TEATRO ALLA SCALA, MILANO 28 MAY 1955
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Verdi: La traviata

ORCHESTRA E CORO DEL TEATRO ALLA SCALA DI MILANO
CARLO MARIA GIULINI

A famous backstage photo was taken in Chicago after one of just three performances that Callas gave of Madama Butterfly; it shows the soprano in her Japanese costume, snarling furiously at a bailiff who had served a writ on her – the very image of the tempestuous diva. By contrast, in her recording of the role, ‘it is, miraculously,’ as the critic John Osborne observed, ‘the 15-year- old girl and not the great Callas who stands before us.’ Her genius for vocal characterisation finds an apt complement in Herbert von Karajan’s conducting: ‘a wholly sympathetic rendering [that] brings out more of the detail of the score than I have ever heard before’, wrote Gramophone.


Violetta Valéry: Maria Callas


Alfredo Germont: Giuseppe Di Stefano


Giorgio Germont: Ettore Bastianini


Flora Bervoix: Silvana Zanolli


Annina: Luisa Mandelli


Gastone: Giuseppe Zampieri


Il barone Douphal: Arturo La Porta


Il marchese d’Obigny: Antonio Zerbini


Il dottore Grenvil: Silvio Maionica


Giuseppe: Franco Ricciardi