French, Italian / 112 MINS. / NR
The reinvention of Verdi’s masterpiece, La Traviata, as sung by world-famous French coloratura soprano Natalie Dessay, is the subject of Philippe Béziat’s thrilling new movie. A modern, minimalist, post-punk approach strips away the opulence and grandiosity associated with operatic productions. Concentrating on director Jean-François Sivadier’s working relationship with Dessay, the film reveals how two great creative minds build the story of a doomed love affair. Over two months, in rehearsal rooms and behind the scenes of the Thea! de I'Archeveche, filmmaker Philippe Beziat follows the production's development, from concept to glorious realization. The stars rehearse in what look like yoga outfits, on a bare stage, with minimal props. The final production, set against a backdrop of sky and clouds, punctuated by a single chandelier, features Violetta and Alfredo (a darkly gorgeous Charles Castronovo) as the very essence of hipster-chic. Their passion, however, is for the ages. With music performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Louis Langrée.
"Outstanding, subtle and inventive. Illuminates beautifully the famous opera and its main character Violetta.”– Le Monde
“Electrifying! A perfect marriage of theater and music.” – Variety