Verdi's La Traviata

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Marina Poplavskaya in Verdi's <em>La Traviata</em>

The Met has unveiled Willy Decker’s modern-dress, boldly minimalist staging of Verdi’s La Traviata, first seen at the Salzburg Festival in 2005. Playing Violetta is the rising-star soprano Marina Poplavskaya who recently made a splash at the Met as Elisabeth in Don Carlo. (Anna Netrebko was originally slated for the role but dropped out of the production to avoid competing with her own DVD of the performance recorded at Salzburg.)

The reviews have been overwhelmingly enthusiastic for Poplavskaya, who plays a terminally ill courtesan who enters an ill-fated love affair with a young gentleman named Alfredo, played here by tenor Matthew Polenzani. Wearing a short red dress and high heels, she is surrounded by a flock of men in black suits as well as a giant, ever-present clock. The Financial Times noted that Poplavskaya "gave a dauntlessly athletic, expressive, magnetic performance."

Cast:

Conductor: Gianandrea Noseda
Violetta: Marina Poplavskaya
Alfredo: Matthew Polenzani
Germont: Andrzej Dobber
Production: Willy Decker