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A superb treat this evening. Fourth-row-center seats at the prestigious Teatro Salone Margherita in Rome for “La Traviata” by Giuseppe Verdi, with libretto by Francesco Maria Piave.
The Orchestra I Virtuosi dell’opera di Roma, directed by A. Melchiorre, performs in this intimate and pretty concert hall designed for bel canto.
In the front section are only 16 red velvet seats per row. The back, nine; just eight boxes, and a small balcony section.
We sit almost level with the not-very-deep-pit orchestra and have a great view of the musicians and the maestro, who cues the 20 singers as deftly as he directs the instrumentalists. Carmella Maffongelli plays the lead character Violeta Valery. Brava! Everything is wonderful. I feel so lucky to be able to see his face and hands in a mirror on a side column. There is no score in front of him. He conducts from memory, just feeling the music.
A surprise – but why not? we’re in Italy: At the first intermission, the theatre serves complimentary pasta. At the second intermission, the gelato wagon sets up right next to the bar. So very enjoyable!
This is the best opera event I’ve attended.

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