Willy Decker’s Traviata has garnered praise from critics and audiences alike in the week since its Metropolitan premiere, but (as was to be expected) this praise comes over the complaints of a select few traditionalists, a handful of lonely boos amid the mostly enthusiastic applause. Their objection (as usual) is that Decker’s production betrays the “original text” of “Verdi’s La Traviata.” But these detractors should consider that La Traviata is a work in which questions of betrayal and fidelity are specifically at issue—one that reminds us that sometimes, counterintuitively, the only way to remain faithful to someone or something is to depart from it. Read more »
As we look forward to New Year’s Eve and to the gala opening of Willy Decker’s La Traviata at the Met, it seems fitting to look back—by way of the official, live, DVD recording of the production’s sensational world premiere at the Salzburg Festival in 2005—to get some sense of what’s behind all the hype. Released in 2005 by Deutsche Grammophon, this recording promises an exciting evening for the Met’s audience on December 31st, but also raises the question of whether the New York premiere will live up to the high expectations set in Salzburg.