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108 minutes · 2013
To some extent, this French documentary by Philippe Beziat mimics Frederick Wiseman's acclaimed La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet as it traces a production of Verdi's La Traviata for the Aix-en-Provence Festival; in contrast to Wiseman's wide-ranging, nuts-and-bolts exploration of the ballet company, however, the action here is confined to rehearsal of the singers and orchestra. Beziat indulges in a few stylistic flourishes that Wiseman would never dream of, synchronizing the audio from one scene with the video from another. The movie is most enjoyable as a simple record of the performers, allowing one to eavesdrop on soprano Natalie Dessay and tenor Charles Castronovo as opera director Jean-Francois Sivadier coaches them through some of the libretto's more layered moments. In French with subtitles.

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