Zeffirelli's talents are well-matched to La Traviata. Based on Dumas' novel The Lady of the Camellias, with an original soundtrack by Verdi, this is grand opera at its most pathetic, in which Romantic heroines suffer and expire amid the fluttering demi-monde of 19th century Paris. Teresa Stratas, as that most famous of TB cases, has a suitably angelic face, though her voice is a touch less seraphic in the higher registers; the masterful Placido Domingo brings an ingenuous charm to the role of Alfredo; Zeffirelli directs as he has always done, in a style high on gloss and bravura, with occasional nods to film realism via exteriors and voice-overs. The sumptuousness comes close to overkill, but fine musical moments help some magic to survive.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Francesco Maria Piave, Franco Zeffirelli|