Becoming Traviata (2013)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

The reinvention of Verdi's masterpiece, La Traviata, as sung by world-famous French coloratura soprano Natalie Dessay, is the subject of Philippe Béziat's thrilling new movie. A modern, minimalist, post-punk approach strips away the opulence and grandiosity associated with operatic productions. Concentrating on director Jean-François Sivadier's working relationship with Dessay, the film reveals how two great creative minds build the story of a doomed love affair. The stars rehearse in what look like yoga outfits, on a bare stage, with minimal props. The final production, set against a backdrop of sky and clouds, punctuated by a single chandelier, features Violetta and Alfredo (a darkly gorgeous Charles Castronovo) as the very essence of hipster-chic. Their passion, however, is for the ages. With music performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Louis Langrée. (c) Distrib
Documentary , Musical & Performing Arts
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Natalie Dessay
as Violetta Valéry/Herself
Jean-François Sivadier
as Production Designer/Himself
Louis Langree
as Musical Director/Himself
Ludovic Tezier
as Giogio Germont/Himself
Adelina Scarabelli
as Annina/Herself
Charles Castronovo
as Alfredo Germont/Himself
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Critic Reviews for Becoming Traviata

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (10)

Watching Dessay work as a real human being and not a glittering vocal princess is a fascinating treat.

Full Review… | June 27, 2013
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

The movie is most enjoyable as a simple record of the performers, allowing one to eavesdrop on soprano Natalie Dessay and tenor Charles Castronovo as opera director Jean-Francois Sivadier coaches them through some of the libretto's more layered moments.

Full Review… | June 6, 2013
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

You can follow the story even if you're unfamiliar with the opera - though a five-minute brush-up on the plot wouldn't hurt.

Full Review… | May 30, 2013
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Zeroing in on the art of rehearsal, "Becoming Traviata" is an exquisitely observed look at performance and the creative process.

Full Review… | May 23, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Sivadier and Dessay take the familiar and make it tragic once more.

Full Review… | May 16, 2013
New York Post
Top Critic

Doc offers impressive singing and insights into opera's nonmusical dramatic challenges.

Full Review… | May 15, 2013
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Becoming Traviata

This attempt to give an "insider's" view of a French production of "La Traviata" does not succeed. We see bits and pieces and listen to a lot of conversation about a pecurliarly conceived version of the Verdi classic starring Natalie Dessay, who we were lucky to see perform the role in Santa Fe. No actual footage of a performance is included in this mish mash of a documentary. When placed alongside the far superior "Wagner and Me" conceived by Stephen Fry, this film pales dreadfully!

Jerry Kane
Jerry Kane

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