Verdi Traviata opera to libretto by Francesco Maria Piave. Directed 2015 by Rolando Villazón at the Baden-Baden Festpielhaus. Stars Olga Peretyatko (Violetta Valéry), Atalla Ayan (Alfredo Germont), Simone Piazzola (Giorgio Germont), Emiliano Gonzalez Toro (Gastone, Vicomte de Létorières), Tom Fox (Baron Douphoi), Christina Daletska (Flora Bervoix), Konstantin Wolff (Marchese d'Obigny), Walter Fink (Dr. Grenvil), Deniz Uzun (Annina), Raimonds Spogis (Flora's Servant), Stefan Geyer (Commissioner), and Hermann Oswald (Giuseppe). Pablo Heras-Casado conducts the Balthasar-Neumann-Ensemble and the Balthasar-Neumann-Chor (Chorus Master Detlef Bratschke). Sets by Johannes Leiacker; costumes by Thibault Vancraenenbroeck; lighting by Davy Cunningham; choreography by Philippe Giraudeau; directed for video by Nele Münchmeyer. Released 2016, disc has 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA
Hugo Shirley, writing in the February 2017 Gramophone (page 92), warns that Rolando Villazón tries making the Traviata into a circus girl who is surrounded by gaudy sets, costumes, and inventions such a trapeze-artist double "who becomes increasingly central to the drama as Violeta herself is separated from it." The concept doesn't work, Shirley reports, and winds up "muddying the characterization and diluting the work's emotional impact.".