Opera & Dance601 entries
Opens: 02/02/2013 Closes: 03/03/2013 ENO, London ColiseumLiterally meaning ‘the fallen woman’, Verdi’s opera about the rise and fall of a courtesan has proved one of the most successful of all time. Staged here by the German director Peter Konwitschny, it has also been a major inspiration for Hollywood: Moulin Rouge! took much from its plot, and, rather unsubtly, it is the opera to which Edward takes Vivian in Pretty Woman.
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The Observer“Short on subtlety but bursting with emotion...” The veteran German director Peter Konwitschny, in his UK opera debut, has created a taut, gripping drama. He has shaken the work inside out without destroying it. Michael Hofstetter conducted a feverish and urgent performance...
Opera Britannia“An utterly absorbing experience, incredibly theatrical...” In stripping the opera down to its bare bones, I’d argue greater truths about Violetta’s plight are revealed – especially her precarious relationship with society...
Exeunt“This is much more what 21st Century opera should be...” As with any radical approach to a much-loved work, it’s not going to please everyone, not least because it slices away sections of the music to create an unbroken sequence of images that come in at just 110 minutes. This hardly seems necessary...
Financial Times“It wouldn’t be like Konwitschny to leave convention unchallenged....” It all adds up to an innovative, haunting concept, to which the singers, by and large, do justice. Making her European debut, the American soprano Corinne Winters shows promise as Violetta, but has yet to get under the skin of the role...
The Arts Desk“Every move seems phoney: drag the curtains here, jump off the chair...” So impassioned is American soprano Corinne Winters’s Violetta that to rob her of any meaningful relationships with the man she loves and the father she’s supposed to soften tears the heart out of a brilliant music-drama...
The Stage“There’s little attempt to move the audience at all... ” It’s impossible not to admire the commitment with which the cast follows Konwitschny’s instructions, but given ENO’s desperate financial state, one wonders whether this new production is not just yet another example of dodgy judgement...
The Telegraph“A gripping and impressive Traviata, but not a moving or beautiful one...” Although Konwitschny’s vision is sharp-edged and clean-lined, it seems bleak, narrow and jejune compared to Verdi’s. Close your eyes, however, and his music is grandly honoured...
Guardian“It's all compelling, and sometimes curiously moving...” A totally convincing piece of music theatre, which tightens and intensifies Verdi's score musically as well as dramatically. This version, conducted by Michael Hofstetter, has lost all its ballet music and some aria repeats...
The Independent“Wait for the revival of Richard Eyre’s definitive take at Covent Garden..” With two acts separated by an interval, Verdi found the perfect shape for his opera. Konwitschny’s unhelpfully abbreviated version runs without a break: another reason for first-timers to give it a miss...
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