La Traviata at the Gran Teatre de Liceu in Barcelona

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La traviata is unique in Verdi’s output. Unlike Aida or Nabucco, it is remarkable for its realistic portrayal of the tale of Violetta who, on her deathbed, recalls her life as a courtesan in flashback form. In it Verdi made a head-on attack on the hypocritical society that censured his relationship with Giuseppina Strepponi. He also exalted human life and virtues such as generosity, compassion and selflessness, which are negated by the implacable judgement of a class-dominated society. In this adaptation of the novel by Alexander Dumas son, La dame aux camélias, he made subversive references to topics that were outlawed at the time (syphilis and tuberculosis). This, and his moral stance, aroused a storm of fury at the opera’s first showing. Now David McVicar’s masterly version, featuring his usual dramatic and highly-charged mise en scene, offers a contemporary re-reading. A grandiose melodrama in a period setting.4586-_033_-_R__A_Bofill_02 4586-_085_-_R__A_Bofill_02 4586-_106_-_R__A_Bofill_024586-_087_-_R__A_Bofill_02


La traviata

Opera in three acts. Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave based on La dame aux camélias by Alexandre Dumas Fils. Music by Verdi. Premiered on 6 March 1853 at the Teatro La Fenice. First Liceu performance on 25 October 1855. Last staged at the Liceu on 16 January 2002.

Conductor
Evelino Pidò

Stage Direction
David McVicar

Scenography and Costumes
Tanya MacCallin

Lighting
Jennifer Tipton

Choregraphy
Andrew George

New co-production
Gran Teatre del Liceu, Scottish Opera (Glasgow) and Welsh National Opera (Cardiff)

Symphony Orchestra and Chorus of the Gran Teatre del Liceu

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CAST
OCTOBER 2014
Violetta Valery Patrizia Ciofi 14, 17, 20, 23, 26 and 29 Oct
Elena Mosuc 15, 18, 21, 24 and 28 Oct
Alfredo Germont Charles Castronovo 14, 17, 20, 23, 26 and 29 Oct
Leonardo Capalbo 15, 18, 21 and 24 Oct
Leonardo Capalbo * 28 Oct
Giorgio Germont Vladimir Stoyanov 14, 17, 20, 23, 26 and 29 Oct
Àngel Òdena 15, 18, 21, 24 and 28 Oct
Flora Bervoix Gemma Coma-Alabert
Gastone Jorge Rodríguez-Norton
Barone Duphol Toni Marsol
Marchese D’Obigny Marc Canturri
Annina Miren Urbieta Vega
Dottor Grenvil Iosu Yeregui
Giuseppe,Violetta’s servant Josep Lluis Moreno
Flora’s servant Miquel Rosales
Comissioner Gabriel Diap
JULY 2015
Violetta Valery Elena Mosuc 8, 11, 14 and 17 Jul
Ailyn Pérez 9, 12, 15 and 18 Jul
Alfredo Germont Francesco Demuro 8, 11, 14 and 17 Jul
Ismael Jordi 9, 12, 15 and 18 Jul
Giorgio Germont Gabriele Viviani 8, 11, 14 and 17 Jul
Leo Nucci 9, 12, 15 and 18 Jul
Flora Bervoix Gemma Coma-Alabert
Gastone Jorge Rodríguez-Norton
Barone Duphol Toni Marsol
Marchese D’Obigny Marc Canturri
Annina Miren Urbieta Vega
Dottor Grenvil Fernando Radó

* The tenor Leonardo Capalbo will sing the role of Alfredo Germont on 28 October, replacing Ismael Jordi.

Leonardo Capalbo

He started his career at the Opera North. Recently he has sung Candide (Berlin and Rome), Macbeth (Chicago), La Traviata (Dresden and Geneva), Il postino (Teatro Real), Poppea e Nerone (Montpellier), Roberto Devereux (Canadian Opera and Welsh National Opera), Les contes d’Hoffmann (on tour throughout Japan) and The Rake’s Progress (Torino).

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David McVicar, Stage Director

La Traviata takes pace in bedrooms and salons, not in palaces! As we researched this production, the de- signer and I visited whatever locations still existed of the original Dumas novel and we were struck by the intimate scale of the world Alphonsine Plessis moved in. The over-blown proportions which have become traditional to stagings of La traviata bear little rela- tionship to the reality of the Parisian demimonde of the 19th Century. Violetta’s party in Act One (no-one should forget, held with the precise purpose of cel- ebrating the triumph over yet another close call with death and, in a sense to display her still seductive wares to the public) happens in a small, four roomed apartment. Luxurious certainly, but no palatial salon.

The women onstage are not contessas and duch- esses but courtesans, actresses, dancers and the women who service them; milliners, dressmakers, maids, pimps. No respectable woman could possibly be seen at one of Violetta’s parties. The men present are, naturally of a higher class than the women. The purpose of the demimonde was to provide the en- tertainment, relaxation, excitement and (for a young man like Alfredo) sexual tuition to men of certain status and financial means. The enigmatic figure of Dr Grenvil, too can only be really understood in this context. His real-life 19th century counterpart was a certain Dr Koreff, struck-off and eking out a living as an abortionist and physician of venereal disease to the courtesans and their clients.

This production seeks deliberately to strip La traviata of extraneous decorative detail, setting the piece in period but within a dark sequence of small, suffocat- ing spaces. Like her short life, Violetta’s options are few and contained. The inevitability of her death is already etched across the floor of the set in the stark letters of the epitaph on her tomb.

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I Puritani in Melbourne

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I Puritani

Music by Vincenzo Bellini

The art of bel canto is given new life by Victorian Opera in this rare concert performance.

Thursday 2 July 2015, 7:30pm

In Italian with English surtitles
Hamer Hall

Bellini’s masterpiece, set against the English Civil War, tells the story of two lovers; a Puritan and a Royalist who must choose between love and loyalty.

Following her critically acclaimed performance in La traviata (2014) Australia’s own Jessica Pratt, ‘a prima donna assoluta’, returns for this gala concert performance of Bellini’s masterpiece, famed for its breathtaking vocal artistry. Joining her is one of the world’s greatest bel canto tenors, Celso Albelo.

This Gala Concert will feature a star studded cast, the Victorian Opera Chorus and Orchestra Victoria conducted by Richard Mills.

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Fidelio in Geneva

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FIDELIO

Opera in 2 acts by Ludwig van Beethoven
Libretto by Joseph Sonnleithner, revised by Stephan von Breuning & Georg Friedrich Treitschke, based on Léonore ou l’Amour conjugal by Jean-Nicolas Bouilly.
First performed after two previous versions at Theater am Kärntertor in Vienna on 23 Mai 1814.

New production
At the Grand Théâtre de Genève

June 10-June 25, 2015

Sung in German with English and French surtitles

Imprisonment, the thirst for liberty and the blind determination of a passionate love: Leonore is ready to do anything to save her husband Florestan, held prisoner by the cruel governor Don Pizarro whose evil actions he had denounced. From the dark depths of his dungeon, she will bring Florestan back to the light of day. Beethoven’s one and only opera, Fidelio, has an aura of which very few works of the lyric repertory can boast. As in the Ninth Symphony, Beethoven’s idealism radiates throughout the work, which he spent ten years composing. A hymn to universal values, Fidelio’s message is a powerful reminder that, even when subject to the most cruel tyrants, human beings must never give up hope, as it is their only way to achieve liberty. Making use of elements drawn from oratorio, Singspiel and rescue opera, Fidelio goes beyond the usual categories of genre to constitute a magnificent work of art and a fine example of our world’s cultural heritage.

Musical Director Pinchas Steinberg
Stage Director Matthias Hartmann
Set Designer Raimund Orfeo Voigt
Costume Designer Tina Kloempken
Lighting Designer Tamás Bányai
Don Fernando Günes Gürle
Don Pizarro Detlef Roth
Florestan Christian Elsner
Leonore Elena Pankratova
Rocco Albert Dohmen
Marzelline Siobhan Stagg
Jaquino Manuel Günther
First Prisoner José Pazos
Second Prisoner Romaric Braun

Grand Théâtre Opera Chorus
Director Alan Woodbridge
Orchestre de la Suisse Romande

 

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The Trojans at the San Francisco Opera

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THE TROJANS

sanfranciscologoMUSIC BY Hector Berlioz

The Fall of Troy and The Trojans at Carthage
Libretto by the composer
NEW PRODUCTION

One of the largest, most magnificent pieces in the entire repertory, this rarely staged epic is presented here for the first time in 47 years, the way it was originally meant to be seen: two operas—The Fall of Troy and The Trojans at Carthage—in one spectacular evening! The tragic fall of Troy, the passionate love of two great leaders, the urgent pull of destiny: all unfold as part of Berlioz’s visionary masterpiece—French grand opera’s answer to Wagner’s Ring. Former Music Director Donald Runnicles, who masterfully conducted the Ring cycle in 2011, returns to lead this intensely lyrical, colorfully orchestrated, viscerally exciting score. David McVicar’s visually striking new production, “a major event” (The Guardian, London), moves the action to the mid-19th century. The world-class cast stars, as the ill-fated lovers Dido and Aeneas, the “vocally sumptuous and alluring” Susan Graham and Bryan Hymel, who gives “an impassioned and confident performance of a heroic role” (The New York Times). The “musically intelligent and vocally splendid” Anna Caterina Antonacci (The New York Times) and Daveda Karanas with her “large, golden voice” (San Francisco Classical Voice) share the dramatic role of the prophetess Cassandra.

Sung in French with English supertitles
Approximate running time: 5 hours, 30 minutes including two intermissions
Please note early curtains: 6pm evenings and 1pm matinee.

Pre-Opera Talks are free to ticketholders and take place in the Opera House in the Orchestra section, 55 minutes prior to curtain.

Co-production with Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Teatro alla Scala, Milan and Wiener Staatsoper, Vienna

PERFORMANCES

  • Sun 06/7/15 1:00pm *
  • Fri 06/12/15 6:00pm
  • Tue 06/16/15 6:00pm
  • Sat 06/20/15 6:00pm
  • Thu 06/25/15 6:00pm *
  • Wed 07/1/15 6:00pm *

*OperaVision, HD video projection screens featured in the Balcony level for this performance, is made possible by the Koret-Taube Media Suite.

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Cast

Cassandra Anna Caterina Antonacci JUN 7, 16, 25
Cassandra Daveda Karanas JUN 12, 20; JUL 1
Dido Susan Graham
Aeneas Bryan Hymel *
Anna Sasha Cooke
Chorebus Brian Mulligan
Narbal Christian Van Horn
Iopas René Barbera

Production Credits

Conductor Donald Runnicles
Production David McVicar
Set Designer Es Devlin
Costume Designer Moritz Junge*
Original Lighting Designer Wolfgang Göbbel
Lighting Designer Pia Virolainen *
Chorus Director Ian Robertson

* San Francisco Opera Debut

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Synopsis

THE FALL OF TROY
Act I

After ten years of siege, the Greeks have departed from Troy, leaving behind a giant wooden horse as an offering to Pallas Athena. Only the prophetess Cassandra, daughter of the Trojan king Priam, wonders about the significance of their enemies’ disappearance. In a vision, she has seen her dead brother Hector’s ghost walking the ramparts. She has tried to warn her father of impending disaster and now urges her fiancé, Coroebus, to flee the city, but neither man will listen to her. When Coroebus begs her to join the peace celebrations, she tells him that she foresees death for both of them.

The Trojans offer thanks to the gods. Hector’s widow Andromache brings her young son, the heir to the throne, before King Priam and Queen Hecuba. The warrior Aeneas arrives and reports that the priest Laocoön is dead. Suspecting the wooden horse to be some kind of a trick, Laocoön had thrown his spear at it and urged the crowd to set fire to it, when two giant sea serpents appeared and devoured him and his two sons. Priam and Aeneas order the horse to be brought into the city to beg pardon of Athena. Cassandra realizes that this will be the end of Troy.

Act II

Aeneas is visited by the ghost of Hector, who tells him to escape the city. His destiny, he says, is to found a new empire that someday will rule the world. As the ghost disappears, Aeneas’s friend Panthus runs in with news that the Greek soldiers who emerged from the horse are destroying the city. Aeneas rushes off to lead the defense.
The Trojan women pray for deliverance from the invaders. Cassandra prophesizes that Aeneas and some of the Trojans will escape to Italy to build a city—a new Troy. Coroebus has fallen, and Cassandra prepares for her own death. She asks the women if they will submit to rape and enslavement. When Greek soldiers enter, the women collectively commit suicide. Aeneas and his men escape with the treasures of Troy.

THE TROJANS AT CARTHAGE
Act III

The people greet their queen, Dido. In the seven years since they fled their native Tyre following the murder of Dido’s husband, they have built a flourishing new kingdom. Dido’s sister Anna suggests that Carthage needs a king and assures her sister that she will love again. Visitors are announced who have narrowly escaped shipwreck in a recent storm—they are the remaining survivors of the Trojan army, with Aeneas among them. Dido welcomes them. When news arrives that the Numidian ruler, Iarbas, is about to attack Carthage, Aeneas identifies himself and offers to fight alongside the Carthaginians. Dido accepts, and Aeneas rallies the united forces of Carthage and Troy, entrusting his son, Ascanius, to the queen’s care.

Act IV

Aeneas has returned victorious to Carthage. During a royal hunt, he and Dido seek shelter from a storm in a cave. They discover their love for each other.

It is several months later. Narbal, the queen’s adviser, is worried that since Dido fell in love with Aeneas, she has been neglecting her duties. He fears that in welcoming the Trojan strangers, Carthage has invited its own doom. Dido enters with Aeneas and her court to watch an entertainment of singing and dancing. She asks Aeneas to tell her more about Troy’s last days. When he talks about Andromache, Hector’s widow, who married Pyrrhus, one of the enemy, Dido sees a parallel to her own situation. Alone, she and Aeneas again proclaim their love, as the god Mercury reminds Aeneas of his duty and destination—Italy.

Act V

At night in the Trojan camp by the harbor, a young sailor sings a homesick ballad. Panthus and the Trojan captains are worried about omens and apparitions that remind them of their failure to move on. Aeneas enters, torn between his love for Dido and his duty to leave Carthage. He makes up his mind to see the queen one last time. But when the ghosts of Priam, Hector, Coroebus, and Cassandra appear, urging him to leave, he orders his men to set sail before sunrise. Dido appears. Aeneas swears that he loves her but must leave her. She curses him. As dawn breaks, the queen asks her sister to persuade Aeneas to stay, but the Trojan ships are already on their way out to sea. Furious, Dido orders a pyre built to burn his gifts and remembrances of their love. Now resolved to end her life, she bids farewell to Carthage and everything she held dear.

The pyre has been set up. Priests pray for Dido, who predicts that her fate will be remembered: a future Carthaginian general, Hannibal, will avenge her against Italy one day. Then she stabs herself with Aeneas’s sword. Dying, she has a vision of Carthage destroyed by eternal Rome. As the Roman Capitol is seen like a vision in the distance, the Carthaginians curse Aeneas and his descendants.

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Don Giovanni in Adelaide

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Don Giovanni

Presented by State Opera of South Australia

7:30pm: 23, 26, 28, 30 May 2015

In the hedonistic pursuit of pleasure, Don Giovanni, seducer, rake, libertine and murderer, leaves behind him a trail of broken hearts, broken promises and broken lives. Accompanied by his faithful, if occasionally unwilling valet Leporello, Don Giovanni infiltrates, invades and inveigles his way into the bedrooms of Europe, with his catalogue of conquests which includes 1003 maidens in Spain alone! Such wickedness cannot stay unpunished and the demise of the Commendatore, father of one of the jilted maidens, at Don Giovanni’s hand, sets in motion the wheels of divine retribution. This is Mozart at his finest, with a classic mix of comedy and tragedy that has enthralled audiences for more than two centuries.

Adelaide-born Grant Doyle makes a triumphant return to his home town in the role of Don Giovanni. He is joined by the incomparable Douglas McNicol as Leporello, in one of his signature roles. The supporting cast comprises a veritable who’s who of local and national opera stars, with the magnificent State Opera Chorus and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra under the expert guidance of maestro Graham Abbott.

Don’t miss your assignation with Don Giovanni!

CONDUCTOR Graham Abbott
ORIGINAL DIRECTOR Goran Järvefelt
REVIVAL DIRECTOR Cath Dadd
STAGE DESIGNER Carl Friedrich Oberle
LIGHTING DESIGNER Nigel Levings

DON GIOVANNI Grant Doyle
LEPORELLO Douglas McNicol
DONNA ANNA Sharon Prero
DONNA ELVIRA Teresa La Rocca
DON OTTAVIO Virgilio Marino
COMMENDATORE Steven Gallop
ZERLINA Gisele Blanchard
MASETTO Jeremy Tatchell

STATE OPERA CHORUS
ADELAIDE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

Sung in Italian with English surtitles (sponsored by James & Diana Ramsay Foundation)

An Opera Australia Production

 

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Un Ballo in maschera in Belgium

 monnaieballoUn Ballo in maschera

Melodramma in tre atti (1856-1858)
Libretto di Antonio Somma
Premiere Teatro Apollo, Roma, 17/2/1859

Approximate running time: 2 hours 50′ (including 1 interval)

Pre-performance talks half an hour before the start of the performances by Delphine Berryer (in French) and by Serge Algoet (in Dutch).

‘È scherzo od è follia ?’ A joke or pure madness, or is one really looking into the future in Un Ballo in maschera ? This work is a masterpiece of variety, of the fusion of differing stylistic elements, a work that relates first to the French opera comique and then to the Italian dramatic style, with characters who are among the most powerful Verdi ever created. The censor forced Verdi to switch from the original historical context – the murder of the Swedish king during a masked ball in 1792 – to the Boston of the 17th century, but his human and political message is no less forceful. The director Alex Ollé and his company La Fura dels Baus set the action in the near future, in the atmosphere of Orwell’s 1984, where power is totalitarian, while all the characters wear their masks throughout the performance in a bankrupt society founded on hypocrisy.
New production

Production La Monnaie / De Munt
Co-production Opera Australia (Sidney), Teatro Colón (Buenos Aires), Den Norske Opera (Oslo)
With the support of The National Lottery
In collaboration with Valentina Carrasco

Un Ballo in maschera
Concept ¦ Alex Ollé (La Fura dels Baus)

Music direction ¦ Carlo Rizzi

Director ¦ Alex Ollé (La Fura dels Baus)

Set design ¦ Alfons Flores

Costumes ¦ Lluc Castells

Lighting ¦ Urs Schönebaum

Video ¦ Emmanuel Carlier

Chorus direction ¦ Martino Faggiani

Gustav III ¦ Stefano Secco (12, 15, 17, 20, 23 & 26 May)
Riccardo Massi (13, 16, 19, 21, 26 & 27 May)

René Ankarström ¦ George Petean (12, 15, 17, 20, 23 & 26 May)
Scott Hendricks (13, 16, 19, 21, 24 & 27 May)

Amelia ¦ María José Siri (12, 15, 17, 20, 23 & 26 May)
Monica Zanettin (13, 16, 19, 21, 24 & 27 May)

Ulrica Arfvidsson ¦ Marie-Nicole Lemieux

Oscar ¦ Kathleen Kim (12, 15, 17, 20 & 23 May)
Ilse Eerens (13, 16, 19, 21, 24, 26 & 27 May)

Cristiano ¦ Roberto Accurso

Ribbing ¦ Tijl Faveyts

Horn ¦ Carlo Cigni

Un Giudice ¦ Zeno Popescu

Un Servo ¦ Pierre Derhet

Orchestra & chorus ¦ La Monnaie Symphony Orchestra & Chorus

12, 13*, 15, 16*, 17, 19*, 20, 21*, 23, 24*, 26* & 27* May

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Don Pasquale in Barcelona

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Norina and Ernesto are a young couple in love but then Don Pasquale, Ernesto’s aged uncle, decides to interfere. He has other plans for his nephew involving marriage to a wealthy single lady. Dr Malatesta comes to the aid of the bewildered young pair, sparking off a series of entertaining developments – bizarre incidents, mix-ups and hard lessons about life – before the happy ending is reached and they marry. All this is accompanied by Gaetano Donizetti’s captivating melodies. His Don Pasquale, considered one of the foremost Italian comic operas, is a Romantic game that scored an instant success at its Parisian premiere in 1847. It is also a homage from Donizetti to the opera buffa tradition. Laurent Pelly’s famed dramatic imagination is brought to bear here on a masterpiece of the genre.

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Don Pasquale

Dramma buffo in three acts. Libretto by Giovanni Ruffini based on a text written by Angelo Anelli for the opera Ser Marcantonio by Stefano Pavesi. Premiered on 3 January 1843 at the Théâtre Italien in Paris. First performed at the Gran Teatre del Liceu on 19 January 1848. Last staged at the Liceu on 13 May 1986.

Conductor
Diego Matheuz

Stage Direction and Costumes
Laurent Pelly

Scenography
Chantal Thomas

Lighting
Duane Schuler

New Co-production
Gran Teatre del Liceu, Santa Fe Festival (Nuevo México) and San Francisco Opera

Symphony Orchestra and Chorus of the Gran Teatre del Liceu

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CAST
Don Pasquale Lorenzo Regazzo 16, 18, 20, 22, 25 and 27 Jun
Roberto de Candia 17, 19, 21 and 26 Jun
Norina Ailyn Pérez 16, 18, 20, 22, 25 and 27 Jun
Pretty Yende 17, 19, 21 and 26 Jun
Ernesto Juan Francisco Gatell 16, 18, 20, 22, 25 and 27 Jun
Antonino Siragusa 17, 19, 21 and 26 Jun
Dottor Malatesta Mariusz Kwiecien 16, 18, 20, 22, 25 and 27 Jun
Gabriel Bermúdez 17, 19, 21 and 26 Jun
a notary Marc Pujol
Photos: Festival de Santa Fe de Nuevo México

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