In the first of two engagements this season at La Scala, Ailyn Pérez returns to the historic stage to sing Violetta Valéry in Verdi’s tragic La traviata, February 28 and March 3 & 5. Tenor Francesco Meli sings Alfredo Germont, with legendary baritone Leo Nucci as Giorgio Germont. Nello Santi leads the Teatro alla Scala Chorus and Orchestra for these performances, which highlight the sumptuous sets by Dante Ferretti and stage direction from Liliana Cavani.

Violetta is a signature role for Ms. Pérez, whose portrayals of the doomed courtesan have illuminated stages from Europe to the States:

Royal Opera House: “But the evening belonged, as it should, to Ailyn Pérez as Violetta, who gave an extraordinary performance … Pérez displayed complete mastery of her voice, with technical confidence at a level which freed her to do amazing things. She sang the high powered coloratura passages with aplomb, but what really amazed me was her ability to hit a high note in the softest pianissimo without a hint of a wobble, even after a fast glissando. La Traviata‘s third act is a difficult one to bring off: it’s virtually impossible to convince an audience that you’re dying of tuberculosis while singing loudly enough to fill a two thousand seat opera house. Pérez came as close as you can get, keeping her voice very quiet but with crystal clear articulation …” (Bachtrack)

San Francisco Opera: “The evening’s brightest luminary was soprano Ailyn Pérez, who embodied the dying courtesan Violetta as a figure of glamour and vulnerability. Her singing was full-bodied and rich in color, with long-breathed phrases sumptuously sustained and an emotional depth to everything she undertook.” (SFGate)

Ailyn returns to La Scala later this summer, to reprise her portrayal of Mimì in La bohème.