2 hours 45 minutes, 2 intermission 20 minutesLanguage
In Italian, Czech, English subtitlesPremiere
October 5, 2016
The operatic story loosely based on Dumas’s novel La Dame aux Camélias about the sick courtesan Violetta and her vain desire to extricate herself from the conventions of society has been tugging at audiences’ heartstrings for more than 150 years. Verdi’s moving music romantically idealises Violetta’s ill-fated love for Alfredo and addresses the spectator not only with its theatrical eff ectiveness but also, and primarily, profound and emotive lyrics.
State Opera Chorus and Orchestra
Giuseppe Verdi’s La traviata, to the libretto based on Alexandre Dumas’s novel La Dame aux camélias, about Marie Duplessis, the famous courtesan and idol of Parisian society in the 1840s, is actually the very first significant opera to a contemporary social theme.
The work’s premiere in 1863 in Venice was, however, a fiasco: the audience was appalled that the lead role had been assigned to a courtesan who, what’s more, was portrayed in a positive light. Yet Verdi’s opera soon started garnering plaudits and is now one of the most popular repertoire titles the world over.
La traviata has been staged by the opera house (today’s State Opera) in Prague since the very beginning of its existence, when it took over the production from the German Estates Theatre. The opera primarily afforded the opportunity to host celebrated foreign singers, including the legendary Australian soprano Nellie Melba (18 April 1900). The most recent production was undertaken in 2006 by a foreign team headed by the French stage director Arnaud Bernard, with the music being explored by the Italian conductor Enrico Dovico.
Approximate running time, including intermissions: 2 hours, 45minutes, two 20-minute intermissions
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