Honoring Verdi on his Birthday… With a Competition


To celebrate the maestro’s birthday, I am holding a “‘Sempre Libera’ off”! Below, I have posted 10 different singer’s interpretations of the aria ‘Sempre Libera’ from La Traviata, you listen to them, and vote for your favorite! GO!

  1. Anna Netrebko from 2004.

  2. Anna Moffo in a 1968 film version of the opera. Her lip synching isn’t so great, but the music is beautiful nonetheless!

  3. Renee Fleming in 2007. I’m seeing Renee in Otello at the Met this weekend and I’m going to meet her after! I’m so excited!

  4. Beverly Sills in 1976.

  5. Joan Sutherland in 1966.

  6. Angela Gheorghiu in 2007.

  7. Maria Callas, year unspecified.

  8. Illeana Cotrubas in 1981.

  9. Natalie Dessay. Dessay had trouble with this role last season at the Met. The video I picked is her most recent Violetta from the Met in 2011.

  10. Teresa Stratas from the Zeffirelli movie in 1983.

Now, it’s your turn to VOTE! Who’s your favorite Violetta?

Who did I leave out? What components, both vocal and dramatic make a good Violetta? Tell me in the comments and send Maestro Verdi some birthday wishes too! 🙂



4 comments on “Honoring Verdi on his Birthday… With a Competition

  1. I really surprised myself here. I was all set to vote for Anna Netrebko, and then I listened to Callas…WOW! I’ll probably get in trouble for saying this, but I haven’t really been impressed by Callas so far in my opera experience ….and I think now I know it’s just I haven’t been listening to the right recordings! That was the most electrifying “Sempre Libera” I’ve ever heard! Thanks!

  2. I have to go with Callas for the incredible attention to detail in the interpretation. Each phrase, even at times each note, seems to have been carefully thought out. My guess is the recording is late ’50’s, possibly a really well remastered take from the 58 Covent Garden performance.

  3. It wasn’t easy to do, but I forced myself to focus strictly on the performances in these particular clips, not how much I like (or don’t) these particular sopranos. (Sills, for one, was a far better Violetta than this 5-years-too-late video indicates.) In the end I voted for Callas, but was surprised to find it a tough choice between her and Netrebko, a close second I wouldn’t have predicted from just looking at the lineup. I was also surprised/disappointed to see that, as of this (Thursday) morning, Netrebko hadn’t gotten a single vote. I’ve never watched that video (or seen that production via Met), BTW, now I absolutely must.

  4. Both Callas and Sutherland is the interpretation of Violetta, but this time I actually went for Anna Moffo. There is some smokey sexy quality in her voice that is totally irresistible here.

    Funny Sutherland died on the day Verdi was born…

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