Magazine article Gramophone

Verdi: La Traviata

Magazine article Gramophone

Verdi: La Traviata

Article excerpt

Verdi [DVD, BR]  La traviata  Olga Peretyatko sop                   Violetta Atalla Ayan ten                        Alfredo Simone Piazzola bar                    Germont Christina Daletska mez                   Flora Deniz Uzun mez                          Annina Emiliano Gonzalez Toro ten             Gastone Tom Fox bar                      Baron Douphol Konstantin Wolff bass-bar    Marquis d'Orbigny Walter Fink bass                Doctor Grenvil 

Balthasar Neumann Chorus and Ensemble/ Pablo Heras-Casado

Stage director Rolando Villazon Video director Nele Munchmeyer C Major Entertainment (F), [DVD] 733708; (F), [BR] 733804 (139' * NTSC * 16:9 * 1080I * DTS-HD MA5.1, DTS5.1 & PCM stereo * O * S/s) Recorded live at the Festspielhaus, Baden-Baden, May 2015

Rolando Villazon sings Alfredo, opposite Anna Netrebko, in what is probably one of the finest available versions of La traviata available on video, Willy Decker's Salzburg Festival production from 2005. Here he turns his hand to Verdi's middle-period tear-jerker as director, in a big-budget production filmed at the Baden-Baden Festspielhaus. He offers an interesting concept, set in the 'gaudy and sometimes deceptive realms of the circus', a somewhat perfunctory booklet-note informs us, in which 'false exteriors aptly allegorise the appearances and truths of the main characters'.

Gaudy it certainly is. Johannes Leiacker's single set consists of a series of large multicoloured discs sitting askance over one another; one of them (reminiscent of the main visual motif of Decker's production) is a clock face. A halo of light bulbs sits at the back, a cloudy skyscape intermittently revealed within it. …

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