I am usually not a big fan of minimalist works when it comes to opera. I think all too often the director is using the production as an opportunity to shine the spotlight on his/herself and not on the work. But I recently saw one of the most amazing modern productions of La Traviata ever!
Anna Netrebko sings the role of Violetta and Rolando Villazon sings Alfredo, with Thomas Hampson singing Germont. The cast is already great, and Willie Decker's staging puts the work into a light all its own. It may not be what you are used to, but it is certainly worth your time. The test for a modern production for me is if I leave thinking about the piece are just scratching my head because it went so far above it. In Decker's production, the message is made so much clearer with the staging.
The singing is fantastic with all three of the leads doing a phenomenal job. Netrebko may be my new favorite soprano! She does such an incredible job in this opera, and never misses a beat. Her "Sempre Libera" is unique in that she delivers it in death's face with such defiance. When she turns and shatter her champagne class against the wall right below the doctor (who represents death in this production) it paints a picture of Violetta that I had never seen before.
Here is the aria:
You've got to check this one out. Amazon has it on sale (click below).