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Werk: La traviata

Veranstaltungen zu klassischer Musik, Oper, Ballett und Tanz finden
KomponistVerdi, Giuseppe (1813-1901)
LibrettistFrancesco Maria Piave
GattungOper / Oratorium

TokyoHall Opera® Verdi: La traviataConcert performance

Verdi: La traviata
Nicola Luisotti; Michiko Taguchi; Zuzana Marková; Francesco Demuro; Artur Ruciński; Mae Hayashi

TokyoLa traviata

Verdi: La traviata
Andriy Yurkevych; Vincent Boussard; New National Theatre; Vincent Lemaire; Guido Levi; Anita Hartig

LondonLa traviata

Verdi: La traviata
Matthew Kofi Waldren; Rodula Gaitanou; Opera Holland Park; Cordelia Chisholm; Simon Corder; Lauren Fagan

MünchenLa traviata

Verdi: La traviata
Keri-Lynn Wilson; Günter Krämer; Bayerische Staatsoper; Andreas Reinhardt; Carlo Diappi; Wolfgang Göbbel; Ailyn Pérez

LondonRegents Opera presents La Traviata

Verdi: La traviata
Benjamin Woodward; Paul Higgins; Regents Opera; Maryna Gradnova; Francesca Matta; Leonel Pinheiro; Oliver Gibbs
Neue Kritikenmehr...

Liebe in Zeiten des Internets: La traviata an der Wiener Staatsoper

Pretty Yende begeistert als Violetta in Simon Stones erfolgreicher Modernisierung von Verdis Oper.

Instrumente und Stimmen als Ausdruck der Seele: Currentzis' Traviata

Auch ohne Szene ein Genuss: Teodor Currentzis musiziert rein konzertant mit musicAeterna in der Elbphilharmonie eine außergewöhnlich gefühlvolle Traviata.

Eine sensationelle Traviata mit Albina Shagimuratova in Wien

Albina Shagimuratova, Pavol Breslik und Simon Keenlyside verzaubern das Publikum der Wiener Staatsoper.

Die Schleier von der Seele ziehen: Konwitschnys La traviata

Eine temporeiche und stimmgewaltige Darstellung begeistert am Staatstheater Nürnberg.

Elsa Dreisig zieht als Violetta in ihren Bann

Die Berliner Traviata besticht durch ein exzeptionelles Sängerensemble und feinfühliges Orchester.

Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata is the epitome of High Romantic Italian Opera. For some, that means it’s the stereotype of all opera: a tragic, romantic story set to bright lights and stirring, beautiful music, complete with a beautiful heroine who dies in the last act, slowly and tunefully.

Opera-haters may scoff at La Traviata and opera-lovers may smile benignly on its clichés, but one thing is clear: the opera is hugely, massively popular, with hundreds of performances in over a hundred productions every year. If you add the tourist-oriented performances that are found weekly or more in many cities in Italy, La Traviata is probably the single most-performed opera in the world: only Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro comes close. There’s something deep and important at work - or perhaps a combination of things.

First and foremost, La Traviata’s allure comes from the melodies in its many set piece arias. Act I numbers like the Brindisi, the showpiece drinking song, and Un Di Felice, in which our hero describes the happy day he met his beloved, bring gladness to the heart of the most cynical and detached of listeners: the opera contains a succession of these. Verdi also provides his leading soprano with plenty of opportunities for coloratura fireworks: runs, trills and high notes abound. Another part of the appeal is the glittering setting: smart drawing rooms of the beau monde of 1830s Paris are meat and drink to set and costume designers who can convey spectacular visions of the high life to which many operagoers aspire - or at least yearn for. If you are looking for an evening of beautiful spectacle and beautiful music, search no further than the Act II scene 2 divertissement: Flora Bervoix’s party brightened by a chorus of gypsies and Spanish bullfighters, followed by the high drama of Alfredo’s scene at the card tables.

Perhaps all this glitz and tunefulness makes it a little too easy to miss the point. Behind the glamour lies a savage attack on the sexual hypocrisy of the times. The opera is based on the Alexandre Dumas novel La Dame Aux Camélias, a fictionalised account of the life of courtesan Marie Duplessis and her love affairs with Dumas himself and the son of the Duc de Guiche. Both the novel and Francesco Maria Piave’s opera libretto rail against the grotesque immorality whereby rich men were expected to have mistresses from the “demi monde” but required to keep their liaisons secret to avoid any stain on their family name. Marie/Violetta’s death from tuberculosis, alone and discarded by the world, is a shocking indictment of the prevailing social norms of the day. The moral intent of the opera is clear to see for anyone who wishes it - but, if you prefer, easy to ignore.

In contrast to the première of Verdi and Piave’s earlier morality tale Rigoletto, Verdi considered the 1853 opening night of La Traviata’s to have been a “fiasco”. The story clearly shows the contradictions of the genre. Violetta’s death has become one of the clichés of opera: we are supposedly a watching a frail creature dying from a life-consuming illness - the Victorian name for tuberculosis was “consumption” - whereas what is often in front of us is a voluminously built soprano in an even more voluminous costume projecting a powerful voice to the back of the auditorium. Verdi was aware of the danger and requested that the role be recast from the overweight soprano Fanny Salvini-Donatelli: the management of La Fenice refused the request. In the event, Salvini-Donatelli received great praise, described as singing the coloratura passages “with an indescribable skill and perfection”. However, Dr. Grenville’s announcement in the third act that Violetta had only hours to live caused outbursts of laughter in the audience, much to Verdi’s discomfiture.

Those days are long forgotten by most: opera house managers can bank on La Traviata to fill their houses with its matchless and seductive combination of glittering setting, melodious music and virtuoso singing.

Notable recordings of La Traviata feature Joan Sutherland in 1962 at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, with Carlo Bergonzi as Alfredo and Sir John Pritchard conducting and Maria Callas’s 1955 recording with Giuseppe di Stefano, conducted at La Scala by Carlo Maria Giulini. Angela Gheorghiu’s 1994 recording at Covent Garden is also well regarded, as is Ileana Cotrubas’s 1997 performance with Plácido Domingo.

Plácido Domingo and Lucia Popp signing the “Brindisi”:

Luciano Pavarotti showing outstanding vocal control singing “Un Di Felice” with Joan Sutherland in 1965:

And for something completely different: La Traviata performed in 2008 in Zürich railway station:

David Karlin
13th February 2010