Jointly presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) and Opera Hong Kong (OHK), Verdi's three-act opera "La Traviata" will be staged in October. With renowned stage director Dieter Kaegi, the OHK production of the love story will be performed by acclaimed vocalists.
Adapted from Alexandre Dumas' "La dame aux Caméllias", Verdi's "La Traviata" failed when it was first performed but nevertheless soon became one of the composer's best-loved 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 tells of love and self-sacrifice as Violetta, the Paris courtesan at the centre of the narrative, gives up her lover Alfredo at the secret request of his anxious father. Only when she has fallen ill and is facing death does the courtesan finally become reunited with her lover, bringing the poignant and credible plot to a close.
As with all of 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 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 for numerous acclaimed productions in leading opera houses and festivals all over the world. The three major characters will be played by international singers: sopranos Rachelle Durkin and Corinne Winters will act as Violetta, tenors Gianluca Terranova and Bruno Ribeiro will act as Alfredo, and baritones Silvio Zanon and Mikael Babajanyan will act as Alfredo's father Germont. Last but not the least, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra will be in the pit under the baton of conductor Brian Schembri.
Verdi's "La Traviata" (performed in Italian with Chinese and English subtitles) will be staged at 7.45pm on October 11 to 14 (Thursday to Sunday) and at 2.30pm on October 14 (Sunday) at the Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Tickets priced at $920, $750, $550, $350 and $150 (the sightline of certain seats priced at $350 and $150 may be restricted) are now available at all URBTIX outlets, on the Internet and by telephone credit card booking. Half-price tickets are available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and their minders, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients (limited tickets for CSSA recipients available on a first-come, first-served basis). A group booking discount is available; please refer to the programme leaflet for details.
For programme enquiries, please call 2268 7321 (LCSD) or 2234 0303 (OHK), or visit www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/CulturalService/Programme/en/music/00000407.html . For ticketing enquiries, please call 2734 9009. For credit card telephone bookings, please call 2111 5999. For Internet bookings, please visit www.urbtix.hk .
The opera talk "The Musical Momentum in La Traviata" (conducted in Cantonese) hosted by Dr Oliver Lo will be held at 7.30pm on September 22 (Saturday) at AC1, 4/F, Administration Building, Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Admission is free. Limited seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Ends/Thursday, August 16, 2012