Published18 Aug 2015
Opera Philadelphia presents a lavish production of Verdi’s tragic love story La traviata
Five Performances at the Academy of Music, Oct. 2-11, with an Opening Night Gala on Friday, Oct. 2; Plus, a FREE, HD Opera on the Mall broadcast on Saturday, Oct. 3
Following recent grand-scale stagings of Don Carlo and Nabucco it is again with Verdi that Opera Philadelphia makes its first appearance of the season at the Academy of Music, with the American premiere of a stylish new production of La traviata from award-winning Scottish director Paul Curran. Highlighted by a black-tie Opening Night Gala (Friday, Oct. 2), and a free HD broadcast in Independence National Historical Park to mark the company’s fifth annual Opera on the Mall event (Saturday, Oct. 3), Opera Philadelphia’s presentation showcases the company and role debuts of Metropolitan Opera favorite Lisette Oropesa as Violetta and Grammy Award-winner Alek Shrader as Alfredo, with Music Director Corrado Rovaris, whose “ownership of Verdi rivals any of the late greats” (Opera News), at the podium.
Featuring Verdi’s most timeless and lyrical score, La traviata has continued to captivate audiences for more than 150 years. In the glamorous world of Paris—updated to the mid-20th century in this lavish production—a naive young man falls head over heels for a beautiful party girl. One of opera’s greatest romances takes a wrenching turn after they risk everything for a chance at enduring love. Having proven herself “a house favorite” who “lights up the stage” (The New Yorker) at The Metropolitan Opera, soprano Lisette Oropesa makes her company and role debuts as doomed courtesan Violetta. “I am really looking forward to exploring the character of Violetta,” the Cuban American soprano says. “She is extremely open-hearted, she takes a huge emotional risk – twice – and she never breaks down or falls apart. The music is very emotional, but the character has an extremely strong center.”
Tenor Alek Shrader whose “singing is distinguished by a simultaneous lyricism and verve” (Opera News), makes his company and role debuts as Alfredo, who seems to be the man of Violetta’s dreams. As Alfredo’s father, who disapproves of the couple’s love, baritone Stephen Powell is “a vivid Germont, playing the heavy with such relish that the series of soprano-baritone duets in Act II caught fire” (Wall Street Journal).
Tickets to La traviata at the Academy of Music including the Opening Night Gala are now on sale, and may be purchased at operaphila.org or by calling 215.732.8400.
FREE tickets to Opera on the Mall: La traviata will be available beginning Wednesday, September 2, at operaonthemall.org.
Music by Giuseppe Verdi | Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave
American Premiere of production from National Opera House of Bucharest
October 2, 4m, 7, 9 & 11m, 2015
Academy of Music
Performed in Italian with English supertitles
Performance times: Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.; Fridays at 8:00 p.m.; Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m.