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Verdi’s La Traviata



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An Opera in 3 Acts

Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave

Based on La Dame aux Camélias by Alexandre Dumas fils

 

Performed in Italian with Chinese and English Surtitles

 

A production of Opera Hong Kong

 

11-14 October 2012 (Thu to Sun) 7:45pm

14 October 2012 (Sun) 2:30pm

Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre

$920, 750, 550, 350*, 150*

*The sightline of certain seats may be restricted

 
About the Programme

Adapted from Alexandre Dumas’s La dame aux Camélias, Verdi’s 3-act opera La Traviata may have failed when it was first performed with an unsuitable cast.  It nevertheless soon became one of the composer’s best-loved and most popular operas.    The love-tragedy at the heart of the opera and its exploration of elements of contemporary life came to form the basis of the work's success.  Concentrating on three major characters, the story of love and self-sacrifice, as the Paris courtesan at the centre of the narrative gives up her lover Alfredo, at the secret request of his anxious father, her illness and her death, finally reconciled with her lover, constitute a poignant and credible plot.  As with all Verdi’s great works, La Traviata consists of big tunes: the very popular Drinking Song ‘Brindisi’, the heroine’s big aria with coloratura when she imagines the possibilities of true love, the heart-rending love duet after the lovers are reconciled towards the end of the opera, the colourful choruses in the big party scenes.  This opera of a tragic love never fails to move audiences.  The forthcoming new production will be directed by the internationally renowned Dieter Kaegi who has worked as an opera director in numerous acclaimed productions in leading opera houses and festivals all over the world.  The three major characters will be taken by international singers, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra is in the pit under the baton of the conductor Brian Schembri.

 

 
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Synopsis

The courtesan Violetta, at a party in her house, is moved to learn that the young Alfredo Germont is in love with her.  There are, however, hints already that she is suffering from consumption.  They set up house together in the country, but Violetta secretly sells her jewels to meet the expenses they now incur.  Alfredo learns of this from Violetta's maid, Annina, and goes to Paris to raise money.  In his absence his father arrives, seeking to persuade Violetta to leave Alfredo, whose behaviour prejudices the marriage chances of his sister, as well as his own prospects.  Violetta sacrifices her own feelings and accepts an invitation from her friend Flora Bervoix which will take her back to her old life, now under the protection of Baron Douphol.  She leaves a note for Alfredo, telling him of her decision, while old Germont tries to comfort his son, without revealing anything of Violetta's true motives.  In the following scene Alfredo bursts into a party at the house of Violetta's friend Flora Bervoix and insults Violetta, whom he finds with her new protector.  She falls back, fainting, as the second act closes.  In the third act Violetta is at home, impoverished and near to death.  Germont has told his son of the sacrifice she had made, and Alfredo now returns, holding her in his arms as she dies.

 

 
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Opera Hong Kong

Opera Hong Kong was founded in 2003 and it is the first opera company in Hong Kong.  The company is committed to the mission of enhancing the appreciation of the art of opera in Hong Kong, nurturing and promoting local music talents.  Under the artistic direction of Warren Mok, MH, the internationally acclaimed Hong Kong tenor, Opera Hong Kong has produced many concerts and operas including Samson et Dalila, La Traviata, Turandot, Carmen, Le Nozze di Figaro, Roméo et Juliette, Aïda, Werther, Don Carlo, The Magic Flute, Manon, La Bohème and Dr. Sun Yat-sen Opera Hong Kong Chorus and Opera Hong Kong Children Chorus were established in 2004 and 2008 respectively and they are becoming recognized forces in the local choral scene.

 

 
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Artistic Personnel and Performers

Producer: Warren Mok

Conductor: Brian Schembri

Stage Director: Dieter Kaegi

Set and Costume Designer: William Orlandi

Lighting Designer: Roberto Venturi

Assistant Director: Gerald Stollwitzer

Choreographer: Florence C

Chorus Director: Jimmy Chan

 

Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra

Opera Hong Kong Chorus

 

Cast

Violetta: Rachelle Durkin* / Corinne Winters^

Alfredo: Gianluca Terranova* / Bruno Ribeiro^

Germont: Silvio Zanon* / Mikael Babajanyan^

Flora: Carol Lin* / Melody Sze^

Annina: Joyce Wong* / Margaret Yim^

Gastone: Oliver Lo* / Alex Tam^

Douphol: Albert Lim

Marchese: Sammy Chien

Doctor Grenvil: Gong Dongjian

Giuseppe: Andrew Chan* / Wong Chi-lok^

Commissioner: Bryan Woo

Servant: Charles Tsang

 

*11, 13, 14/10 7:45pm                ^12/10 7:45pm, 14/10 2:30pm

 

In case of indisposition or other unexpected circumstances, artists maybe replaced at short notice.

 

 

Warren Mok

Producer

World-renowned Hong Kong tenor Warren Mok has been making frequent guest appearances in many leading opera houses throughout the world.  His operatic repertoire exceeds 60 roles including Calaf in Turandot, Rodolfo in La Bohème, Radames in Aïda and many others.  In recent years, Mok is very active in the promotion of western opera and music in the Mainland and has established Opera Hong Kong.  He is currently the Artistic Director of the Macao International Music Festival and Opera Hong Kong.  Mok was awarded a Medal of Honour by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in 2011, World Outstanding Chinese Award in 2010, and both Cavaliere dell’Ordine della Stella della Solidarietà Italiana (Knight of the Star of Solidarity of Italy) by the Government of Italy and Chevalier dans I’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Art and Letter) by the Government of France in 2008.

 

Dieter Kaegi

Director

Born in Zürich, Dieter Kaegi studied Musicology and German Literature in Zürich and Paris.  With his achievement at English National Opera, Zürich and Düsseldorf, he became Director of Productions at the Aix-en-Provence Festival and has been working as a free-lance director since 1995.  He has directed over 100 operas worldwide.  For Opera Ireland, where he has been the Artistic Director since 1998, he directed Aïda, Don Carlo, Faust, Lady Macbeth of Mzensk, Queen of Spades, Cavalleria Rusticana, I Pagliacci, Ariadne auf Naxos, Falstaff, Martha, Così Fan Tutte and Mazeppa. Recent engagements included Mazeppa at the Monte Carlo Opera, Der Freischütz in Macao, Der Fliegende Holländer at Stadttheater de Bern, Pollicino in Florence and Lucio Silla in Opera de Nice.  In 2008, he was awarded the title of Cavaliere by the Government of Italy in recognition of his remarkable achievements and contribution to Italian culture.  In 2010, he founded the Lismore Music Festival in Ireland for which he is the director.  Since 2012 he has been the General Manager of the Theater Orchester Biel Solothurn of Switzerland.

 

Brian Schembri

Conductor

Brian Schembri is hailed as one of the most brilliant musicians from Malta. Graduated from the Kiev and Moscow Tachaikovsky Conservatories in piano and conducting, he developed his career tremendously through working as assistant conductor with renowned maestro Michel Plasson in 1989 at the Theatre du Capitole de Toulouse He has collaborated with famous orchestras worldwide including London Philharmonic Orchestra, Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, I’Orchestre National de Lyon, I’Orchestra Ciutat de Barcelona, I’Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse and many others.  He was also the chief conductor of Orchestre Philharmonique de France and Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa. Schembri was awarded the Malta Cultural Award and the Medal for Service to the Republic as an appreciation for his achievement and effort in community.  Schembri is currently music director and consultant of Manoel Theatre of Malta, and also artistic director of Filarmonika.

 

Cast

Violetta

Rachelle Durkin

Soprano

Australian soprano Rachelle Durkin made her Metropolitan Opera New York debut as the First Handmaiden in Sly and has subsequently appeared as Norina in Don Pasquale, Miss Schlesen in Satyagraha, Frasquita in Carmen, Clorinda in La Cenerentola, Teresa in Benvenuto Cellini, Elvira in L'Italiana in Algeri and the First Flower Maiden in Parsifal - which she performed at the Salzburg Festival as part of the Met tour with Maestro James Levine.  Her Carnegie Hall debut was as the soprano soloist in Handel's Messiah and she co-starred in a Gala Concert with José Carreras in Perth, Australia.  Recent performances have included Gilda in Rigoletto in Spain and Adelaide, the title role in Alcina and The Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro in Sydney and Melbourne, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni and Fiordiligi in Così Fan Tutte in Sydney, the title role in La Sonnambula and the four heroines in Les Contes d’Hoffmann in Perth.  In March 2012, Durkin sang Violetta in La Traviata for Opera Australia at Opera on Sydney Harbour to critical acclaim.

 

Violetta

Corinne Winters

Soprano

Acclaimed by Opera News for her ‘passionate lyricism and deep burgundy coloring’, Corinne Winters is a recent graduate of the prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia.  Currently she continues to study with world renowned soprano Diana Soviero.  She has won several first prizes from international competitions including Marcello Giordani Foundation, Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation, Palm Beach Opera Competition and many others with outstanding results.  Winters made her Metropolitan Opera debuts as Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto, followed by their new production of Das Rheingold in 2010/2011 season, conducted by James Levine and directed by Robert Lepage.  Recent appearances include Mélisande in Pelléas et Mélisande and Micaëla in Carmen with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Lisette in La Rondine with Florida Grand Opera, the title role in Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta with Dicapo Opera Theatre, Hester Prynne in the world premiere of Margaret Garwood’s The Scarlet Letter with Academy of Vocal Arts.

 

Alfredo

Gianluca Terranova

Tenor

Graduated in piano, Gianluca Terranova won Riccardo Zandonai Singing Competition and many others.  After his debut in Il Barbiere di Siviglia in Rome, he made his signature role as Duca di Mantova in Rigoletto performing at the Arena di Verona, Teatro alla Scala, Teatro Regio in Turin, Los Angeles Opera, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and La Fenice in Venice.  His appearences in La Traviata, Lucia di Lammermoor, La Bohème, La Fille du Régiment, Roberto Devereux have won critical acclaim in famous opera houses including Teatro Comunale in Florence and Bologna, Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Regio in Turin, Festival Puccini, Frankfurt Oper, Avenches, Opera di Roma and Shanghai Grand Theatre.  In 2011/2012 he made his successful debut as Arturo in I Puritani and as Faust in La Damnation de Faust; he was also invited as Alfredo in La Traviata at the Opera Festival in Sydney Harbour in Australia.

 

Alfredo

Bruno Ribeiro

Tenor

Born in Portugal, Bruno Ribeiro graduated from the National Music Conservatory of Lisbon under tutelage of George Kok and Emma Rienzi.  Since his professional debut as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni at Michigan Opera House, he has been invited to appear at international theatres as Nemorino in L’Elisir d’Amore, Arlecchino in I Pagliacci, Ismaele in Nabucco, Alfredo in La Traviata, Don José in Carmen, Corrado in Il Corsaro, Le Chevalier de Grieux in Manon, title role in Don Carlo and many others.  Apart from opera productions, he has also a busy concert schedule with performances of Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Mozart’s Coronation Mass to name a few.  In 2011/12 he sang Ruggero in La Rondine in Miami and Mario Cavaradossi in Tosca in Leipzig.  Future engagements include performances of Stiffelio in L’Opera de Monte Carlo, Manon in L’Opera de Montreal, Attila in Theater St. Gallen and Carmen in Dallas Opera.

 

Germont

Silvio Zanon

Baritone

Born in Venice, Silvio Zanon began his vocal study under the tutelage of baritone Giuseppe Scandola and mezzo-soprano Maria del Fante, and underwent further training under Luciano Pavarotti.  Since his achievement in international competition Primo Palcoscenico and his debut as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, he has established his extraordinary career in the most prestigious theatres in Italy, Germany, Austria, Spain, Slovenia, Greece, Moscow, India and Japan. His beautiful baritone voice has led him the protagonist of the greatest works of Verdi and verismo Italian repertory including Tosca, Otello, Il Trovatore, Rigoletto, Nabucco, Gianni Schicchi, Aϊda, Cavalleria Rusticana, I Pagliacci, Andrea Chenier and La Traviata.  His most significant experience include Amonasro in Aϊda conducted by Alain Lombard in the Terme di Caracalla, as well as Scarpia in Tosca of Franco Zeffirelli’s production conducted by Gianluigi Gelmetti in Teatro dell’Opera di Roma. In 2008 Zanon had his debut at the Teatro alla Scala for the role of Michele in Il Tabarro conducted by Riccardo Chailly with the production of Luca Ronconi.

 

Germont 

Mikael Babajanyan

Baritone

Born in Yerevan, Armenia, Mikael Babajanyan completed his study on vocal and conducting at the State Conservatory Yerevan, and he continued his studies in Germany under Tom Krause and Karoly Szilagyi.  In his professional career, Babajanyan has made appearances in a wide range of repertoire, including Otello, La Traviata, Eugene Onegin, I Masnadieri, Cavalleria Rusticana, I Pagliacci, Un Ballo in Maschera, Madama Butterfly, Moscow Cheryomushki, La Wally, Pique Dame, Il Trovatore, Rigoletto, Tosca and many others.  Opera houses and festivals he has performed at include the New National Theatre Tokyo, Theatre Bielefeld, Aalto Theatre in Essen, Frankfurt Oper, Cologne Opera, State Theater Schwerin, Nationaltheater Mannheim, Opera of Bonn, City Theatre of Krefeld, Festival Classique in The Hague, and Savonlinna Opera Festival in Finland.  Babajanyan has also sung in concert regularly, including at the Mozart Opera Festival in Miskolc of Hungary, with Helmuth Rilling at the Rheingau Musik Festival.

 

 
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Opera Talk

Opera Talk

(Conducted in Cantonese)

Speaker: Dr. Oliver Lo

The Musical Momentum in La Traviata

22 September 2012 (Sat) 7:30pm

Function Room AC1, 4/F, Administration Building, Hong Kong Cultural Centre

Free admission on a first-come-first-served basis

 
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Programme Length

Running time of eachformance is about 2 hours and 40 minutes with an intermission.

 

Audience are strongly advised to arrive punctually.  No latecomers will be admitted until a suitable break or the interval in the programme.
 
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Ticket and Concession

Tickets available from 16 August onwards at all URBTIX outlets, on Internet and credit card telephone booking.

 

Half-price tickets available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and the minder, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients (Limited tickets for full-time students and CSSA recipients available on a first-come-first-served basis).
 

10% discount for Opera Hong Kong Members, Opera Hong Kong Chorus Members and Friends of Opera Hong Kong.

 

Group Booking Discount

10% off for each purchase of 10 – 19 standard tickets;

15% for 20 or more standard tickets.

 

Patrons can enjoy only one of the above discount schemes for each purchase.  Please inform the box office staff at the time of purchase.
 
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Enquiries

Programme Enquiries: 2268 7321 (LCSD) / 2234 0303 (OHK)

Ticketing Enquiries: 2734 9009

Credit Card Telephone Booking: 2111 5999

Internet Booking: www.urbtix.hk

 

The presenter reserves the right to change the programme and substitute artists should unavoidable.

The content of this programme does not represent the view of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

 
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