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La Traviata

Teresa Stratas , Plácido Domingo , Franco Zeffirelli    G (General Audience)   VHS Tape
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
I'm personally a great fan of La Traviata, which was my first opera and my favorite ever since. But among various discs I have by various performers and conductors, this one is simply the best.
Let's put aside Zeffirelli's unforgettable scenes(I always think the most important thing is music), Domingo and Stratas give us silky, brilliant arias shining as jewels.
Compared with this film, the Kleiber version sounds a little bit too reserved. (Even same Domingo sounds less emotional),
and Solti/Georghiu one is too light. From the first time I saw this film, I became a fan of both Domingo and Stratas.
I'm so sorry I cannot get an OST of this film, so I just turn on DVD and listen to it even when I don't have time to watch it!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cinema 2, Opera 1 June 23 2002
Format:DVD
Your opinion of "La Traviata" is likely to depend on how free you feel filmmakers should be to adapt established works of art. Director Franco Zeffirelli has practically made a career out of adapting one "classic" play or opera after another (not to mention the life of Jesus) into a parade of baroquely extravagant movies. There is nothing radical in any of Zeffirelli's films. He treats all of the originals in more or less traditional, respectful ways. He just usually does it with such lush abandon that people often have difficulty with the results.
These "difficulties" derive from the untenable, though surprisingly persistent, belief that there is a "pure" version of a book, play or other literary effort that a filmmaker can somehow serve if only he or she is "faithful" enough to the original. This attitude is never less defensible than with a work like "La Traviata," since Verdi's opera is itself an adaptation of a Dumas novel. If composers are free to adapt novels without censure, why should filmmakers have to justify their changes?
On the other hand, having chosen a particular work, the filmmaker can't just ignore it. So stuffed to the gills with decor, splashy camerawork and whirling, twirling, cavorting extras, "La Traviata" doesn't so much ignore the opera as overwhelm the story and music which were, presumably, the reason for making the film. The score is competently performed, although lacking in the visceral and emotional thrills one would expect. Some of the most famous arias have been truncated substantially, giving the impression that the filmmakers were embarrassed by their familiarity. Domingo and Stratas give it their all, but don't bring out much in each other.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Chillingly beautiful Sept. 3 2002
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This is a haunting video/DVD. Blah blah about seeing it only in the opera house (open yourself to a new experience it's a stylized *film*)I have studied opera from Met performers and when I saw "Sempre Libera" on this video for the first time I was rooted to the spot.
Franco shows Violetta's clinging to her free ways when she knows her heart is being captured by Alfonso with a wildness that is so appropriate. She rushes in a foreshadowy nightrail through the darkened mansion, strewn with champagne bottles and dead symbols of the festivities with a madness that I always thought belonged in "Sempre Libera". It's fabulous. Not that any of these operas are symbols of feminist power, but if you want to see the perfectly balanced stylistic performance that shows grit and sadness of a prostitute who knows she is dying and giving up her found love and tenuous happiness for the happiness of another, this is it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brings My Friends to Tears Every Time June 13 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Yes, I've shown this film to some very different women, with the same reaction every time--they become quite wrapped up in the tragic love story of Violetta and Alfreddo, to the point of tears!
I first saw this movie when it was relatively new, and when I had never even seen a live opera yet. It was as extraordinary for me then as my friends continue to find it. From the moment I saw Placido Domingo in Violetta's hallway, I was hooked on him. But then, I have always been partial to extremely masculine foreign men like Rossano Brazzi.
It's wonderfully filmed, with lush settings and beautiful costuming, especially for Teresa Stratas, our Violetta, the jaded courtesan dying of consumption but eager to grasp at a last chance for love and happiness. With her dark hair and eyes, she bewitches Alfreddo, who impetuously offers her all he has, his love. For a time, it seems that happiness and health is theirs in the country retreat they find, far from the excesses of Paris, but Alfreddo's father arrives and makes a request of Violetta put in terms that she cannot refuse. A misunderstanding between the lovers arises, and tragedy for all is the result. But the audience finds itself caring very much about these characters and wishing that things would turn out very differently.
One scene which I particularly like is when Violetta, Alfreddo, and her lover the baron attend a sumptuous party at Flora's. Here we have dancing gypsy girls and extremely acrobatic matadors tearing up the scene and getting the blood boiling, before things really begin to heat up with the romantic triangle.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Beautiful
This is a magnificent production; one to be enjoyed again and again. Not being a professional critic of films or musical performances, I do not look for, nor do I expect to find,... Read more
Published on March 24 2002 by Lazyboy
4.0 out of 5 stars BEAUTIFUL FILM WITH SOMEWHAT AVERAGE VOICES...
The direction and the sets of this film are perfection. Verdi's score is tried, true and beautiful, a great place to start if you've never been exposed to opera. Read more
Published on Feb. 5 2002 by pietrogiovanni
3.0 out of 5 stars It's not really all that bad.
There are two ways of looking at this film: as an opera, or as a movie. As an opera, it isn't that great. Read more
Published on Jan. 27 2002 by Dr. Fartmeister
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended, but be aware of a posssible annoyance....
The subtitled VHS version of this film was a great introduction for me years ago when I was learning about opera. Read more
Published on Dec 15 2001 by rkass
5.0 out of 5 stars ^_^
I honestly have to say that this was quite a good version of La Traviata. I'm new to Opera, having been in instrumental music all my life, and this DVD held my attention... Read more
Published on Dec 5 2001 by Katherine Dickerson
5.0 out of 5 stars Zeffirelli brings his magic touch to Verdi's tragic opera
Franco Zeffirelli has repeatedly proved his affinity for opera on the stage of the Metropolitan. The tableau at the end of the opening scene of "Tosca" and the split... Read more
Published on Dec 2 2001 by Lawrance M. Bernabo
5.0 out of 5 stars Opera Cinema At Its Very Best
This film is the standard by which all opera films must be measured.
Zefirelli gets right to work and makes good use of the mournful overture by showing the creditors of the... Read more
Published on Nov. 11 2001 by Ruth Edlund
5.0 out of 5 stars Total enchantment and marvellous performance
This video which is a movie, sung and performed by wellknown opera singers taken at luxurious homes and country side scenery as background is really a marvellous combination of the... Read more
Published on Oct. 29 2001 by Mrs. Sunar Tjahjono
5.0 out of 5 stars The second greatest opera film of all time
Only the film version of Carmen tops this breathtakingly beautiful and sumptuous production of La Traviata. Read more
Published on Aug. 25 2001 by David
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