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25.10.12

Latest Docu-Opera from Philippe Béziat

Philippe Béziat made his new documentary Traviata and Us during the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence. Including footage of rehearsals and performances, he claims to show how soprano Natalie Dessay "literally becomes Verdi's heroine." Christian Merlin writes about the film in an article (Natalie Dessay, les secrets d'une métamorphose, October 24) for Le Figaro (my translation):
Up to this point there were three ways to film opera: capture a performance live, make a filmed opera in the studio, or make a documentary. Philippe Béziat has invented something else. Traviata et nous is not his first attempt at this. In Pelléas et Mélisande, Le chant des aveugles and in Noces, he had opened the way: neither a simple filming or a documentary, but a true film, with a screenplay and direction, an entirely new work. [...]

Béziat shows us the miracle of the metamorphosis: how, thanks to hard work, the woman Natalie Dessay, perfectly normal, becomes another woman. No need for fiction here, reality speaks. "Even if you do not have the keys, you feel the risks," the director explains. "A person like you and me undergoes a transformation that is beyond her, the camera sees it." A passionate opera lover, Béziat pledges equal love for film and music, two arts immutably linked for him, perhaps because they are both a way of organizing time. It is not by chance that his production company is called Les Films Pelléas.
Embedded above is a taste of Béziat's Pelléas film. Trailer for Traviata et nous here.

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