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'La Traviata,' a prima donna’s delight

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By Alicia Solomon

Soprano Natalie Dessay’s highly anticipated first outing as Violetta (the title character in “La Traviata,”) opened the season at the Santa Fe Opera Friday night. Verdi’s consumptive Camille is required to progress from stratospheric fioritura in the first act, to lyrico spinto fullness by the middle of the second; two extremes difficult to encompass in one voice. Nevertheless, “Traviata” is finally and utterly a prima donna vehicle and even admittedly mediocre vocalists have made a success on sheer strength of personality.


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