Today, in recognition of "La Festa della Donna", (the lamest of lame holidays in all of Italy) you will be able to get your itchy little opera-loving hands on a brand new collector's edition DVD boxset of the Zubin Mehta-conducted film La Traviata à Paris, directed by Giuseppe Patroni Griffi, and starring Eteri Gvazava, José Cura, and Rolando Panerai.
This La Traviata was originally broadcast live (in four parts over the span of two days) on European television during the summer of 2000 (omg RUN its teh y2k millennium bug), where the singers and gigantic load of extras (numbered at 1,500) were dropped into actual locations around Paris (the opening scene takes place at L'Hôtel de Boisgelin) and the countryside. This new format allowed the opera unbridled, naturalistic expression and a 360-degree scope of acting/filming, but left many (Opera Chic included) with the distinct impression of perplexity. È strano, indeed.
This new boxset DVD comes with a book, and a 44-page libretto with special images from director-of-photagraphy Vittorio Storaro. Nicknamed "La Traviata del Terzo Millennio", it was also the winner of Four Emmy Awards and of the Prix Italia. Verdi's score is played by the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI.
It runs a bit over three hours, with lots of extras, including promos (witness the sickest, palest Violetta ev4r), outtakes (um, yeah, were going to need u 2 cough harder), historical location guides (welcome to our humble cottage, now plz remove ur riding boots tnx), and an hour-long "Making Of", which apparently took seven years to prepare from the mind of producer Andrea Andermann.
ok, but can I just ask what is going on during the final scene? omg, we have filthy pornography here! WHY WAS I NOT INFORMED??!
(I SWEAR ON THE GHOST OF COUNT CHOCOLA AND BOO BERRY THAT THIS ABOVE IS A SCREENCAP FROM THE LA TRAVIATA À PARIS!!)