Giuseppe Verdi - La Traviata (2012) [DVD9 NTSC]
Release date: 12th March 2012
Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian
Recorded at Aix-en-Provence in 2011
Natalie Dessay (Violetta), Charles Castronovo (Alfredo), Ludovic Tézier (Germont), Adelina Scarabelli (Annina), Silvia de la Muela (Flora Bervoix), Manuel Nunez Camelino (Gastone de Letorière), Kostas Smoriginas (Barone Douphol), Andrea Mastroni (Marchese d'Obigny), Maurizio Lo Piccolo (Dottor Grenvil)
London Symphony Orchestra, Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Louis Langrée (conductor) & Jean-François Sivadier (stage director)
Natalie Dessay made her first European appearances as Violetta in La traviata in a new production by the French director Jean-François Sivadier at the 2011 Aix-en-Provence Festival. This DVD captures her intense performance in the company of American tenor Charles Castronovo as Alfredo and French baritone Ludovic Tézier as his father, Giorgio Germont. “Her theatrical impact is devastating,” wrote the Financial Times.
With this new production of La traviata at the 2011 Aix-en-Provence Festival, Natalie Dessay made her first European appearances as Verdi’s Violetta, a pinnacle of the soprano repertoire. She made her debut in the role in 2009 at the Santa Fe Festival in the US, and subsequently sang Violetta in Japan. Dessay’s 2011-12 season will include La traviata at the Vienna State Opera (in this Aix-en-Provence production by French theatre and opera director Jean-François Sivadier) and the New York Metropolitan.
Violetta makes tremendous demands on a singer, both vocally and dramatically, and signals Dessay’s transition from lighter coloratura roles to the more full-blooded lyric repertoire. “I’m tired of playing weeping girls,” she told the French magazine Télé 7 Jours, “Violetta is a real woman. That makes a nice change!” The change was clearly successfully achieved: describing Dessay’s performance, the Financial Times wrote that “her theatrical impact is devastating”.
Sivadier’s production was staged in the open air, in Aix-en-Provence’s exquisite Théâtre de l'Archevêché with its huge spiral staircases, medieval arches and 18th-century wings. The stage décor was minimal, the simple costumes evoked the 1940s or 1950s, and the prime focus was on intense characterisation.