LA TRAVIATA – La Scala 1914 (Complete Opera Verdi)

Jun 29, 2017

Toscanini’s assistant Carlo SABAJNO conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of La Scala. This is the first complete recording of La Traviata, produced in Milano 1914 for the Gramophone Company (HMV):…

Margherita BEVIGNANI (1887 – 1921) – Violetta Valery Franco TUMMINELLO (1880 – ?) – Alfredo Germont Ernesto BADINI (1876 – 1937) – Giorgio Germont

Act 1 (03:41)

A lavish Paris apartment. Violetta – the consumptive heroine with a dodgy past – gives a night party (Libiamo ne’ lieti calici, 08:22) at which Alfredo declares his love for her (Un dì, felice, eterea, 13:48). As everyone leaves, Violetta wonders if this really can be true love (Ah, fors’è lui, 20:10) but then in ‘Sempre libera’ (25:13) she will just enjoy life…

Act 2 (28:39)

Violetta’s country house outside Paris. Three months later, Alfredo and Violetta are living together (Alfredo: De’ miei bollenti spiriti, 30:17). Alfredo’s father demands that she break off her relationship with his son for the sake of his family, since he reveals that Violetta’s relationship with Alfredo has threatened his daughter’s engagement (Pura siccome un angelo, 35:40) because of Violetta’s reputation. With growing remorse, she finally agrees (Dite alla giovine sì bella e pura, 42:16). As she is writing a farewell letter to Alfredo, he enters. She can barely control her sadness and tears (Amami, Alfredo, 53:09). Giorgio returns and attempts to comfort his son (Di Provenza il mar, 55:29), but Alfredo rushes out…

Party at Flora’s salon (57:57). Flora calls for the entertainers to perform for the guests (Chorus: Noi siamo zingarelle, 59:02; Di Madride noi siam mattadori, 1:01:38). Violetta arrives with Baron Douphol. As everyone is leaving the room, Violetta has asked Alfredo to see her. Alfredo misunderstands her apprehension and demands that she admit that she loves the Baron. In grief, she makes that admission and, furiously, Alfredo calls the guests (Questa donna conoscete?, 1:10:21). She faints onto the floor. Giorgio enters the hall, Violetta turns to Alfredo (Alfredo, Alfredo… 1:14:30).

Act 3 (1:18:22)

Violetta’s bedroom. Violetta will not live long since her tuberculosis has worsened. Alone in her room, she reads a letter from Alfredo’s father (Teneste la promessa, 1:25:06), but she senses it is too late (Addio, del passato, 1:25:56). The lovers are reunited and Alfredo suggests that they leave Paris (Parigi, o cara, noi lasceremo, 1:31:49). She knows her time is up (Gran Dio!…morir sì giovane, 1:37:28). A moment later, she dies in Alfredo’s arms.

Opening cinematographic trailer: Pina Menichelli in “Tigre Reale”, 1916

03:41 and 20:10 Images of a Paris apartment untouched for 70 years: Madame Marthe de Florian (1864 – 1939) was a French demimondaine during the Belle Époque. She was known for having famous lovers including Georges Clemenceau (before he became the 72nd Prime Minister of France), Pierre Waldeck-Rousseau (the 68th Prime Minister of France), Paul Deschanel (11th President of France), Gaston Doumergue (13th President of France), and the Italian artist Giovanni Boldini. Her story resurfaced when in 2010 her belongings were discovered in her Parisian apartment, located at 2 square La Bruyère (in the 9th arrondissement), untouched for decades, like in a time capsule……

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