A golden performance from Michael Fabiano as Alfredo to end our Christmas indulgences, and excellent characterisation from the servant, Annetta, too.

The glow of sunshine on the meadows outside, Violetta sleeping in the shadows and Alfredo’s face as he drinks an early brandy and tells us he’s living as if in heaven all conjur up Violetta and Alfredo’s rural idyll with some beautifully light touches.

And who could doubt Verdi’s dramatic genius in knowing how to depict with a few rhythmic patterns either a beating heart or the surge of jealousy?

Full marks to Fabiano for matching this in what is surely first prize for the category “snatching boots from servant in a meaning-laden way”.

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