The Complete Opera at the Glyndebourne Festival in 1988
London Philharmonic with Bernard Haitink
Performances of La Traviata depend much on the principal soprano. Marie McLaughlin has all of the attributes needed for a role that is a virtuoso one. She mesmerises. Violetta is a socialite seeking love in Act One. She becomes a quiet and domestic woman in Act Two who sacrifices her love for Alfredo to the family values he has talked her into adopting, leading to the dying penitent of Act Three. Walter McNeil is a poetic Alfredo. He is excellent in Act Two, Scene Two. His public humiliation of Violetta is painful to watch; and this makes his repentance at her deathbed extremely moving. Brent Ellis is powerful as his father Germont. The duet in which he convinces Violetta into leaving his son and comes to value what he is destroying is one of the high points of the opera. Bernard Haitink is impressive in his reading with the London Philharmonic.