Saturday, January 29, 2011

VERDI : LA TRAVIATA

Radio New Zealand Concert network 
Sunday 25th of January 2015 at 6.03 - 9 pm
Sunday 3rd of August 2014 at 6.03 - 8.30
Sunday 28th of April 2013 at 3.04 - 6 pm

Sunday 20th of May 2012 at 3.04 - 6 pm
Sunday 30th of January 2011 at 3.04 - 6 pm


INTRODUCTION
COMPOSER
GOOD GUIDE
SYNOPSIS 
LIBRETTO 

I have removed a number of links that do not work any more. For some reason the Metropera archives are now closed to us, and this is a shame after so many years of service on their part and devotion on our part.
2015
VERDI: La Traviata, an opera in three acts
Violetta Valéry knows that she will die soon, exhausted by her restless life as a courtesan. At a party she is introduced to Alfredo Germont, who has long  been fascinated by her, and has been inquiring after her health every day.
Violetta............................. Marina Rebeka
Alfredo............................. Stephen Costello
Germont........................... Ludovic Tézier
Flora................................. Maya Lahyani
Annina.............................. Maria Zifchak
Gastone............................ Eduardo Valdes
Baron Douphol................. Jason Stearns
Marquis d'Obigny............. Kyle Pfortmiller
Doctor Grenvil................. James Courtney
Giuseppe........................... Juhwan Lee
Messenger......................... Joseph Turi
Guest................................ Athol Farmer
Metropolitan Opera Chorus & Orch/Marco Armiliato

Why didn’t Verdi (and the librettist Piave) give it the title “Violetta”? It seems that they did, but it was called La Traviata on the poster for its first performance on a Sunday evening in Venice.
   It was originally The Lady of the Camellias, a partly autobiographical novel and stage-drama by Alexandre Dumas (the son). He called her Marguérite (Daisy, or Pearl), and her real name was Marie Duplessis (but she was not South African). Marie was a Parisian courtesan (not simply a woman of easy virtue but a lady of expensive tastes); she was pretty, witty, and flitty. The list of her liaisons includes Liszt, Musset, and Dumas. Marie and Alexandre lived together in the country outside Paris in the summer of 1845, as in Act 2 of the opera; but it was not father Dumas who separated them (as Germont does), but their financial problems and the ‘waywardness’ of Marie. She died about three years later, at the age of 23, ‘consumed’ by 'consumption' (any disease causing wasting of tissues, especially pulmonary tuberculosis).

[1]  PARIS
At a party in her house, Violetta Valéry is introduced to Alfredo Germont, who  has loved her for a year. She starts coughing, and when he comforts her, she gives him a camellia, telling him that when it has withered he may visit her again. However, she does not want an attachment, but desires to remain free always (sempre libera).
[2.1]  AWAY FROM PARIS
 Nevertheless, they enter into a blissful partnership in the countryside, until Alfredo learns that Violetta is financing their affluent lifestyle by selling her possessions. He rushes off to Paris to get some money. His father comes to visit and spoils their happiness. He first persuades Violetta to end her relationship with his son (because it is affecting his daughter's chances of a good marriage)  , and then tries to persuade Alfredo to come home with him to Provence. 
[2.2]  FLORA”S PLACE
Alfredo has turned up at Flora’s party and he sees Violetta reunited with Baron Douphol; he is angry, and after remonstrating alone with her, he calls all the guests together and brandishes the money he has just won at cards, at the Baron’s expense; this will be payment for all the favours she has given him. His father intervenes and rebukes him; all including Violetta reproach Alfredo.
 [3.1]  VIOLETTA’S HOME
Violetta has reached her final hour of life; she is with her maid Annina, and is visited by Doctor Grenvil,  also a band of carnival revellers (outside her window), Alfredo (happy reunion), and then his father Germont (wishing to embrace her as his daughter).  She gives her lover a locket containing a portrait for him to keep as a memento. Note that Alexandre Dumas did not have a reunion with Marie Duplessis.

The Metropera has lately been using a production with a red dress, a red couch, and a broken clock (see the reviews). Diana Damrau (in 2013) tells how she came to love opera when she saw this one at the age of 12, watching the movie with Placido Domingo as Alfredo; now she has sung it with him as Alfredo's father George Germont. The reviews tell us that she triumphed.

There are many recordings of this great work around this house of mine: stand-out names are Callas, Sutherland, Gheorghiu, and Netrebko (with moving pictures, of course, and wearing the red dress).

VERDI: La Traviata, an opera in three acts
Violetta Valéry knows that she will die soon, exhausted by her restless life as a courtesan. At a party she is introduced to Alfredo Germont, who has been fascinated by her for a long time. Rumour has it that he has been inquiring after her health every day
Sunday 3rd of August 2014 
Violetta Valéry................ Diana Damrau
Alfredo Germont.............. Piotr Beczala
Giorgio Germont.............. Zeljko Lucic
Flora................................. Giuseppina Piunti
Annina.............................. Mara Zampieri
Gastone............................ Antonio Carianò
Baron Douphol................. Roberto Accurso
Marchese d'Obigny.......... Andrea Porta
Dr Grenvil........................ Andrea Mastroni
Giuseppe.......................... Nicola Pamio
Flora's servant.................. Ernesto Petti
Commissioner.................. Ernesto Panariello
La Scala Chorus & Orch/Daniele Gatti (recorded in La Scala, Milan)
The traditionalists in the top gallery booed (buuuuuh!) this production, and so Piotr Beczala declared that he would only come to Italy for holidays in future.


REVIEW (La Scala)
REVIEW (La Scala, NYT!)
Sunday 28th of April 2013 at 3.04 - 6 pm
Violetta........................ Diana Damrau
Alfredo........................ Saimir Pirgu
Germont....................... Plácido Domingo
Flora............................. Patricia Risley
Annina......................... Maria Zifchak
Gastone........................ Scott Scully
Baron Douphol............ Jason Stearns
Marchese d'Obigny...... Kyle Pfortmiller
Dr Grenvil.................... James Courtney
Giuseppe...................... Juhwan Lee
Flora's servant.............. Seth Malkin
Messenger.................... Joseph Turi
Gentleman................... Paul Corona
Metropolitan Opera Chorus & Orch/Yannick Nézet-Séguin
REVIEW (2013)
REVIEW (NYT) 
Sunday 20th of May 2012 at 3.04 - 6 pm
Violetta......................... Natalie Dessay
Alfredo......................... Matthew Polenzani
Germont........................ Dmitri Hvorostovsky
Flora............................. Patricia Risley
Annina.......................... Maria Zifchak
Gastone........................ Scott Scully
Baron Douphol.............. Jason Stearns
Marchese d'Obigny....... Kyle Pfortmiller
Dr Grenvil..................... Luigi Roni
Giuseppe....................... Juhwan Lee
Gentleman..................... Peter Volpe
Messenger.................... Joseph Turi
Guest............................ Athol Farmer
Metropolitan Opera Chorus & Orch/Fabio Luisi
REVIEW(2012)
Sunday 30th of January 2011 at 3.04 - 6 pm
VERDI: La Traviata, an opera in three acts
Violetta......................... Marina Poplavskaya
Alfredo......................... Matthew Polenzani
Germont........................ Andrezej Dobber
Flora............................. Jennifer Holloway
Annina.......................... Maria Zifchak
Gastone........................ Scott Scully
Baron Douphol.............. Jason Stearus
Marchese d'Obigny....... Kyle Pfortmiller
Grenvil.......................... Luigi Roni
Giuseppe....................... Juhwan Lee
Flora's servant............... Seth Malkin
Commissioner............... Joseph Turi
Dr Frenvil...................... Peter Volpe
Metropolitan Opera Chorus & Orch/Gianandrea Noseda

Sunday 9th  of May 2010 at 3.03 - 6.30 pm
Violetta......................... Angela Gheorghiu
Flora............................. Theodora Hanslowe
Annina.......................... Kathryn Day
Alfredo......................... James Valenti
Germont........................ Thomas Hampson
Gastone........................ Eduardo Valdes
Baron Douphol.............. John Hancock
Marquis d'Obigny.......... Louis Otey
Doctor Grenvil.............. Paul Plishka
Giuseppe....................... Juhwan Lee
Metropolitan Opera Chorus & Orch/Leonard Slatkin

3rd of August 2014
By popular demand Verdi's beloved opera LA TRAVIATA (The Deviant? The
Strayer?) is on the radio again; this time from Milan, not New York, nor
even Wellington.
   Diana Damrau from Germany is Violetta again, but not wearing a red dress; it
is blueish, maybe even "violet". Piotr Beczala from Poland is Alfredo.
   The traditionalists in the upper gallery of La Scala opera house booed the
Russian director, perhaps because the characters are wearing modern clothes,
just like them.
   For more information have a peep at this:

http://operawonk.blogspot.co.nz/2011/01/verdi-la-traviata.html

To see pictures of the production, put this in your searcher:
Traviata La Scala Gatti

   Meanwhile, if you want the latest on the battle between the management and
the workers (including orchestra members) at the NY Metropera, threatening
the collapse of the coming season (and that would mean no cinema viewing, or
in such "low definition" as to be invisible and inaudible) do a search with
this mantra:
Peter Gelb Lockout
   He seems such a nice man, when we see him in high definition, and he directs
those telecasts himself;  but he wants to cut the workers' wages, and they
want him to stop wasting money on lavish productions (remember all those
planks in Wagner's RING?).

Briano, Il Traviato ("Mis-led from the right way")

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