Notes & Reviews:
The first ever production of La Traviata by Konwitschny of Graz Opera featuring Petersen's debut in the title role of Violetta is a highly-focused, intelligent reading of the music that was widely acclaimed by audiences. With a reduced stage set and daring cuts in the score, the production concentrates on the tragic story of the courtesan Violetta. Bonus material includes an introduction by Ioan Holender, interview with Konwitschny and Petersen as well as backstage and rehearsal footage. ".... a debut for Konwitschny. He has staged many operas by Verdi, although never this one. It is almost as if the two had been waiting for this evening." - Süddeutsche Zeitung
The Graz version feels like a return to authentic original instrument practices. Director Konwitschny remembers that Verdi wanted the show set in modern dress and that only the Zeffirellis of this world think that Flora's party is a ballet. Marlis Petersen... James Rutherford... and Italian tenor Giuseppe Varano... are intensely involved and in good vocal shape. Tecwyn Evans conducts with great rhythmic acuity and finds pace and tension without rushing or becoming unduly loud. An outstanding issue and a quite draining experience.
BBC Music Magazine
Konwitschny is radical enough to introduce a character - silent, of course - whom Verdi and his librettist left out. That is Germont's daughter...Now to the musica performance: it is heavily cut, with the second verse of arias omitted, and also some very poignant music...Petersen is wonderful, and I think she would be in a more conventional production. She has a phenomenal vocal range, and she acts electrifyingly.
[Konwitschny] concentrates on the often very cruel emotional journey of the three principal characters...[Petersen, Varano and Rutherford] are intensely involved and in good vocal shape. Tecwyn Evans conducts with great rhythmic acuity and finds pace and tension without rushing or becoming unduly loud...An outstanding issue and a quite draining experience.
International Record Review
'Lulu sings Verdi' might well be the motto of Peter Konwitschny's stark, contemporary and highly contentious staging...The main reason for acquiring this set, however, is Petersen's thoroughly modern Violetta, despite her Louise- Brookes-as-Lulu wig and edgy, harrowing characterization...I suspect this is an issue that will appeal to fans of Konwitschny, rather than Verdians, but Petersen almost wins me over to the director's fresh, quirky ideas.
Konwitschny's early training in Brechtian theatre is apparent in his fierce observations on sexual hypocrisy, and in the unnerving way he confronts his audience's prurient fascination with the subject matter. The performance he gets from Petersen is little short of extraordinary in its veracity and beauty...the score has been more heavily cut than many will like. It's not for purists, though it won't leave you indifferent.
Run Time: 130 min.
Picture Format: NTSC, 16:9, Color
Sound Format(s): LPCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.0
Subtitles: English, German, Italian, French, Spanish, Japanese, Korean
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Works DetailsVerdi, Giuseppe : La traviata
- Performers: Giuseppe Varano (Tenor); James Rutherford (Baritone); Marlis Petersen (Soprano)
- Ensemble: Grazer Opera Chorus
- Period Time: Romantic
- Form: Opera/Operetta
- Written: 1853