Opera Philadelphia

A 20th Century LA TRAVIATA

A glance towards 1950s Paris
The end of World War II changed the social face of Paris: people would stop each other on the street to hug and celebrate the abolition of tensions and abuse in a burst of joy. And yet, Paris of the 50s continued to be a place of stark contrast: terrifying poverty in ordinary people contrasted with the extravagant habits of the privileged few.

The 1950s was also a time when women were becoming increasingly active in performing paid work. They could find a job in the textile industry or as nurses in hospitals and orphanages or at the other end of the spectrum, there were women who enjoyed a spectacular ascent in literature, theatre and in the film industry, thus becoming sources of inspiration for the great artists of their time due to their refinement and sensuality.

Director Paul Curran’s Provocative Production
For our production of La traviata, director Paul Curran developed an original and provocative staging that sets the story in the 1950s. The concept focuses on the contrast between the conservativeness of the time and understated promiscuity of the subject.

Set and Costume Designer Gary McCann’s colors of luxury
In the process of creation, set and costume de-signer Gary McCann intended to create a visual response to the dramatic elements on which di-rector Paul Curran had focused, accentuating a world in which extravagance stands in contrast with a culture that has just regained its sense of normality after the end of the war. In creating the costumes for the show, he has taken inspiration from Cecil Beaton’s photographic art and from the work of fashion designers such as Jacques Fath, Charles James and Christian Dior.

Dedicated funding for the Sounds of Learning Dress Rehearsal Program has been provided by The William Penn Foundation, Hamilton Family Charitable Trust, Eugene Garfield Foundation, Wells Fargo, Universal Health Services, Hirsig Family Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation, The McLean Contributionship, and Mr. William A. Loeb

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