Made an Opera Movie for Everyone
'Becoming Traviata' is a welcome surprise
For someone whose knowledge of opera is limited to two Bugs Bunny vehicles—Long-Haired Hare and What’s Opera, Doc?—and whose grasp of Verdi begins and ends with 10,000 Maniacs’ “Verdi Cries,” director Philippe Béziat’s Becoming Traviata is the perfect entry point. This unfussy and beautifully shot documentary takes viewers on a journey as stage director Jean-François Sivadier, conductor Louis Langrée, soprano Natalie Dessay and the many other people necessary to stage an opera prepare Verdi’s “La traviata” for the Aix-en-Provence Festival in France in summer 2011.
There are no interviews, little talking to the camera and no bologna. We see Sivadier talk (and talk and talk and talk)…