Serbian baritone Željko Lucic, Germont in the remainder of the season's Traviatas, may be the best singer (as such) therein. But his addition to the cast of this revival (in place of Andrzej Dobber) may also have harmed its overall success.
His virtues first: the full, overtone-rich sound of a "real Verdi baritone" (in this piece, at least -- upcoming performances as Rigoletto and Di Luna will tell the tale), used with admirable legato and a certain rhythmic-dramatic alertness not much shown by his predecessor. These add up each night to a ravishing "Di Provenza" that may now be the vocal highlight of the opera. But Germont is not Rigoletto: he does not carry the dramatic weight of his piece.
Lucic, in fact, may be not wooden enough to make the key scene (Act II scene 1) work. Or, rather, what a lesser baritone conveys here with his limitations -- the implacable respectability of the man as he asks Violetta to give up his son -- finds no expression in the forceful but pleasant mellifluousness of Lucic's performance. In fact he is so responsive, so spirited that it throws off the opera's scheme: why does this man have the heavy's part when, after all, he's clearly more interesting and sympathetic than his callow son? (Massimo Giordano's expressive limitations don't help.) The scene can contain -- and use -- this irony, but Lucic and Anja Harteros have not found their way to it, neither musically nor dramatically. They may yet do so, of course, but the mostly unchanged stage direction of recent revivals -- which calls here for an almost maximally unyielding Germont -- is a real obstacle.
Maury noticed the tenor Giordano crooning in the third act several performances ago. In fact he's thrown in this exaggerated attempt at dynamic contrast in each performance I've seen: most recently (Thursday) it had spread all the way to "Un dì felice", where it compounded an evening-long bout of flatting all the slow parts. He earned the boos some gave him at curtain calls.
UPDATE (11/13): Commenter Cameron Kelsall notes that Dobber (the previous Germont) will return for the very last performance this season -- next Thursday.