Price: $195.00

    Code: 2449

    Directed by Philippe Beziat
    2012, 112 minutes
    In English, French and Italian with English subtitles
    Purchase: $195 | Classroom rental: $125

    A fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the staging of a major operatic production, Verdi's masterpiece, "La Traviata," starring world-famous French coloratura soprano Natalie Dessay and directed by the celebrated Jean-Francois Sivadier.

    Over two months, filmmaker Philippe Beziat follows the production's development from opening rehearsals to glorious realization, with music performed by the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Louis Langrée.

    Becoming Traviata captures key dramatic and intimate moments as the stage director and his diva invent, and then re-invent their incarnation of Violetta. While the leading cast rehearses in what look like yoga outfits, on a bare stage with minimal props, other pieces of the production are coming together. From set design to the chorus' performance, every element is given close attention.

    The film transcends the traditional peek at the mise en scene of the modern staging of a classic. Becoming Traviata shines light on a question essential to the performing arts: "How does one become a character?"

    Subjects & Collections

    Festivals & Awards

    * Official Selection, New York Film Festival
    * Winner, Best Documentary Award, ColCoa Film Festival


    "Impressionistic, handsomely shot...Becoming Traviata has what any good movie needs: a star — the ever-game soprano Natalie Dessay. Dressed in workout-style clothes that emphasize the hard, physical work of rehearsal, and wearing minimal makeup, Ms. Dessay... lets the camera observe her closely... For an opera star, for any kind of star, it’s remarkably unvain and oddly endearing." - The New York Times

    " An exquisitely observed look at performance and the creative process. You don't need to be an opera buff to appreciate Philippe Beziat's documentary, which makes the essentials of Verdi's romantic drama "La Traviata" clear while building its own stirring narrative around a French festival production's director and star." - Los Angeles Times

    “Outstanding, subtle and inventive. Illuminates beautifully the famous opera and its main character Violetta.” – Le Monde

    " A spare and ravishing doc...The film celebrates the sweat and prep that goes into such performances, showing us the rich collaborative interplay between the director and the star." - Village Voice

    “Electrifying! A treat for fans of opera, the performing arts and documentaries about process…A perfect marriage of theater and music.” – Variety

    Becoming Traviata works as a reminder of the important interactiveness of the performing arts, of actors evoking the drama, action, and emotion that computers and machines cannot."- Slant

    “A thoughtful, artistic, and meticulous chronicle of the path to becoming one of the great operatic characters…Allows for a rare insider's perspective. Highly recommended for Verdi fans.” - Library Journal

    "Especially recommended to graduate students in opera studios.Lovers of Verdi’s La Traviata and fans of acclaimed French soprano Natalie Dessay will want to see this behind-the-scenes view of how one version of the opera ‘became.’" - Educational Media Reviews Online

    "Opera lovers and music libraries will find this an especially worthwhile acquisition, although it should also be of interest to drama collections. Recommended ." - Video Librarian