Natalie Dessary never disappoints

By joydillon
Written April 16, 2012
Although it was obvious she waws singing through a cold, Natalie Dessay delivered a beautiful Traviata. Her superior acting skills and the vocal technique that allowed her to sing despite a raspy speaking voice served her well. Contemporary production was better than some (Faust) , although modern dress and giving up one's love so the sister can marry well just don't go together. Entire cast sang well. The combination of Verdi's music and Natalie Dessay's performing are hard to beat.
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Director tramples on Verdi's masterpiece

By Barry Freed
Written April 16, 2012
When performing one of Giuseppe Verdi's greatest operas, does it make sense to: 1. show Violetta's grave illness at the beginning of the opera, via a fit of coughing in a director-manufactured scene inserted into the overture(!) and then never show her coughing again in the remainder of the opera? 2. replace Violetta's elegant Parisian salon with a circular arena, bare except for a huge clock? 3. turn her glamorous female party guests into black-suited, android males? 4. briefly turn the silent, omnipresent, white-haired man who represents Violetta's impending death into her doctor? (Is this meant to be a slap at the medical profession?) These and other absurdities hang like dead cats around Peter Gelb's neck in his latest misguided venture into "modernized" -- surreal, in this case -- opera production. Lucky for him and Director Willy Decker that their sorry posteriors were saved (for now) by the principals' superbly touching performances.
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La Traviata

By John and Susan
Written April 16, 2012
Really good one to see for your "first" opera! Lots of good acting, love interest and a death at the end! What more can you ask?
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La Traviata

By elf23dgtX
Written April 15, 2012
Unfortunately the sound at the movie theatre was faulty - I don't know if it was the actual theatre at Port Charlotte, Florida or if the telecom from the Met was the problem. Apart from the sound problem, I did not like the directing nor the set for this opera. Placing a courtesan in modern setting just didn't work. It needed the ambience of the time period in which it was originally written. Instead of a beautiful, highly sophisticated woman of the world Natalie Dessay seemed more like a low class party girl. Her method acting was over the top - and the first act looked more like she was in a prison than an elegant French salon. I was really disappointed. Matthew Polenzani was believable and stayed true to his character. As I left after the first act because of sound issues and dislike of the directing and sets it's hard for me to judge how the whole opera turned out.
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La Traviata

By foxhal
Written April 19, 2012
Singing, as always, was excellent--especially Dessay and Hvorstovsky. The conception for the staging was truly amazing. Never before have I been made so forcefully aware of how little time Traviata has left on this earth and how frightened she is of dying. The symbolism of the clock and the dark stranger watching her (probably Death) increased the stress. As for the theater, Delray is NOT the best venue to watch opera. The sound system is less than perfect and it seems at every performance i have attended, it's taken them until the second act to get it right. I much prefer Boynton.
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