“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.” [Film Forum]
Always front and center with a vote of confidence, Peter Gelb told the New York Times, “Natalie is one of the great artists, but she also is somewhat fragile.” (The kicker on the story goes like this: ”Ms. De Niese, Mr. Gelb added, will again be available, just in case.”) So: does it begin to look to you, cher public, like this Giulio Cesare production may resemble in some ways a ride on the montagnes russes? Should Danielle de Niese just go ahead and sublet a flat at The Bel Canto? It’s up to you, parterrians, to turn your crowdsourcing skills to the task of predicting the possibly messy course of the next few weeks. Read more »
Well, that didn’t take long: “Danielle de Niese will sing the role of Cleopatra in this evening’s performance of Handel’s Giulio Cesare, replacing Natalie Dessay, who is ill.” (So says the Met press office.) Read more »
Natalie Dessay coyly bares a breast on the cover of Virgin Classics’ new Giulio Cesare.
La Cieca predicts you won’t be seeing any puritans at the Met next season, except of course for the ones who slouch around during intermission hissing, “You call that a trill?”
Due to health reasons, Natalie Dessay has withdrawn from the performances of Massenet’s Manon.
Here’s something you can hardly call news, because it’s an old story everyone expected to happen anyway.
La Cieca has just had the news confirmed that Natalie Dessay canceled after Act 1 of La Traviata earlier this evening at the Met.