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Verdi - La Traviata
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Customer Reviews:

  • A musically superior Traviata
    The wonderful orchestral support from the Vienna Philharmonic and the splendid singing (yes, Netrebko included) provide evidence that Traviata stands up well musically when compared to Verdi's recognized late period masterpieces. The stark stage set may startle some, but it reflects Violetta's viewpoint: the sumptuous 19th century Paris mansion where she entertains "guests" is, for her, merely a drab workplace. The emotional effect is powerful, especially in the second act. Thomas Hampson's contributions are outstanding....more info
  • Muy buena elecci車n
    Desde que escuche a Anna y a Rolando Villaz車n en Duets, me gust車 la potencia de la voz de esta joven y guapa mujer. Muy rica en tonalidades, buenos logros en su incipiente trabajo como cantante de Opera y en esta producci車n muy moderna, muy 芍gil y ligera. Vale la pena ver toda la obra, el montaje tan simple y a la vez tan abierto al espacio donde se juega con la mente del espectador. Bravo por Anna, Villaz車n en b迆squeda de su yo y alej芍ndose de su Alter Ego Placido Domingo. Buen tipo, muy profesional, sensible y todav赤a nada de divo. Pareja sensual que vale la pena escuchar y ver......more info
  • Do not miss this!
    One of the most wonderful interpretations that I have ever heard. I own the lavish Zeffirelli production of La Traviata" and the stark contrast is impressive. This is in no way detrimental to either production. Each in its own different way is a masterful production. What I like about the Nebtrebko/Villazon interpretation is that their voices combined with their impressive acting skills, make this production one i will forever go back to....more info
  • La Traviata at the Salzburg Festival 2005
    This great opera was staged in a modern way (plain set, no fancy clothes) and per-
    formed by the hottest team in opera-Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazon, known
    as the Traumpaar (dream pair) in Europe. It simply doesn't get better than this. For
    those of you unfamiliar with opera, this will make a believer of you....more info
  • Absolutely fabulous
    All the five star reviews say it all. There is nothing to add. A magic moment in the history of performed art. The rumours of riduculos prices on the black market are obviously true. The performance and production is above almost everything. The "Opera Fancy Pants" are always looking for something to complain about. But, for the rest of us, this production and the performers is just fabulous. This is the best music DVD ever, any category of music. If you ever doubted, the opera art is alive and kicking. Buy it, relax and just enjoy it! Over and over again. The better your HiFi the more you will enjoy it. If you are going to buy just one music DVD in your life - this is it....more info
  • The Singing, the Singing!
    The avant-garde production is distracting, the singers seem to work around it from time to time. Yet, in some magic moments it adds a new perspective to the old tale. And the singing, the singing - I loved every one of the voices, and look forward to listening to it again....more info
  • next to heaven
    Heaven itself would be Netrebko learning how to use her eyes and face in the crucial interior monologues: "Look down, Anna"--it's that simple (watch Callas even in recital, not to mention the Covent Garden Tosca). Even so, heaven is probably out of reach: Russians are not trained in sottovoce and sprechestimme: they don't know how to do it any more than they know how to do a soft, unprepared pirouette. Netrebko in act iv is helplessly hearty as she dies. Still, this is the next best thing, she looks the part, she sings with utter beauty and technical security, and Villazon is devine. And then there's Mr Hampson--I'd like to learn what the buffs think of his G-pere; for me it was as beautiful as anything I heard and the acting (thank you Director Decker) is newer and more convincing than anything. In watching dvd's I can't yet say which comes up more often for me, the Stratas-Zeferelli or this--this is too new to me. Right now those two are the only ones i'd watch 6 times....more info
  • La Traviata
    I'm super bias on this make of La Traviata. It's the modern world of opera; besides, it's my favorite opera. I've seen the stage La Traviata over 15 times in 7 different states, and no matter where I see it, I just can't get enough. Anna and Rolando are just extraordinary. Who needs props when you have two of the greatest performers, and their voices can't be compared to any other in this world. If you like modern and are willing to take a chance on a totally different presentation of opera, I would highly recommend this DVD. LOVE IT!! LOVE IT!!!! The BEST!!!...more info
  • Ahh! So this is what Verdi was thinking of!
    Who cares if you like or don't like 19th C opera in modern dress! If you don't like this performance, you just don't like singing! All three prinicipals are superb--dare I say unmatched! It helps, of course, if you've seen a production of La Traviata with opulent sets and costumes; most opera fans have, and can supply those images from memory. This is a streamlined production all about music. Villazon is "singing like an angel" these days. If that quotation reminds you of someone long dead, it's no accident. His performance in Donizetti's Elixir deserved an Oscar for acting and an "Enrico" for beautiful singing. He almost makes me reconsider the idea of reincarnation. Netrebko and Hampson are equally special. All three sing their roles in ensemble with the orchestra in ways that shape their arias symphonically. This performance is so good that it makes me re-evaluate Joe Green as a composer of music rather than merely of operas....more info
  • A new take on Verdi's masterpiece
    I am delighted to own this DVD as the production offers a new take on Verdi's masterpiece. Fond memories of productions featuring Gheorghiu and Gruberova are not eclipsed with this new version, although I am tempted to say that I enjoyed this version more than the others. The principals sing and act excellently and I can see why this production caused such excitement when it was premiered at the 2005 Salzburg Festival.
    ...more info
  • Misguided "Modern" TRAVIATA Wastes Charismatic Duo
    "You live here in luxury," observes Giorgio Germont in Act II, as he gestures at an ugly, rounded, arena-like set, bare except for a few hard sofas draped with garish multicolored throws. The only appropriate audience response is to laugh; for anyone who would suggest that it is up to the viewer to "imagine" the luxury to which Germont points, I say that I would rather "imagine" a coherent production, and the prolonged unemployment of stage director Willy Decker and all of his Eurotrash brethren. That second act had begun with Alfredo singing his aria about the transforming effect of Violetta's love on his life, not to himself as specified in the libretto, but with Violetta on stage. Informed by the servant Annina that Violetta has been selling her possessions to finance their lifestyle, Alfredo rushes off to right things. Violetta asks Annina where he has gone, and then remarks on the strangeness of his departure. These are inconvenient remnants of a libretto that placed a premium on logic, as Decker had Violetta standing there the whole time Alfredo was reacting to Annina's news and announcing his plans; there were even reaction shots of her looking sheepish when he glared at her. Is dementia one of the symptoms of Violetta's particular strain of TB? Later, just before her death, Violetta instructs Alfredo that if he ever falls in love again, he should give "this portrait" of her to his new lover, as a reminder of someone who prays for both of them; but there is no picture, nor is there even miming. Decker seems to be so busy patting himself on the back for not making Verdi's evergreen romantic tragedy literal and hidebound that he fails to realize he has made it nonsensical and fatuous. To say nothing of tasteless: Violetta and Alfredo express their affection by all manner of unseemly groping; at one point she appears to be preparing to fellate him. When the heartbroken and ignorant Alfredo denounces Violetta at Flora's party, he is supposed to throw his gambling winnings at her feet and then be chastised by the party guests for his cruelty. This level of ungentlemanly conduct is not severe enough for Decker; throughout the choral rebuke, he has to put Alfredo atop Violetta, brutalizing and symbolically raping her, shoving money down the front of her dress and into her open mouth. The abusiveness runs in the family: the bourgeois Giorgio Germont is prone to physically grappling with his son, and at one point floors him with a right to the jaw. That Verdi and librettist Piave would neither have recognized nor wanted most of what is seen here, I am sure would make no dent in Decker's self-satisfaction. After all, what relevance could the work of those two nineteenth-century paesani have in 2005 without the ministrations of an important *contemporary director* like himself?

    If the performance's offenses were limited to its visual dimension, I would be able to recommend DG's audio-only release. Alas, I cannot. Rolando Villazon and Anna Netrebko are charismatic and attractive performers with gorgeous voices and certain qualities of bearing and temperament that make them most promising in these roles, but they deserve to be heard in a better performance. Villazon gives a good accounting of himself (though his enthusiasm occasionally leads him into overplaying), but Netrebko is more than a little below her best, and it is unfortunate that this performance has been her most widely heard one in a complete role. She often has to come up for air in the middle of a phrase, commits her share of inaccuracies and approximations when the vocal writing grows more complicated, and flats painfully on the final note of her Act III aria, both times. Her bewitching tone, physical beauty, and sincerity as an actress count for much, but here, they have to make up too much ground. Thomas Hampson is an intelligent and sometimes admirable singer, but I am no more convinced than ever that Verdi baritone roles are hospitable ground for him in either vocal or stylistic terms, and this Vienna run found him in worn, rough voice besides. Conductor Carlo Rizzi, given charge of one of the world's finest orchestras, squanders the opportunity with a hectic, scrappy reading, devoid of warmth and flexibility, insensitive to dramatic possibilities within the musical line; the model seems to have been the harder-driven TRAVIATAs of the Toscanini/Kleiber/Muti/Solti mold, but without the superior musicianship and standards of ensemble. The veteran comprimario Luigi Roni appears as Doctor Grenvil in Act III, and for the two minutes his singing role lasts, this depressing artifact makes contact with the stylistic perfection that thoroughly eludes it for the other 130. ...more info
  • Fantastic Interpretation!
    I really think this version is superb. I have the Gheorghiu disk and it is a dreadful bore by comparison. The added character of the doctor/time figure really works and Violetta's presence during the scene in the Paris apartment also works just fine for me.

    The chemistry between Netrebko and Villazon is wonderful. The acting of the entire cast is so great! The voices are amazing, sound quality great... Everything about this production is wonderful!

    The minimal set really sets the attention on the singing and acting. The voices are so clear and articulate with the primaries mic'd individually.

    A great disc. Most highly recommended. ...more info
  • Verdi - La Traviata
    A superb production of Verdi's favourite old war-horse. Netrebko, Villazon, Hampson, et al, breathe a fresh life and spirit into the great work. Hard to fault on any count....more info
  • A pleasant change!
    This DVD is truly valuable for its visual elements and production. It fills in parts where the opera is potentially weak--such as why violetta yields to alfredo or the fact that we never see alfredo and violetta in the spring of their love. However, in doing so, there are inevitably conflicts with Verdi's libretto, such as at the beginning of ACT II. Even so, it is so fun and enjoyable to see this concept of traviata. Emotions are uninhibited and drama is center. The musical side, however, often leaves something to be desired. Villazon is good, though perhaps over the top (which isn't a bad thing in this production). Hampson....is pretty bad. Netrebko has a beautiful, thrilling and expressive voice, however, she has little technique or control and occasionally poor musical taste. Unlike solti/gheorghiu's musically flawless violetta, Netrebko's is rife with errors, even though gheorghiu was only at the very beginning of her international career and netrebko was at least five years into it by 2005. (Hmmm perhaps this shows the sad state of musical affairs today...) Either way, the pros highly outweigh the cons, though it may not seem that way from my review. One must watch it to understand why I give it 5 stars despite what I would otherwise consider huge flaws--it is really exciting! ...more info
  • Fantastic! Mind blowing!
    This is the best "La Traviata." I was so moved that I had to take a break. It really touched me deeply! ...more info
  • La traviata
    Well Allazon and Netrebko are in fine voice but this stark brutal version is not for me. It's more like Traviata by Brecht than by Verdi and what is more there are moments of sheer vulgarity throughout particularly in Act 3. Doing it different, don't make it better. I prefer the version from La Scala with the exquisite Gheorghiu....more info
  • La Traviata
    I enjoyed this production of La Traviata on many levels. The music, of course, was superlative. It is such a pleasure to see opera that is beautifully acted, not just "park and bark." This has been a good trend and I'm glad to see it continuing and expanding. It's nice to see a believable couple that is inspiring. Anna Netrebko has full grasp of both the music and the heart of the heroine; Rolando Villazon is perfectly cast. It was a pleasure....more info
  • Anna Netrebko is a perfect Violetta!
    Hi Opera Lovers!
    My Christmas gift this year was a mini-season of opera---on dvd!
    Received most of them early and THIS is my favorite! Anna Netrebko and
    Rolando Villazon have so much chemistry they sizzle! I give 5 stars
    for the singing, the acting, the set design, music, ALL!
    As much as I enjoyed Edita Gruberova in another version of this sad
    and beautiful opera, she really can't compare to Netrebko.
    Netrebko was also brilliant in the recent Live Met broadcast of Romeo and Juliette in theaters recently. Villazon has the best voice since Pavarotti, in my opinion. Give yourself a gift of a perfect night at the opera with this dvd....more info
  • "La Traviata" seduces and captivates
    Anna Netrebko delivers a sexy, sizzling performance as the courtesan, Violetta. Not only can this acclaimed Russian Diva sing but we now learn she can act. She is both beguiling and captivating as she succumbs to the ardent overtures of her lover, Alfredo charecterized skillfully and convincingly by the Mexican born tenor, Rolando Villazon.

    One can audibly hear the smacking of lips as the two lovers come together in passionate embrace. There is no holding back in this daring production as we see Netrebko lasciviously entice Villazon by lying on her back upon a sumptuous sofa, one leg bent and teasingly drawing back her brilliant red skirt to expose a shapely upper thigh.

    Certainly it is one of the great contemporary productions noted for its stark minimalist set as staged by Willy Decker. There is symbolism aplenty however as the hands of the giant clock turn feverishly and unrelentingly to illustrate that Violetta's inevitable death is imminent.

    Not only are Netrebko and Villazon perfectly cast but the admired American baritone, Thomas Hampson delivers a superb performance as Alfredo's anguished father, Giorgio.

    Decker's production is unflinching and uncompromising as the human pathos unwinds with true love being found and lost in a heart rending climax.

    To top it all Carlo Rizzi conducts the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra so masterfully prompting riotous acclaim from the audience not seen since his great pre-decessor, Herbert von Karajan.

    For opera buffs this is a "must have" and for opera novices or initiates do yourself a favor, take some time out, sit down and be entranced as the essence of this human tragedy is revealed.

    If this courtesan, "La Traviata" does not seduce you, nothing will!!...more info
  • love this!
    I definitely recommend this DVD. The stage was beautifully done and elegant. The singing and acting by both Netrebko and Villazon were fantastic. What a pair! ...more info
  • La Traviata Netrebko Villazon
    The most wonderfull La Traviata ever made ,with the greatest opera singers in the world. ...more info