And don’t think that in the old days, when everything was done by the book, the performances were static and boring! In 1973, La Scala was on tour in Japan, and there, in Tokyo, a legendary performance of La Traviata was recorded (VAI 4434).
The leading roles were played by the then still ‘curvy’ Scotto and 27-year-old (!) José Carreras. DVD does not mention the name of the director, perhaps there was none, and the singers (and the conductor) did it all themselves? Anyway, the result is really beautiful, moving and to the point. I am not going to say any more about it, because this recording is an absolute must for every opera lover.
Finale of the opera:
L’ELISIR D’AMORE 1976
My beloved CD recording is live and, to be honest, far from perfect (Legato Classics LCD 218-2). Yasuko Hayashi is only so-so as Adina, she is no more than average and the use of her voice is too heavy.
But the men! José Carreras is a dream of a Nemorino – silly and hopelessly in love. On him the potion is actually well spent, it really makes him happy and elated.
Geraint Evans is a delightful Dulcamara, more than a bit exaggerated, but entirely in the spirit of the character. Thomas Allen is a very potent Belcore and the Covent Garden orchestra and choir are very spiritually and engagingly conducted by John Pritchard.
The recording (London, 1976) sounds fine. As a bonus, we get a recital that Carreras gave at Carnegie Hall 30 November 1980, on which he also sings some lesser-known arias and songs, including parts from Leoncavallo’s Lady Chatterton and Rossini’s Pietra del Paragone.