03/26/2013 01:38 pm ET Updated Mar 26, 2013

'Becoming Traviata' Documentary Goes Behind The Scenes Of Verdi's Classic Opera (VIDEO)

Giuseppe Verdi's "La Traviata" -- "the fallen woman" in Italian -- tells the tale of Violetta, a tragic heroine who is desperate to remain free and love freely, despite social constraints. While Verdi's masterpiece have delighted opera patrons for the last 150 years, a new film by Philippe Beziat sheds light on the classic opera for a wider audience.

In "Becoming Traviata" Beziat shows us the whirlwind of decisions, details, and practices that went into enacting the rise and fall of Violetta for the 2011 performance of "La Traviata" at the Aix-en-Provence Festival in France. The video above shows a preview for the film which is hinged on the powerful relationship between opera director Jean-Francois Sivadier and lead soprano Natalie Dessay (Violetta).

"Becoming Traviata" will be released in select theaters in New York on May 17 and Los Angeles on May 24.

Would you prefer to watch the magical performance in person or do you think the Met's Live in HD program and other initiatives to widen opera's audience are worthy ideas? Let us know in comments.

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Correction: An earlier version of this article listed the LA release as May 17, not May 24. We regret the error.