La Traviata at La Scala's Opening Night

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Party scene in La Traviata at Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy. Party scene in La Traviata at Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy. (Teatro alla Scala)

• Listen to the Operavore stream

On World of Opera, host Lisa Simeone presents La Traviata from one of opera's true gala occasions: opening night at La Scala in Milan. The legendary opera house starts its current season with a new production starring soprano Diana Damrau as Violetta.

La Traviata is so compelling a story that it works its way into public consciousness time and time again. Most popular among its manifestations is in the film "Pretty Woman." In addition to having a similar theme to the opera (the film is about a wealthy gentleman falling in love with a prostitute), a performance of La Traviata appears in the movie. 

As our leading couple watches the opera, the prostitute (Vivian) can't deny the obvious parallels between herself and Violetta, the prostitute in La Traviata. They both have the same occupation, but more importantly they both face vexing decisions concerning their lovers. Ultimately, Vivian decides not to follow Violetta's tragic example.

In this production, director Dmitri Tcherniakov sets the opera in the present and makes it's characters more contemporary and casts it well. Piotr Beczala plays a boyish Alfredo to Diana Damrau's poignant Violetta. Soprano Mara Zampieri plays Annina as more of a confident to Violetta in this fresh version of La Traviata.

Program Details:

Conductor: Daniele Gatti
Violetta: Diana Damrau (soprano)
Alfredo Germont: Piotr Beczala (tenor)
Giorgio Germont: Zeljko Lucic (baritone)
Flora: Giuseppina Piunti (mezzo-soprano)
Baron Douphol: Roberto Accurso (baritone)
Gastone: Antonio Carianò (tenor)
D'Obigny: Andrea Porta (bass) 
Annina: Mara Zampieri (soprano) 
Dr. Grenvil: Andrea Mastroni (bass)
Orchestra and Chorus of La Scala

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