La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi
After the summer break the 2011 Opera Season reopens on Saturday 27th August at 19.00 with the second part of the popular trilogy by Verdi, with which Teatro La Fenice is celebrating the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Unification of Italy. Reproposed in the successful production by Robert Carsen and Patrick Kinmonth that opened the first opera season of La Fenice in November 2004 after its reconstruction and which, reproposed in 2007, 2009 and 2010, is on its way to becoming a classic of the Venetian Opera House’s repertoire, and a date to be counted on in the September programme. Direction is by Robert Carsen (assistant director Christophe Gayral), set and costumes by Patrick Kinmonth, choreography by Philippe Giraudeau, and lighting by Robert Carsen and Peter Van Praet.
A melodrama in three acts to the libretto by Francesco Maria Piave based on the drama by Alexandre Dumas (son), La Dame aux Camélias, it made its debut at La Fenice on 6th March 1853 and, as was the case in April 1854, will be presented in that version.
Renato Palumbo will conduct the Orchestra and Choir of Teatro La Fenice; the cast includes Patrizia Ciofi (27,30/8, 4,7,10/9) alternating with Gladys Rossi (28/8, 6,9,11/9) and Jessica Nuccio (8/9) as Violetta Valéry; Gianluca Terranova (27,30/9, 6,8,10) alternating with Shalva Mukeria (28/8, 4,7,9,11/9) as Alfredo Germont; Claudio Sgura (27,30/9, 6,8,10 alternating with Seung-Gi Jung (28/8, 4,7,9,11/9) as Giorgio Germont; Sabrina Vianello as Annina; Iorio Zennaro as Gastone, visconte di Letorières; Elia Fabbian as Il barone Douphol; Matteo Ferrara as Il
marchese d’Obigny and Luca Dall’Amico as Il dottor Grenvil.
The première on Saturday 27th August 2011 will be followed by nine repeat performances, that are not part of the subscription cycle: Sunday 28th and Tuesday 30th at 19.00, Sunday 4th September, Tuesday 6th, Wednesday 7th, Thursday 8th and Friday 9th at 19.00, Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th at 15.30.
Composed by Giuseppe Verdi to a libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, La Traviata is the third of the so-called “popular trilogy”, together with Rigoletto and Il Trovatore. There is no doubt that it is even richer in its undertones of the psychological workings of its protagonist, achieving a result that is practically unrivalled in the entire history of Italian opera.
Although it is now considered the Opera par excellence, La Traviata’s debut at La Fenice on th March 1853 was not particularly successful. However, the opera was revived in Venice on May 6 6th 1854 at Teatro San Benedetto and met with resounding success, also thanks to its more suitable cast.
There is a variety of the typical ingredients of nineteenth-century libretto-writing in the weavings of the plot: love as a tie that overcomes any limits imposed by the rules of social convention; the supremacy of the irrational value of blood relations (the family) over anything else.
Nevertheless, there are also a considerable number of novel elements: above all, the fact that it is a story taken from contemporary times, in an age where preference was given to settings that were different in time and space or even mythological. Marie Duplessis – the true archtype of Violetta – was one of the most famous prostitutes of that time, and whom Alexandre Dumas, the son, had met and then put down in history with the name of Marguerite Gautier in the novel The Lady of the Camelias (1848); then it was Verdi’s turn – seldom has contemporaneity entered behind the opera scenes so quickly.