Giuseppe Verdi’s masterpiece, La Traviata, opens at the Dallas Opera October 27 starting at 7:30pm. A bittersweet story of romance and heartbreak, this sumptuous production from Lyric Opera of Chicago stars American soprano Georgia Jarmanas the doomed Paris courtesan, Violetta Valéry; American tenor René Barbera in his company debut as Alfredo, the naïve young man who falls head-over-heels for her; and Belarussian baritone Vladislav Sulimsky as Alfredo’s deeply concerned father, Giorgio Germont. Tickets start at $19, with Young Professionals best-seat tickets for $50. Purchase tickets here.
In their Dallas Opera debuts, acclaimed Italian conductor Carlo Montanaro guides the performance from the podium and Stefania Panighini—in her American debut—directs the 2017 revival of a production originally staged by director Frank Galati.
Based on the play La dame aux Camélias by Alexandre Dumas fils (the Younger) who originally presented the tragic love story as a novel, Verdi’s 1853 masterpiece overflows with some of the opera’s most sensuous and beautiful melodies, the most memorable characters, and the most heart-rending drama, making it a popular favorite from that day to this.
Set in 19th-century Paris, where the young heir to a distinguished family name falls passionately in love with a woman of uncertain virtue, LA TRAVIATA is one of the most soulfully romantic works in the opera canon.
Modeled after the too-short life and times of one of Paris’ best-known 19th century beauties, Marie Duplessis (who later went on to have a torrid affair with composer Franz Liszt); this is the story of her sometimes stormy relationship with writer Alexander Dumas the Younger, who immortalized her as “The Lady of the Camellias” after she succumbed to tuberculosis at the tender age of 23. After her death, the frenzied sale of her remaining jewels and belongings paid-off her outstanding debts and provided a tidy bequest to her niece in Normandy, who inherited Marie’s ill-gotten gains on the condition that she never set foot in Paris.
In Dumas’ book, which served as the basis for his later play, his fictional heroine tells us, “I built a future life on your love; I dreamed of the country, of purity.” In Verdi’s opera, Alfredo (the stand-in for Dumas fils) was raised far from the wicked city-life and, in his naiveté, barely comprehends the choices that Violetta has been forced to make, in order to survive.
However, composer Giuseppe Verdi, who at the time was living in his own “scandalous” and unconventional arrangement with Giuseppina Strepponi, understood these characters completely and renders them indelibly upon our hearts.