Some opera lovers feel that just because you know artists personally, they can do no wrong;this is totally untrue,especially since one tends to be MORE critical of artists one knows for fear that you will be accused of "personal prejudice.". Also, you "discovered" them on stage or on records and the personal relationship followed as a result of your enjoyment of their art, and their honest appreciation of your feelings.
Virginia Zeani sang 648 Violettas, but the unusual element in this 1960 Covent Garden performance is that she substituted for Joan Sutherland with less than a day's notice, flew to London, met her tenor on stage for the first time, and what emerges is in my view one of the greatest performances of the role of Violetta (and I have heard great ones).
Her tenor is William McAlpine and the Germont is Jess Walters, conducted by Nello Santi (who almost kills her in the "Sempre Libera," but she does beautifully, not to the mention the high E flat.)
I sincerely hope you will enjoy the performance. (66 min.)