Anna Netrebko has returned to La Scala to sing Violetta as she sings ‘addio' to the role. She will sing in a Traviata once more in Paris next February, and then that's it for the curvy Russian and the consumptive courtesan.
The idea of tackling this role at La Scala was my idea, so I talked it over with Pereira. I was very worried about it and extremely nervous. Singing Violetta at La Scala is a high-wire act.
Her courage was rewarded on her first night with fourteen minutes of applause.
Today, I feel that I am capable of giving much more to the role than I was ten years ago.
It's never all work and no play for Netrebko when she's in Milan… she's a shopaholic.
I've bought everything and then some. The wardrobes of my two houses in Vienna and New York are overflowing. But I can't help myself. And I just go crazy for shoes!
In June, she'll be back in Russia, in St Petersburg, for the White Nights festivities.
Netrebko will be opening La Scala's season again this year, for the third time – Don Giovanni and Giovanna d'Arco were the previous operas – when she sings in Andrea Chenier alongside her husband, Yusif Eyvazov, in the title role.
I'm happy that I'll be working again with Riccardo Chailly. La Scala is an important opera house for all singers. To be applauded here is a special honour because the public are very knowledgeable, and know every single note of the operas. They listen with intensity. The first night went well, but here it's not good enough to sing well once; it has to be your best at every performance.
Anna Netrebko was speaking to the Corriere della sera's Giuseppina Manin.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.