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Verdi: La Traviata [Blu-ray]


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Editorial Reviews

Verdi's best-loved work, is performed here by a star cast in a revival of Richard
Eyre's highly acclaimed 1994 production. Music Director Antonio Pappano
conducts La Traviata for the first time at Covent Garden. American soprano Renée
Fleming returns to Covent Garden to sing Violetta for the first time with The Royal
Opera. La Traviata was first performed at the Teatro La Fenice, Venice in March
1853.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Renee Fleming, Joseph Calleja, Thomas Hampson, Monika-Evelin Liiv, Eddie Wade
  • Directors: Richard Eyre
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Classical, NTSC, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian (DTS-HD High Res Audio), Italian (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NC-17
  • Studio: Opus Arte
  • DVD Release Date: May 31, 2011
  • Run Time: 154 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004Q2TWPW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,252 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
5 star
53%
4 star
41%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
6%
See all 17 customer reviews
He has a great voice, but his acting is not so great.
Thomas E. Ascher
As an aging opera fan, this version of this great opera shows what you can have when the baritone is absolutely first rate.
Hopeful Mover
The sound is presented in DTS 5.1 and stereo options of good range and definition.
I. Giles

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Keris Nine TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 29, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
Renée Fleming has matured into one of the finest sopranos around at the moment, a true star with a sparkling personality and a velvet-toned voice that is capable of wringing the finest emotions out of works by Strauss and Tchaikovsky that from a lesser singer could sound rather cold and clinical. I wouldn't have thought her voice would be so well suited to Violetta Valéry in La Traviata, and it does take some getting used to, but I think she at least brings a distinct quality to the role with an emotional heart that isn't always necessarily there when a leading diva uses it primarily as a display for her vocal talents. It's served well also by Antonio Pappano's conducting of the Royal Opera House Orchestra in a traditional, but effective production by Richard Eyre.

There's only one way to really measure the true performance of La Traviata however, and that is by the qualities of the soprano. Renée Fleming does seem a little faltering in the first act, the warm enveloping richness of her tone perhaps not quite bringing out the clarity of the Italian diction. The production also seems a little disjointed in Act 1, setting up the great arias well (and is there any opera that has quite so many memorable, technically and dramatically impressive arias?), but not really sure what to do with the performers in between. Fleming's 'È strano ...ah forsè'lui' however is excellent, the soprano most definitely singing it her own way, putting a different complexion and personal interpretation on the opera.

If Act I doesn't flow as well as one might hope, Act II however is superb in every respect - singing, dramatic representation, the precision and timing of the orchestration all played to perfection in both scenes. Fleming's duet with Hampson's Germont Sr.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Thomas E. Ascher on February 22, 2012
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I'd be wary of showing this Traviata to anyone, or recommending it without knowing more about the emotional stability of who I was showing it to. For sheer pleasure and an overall superbly sung, staged and acted Traviata, I prefer the L.A. version with Fleming and Villazon. For an intense, involving, emotionally draining version, I recommend this Royal Opera production.

To get the most out of this, I'd recommend turning off the sub-titles, ignoring the scenery and other members of the cast and simply focusing on Renee. Her singing, acting and dedication to the role has evolved to a performance that is quite remarkable; her life and art have merged with Violetta Valery. Perhaps I'm over reacting, indulging in a bit of hyperbole. Maybe. Based on the reactions of the audience viewing this live performance, on this particular night, I may be understating.

Details. I'm not a great fan of Joseph Calleja as Alfredo. He has a great voice, but his acting is not so great. He shows emotion by repeatedly gritting his teeth, as though he is chewing gum. I am in agreement with other reviewers who like Thomas Hampson in the role of Alfredo's father. But it is what is happening with Renee on this particular night that counts!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By I. Giles TOP 500 REVIEWER on November 4, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
This recording of La Traviata, made at the Royal Opera on two dates in 2009, is essentially a traditional production and features a top calibre cast under the expert baton of Antonio Pappano. The production by Richard Eyre, slightly re-vamped, is essentially the same as that recorded for Gheorghui's first recording with Solti conducting in 1994 and regularly revived ever since.

The current recording provides a particularly strong characterisation of Giorgio Germont given by Thomas Hampson. He has the maturity for the part while still retaining the strength of voice which gives this difficult role the required authority, although morally doubtful, that can often descend to mere bullying. This is a notable portrayal and one good reason for considering this recording.

The next good reason is the musically satisfying portrayal of Alfredo by Joseph Calleja. He voice has the tonal characteristics that blend well with those of Fleming and together they make a convincing vocal partnership.

Renee Fleming reprises the role she made just a few years earlier with Villazon and she demonstrates a rather more emotionally developed portrayal of the role. Although of more mature years than that of the role she has nevertheless retained an astonishing level of youthfulness and beauty in her personal appearance that reduces the obvious age gap between herself and Alfredo to a remarkable degree. Her voice has a creaminess that is very attractive and she is able to act the role well and it is in that respect that, in my opinion, she demonstrates the development over her earlier portrayal with Villazon.

The orchestra responding to the inspiration and guidance of Pappano has made enormous improvements over the years and now is second to none.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Abert TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 22, 2012
Format: DVD
Nothing short of a vocal miracle, Renee Fleming at 50 plus still sings (and acts) the role of Dumas doomed courtesan to such degree of artistic finesse and vocal alure!
Fleming looks the part, acts the part, and most of all, sings the part. Violetta is a difficult soprano role by all standards. Fleming does not vie for vocal flippancies such as interpolating high notes not on the original score. Rather, she turns in an artistically highly coherent and convincing performance by sticking to the basics. Of course, as other reviewers noted, she is ably aided by conductor Pappano.
The staging is fabulous by modern standards. No horror of bizarre avante garde productions, but just fine period scenary and decent period costumes and makeup. Hampson's Germont is pompous but appropriate. He acquits himself much better here than in the Willy Decker 2005 Salzburg production.
I originally got this DVD for Joseph Calleja's Alfredo, having already had Fleming's LA performance (with Villazon) a couple of years ago.
Calleja does not disappoint vocally. His is probably the best tenor voice of the 21st century. Indeed, he can sing dozens and dozens of beefy to lyrical tenor roles with his wonderful instrument! What's left is of course style and characterisation.
I find it a bit hard to believe that he is a teenager, for though at 31, he is way to burly for a teenager, and his demeanour has all that of a mature middle-aged man, but for his voice!
What a voice. It's youthful, ardent and vibrant. He reminds me at once of Pavarotti in his prime - similarly golden-voiced, similarly burly beyond the years. There is no need for characterisation - the audience simply would not be bothered with such a gorgeous voice.
Let's hope that Calleja will keep his body weight in tight check to save his stage presence for the good of all opera goers!
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Verdi: La Traviata [Blu-ray]
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