Having first premiered at the Royal Opera House in 1994, Richard Eyre’s iconic production of Verdi’s La traviata (The Fallen Woman, 1853) is returning to the Covent Garden-based opera house for its 23rd revival this month.
A favourite the world over, this immensely popular opera tells the story of the courtesan Violetta and her passionate love for Alfredo Germont that leads her to make the ultimate sacrifice. Champagne, corsets and glorious crinolined dresses all play their part in this romantic work which features some of Verdi’s finest and best-known music.
Some 166 years after its premiere, La traviata is the most frequently performed opera in the world. Covent Garden’s venerable production, created by director Richard Eyre with designs by Bob Crowley, has proved popular with audiences and critics alike.
Eyre’s naturalistic production contrasts the superficial glamour of 19th-century Parisian high life with intimate scenes for Violetta with Alfredo and Giorgio Germont, culminating in the heart-breaking final act.
In this revival, conducting duties will be shared between Israeli maestro Daniel Oren, Italian Maurizio Benini and, making his Royal Opera debut, Italian Francesco Ivan Ciampa. The internationally renowned cast features stars from all corners of the globe, and includes Hrachuhi Bassenz, Diana Alieva, Kristina Mkhitaryan, Vlada Borovko and Aleksandra Kurzak sharing the role of Violetta – one of the most coveted of soprano parts.
The remaining main parts are similarly multi-cast for this extended run, giving many singers the opportunity to perform in this much-loved production. Several are alumni of the Jette Parker Young Artist programme, while others are making their debuts at the opera house.
The production opens on 17 December, with performances running to March 2020; tickets are on sale now.
Violetta entertains her guests in Act I of Verdi’s La traviata (2019 ROH; Tristram Kenton).