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January 30, 2023

Angela Gheorghiu triumphs in Violetta after 16 years

Soprano Angela Gheorghiu, 45, returned after 16 years at the Royal Opera House of London (Covent Garden), in Giuseppe Verdi’s ‘La Traviata,’ where she plays the main role, Violetta. The first two presentations of the opera, featuring the Romanian-born soprano in the main role and directed by Richard Eyre, with Yves Abel as conductor, were already staged on Thursday evening and last evening, and the next two are scheduled for Wednesday (July 14) and Saturday (July 17) on the stage of the London Opera.

In 1994, ‘La Traviata’ – conducted by Sir Georg Solti and featuring Gheorghiu as Violetta – was aired live by BBC, which canceled on that occasion all its regular broadcasts, for the first time in history. “We were many to make our debut in 1994, at the Covent Garden, in ‘La Traviata’. This was the first time for me, and also for Sir Georg Solti (conductor) and Sir Richard Eyre (director),” Gheorghiu recollects in an interview with daily ‘Adevarul.’ “Now, after 16 years, at the Covent Garden, the public was ecstatic Thursday night and last night. “We were all very happy, we did not expect things to go so well. I copied nothing of what I did in 1994, I took everything from the beginning,” the artist explained. Since 1996, Gheorghiu played Violetta on all the grand stages of the world, but the most controversial show was that directed by Franco Zeffirelli in 2007, at the Opera Theatre of Rome, which was later described as “an erotic La Traviata.” “She was very beautiful and rather sexy, the way I created her, together with a debutant tenor, Vittorio Grigolo. He is an artist with sex-appeal and our scenes were bold enough. At that time, it was a risk, but I like this feeling,” Gheorghiu explains.

When the show directed by Zefirelli was invited to the Metropolitan Opera of New York, in April this year, conductor Leonard Slatkin quit after the first presentation and told the press that he left because of how Gheorghiu behaved. “What I hear about Leonard… I understand nothing, because it’s far from true. This is not, and will not be the first time we are using the name of Angela Gheorghiu to personal interest, or for publicity. I have nothing to do with this conflict,” the soprano firmly stated.

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