The Royal Opera House (ROH) has announced that it will broadcast Verdi’s ever-popular La traviata (The Fallen Woman, 1853) live from its Covent Garden main stage to more than 800 cinemas in 18 countries around the world. The production will be streamed on 13 April, with the event starting at 6.45pm; an encore showing will take place on 17 April at 2pm.
Richard Eyre’s time-honoured production of this tragic opera, with stunning belle époque-inspired designs by Bob Crowley, has long been a Royal Opera favourite. It is famed for its exquisite sets, lavish costumes and unforgettably dramatic staging. The work was Eyre’s first for the Royal Opera House, created in 1994 while he was director of the National Theatre. It has gone on to receive more than 500 performances since its premiere.
La traviata tells the story of Alfredo Germont and the courtesan Violetta Valéry, who fall in love at a party. Alfredo is determined to cure Violetta of her tuberculosis, and the couple leave Paris and begin a contented life in the country. But Violetta’s happiness is destroyed when Alfredo’s father Giorgio Germont pays her a visit.
The couple’s scandalous relationship is jeopardising Giorgio Germont’s daughter’s engagement to a young man from a rich and respectable family, and he persuades Violetta to leave his son. Heartbroken, Violetta promises not to tell Alfredo why. Alfredo is stunned when Violetta disappears, and decides she must have left him from self-interest. He confronts her at a Paris party and abandons her. Only when Violetta is dying does he learn the truth.
One of the world’s most performed operas, La traviata contains many of Verdi’s most inspired arias and duets, offering audiences a stunning selection of some of opera’s greatest hits as it moves from the dazzling coloratura of Act I to an intense, heart-breaking close.
Eyre returns to the Royal Opera House’s main stage to direct this latest revival, which forms part of ROH’s 2021-22 season. It features renowned South African soprano Pretty Yende as Violetta, with American tenor Stephen Costello as her lover Alfredo and Greek baritone Dimitri Platanias as the older Germont. Italian conductor Giacomo Sagripanti leads the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House.
Oliver Mears, director of the Royal Opera, commented: “Richard Eyre’s beloved production of La traviata is one of those rare jewels – still working its magic many years after its celebrated premiere. It is an opera embraced by newcomers and aficionados alike and, with a talented cast of singers led by Pretty Yende and Stephen Costello, is the perfect ROH production to enjoy in cinemas this spring.”
In addition to the opera, the showing includes exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, interviews and rehearsal insights. La traviata forms part of ROH’s Cinema Programme, which launched in 2008 with the aim of bringing opera and ballet to viewers around the world. This year, six major works from ROH’s 2021-22 season have been included in the programme. It concludes with a live broadcast of the ballet Swan Lake on 19 May.
Tickets for this live broadcast of La traviata are on sale now. Prices vary depending on location. You can watch a trailer for the performance below.
The Royal Opera House will broadcast the 13 April performance of Richard Eyre’s much-loved production of Verdi’s La traviata live to cinema audiences around the world (Tristram Kenton).