17 Dec 2002 Guardian Unlimited
16 Dec 2002 The Times
The Times critized the production, which I truly liked.
Edgaras Montevidas was cited as "one of the best things about the evening" I also found him good, maybe even better in the role than The Times Reviewer Robert Thicknesse, but the criticism on Inva Mula, the Violetta of the evening, who I found nothing less than perfect as singer and actress. He also say that the chorus did not follow the beat of the conductor, I did not hear that, nor that the chorus turned "the two parties into funerals". Truly the parties was like parties, high spirit. (The Times gave 3 stars out of 5)
The Guardian and I agreed on the tenor Edgaras Montvidas:
"His voice, reedy and elegant, is on the small side, though he sings with an instinctive feel for the inner pulse of Verdi's music. He is a convincing actor, too, first approaching Violetta with a combination of gauche desire and the stiff-backed wariness of someone tentatively breaking away from the legacy of a morally rigid upbringing. When he publicly denounces her, he is ambivalent and wretched rather than blind with rage. "
But on Inva Mula, the Albanian soprano I disagree.
"In fact, he is better than Violetta, the Albanian soprano Inva Mula. She can sing and act, though not always at the same time: she delivers the bulk of her vocal utterances straight to the audience, then follows them up with the requisite dramatic gesture aimed at whichever character she is with on stage. She abandons this habit when she gets to the final scenes, by which time one's sympathy is wearing thin. Her voice has a dramatic tang, though she is over-fond of hanging on to high notes, slowing the score whenever she does so. "
About Paolo Gavanelli as Giorgio Germont, I will just say that he is more mellow in tone than Renato Bruson, but this Germont père was not symphatic enough, not even in the last act. His remorse seemed superficial.
BRAVA, Inva Mula!!!
(would have been an absolutely perfect evening, if the people had not coughed so much, I think it must have been 10 or 12 people coughing) Violetta almost didn't have a change against that.
Violetta Valéry = Inva Mula
Flora Bervoix = Ekaterina Gubanova
Marquis d'Obigny = Graeme Danby
Baron Douphol = Darren Jeffery
Doctor Grenvil = Graeme Broadbent
Gastone de Letorières = Elliot Goldie
Alfredo Germont = Edgaras Montvidas
Annina = Gillian Knight
Giuseppe = Neil Gillespie
Giorgio Germont = Paolo Gavanelli
Messenger = Thomas Barnard
Servant = Jonathan Coad
Paolo Carignani, conductor
Original Production Richard Eyre
Directed by Daniel Dooner
Designs - Bob Crowley
Director 0f Movement - Jane Gibson
Lighting - Jean KaIman