Skip to main content


France, 2012 (MIFF 2013, Documentaries)

Director: Philippe Béziat

"Riveting ... A treat for fans of opera, the performing arts, and documentaries about process." - Variety

A film for anyone interested in the creative process and the collaborative nature of theatre, Becoming Traviata is as much an engrossing behind-the-curtains look at the contemporary staging of an opera classic - even for those who aren't normally fans of the art form - as it is a rare insight into the lives of true artists.

Classical music documentarian Philippe Béziat's spotlight is firmly focused on the working relationship between theatre/opera director Jean-François Sivadier and distinguished soprano Natalie Dessay in the lead-up to a revitalised production of Verdi's La Traviata at France's prestigious Festival d'Aix-en-Provence. Accessible and operatic in itself, the film captures a cocktail of thundering music, detailed close-ups and electric performances that heighten emotion and tension as opening night draws closer.

Winner of the COLCOA Film Festival Documentary Award.

"The working relationship between Sivadier and Dessay plays like a duet as they pick up on each other's ideas, bounce them back and forth in sometimes differing directions, and build to an epiphany before moving on." - Variety

D Philippe Béziat P Philippe Martin Dist Potential Films L French, English w/English subtitles TD DCP/2012

See also...


“A tribute to a masterful eye, a humanistic heart and a wondrous life.” - Variety ... Part travel diary, part retrospective, Journal de France trails acclaimed documentarian Raymond Depardon ... More »


“I'd even defend Bush… provided he pleaded guilty.” - Jacques VergèsDefender of the unrighteous and downright monstrous, French lawyer Jacques Vergès presents an enigmatic and morally ... More »


Bach in Auschwitz is a sobering account of the experience of 40 women who survived the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp of World War II by belonging to a group known to both prisoners and Nazis ... More »


Karl Lagerfeld - arguably one of the most influential fashion designers of the last half-century - takes centre stage for this documentary portrait of a fashion icon. Two years in the making, and ... More »


No one could have envisaged that a hippie musical about a crazy-haired gang of teens, singing for peace and love, and shedding their clothes, would have such a profound effect on America. More than ... More »


Legendary documentanan Frederick Wiseman directs Comedie-Francaise doyenne Cathenne Sarnie in her forceful, award-winning stage performance of Life and Fate, a recreation of a Russian Jewish doctor's ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director