanovskis
Dottore Grenvil – Krišjānis Norvelis
Annina – Laura Grecka
Giuseppe, domestico di Flora – Michails Čulpajevs
Commissionario – Luca Martoni
Produced by Sophie Raynaud and Marina Rebeka
Executive Producers: Edgardo Vertanessian and Marina Rebeka
Recording, Editing, Mixing, and Mastering: Edgardo Vertanessian
Recording Assistant: Joe Harling
Recorded at the Great Guild in Riga, Latvia, 24 March – 3 April 2019
Artwork design: Andrew Vlasov // behance.net/avlasov
Booklet design: Matīss Zvaigzne // matisszvaigzne.com
Marina Rebeka: Tatyana Vlasova // tatyanavlasova.com
Charles Castronovo: Pia Clodi
George Petean: Florina Petean
Michael Balke: Kartal Karagedik
Latvian Festival Orchestra: Florina Petean
State Choir Latvia: Ģirts Raģelis
Recording sessions: Florina Petean
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