Opera in Williamsburg presents Verdi’s La Traviata
Friday night’s performance is cancelled due to Kimball being closed. If you wish to exchange your tickets please email Nxzaha@wm.edu, tickets will be exchanged on a first-come, first-served basis.
Sunday September 16 at 2 PM performance will be at the Kimball Theatre unless it is not available – then they we will perform at the Williamsburg Library – visit their site for location info.
La Traviata is the most popular opera in the world today. The story is timeless–a woman who gives up everything for love, only to give up her love for the sake of her beloved. The opera will be conducted by Maestro Jorge Parodi, Opera in Williamsburg’s music director, and will include a world-class cast and full opera. http://www.operainwilliamsburg.org
Wednesday September 12 at 7 PM
Friday September 14 at 8 PM Cancelled – Kimball Theatre is Closed
Sunday September 16 at 2 PM – If the Kimball Theatre is not available for the Sunday matinee, we will perform at the Williamsburg Library
by Naama Zahavi-Ely
Most operas set their plots long ago and far away. Verdi’s Traviata is based on a woman of his own time and social circle. Alphonsine Duplessis, who died in 1847 at the age of 23, inspired Dumas fils to write his semi-autobiographical novel La dame aux Camélias in 1848, and adapt it into a play in 1852. Verdi’s opera premiered in 1853 – only six years after Alphonsine’s death. At the time, people would have remembered her salon where she gathered the leading intellectuals and musicians of the day. She read voraciously, even though she learned to read only late in her short life. If she had not died so young, perhaps she would have become as influential as Coco Chanel was in the 20th Century — another brilliant woman of humble background who was mentored by rich male friends.
Verdi’s LA TRAVIATA is a perennial favorite; in 2012 it topped the list of the most-performed operas worldwide. It is so familiar that we tend to forget how extremely unusual it is.
Yet the opera is not a mere docudrama. Verdi and his librettist Piave highlight some elements of Dumas’ story and add to them, while bypassing others. Their Violetta is neither a victim trapped by circumstances like Rigoletto’s Gilda or Otello’s Desdemona, nor a manipulating temptress like Lady Macbeth or Bizet’s Carmen. She is a figure of great integrity, though she is not a prude and most certainly not a virgin. Verdi’s music clearly sympathizes with her. Even the most jaded opera goers tend to have tears in their eyes at the finalle.
Productions of Traviata vary greatly. Some set the action in Verdi’s time with beautiful wide crinolines and bare shoulders. Others portray Violetta as a top-of-the-line call girl. We see in the story a group of cosmopolitan friends who socialize in the here-and-now. Some are artists, some are arts lovers, some arts patrons and mentors. When Violetta sings of going from pleasure to pleasure, the pleasures are real. When she chooses to forego them and devote herself to Alfredo, she is giving up something worth having for something she values even more. There are many parallels between the cosmopolitan Paris of Verdi’s time to the rich multicultural life of present-day New York, where many of our singers pursue their art.
Opera in Williamsburg (LLC) is dedicated to bringing to Williamsburg, Virginia intimate fully-staged opera with world-class cast. Funded by ticket sales and the support of members of the community, Opera in Williamsburg is committed to the highest artistic standards and maintains a relationship with the International Vocal Arts Institute (IVAI).
More information as well as links for buying tickets visit operainwilliamsburg.org