What's it About
Giuseppe Verdi's classic opera is given the full cinematic treatment in this adaptation by Franco Zeffirelli. Opera superstars Domingo and Stratas bring to life the doomed romance of young bourgeoisie Alfredo Germont and courtesan Violetta Valery. After Alfredo admits to Violetta that he's loved her from afar for quite some time, her initial response is cool. His ardor undimmed, he eventually wins her love, but when his father, Giorgio (MacNeil), approaches the woman and begs her to break off the affair for the sake of his family's reputation, she's faced with a decision that will lead to tragedy.
Why we love it
Zeffirelli's incredibly lush film pairs Verdi's powerful music with stunning, eye-popping imagery. The Academy Award nominated costumes and art direction are incredibly sumptuous, but it's the director's inspired cinematic treatment that makes this production really soar; never for a moment does it feel like you're watching filmed theater. Domingo and Stratas prove as commanding on screen as on stage; they know just how to play for the camera, and also bring the force of their astonishing voices to bear. If you can't make it to the opera, take our word for it: this is the next best thing.