I'm not sure if this Traviata challenges decency in an indecent society. I do know that it challenges lovers of Verdi and of this opera to not grab torch and pitchfork and lay siege to the Seattle Opera offices. The singers, orchestra, and chorus were excellent, as always, but the director's concept and characterizations were silly, shallow, and simply wrong. I'm not an operatic curmudgeon who wants to see everything exactly as I saw it 30 years ago. New ideas are good, but they better be good ideas.
This was an absolute train wreck of a production and my least favorite in 15 years. It's my favorite opera. So much music was cut! Angel Blue was a wonderful alternate cast Violetta though.
The director's primary misreading of Traviata is that it shows Parisian society as monolithic—everyone vs. Violetta—whereas in the opera the social division is pretty clear. Of course, Germont represents bourgeois morality, judgmental and cruel (until he repents). But the others, the attendees at Flora's parties, are the bohemian demimonde. They accept Violetta for who she is. They don't think like Germont, and it was purely Konwitschny's invention to portray them as if they do.

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