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Top Customer Reviews
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!
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.Read more ›
However, the movie itself is well done. Zeffirelli has an eye for beauty and eye-pleasing scenery. The visual part of the film leaves you with the warm fuzzies, and the actual direction of Domingo really makes you like the character. However, I felt nothing at the death of Violetta. Except maybe a little bit of relief, but let's not let that get around.
All in all, it's a good attempt at cinematizing Verdi's masterpiece, and I agree with some of the other reviewers that it is probably a better buy for opera newcomers.
I do have a major criticism of the DVD however. Although there are regular subtitles in French, the English titles are actually "Captions for the hearing impaired." This is the only option for English titles, so there are sometimes distracting descriptive captions on screen: eg. "[Music Starts]....[Laughing]....[People Singing]....[Finale}" One would think that Universal, an American company, would have provided standard English subtitles as well. (There were standard subtitles on the VHS version and, I would assume, on the American theatrical release.)
The nice thing about subtitles on opera DVDs is that they can be used when one is learning about a new opera, but then turned off when they become intrusive. The English captions are adequate for this purpose and I would still highly recommend this disc for newcomers and opera fans alike.
Most recent customer reviews
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... Read morePublished on Sept. 3 2002
Your opinion of "La Traviata" is likely to depend on how free you feel filmmakers should be to adapt established works of art. Read morePublished on June 23 2002 by Charles S. Tashiro
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 morePublished on March 24 2002 by Lazyboy
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 morePublished on Feb. 5 2002 by pietrogiovanni
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 morePublished on Dec 5 2001 by Katherine Dickerson
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
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 morePublished on Oct. 29 2001 by Mrs. Sunar Tjahjono
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