La Traviata at the Bolshoi

Bolschoi

La Traviata

Opera in two acts

Premiered on October 7, 2012.

Sung in Italian with Russian surtitles.

Running time: 2 hours 40 minutes.
Presented with one interval.

Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave based on the novel La dame aux Camélias by Alexandre Dumas, fils

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Music Director: Laurent Campellone
Stage Director: Francesca Zambello
Associated Director: Julia Pevzner
Set Designer: Peter John Davison
Costume Designer: Tanya McCallin
Lighting Designer: Mark McCullough
Chorus Master: Valery Borisov
Choreographer: Ekaterina Mironova

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Conductor Pavel Klinichev
Violetta Valéry Dinara Alieva

Venera Gimadieva

Flora Bervoix Elena Novak

Irina Dolzhenko

Annina Oxana Gorchakovskaya

Irina Udalova

Alfredo Germont Oleg Dolgov

Aquiles Machado

Giorgio Germont, Alfredo’s father Vasily Ladyuk

Igor Golovatenko

Gastone, viscomte De Letorières Sergei Radchenko

Marat Gali

Baron Douphol Alexei Pashiev

Vadim Lynkovsky

Marquis D’obigny Nikolai Kazansky
Doctor Grenvil Oleg Tsybulko

Daniil Chesnokov

Giuseppe, Violetta’s servant Vadim Tikhonov

Yuri Markelov

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Synopsis

Part One
Alfredo Germont arrives at a party at the home of Violetta Valéry, a renowned courtesan. She is surprised to learn of his devotion to her, and of his concern during her recent illness. Alfredo leads a toast to love; Violetta responds with a toast to pleasure and excitement. Feeling faint, she excuses herself to rest. Alfredo follows and begs her to allow him to love and care for her. She tells him she is not interested in such heroic commitment, but invites him to return the next day. Alone, she wonders if she is capable of experiencing love. Dismissing the idea as nonsense, she determines to live for freedom and pleasure alone. traviata3

Violetta flees her extravagant life in Paris to be with Alfredo. After learning that she plans to sell her belongings to maintain their country retreat, Alfredo goes to Paris to pay their debts. While he is away, Giorgio Germont visits Violetta. He tells her that Alfredo, his son, intends to give her all his possessions. She tells the elder Germont that she would never accept and reveals that she is making sacrifices to maintain their life together. Although impressed by her nobility, Germont begs her to leave his son, as her association with the family will ruin his daughter’s future prospects. Violetta finally agrees, asking only that, after her death, Germont tell his daughter the truth. Later, when Alfredo receives a letter from Violetta, claiming she no longer loves him, he is devastated. traviata4

Part Two
Violetta attends a party with her new protector, Baron Douphol. The men gamble, and Alfredo is the winner. Violetta pulls Alfredo aside and begs him to leave; he refuses and threatens to duel with the Baron. Unable to break her promise to the elder Germont, Violetta insists that she loves the Baron. Furious and hurt, Alfredo calls the guests together and publicly insults Violetta. traviata5

Now on her deathbed and tended by Annina, Violetta re-reads a letter from Giorgio Germont. According to the letter, Alfredo went abroad after dueling with the Baron; his father wrote to him there, explaining Violetta’s sacrifice. Alfredo arrives, asking forgiveness and pledging eternal love. Violetta expresses hope for their future together, but she is very weak. Alfredo sends Annina for the Doctor. He arrives with Giorgio Germont, who reproaches himself for his earlier behavior toward Violetta. He asks forgiveness and pledges to accept her as a daughter, but he is too late.

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The story of Violetta, told by herself…

The project has been brought to life by the international team, a world renowned Francesca Zambello is the director. It is already the third production for her at the Bolshoi Theater. (In 2002 she staged Turandot by G. Puccini, and in 2004 — for the first time at the Bolshoi — The Fiery Angel by S. Prokofiev).traviata7

Francesca Zambello:

“La Traviata — surely is one of the greatest operas ever written, and one of the most important works from the so-called” middle period “in the works of Verdi. For the first time ever the composer based his opera on a modern, popular, book which shocked the society, and not a myth, or, say, a play by Shakespeare. It was a real revolution, a real shock to the public: the opera, which tells about real people, living in the present, with real problems, the opera telling the story about love between an experienced woman and a very young man who, in addition, came from different social strata, about an incurable disease. And, please, note that La Traviata does not belong to those works where love overcomes all obstacles.traviata8

Today we no longer think about it. La Traviata is not perceived by us as a revolutionary product, but it seems to me that even now it is still very important to find in the characters that force and ‘intensity’ of emotions that shocked people.

For me and for all the staging team it is a huge honor to work on La Traviata at the Bolshoi Theatre. This opera has not been on a stage for rather a long time. And for us it is a chance to tell a story which seems to be well-known to everybody, but which nobody really knows. In this performance we will at the story via the perception of Violetta herself — a mysterious and beautiful woman, whom everyone loved and idealized, but — no one knew”.

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