Natalie Dessay portrays Violetta
“Violetta Valery, a Parisian courtesan, is receiving guests when Alfredo Germont is introduced as an admirer. Violetta invites him
to make a toast and Alfredo leads the crowd in a drinking song (Libiamo ne’lieti calici). …Violetta is disturbed, realizing she has never truly loved or been loved, yet concluding it is her destiny to ‘flutter from pleasure to pleasure’ (Sempre libera).” Thus the story begins in Act I of La Traviata (1853) by the Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901). “The figure of the lost woman – rather, the strayed woman – touched the composer’s heart. " Verdi thought the subject “simple and tender.”
La Traviata, a melodrama in three acts, is the last High Definition (HD) Live simulcast from the Lincoln Center stage of The Met
Opera in New York City to selected theaters around the world in the 2011-2012 season. Local opera lovers can view this production this Saturday, April 14, at 12:55 pm to 4 pmat the Cinemark Theater in the Huntington Mall and Great Escape in Nitro, Hollywood Stadium 12 in Granville and Greenbrier Valley Theatre in Lewisburg.
French soprano Natalie Dessay will wear the red dress and sing the role of Violetta. American tenor Matthew Polenzani will sing the role of lover Alfredo Germont. The role of Giorgio Germont, Alfredo’s father,will be sung by the Russian baritone Dimitri Hvorostovsky. The stage direction is by Willy Decker and Fabio Luisi, principal conductor at The Met Opera will be on the podium.
The opera will be sung in Italian with English subtitles and will have an approximate running time of three hours.
The libretto (script) for La Traviata is by Francesco Maria Piave based on the play La Dame aux Camelias by Alexandre Dumas, Jr.
The courtesan redeemed by love reminds us of last week’s simulcast of Manon by Massenet. The HD Encore performance will be on Wednesday, May 2 at 6:30 pm at Cinemark in the Huntington Mall if you miss the live broadcast this Saturday. You can also listen to it on WV Public Radio this Saturday, April14 and then experience the Encore.i
Larry Stickler is professor of music at Marshall University.