In this moving performance Albanian soprano Ermonela Jaho sings the title role, the girl packed off to a nunnery for having an illegitimate child.
Such is the emotion and sheer brilliance of the performance and production I have goose pimples just remembering Jaho's magnificent performance and Puccini's soaring score in the hands of Antonio Pappano.
After a slightly shaky start, the soprano Ermonela Jaho got into her stride as Violetta, the courtesan, becoming immensely affecting in the later stages of the production.
Violetta's fiery nature was evidenced by the number of ob-jects Jaho dashed to the floor throughout the evening, including two champagne glasses, She also sent the hat and cane of Giorgio, Alfredo's father, skittering across the stage.
When Jaho or Grigolo stepped toward the audience, they were removed from the pomp of the production.
Just in the last few seasons alone, American tenor Jay Hunter Morris stepped in as Siegfried just eight days before opening night of Robert Lepage's production at the Metropolitan Opera; Albanian soprano Ermonela Jaho
replaced Anna Netrebko as Violetta.
The drum ostinato as Cio-Cio-San (the excellent Ermonela Jaho) contemplated suicide had chilling power.
But OCP wouldn't have had a successful Butterfly without Jaho's lovely-voiced and winning Butterfly.
Best of all was Ermonela Jaho
, more assertive than most Lius and floating through her music in fresh voice with a Pilar Lorengar-like shimmer that aids projection.