WORKS: La traviata (in English)
PERFORMER: Valerie Masterson, John Brecknock, Christian du Plessis, Della Jones; ENO Orchestra & Chorus/Charles Mackerras
CATALOGUE NO: CHAN 3023(2) Reissue (1981)
Recorded and first released in 1981, this is a splendid English-language performance with a typical English National Opera cast of the time. Valerie Masterson’s Violetta is exciting in the coloratura of Act I, moving in the great Act II duet, with Christian du Plessis a dramatically convincing Germont, and at her best in Act III in whch both verses of the duet ‘Parigi, o cara’ are given without cuts. John Brecknock’s lyric tenor is ideally suited to Alfredo, and all three principals benefit from the solicitous conducting of Charles Mackerras.
The smaller roles are all strongly cast, with Della Jones as Flora and Denis Dowling as the Marquis d’Obigny, and the orchestral playing and choral singing are first-rate. Edmund Tracey’s translation has its occasional infelicities, but for the most part it is literate, as well as literal, and clearly enunciated by the singers. Charles Osborne