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La Traviata [Import]

4 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Renato Bruson, Stefania Bonfadelli, Annely Peebo, Scott Piper, Luca Casalin
  • Directors: Fausto Dall'Olio
  • Format: AC-3, Classical, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, Italian, English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Tdk DVD Video
  • Release Date: July 29 2008
  • Run Time: 205 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B001AE4PKQ
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I have heard and seen La Traviata many, many times, but there are two memorable Violettas. By memorable, I mean that vocal skill and acting ability combined to produce a performance that was spellbinding. The first was seeing a young Catherine Malfitano with the Michigan Opera Company. From the first few moments of the party scene to the end of the performance, She WAS the consumptive courtesan who discovered love. The second is Stefania Bonfadelli in this DVD. Because this is an intimate production, with great closeup shots, any flaws in acting would be instantly obvious, but there are none: she is one with her part. Vocally, she may be slightly less gifted than Anna Moffo, Kiri Te Kanawa or Montserrat Caballe, but she is a young woman whose vocal skills should increase. Still, though, she produces a beautifully realized Violetta, that has captivated me, and which has to be experienced to be totally understood. Words can convey only so much.
Scott Piper is great as the young Alfredo. Although he sounds a bit "tight" in the first act, by the time he sings "De' miei bollenti spiriti", he is not only in fine voice, but epidomizes a young man in love. His acting skills are excellent. Both he and Ms. Bonfadelli are young singers and thus bring a high level of believeability to their roles. His father, Georgio Germont, is sung by veteran Verdian Renato Bruson. Time has treated his voice well, and he does an excellent job in capturing the 19th century pater familias; The second act duet with Violetta is simply splendid!
The performance, as noted, is intimate. This is, in large part, due to the fact that it was done in the tiny Teatro Giuseppi Verdi, located in the composer's home town of Busetto.
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Format: DVD
I purchased this DVD because of the excellent average review it had. After watching it, I am a bit confused. It is not HALF the production I thought it would be. Zefferelli, of course, creates a fantastic set and the lighting is adequate. It's the 2 leads I have a problem with (and Alfredo's father, as well). Stefania Bonfadelli is a competent actress. Her singing, however, is another matter. It is labored and her technique is unsteady.
Her coloratura is laughable. I would compare it to Stratas' coloratura in her Zefferelli production. I love Stratas, but you either have an easy, quick vocal run or you don't (or you work your ass off to get one). Plus, Bonfadelli's vocal color was disturbing, as well. Just not pretty, to my ears. Scott Piper was raw as Alfredo. He has a very pleasing voice, but his approach to the top is wide open and his top is not quite secure. It's a light sound and I'm not sure why they're billing him as the next lirico-spinto. He sounds light and lyric to me. Renato Bruson was an excellent actor, but he has acquired what my conservatory friends call "old man vibrato" on top. When he sang his high notes, his vibrato became truck-wide and offensive to my ears. I was stunned at his 5-minute ovation for his Act II aria.
If you're looking for a fantasticly acted and beautifully sung Traviata (as well as being visually stunning), look no further than Solti's version with Lopardo and Gheurgieu (don't know how to spell that one). The acting will bring you to tears, the conducting is tight, and the 2 leads' voices will knock you out. The Stratas/Domingo filmed version is a close second. Don't buy this new version unless you have 2 or 3 other good ones and are looking for something new.
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Format: DVD
There are only a few DVDs of Traviata and I own this one and Solti/Gheorghiu version at Covent Garden. In short, they are both 'to die for'. In my opinion, DVDs are the next best thing to the San Francisco, or for that matter, any other Opera House. Bonfadelli does not sing as well as Angela but the acting is wonderful and both have their own interesting interpretations of VV. Watching Domingo conduct was also a treat albeit he is no Solti. Zefferelli's set is excellent (as always) as was the set at Covent Garden. These are absolute musts for any opera DVD collection.
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Format: DVD
Estamos ante una representacion celebarda en el 2001, en un pequeño teatro de Busetto, con motivo del año Verdi. En un escenario realmente pequeño (muy pequeño) FRANCO ZEFIRELLI plantea un montaje inteligente, que recuerda en varios aspectos al filme de 1982 de la misma opera que el mismo firmo. Comienza la obertura con una moribunda Violetta deambulando por el salon de su casa, para perderse en un espejo giratorio que hay al fondo de la escena (espejo onmipresente que lo mismo valdra para mostrar salas contiguas, jardines, la calle... o para encerrar en primer plano a Violetta en el concertante del acto II) La historia plantea los dos primeros actos como recuerdos de una Violetta ya apagada, que reaparece en las mismas estancias oscuras en que se incia la ópera en el acto III. Muy conseguida la escenografia, pero la aparicion de las gitanas en el acto III (bailaores y castañuelas inclusive) roza lo kitsch.
Como Violetta, STEFANIA BONFADELLI hace una sobresaliente creacion, tanto por voz (sabe adaptarse a la perfección a las ligerezas del acto I y a las partes más liricas de los dos actos siguientes) como por fisico (mujer de extraña belleza en los dos primeros actos, y palida y cadaverica en el tercero, pero manteniendo en parte esa extraña belleza) En fin, una Violetta de gran calidad.
El Alfredo de SCOTT PIPER es escenicamente acertado, pero vocalmente solo correcto, pasando apuros en 'O mio rimorso' (renuncia al agudo final) tras haber cantado bastante bien 'De miei bolenti spiriti'.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa94da6d8) out of 5 stars 11 reviews
44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa96dc270) out of 5 stars A Captivating Performance. Sept. 7 2003
By John G. Gleeson Sr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have heard and seen La Traviata many, many times, but there are two memorable Violettas. By memorable, I mean that vocal skill and acting ability combined to produce a performance that was spellbinding. The first was seeing a young Catherine Malfitano with the Michigan Opera Company. From the first few moments of the party scene to the end of the performance, She WAS the consumptive courtesan who discovered love. The second is Stefania Bonfadelli in this DVD. Because this is an intimate production, with great closeup shots, any flaws in acting would be instantly obvious, but there are none: she is one with her part. Vocally, she may be slightly less gifted than Anna Moffo, Kiri Te Kanawa or Montserrat Caballe, but she is a young woman whose vocal skills should increase. Still, though, she produces a beautifully realized Violetta, that has captivated me, and which has to be experienced to be totally understood. Words can convey only so much.
Scott Piper is great as the young Alfredo. Although he sounds a bit "tight" in the first act, by the time he sings "De' miei bollenti spiriti", he is not only in fine voice, but epidomizes a young man in love. His acting skills are excellent. Both he and Ms. Bonfadelli are young singers and thus bring a high level of believeability to their roles. His father, Georgio Germont, is sung by veteran Verdian Renato Bruson. Time has treated his voice well, and he does an excellent job in capturing the 19th century pater familias; The second act duet with Violetta is simply splendid!
The performance, as noted, is intimate. This is, in large part, due to the fact that it was done in the tiny Teatro Giuseppi Verdi, located in the composer's home town of Busetto. The theatre seats 300 (no typo) and has a stage that is just ten meters deep (TDK recorded "Aida" (q.v.) there, producing an exciting DVD of that great work). The conductor is non other than Placido Domingo, who does a stellar job in keeping a brisk, yet unrushed, tempo. The orchestra, chorus and all minor roles are very well done.
Some minor criticisms do not diminish the wonderful performance: someone should have edited the English subtitles. I have noticed this on other TDK operatic releases, and Amazon should reflect that this IS a TDK release, not one from Naxos. TDK is releasing some great operas on DVD, folks, and at prices that are less than CDs. Those folks deserve the credit for this one!
Finally, I reiterate that opera on DVD is next best to a live performance. Technically (aside from the needed editing) this disc is near perfect. The picture is crisp, and a DTS option exists for the sound for those who want to break a lease or educate the neighbors.
La Traviata is one of the great Verdi operas. It is highly melodic and would be a good entry level opera for folks who are wondering what the fuss is all about. For any lover of Verdi's works, this is a "must have" disc.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa96dc69c) out of 5 stars Simply beautiful!! June 29 2004
By Joe P - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
There are only a few DVDs of Traviata and I own this one and Solti/Gheorghiu version at Covent Garden. In short, they are both 'to die for'. In my opinion, DVDs are the next best thing to the San Francisco, or for that matter, any other Opera House. Bonfadelli does not sing as well as Angela but the acting is wonderful and both have their own interesting interpretations of VV. Watching Domingo conduct was also a treat albeit he is no Solti. Zefferelli's set is excellent (as always) as was the set at Covent Garden. These are absolute musts for any opera DVD collection.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa96dc8c4) out of 5 stars La Traviata Par Excelence Jan. 22 2009
By M. S. Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Magnificent, Brilliant, Bravo, Brava, Bravissimo all involved. Stefania Bonfaddelli is the ideal Violetta her own looks make her the ideal, she looks like a very pretty normal young woman caught up in the exciting world of the Parisian courtesans of the late 18th or early 19th century, which is what Verdi was portraying, no powdered princess who is plain unlucky to have consumption, her phrasing and her vocal control is perfect for the part, her rendition of "E strano, E strano" etc. to the end of the first act was magnificent not only for the singing but also for the acting, both the singing and the acting here is something that many soprano's should view and take notice of, what a wonderful young soprano we have here I think she will go on to a magnificent career. I don't envy Scott Prince, winning this role is for him a plus and a minus, the minus being imagine singing Alfredo in front of the very man who was the master of this role, I met him once and I was in awe of him and all I did was talk to him, I couldn't even imagine singing in front of him particularly a role that he had mastered, the plus is all the help and guidance that Placido would have given him, I thought he sang extremely well, he even sang the "Oh mio rimorso infamia" aria that many tenors avoid. Renato Bruson, again magnificent, what a wonderful artist this man has been for many years, he was a perfect Giorgio Germont as the applause after the "Di Provenza il mar, il suol" made evident. What can one say regarding the great Franco Zeffirelli, any time you see his name in the list you are certain that the staging will be better than first class, what he does with such a small stage is incredible, once again Bravo Maestro, Placido Domingo's control of the excellent orchestra was as near perfection as anyone could get, the sound in such a small theater was perfectly controlled, I don't think the great Toscanini could have done better. One scene that was totally and absolutely perfect for it's meaning and effect was the second act end at Violetta's "Alfredo Alfredo" and the complete cast chorus etc. that ends the act, Violetta is standing center stage top alone with the rest of the cast making a triangle from top stage to each side front, Violetta is there with all her friends and yet so alone, very very effective. I would love to see Stefania Bonfadelli in either Massenet's "Werther" with Roberto Alagna I think this production would equal the 1931 production with Georges Thill and Ninon Valon, which has never happened to date, or Madama Butterfly with either Roberto Alagna or Ramon Vargas, I think either cast could equal the Placido Domingo/Mirella Freni production.
Buy this DVD you will be amazed at what can be done and the effects that can be produced with such a small theater and you will be awed at the emotions that this wonderful cast produce. Bravo, Brava Bravissimo everyone concerned.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa96dc7bc) out of 5 stars It grows on you Jan. 14 2011
By pekinman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
After viewing two great films of Verdi operas (Falstaff and Aida) from the Teatro Verdi in Busseto, Italy, I had high hopes for this Traviata which, like Aida, was directed by Franco Zefferelli. The magic was not here in this Traviata as it had been in Aida. Zefferelli's sets are imaginative concessions to the very small stage in Busseto. The sets of Flora's house and Violetta's garrett seem to recreate the fevered hallucinations in Violetta's mind, and it works.
The orchestra, Domingo's conducting and the costumes are excellent, the choral singing good enough and the supporting cast more than acceptable.

The main reason for having this film in your collection is for the remarkable Violetta of Stefania Bonfadelli. Her voice does not possess the plangency of Cotrubas or the sheer heavenly beauty of Gheorghiu, but she is nonetheless an extremely good Violetta. Her coloratura is excellent and her voice is evenly produced from top to bottom in this very challenging role. To top it all off she's an accomplished actress. Her facial expressions are very telling. She reminds me strongly of Audrey Hepburn mixed up with a dash of Nastassja Kinski.

Scott Piper, the splendid Radames in the Aida film, is surprisingly not as effective as Alfredo. He sings very well and acts well but something just doesn't click. Perhaps his portrayal is a bit shallow overall. Renato Bruson, Giorgio Gérmont, is well past his prime but he is an effective père who demands Violetta give up his son so his daughter will not be disgraced and jilted by her betrothed because Alfredo has left his family to shack up with Violetta in the country. And his big aria is received with a rapturous ovation, more, I expect, an acknowledgment of his long and distinguished career.

La Traviata is not Aida, they are polar opposites in Verdi's oeuvre, but I was hoping to be as dazzled by it as I was by the Teatro Verdi's treatment of that late grand (grandest) of operas. On second viewing I was more moved overall.

I'm happy to have this dvd in my collection, and lovers of this famous masterpiece will also want to have it around, just for a change from the Big Star Divas who have tackled, recorded and filmed the part, often with less success than Stefania Bonfadelli achieves here.
HASH(0xa96dc9b4) out of 5 stars Absolutment per FECT ! Aug. 19 2013
By Audioampbuilder - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
What an amazing performance by virtually everyone involved, down to the broom pusher and curtain puller! It has been said many times, "It's about the music"...this of course is one of the top five operas ever composed. The kind you can just play in your car, or simply close your eyes and listen. But this performance ,as pointed out and underscored by all the reviewers here..is just enthralling. An intimate , resplendant, opulent production, topped off like so much whipped cream by superlative acting as well as top form singing. The only mystery to me is why on earth you can buy a new copy for under $2 !...this is insane. I'm telling you, that should not put you off. This is a treasure..one you will not part with, or trade, or sell in order to get another production.

I've often told my friends, who don't seem to understand, judging by their cocked head and squinty eyes...that if a vehicle can be bought new in 1970 for under $3000...and they are ten times that much today; it logically follows that the U.S. Dollar is worth ten cents. "Therefore"...a price of $1.20 for this DVD is virtually like spending a whopping 12 cents! Somebody please get real. This also means you can divide your paycheck by ten to get the "true value and worth of your salary"...sorry to depress you. The world seems to be sound asleep on this issue. Wake up and smell the coffee...buy this opera while it is still so free, it's almost like you're being paid to take it off their hands! I can't get enough of this gorgeous music. This will never leave my collection.


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