[Marlis Petersen as ViolettaValéry in Verdi’s “La Traviata”, Graz 2011 – Photo Credit: Werner Kmetitsch/Oper Graz]
White Shirt Lackmus Test: What do you see on the small photo Violetta is holding up?
If, even just for a moment, your brain supplies the iconic 70s portraits of a certain former Innsbruck intendant, you have either spent far too much time on this blog, or you brain is indeed white-shirted. In either case, please have a seat and let me brew you an espresso.
Meanwhile, what is actually supposed to be on the photo is – this is from “Addio del passato” – Violetta’s own past beauty (nevermind Petersen being very VERY attractive throughout the night). Konwitschny’s precise and fresh reading of Verdi’s perhaps most worn classic premiered in Graz in 2011 and has recently visited ENO in London.
There’s a DVD of the original Graz run (bits and trailer on YT) – the film format really allows you to get closer to the acting than the live performance. Highly recommended if you enjoy intelligent staging with a feminist/idealist slant, intense, intelligent singer-actresses, and new looks at works you thought you knew backwards.
But really, just Marlis Petersen on her own would be worth the evening. Or any evening. She has a Naglestadian energy about her that makes it very, very hard to be aware of anything or anyone else.