Met HD season ends with acclaimed ’La Traviata’ on Saturday
The 2011-2012 Live at the Met HD season concludes with Willy Decker's acclaimed production of La Traviata on Saturday, April 14, 2012 in movie theaters throughout the country.
Acclaimed French soprano Natalie Dessay makes her Met role debut as Violetta, the fallen woman who sacrifices her last chance for love. Matthew Polenzani co-stars as Alfredo Germont, a young man from a good family who is willing to risk everything for Violetta. Dmitri Hvorostovsky sings Giorgio Germont, Alfredo's father, who disapproves of Violetta's lifestyle but is moved by her plight.
Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi leads Verdi's romantic tragedy, one of the most-loved operas of all time, in Decker's highly theatrical production, a hit when it premiered at the Met in 2010. Soprano Deborah Voigt hosts the transmission.
In reviewing the production this week in the New York Times, critic Anthony Tommasini wrote: "Last season the Metropolitan Opera had an enormous success with Willy Decker’s grippingly spare, almost surreal new production ofVerdi’s "Traviata." It has come back this season as a vehicle for the soprano Natalie Dessay. Ms. Dessay missed the first performance on Friday night due to illness, so the veteran soprano Hei-Kyung Hong, an admirable artist, took over.
"On Tuesday night Ms. Dessay sang the second performance, conducted by Fabio Luisi. This was her first time portraying the touchstone role of Violetta at the Met. And before she uttered a note, Ms. Dessay, who had originally intended to be an actress, made a wrenching impression as the fatally ill courtesan...
"It is pointless to separate singing and acting in a Dessay performance. Every vocal phrase is impelled by the emotion and dramatic intention of the moment. After Alfredo’s courtship Violetta, who is cynical about love, ponders whether it might just be possible to take his ardor seriously.
"At the end, when the lights came up and Ms. Dessay stood onstage for a solo bow, looking haunted in a frumpy coat over her satin slip, the ovation was huge."
To find out more about this and other Met HD broadcasts, visit this website.