Sunday, August 25, 2013

La Traviata

Last night I saw La Traviata screened in HD outside Lincoln Center.

Verdi's music and the singing were fantastic. Really beautiful. I even considered getting an album. The story was simple and very dramatic. What really made it work was the intense acting of the three leads, particularly Natalie Dessay as Violetta. I really felt the intensity of her love and desire. Her lover Alfredo was sung by Matthew Polanzani, and his father was Dmitri Hvorostovsky; both wonderful.

Less wonderful however was the avant-garde minimalist set. The stage was a grey dome featuring a clock to symbolize how little time Violetta has left. During one scene they used what looked like a bunch of Ikea couches. The stark and bleak contrasted with the lush music and powerful emotions. It looked hokey and was really a disappointment. I would have preferred more color and pomp.

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