“A remarkable, touching Glyndebourne debut”: Venera’s Violetta reviewed / by Florence Eves

Venera Gimadieva in La traviata at Glyndebourne Festival (credit Richard Hubert Smith)

Venera’s Glyndebourne Festival debut as Violetta La traviata has been met with universal acclaim by critics. Gimadieva starred in Tom Cairns’ new production alongside Michael Fabiano as Alfredo and Tassis Christoyannis as Germont, with the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Sir Mark Elder. 

“[Gimadieva] has all the makings of an outstanding interpreter of this star soprano role. She looks the tubercular courtesan to perfection: slim, with her almond-shaped face framed by the long black hair of Marie Duplessis, the model for Dumas’s Lady of the Camellias, on which La traviata is based. Gimadieva’s looks recall the young Galina Gorchakova, and her voice that of Anna Netrebko when she first emerged. She is a committed actress and her voice fills the medium-sized Glyndebourne auditorium without obvious effort…by “Alfredo, Alfredo” at Flora’s soirée she was spinning ear-caressing pianissmi; and in Addio del passato (Adieu to past dreams), tinged with regret and nostalgia, she had found her stride and her conquest of the audience was complete.”
Hugh Canning, Sunday Times, July 2014

“Russian soprano Venera Gimadieva is a beguiling and utterly believable Violetta, laughing in giddy cascades of quavers in “Sempre libera” before growing into poised maturity and big legatos for her confrontation with Germont – a singular and striking company debut. Gimadieva’s youth and comparative inexperience (she is currently a company member at the Bolshoi but has big European Violettas and Gildas ahead in the calendar) find an innocence here that’s far from the brittle, hardened heroine we’ve seen from the likes of Netrebko.”
Alexandra Coghlan, Independent, July 2014

"This production has a sensation in Venera Gimadieva, whose voice seems limitless in its range of colour, from declamatory fortissimo to wafer-thin, consumptive pianissimo. And she looks fabulous."
Stephen Pritchard, Observer, five stars, July 2014

“Venera Gimadieva is thrilling in this elegant update… She is a soprano of huge presence, compelling to watch, with a voice of thrilling security and range, and a special quality to her quieter singing that makes you hang on every note. It's a remarkable, touching Glyndebourne debut..."
Andrew Clements, Guardian, July 2014

"She sings with ravishing lyricism, has a pianissimo that could melt glaciers, the boldness to deploy it at crucial moments, and the intelligence to make every phrase convey expression without seeming histrionic."
Richard Morrison, Times, July 2014

"Her soprano is bright, even, fresh, shapely. She meets with effortless ease the exacting vocal demands set by Verdi for his leading lady in La traviata – and has a matching stage confidence."
Andrew Clark, Financial Times, July 2014

"The alluring Venera Gimadieva, based at the Bolshoi, makes a most impressive Violetta, singing with a vibrant clarity that never wobbles, even at pianissimo..."
Rupert Christiansen, Daily Telegraph, July 2014

Glyndebourne’s La traviata runs until 23 August and is broadcast live in cinemas around the UK on 10 August. Click here for more about the performances and participating cinemas.