Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast: Mefistofele
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Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast and Live in HD Transmission: La Traviata 

Saturday, December 15, 2018 1:00 p.m. (ET)

Broadcast Traviata hdl 1218
Set design by Christine Jones for the Metropolitan Opera’s new Traviata
Courtesy Metropolitan Opera Technical Department
The Met: Live in HD series is made possible by a generous grant
from its founding sponsor, The Neubauer Family Foundation.
Digital support of The Met: Live in HD
is provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies.
The Met: Live in HD series is supported by Rolex.
The HD Broadcasts are supported by Toll Brothers,
America’s luxury home builder®.

The 2018–19 Metropolitan Opera broadcast season is
sponsored by Toll Brothers, America’s luxury home builder®,
with generous long-term support from The Annenberg Foundation,
The Neubauer Family Foundation,
The Vincent A. Stabile Endowment for Broadcast Media,
and through contributions from listeners worldwide.
 
La Traviata
 
Music by GIUSEPPE VERDI
Libretto by FRANCESCO MARIA PIAVE,
based on the play La Dame aux Camélias, by Alexandre Dumas, fils 
     
THE CAST   
(in order of vocal appearance)
Violetta  soprano, DIANA DAMRAU 
Flora  mezzo-soprano, KIRSTIN CHÁVEZ 
Marquis d’Obigny  bass-baritone, JEONGCHEOL CHA 
Baron Douphol  baritone, DWAYNE CROFT 
Dr. Grenvil  bass, KEVIN SHORT 
Gastone  tenor, SCOTT SCULLY 
Alfredo  tenor, JUAN DIEGO FLÓREZ 
Annina  mezzo-soprano, MARIA ZIFCHAK 
Giuseppe  tenor, MARCO ANTONIO JORDÃO 
Germont   baritone, QUINN KELSEY 
Messenger  bass, ROSS BENOLIEL 
    
Conducted by YANNICK NÉZET-SÉGUIN
    
The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
The Metropolitan Opera Chorus
The Metropolitan Opera Ballet
 
    
    Production: Michael Mayer
Set designer: Christine Jones
Costume designer: Susan Hilferty
Lighting designer: Kevin Adams
Choreographer: Lorin Latarro
Chorus master: Donald Palumbo
Musical preparation: John Keenan, Yelena Kurdina, Liora Maurer, Jonathan C. Kelly
Assistant stage directors: Jonathon Loy,
Sarah Ina Meyers, Kathleen Smith Belcher

Prompter: Yelena Kurdina
Stage band conductor: Jeffrey Goldberg
Italian coach: Hemdi Kfir
   
Production a gift of
Eva-Marie and Ray Berry/The Paiko Foundation
   
Major additional funding from Mercedes T. Bass, Mr. and Mrs. Paul M. Montrone, and Rolex 
 
THE SCENES  
Timings (ET) 
ACT I  Violetta’s house, Paris 1:00–1:41
ACT II    2:11–3:15
Sc. 1  A country villa  
Sc. 2  Flora’s house, Paris  
ACT III  Violetta’s bedroom 3:45–4:25
 
Host: Mary Jo Heath
Commentator: Ira Siff
Music producer: David Frost
Producers: Ellen Keel, John Bischoff,
William Berger

Executive producers: Mia Bongiovanni, Elena Park
     
Directed for live cinema by Gary Halvorson
HD host: Anita Rachvelishvili 
          
This performance will be transmitted live, in high definition and surround sound, into selected movie theaters as part of The Met: Live in HD series and will be shared with students in more than 150 U.S. schools as part of the Met’s HD Live in Schools program. For information on tickets, visit metopera.org/hdlive.
 

TO THE AUDIENCE that witnessed its world premiere, at Venice’s Teatro la Fenice in 1853, La Traviata was a shocking modern drama on a highly controversial subject. Despite the censors’ insistence that Verdi exchange the intended contemporary setting for the era of Richelieu, the sympathetic depiction of a courtesan drew charges of immorality. Indifferent performances and inappropriate casting in principal roles handicapped the opera’s first run, which Verdi deemed a fiasco. But at its revival, just over a year later at the same city’s Teatro de’ Benedetti, with a younger, more convincing heroine, the work triumphed.

Verdi attended the premiere of Alexandre Dumas fils’s play La Dame aux Camélias in Paris in 1852 and was immediately drawn to the subject. At the time, Verdi was living with his mistress, soprano Giuseppina Strepponi, and their relationship had aroused ire and disapproval from his family and the residents of his provincial hometown of Busseto, so the plight of the outcast Violetta inspired the composer’s intense compassion.

La Traviata arrived at the Metropolitan Opera in the company’s first season, with Marcella Sembrich in the title role. The present production, by Michael Mayer, is the company’s eleventh.

THE STORY 

ACT I. In her Paris salon, the courtesan Vio­letta Valéry welcomes her guests, among them Flora Bervoix, Marquis d'Obigny, Baron Douphol and Gastone, who introduces a new admirer, Alfredo Germont. The latter, confessing that he has adored Violetta from afar, offers a toast at her request; she joins him in the salute to pleasure. As her guests move into the ballroom, Violetta, suddenly feeling faint, remains behind. Alfredo returns, concerned about her, and ardently declares his love. At first, Violetta protests that love means nothing to her, but Alfredo's sincerity touches her, and she gives him a camellia, her symbol, promising that he may return to see her when the flower has withered. After her guests have gone, Violetta wonders if Alfredo could be the man to fulfill her dream of love. Dismissing this as folly, she asserts her need for freedom, as Alfredo's voice is heard outside, repeating his paean to love.

ACT II. Some months later, in a country villa near Paris, where he now lives with Violetta, Alfredo muses upon his contentment. When the maid, Annina, reveals that Violetta has been selling her belongings to pay their expenses, Alfredo is filled with shame. Resolving to settle their affairs at his own cost, he departs for the city. Violetta comes looking for him and finds an invitation from Flora to a party that night. She puts it aside, having given up her former life. Alfredo's father appears unexpectedly, demanding that Violetta renounce his son; the scandal of Alfredo's liaison threatens his sister's engagement. Violetta at first refuses, but when Germont suggests that the fleeting charms of youth are her sole appeal for Alfredo, she agrees to make the sacrifice. After Germont departs, Violetta sends a message accepting Flora's invitation, then begins a farewell note to Alfredo. He enters suddenly, surprising her; hiding the note, she tearfully reaffirms her love, then rushes away. Before long, a messenger brings her letter to Alfredo. Germont returns to console his despairing son with recollections of family life in Provence. But Alfredo, seeing Flora's invitation, concludes that Violetta has abandoned him for another lover and determines to confront her.

At her soirée, Flora learns from the Marquis that Violetta and Alfredo have parted ways. The floor is cleared for a band of fortune-telling Gypsies and dancers. Gastone and a group of men dressed as bullfighters offer a song about a matador and his coy sweetheart. Alfredo arrives, gambling recklessly and making bitter comments about love. Violetta, nervous and pale, enters on the arm of her old admirer, Baron Douphol, who proceeds to lose a small fortune to Alfredo. When the guests file into an adjoining room for supper, Violetta intercepts Alfredo, imploring him to leave before he further angers the baron. Misinterpreting her apprehension as concern for her new protector, he asks whether she loves Douphol. Bound by her promise to Germont, she replies that she does. Alfredo, mad with jealousy, calls the other guests to witness that he has repaid the money she squandered on him, then hurls his winnings at her feet. The guests rebuke him. Germont enters and berates his son, who is stricken with remorse, and Douphol challenges his rival to a duel.

ACT III. In Violetta's bedroom, Dr. Grenvil tells Annina her mistress hasn't long to live. Tuberculosis is consuming her. When she awakens, Violetta rereads a letter from Germont telling her the baron was only wounded in his duel with Alfredo, who knows of her sacrifice and is on his way to ask her pardon. Sensing that it is too late, Violetta bids farewell to her past. After Mardi Gras revelers pass by outside, Alfredo arrives. The lovers dream of a new life away from Paris, but Violetta falters and cries out against approaching death. Germont comes in with the doctor, as Violetta gives Alfredo a small portrait of herself, urging him to give it to the woman he will marry. Seized with a last resurgence of strength, she rises, crying out that she feels life returning, then falls dead. spacer 

More information can be found at The Metropolitan Opera.



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