Interesting, beautifully sung and filmed and moving
La Traviata as I've said a number of times is one of my favourite operas of all time. While the 1982 Zeffirelli film still continues to be my favourite film/production of this amazing opera, I found this 2000 performance very interesting.It is gorgeous visually. The camera work is wondrous and has so much originality to it, while the lighting is beautifully done and Eteri Gvazava looks stunning throughout. Don't need to say much about the music either, other than to say it is such amazing music and arias/duets such as Sempre Libera, Ditta Alle Giuvine and Addio Del Passato are among the most beautiful Verdi(my favourite opera composer) ever wrote. This music is played wonderfully by the orchestra and Zubin Mehta's conducting is authoritative. They are helped by excellent sound quality. The story is also still touching, as are the performances. I have to say I was a little disappointed in Rolando Panerai, no doubt it is amazing he was still singing in his 70s and his portrayal is stern and sympathetic. However, vocally Panerai lacks the richness and velvet that made him one of the best baritones of the 60s, it is rather stiff and edgy here, but it was so good to see him again. However, Jose Cura is very good, I am not a fan strictly speaking, but his baritone-like tenor voice, strong high notes and good looks make him a credible Alfredo. His final moments are very convincing too. But it is Eteri Gvazava that makes this Traviata so worth watching, she has a great voice and not only that she is an astonishing actress. The final act is beautifully done by all involved, likewise with Brindisi and the end of act 2. All in all, very well done. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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