Heightened Reality

Franco Zeffirelli's new staging of La Traviata is opera at its most opulent, a visually voluptuous production that nevertheless met with decidedly mixed reviews when it opened at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City in November 1998. With direction and set design by Zeffirelli, costumes by Raimonda Gaetani (making her Met debut), and lighting by Duane Schuler, the impression this Traviata gives is one of heightened reality, with the period decor meant to look believable rather than

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