La traviata

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Classically Violetta

Austin Opera’s season concludes with Giuseppe Verdi’s tragic romance La traviataApril 28–May 6, 2018, at the Long Center. The worldly courtesan Violetta has made Paris her playground, but life’s greatest pleasure continues to elude her: true love. Her world changes forever when she meets the young and impetuous Alfredo. Violetta allows herself to follow her heart, but the strict rules of 19th-century society force them apart.

La traviata is one of the most beloved works of all time – in fact, it’s the opera that made Julia Roberts cry in Pretty Woman! This traditionally elegant production, with extravagant sets and costumes, is perfect for those new to opera (like Julia) and for those who have already been captivated by its moving music and drama. Join us and discover the power of grand opera at its best!

Production Run Time:
Act I – 35 Minutes
Intermission – 20 Minutes
Act II – 65 Minutes
Intermission – 20 Minutes
Act III – 35 Minutes

Total Time: approximately 3 hours

marina

Marina Costa-Jackson*
Violetta Valéry

Quinn

Scott Quinn*
Alfredo

Michael Chioldi

Michael Chioldi
Germont

Nestorak

Nicholas Nestorak*
Gastone de Letorières

Matthew Arnold
Baron Douphol

Elizabeth Cass
Flora

Andrew Lovato
Marquis d’Obigny

Trevino

Matthew Treviño
Doctor Grenvil

Kathryn Grumley
Annina

Production

Music: Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto: Francesco Maria Piave
Stage Director: David Lefkowich
Conductor: Steven White

Text based on Alexandre Dumas’ “La Dame aux Camélias.”

Sung in Italian, with English supertitles.

An original co-production of Opera Colorado and Boston Lyric Opera
Scenery and Props provided by Nashville Opera

*Austin Opera debut

Praised by Opera News as a conductor who “squeezes every drop of excitement and pathos from the score,” Steven White is one of North America’s premier conductors of both symphonic and operatic repertoire. Among the many orchestras he has conducted are the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Moscow Philharmonic, the Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the New World Symphony Orchestra, the Spoleto Festival Orchestra, the Colorado Symphony, the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Worth Symphony, and London’s Philharmonia Orchestra for a CHANDOS recording of arias featuring his wife, soprano Elizabeth Futral. He made his acclaimed Metropolitan Opera debut in 2010, conducting performances of La traviata starring Angela Gheorghiu. Since then he has conducted a number of Metropolitan Opera performances of La traviata with such stars as Natalie Dessay, Hei-Kyung Hong, Plácido Domingo, Thomas Hampson, Matthew Polenzani, and the late Dmitri Hvorostovsky. This season’s engagements include Tosca with Arizona Opera, Roméo et Juliette with Opera Birmingham, La bohème with Opera Roanoke, and a return to the Metropolitan Opera to participate in their productions of The Merry Widow and Le nozze di Figaro.

Get to Know

We welcome Steven White, the conductor for La traviata.

La traviata Q & A with

We ask Steven White questions on the production of La traviata.

Q & A with

Steven White answers questions on the future and past of opera. He also, gives advice to young conductors.

Steven White Headshot

Steven White
Conductor

Driving routes to the Long Center for the Performing Arts are impacted by events all around town. To arrive at the performance on time, please build extra time into your pre-show plans and arrive early to ensure you can find nearby parking and enjoy the amenities we have in store for you (more on that in a minute!).

Palmer Events Center Garage

  • On-site parking is available at the Palmer Events Center Garage – $8 for self-parking and $18 for valet parking. When making your final approach to the Long Center after the traffic circle on Riverside Drive, please use the left lane for self-parking and the right lane for valet parking. If you plan to park here, please allow extra time in your arrival plan for the inevitable traffic delays.

One Texas Center Garage

  • Avoid the crush at the Long Center by parking at the nearby One Texas Center Garage for only $5. The One Texas Center Garage is located at 505 Barton Springs Road; enter the Garage directly from Haywood Avenue. Allow 10 minutes to walk from One Texas Center to the Long Center. Arrive early and relax!

Tacos on the Terrace

Arrive early and relax on the Long Center’s beautiful outdoor Terrace! New this season, you can purchase tacos from renowned local food truck Taco Baby. Drinks will be available at bars on the Terrace (weather permitting) and throughout the Center before the show begins and again during intermission.

If you attend the Saturday and Thursday performance, the food truck will be open at 5:30 P.M. through the end of both intermissions.

If you attend the Sunday performance, the food truck will be open at 12:30 P.M. through the end of both intermissions.

So grab a taco and a beer and admire the stunning view of the Austin skyline before the performance!

Remember that drinks in special cups can be brought into the performance. Ask your bartender for details.

FREE Opera Overtures Lecture

Arrive at the performance early for a special peek inside the composer’s mind and into the history and social context of La traviata. Please join us inside the theater for this free half-hour lecture, led by a musicologist. It’s the perfect pre-show entertainment for both opera aficionados and first-time opera goers alike!

If you attend the Saturday or Thursday performance, the lecture begins at 6:30 P.M.

If you attend the Sunday performance, the lecture begins at 1:30 P.M.

Join the Conversation at Austin Opera’s Photo Booth!

Snap a picture with your opera friends (and make some new opera friends!) at Austin Opera’s new Photo Booth by our concierge table. Then share on social media with @austinopera.

At Intermission

There will be two 20-minute intermissions.

If you attend the Thursday or Saturday performance, the first intermission begins at 8:10 P.M. and second intermission begins at 9:30 P.M.

If you attend the Sunday performance, the first intermission begins at 3:10 P.M. and second intermission begins at 4:30 P.M.

Save time and pre-order your intermission drinks at any bar in the Long Center.

The Taco Baby food truck and outdoor bar on the Terrace will continue to be open during both intermissions.

Act I:

In her Paris salon, the courtesan Violetta Valéry greets party guests, including Flora Bervoix, the Marquis d’Obigny, Baron Douphol, and Gastone, who introduces a new admirer, Alfredo. This young man, having adored Violetta from afar, joins her in a drinking song (Brindisi: “Libiamo”). An orchestra is heard in the next room, but as guests move there to dance, Violetta suffers a fainting spell, sending her guests on ahead and going to her parlor to recover. Alfredo enters, and since they are alone, confesses his love (“Un dì felice”). At first Violetta protests that love means nothing to her. But something about his sincerity touches her and she promises to meet him the next day. After the guests have gone, Violetta wonders if Alfredo could actually be the man she could love (“Ah, fors’è lui”). But she decides she wants freedom (“Sempre libera”), though Alfredo’s voice, heard outside, argues in favor of romance.

INTERMISSION 20 MINUTES

Act II:

Some months later, Alfredo and Violetta are living in a country house near Paris, where he praises their contentment (“De’ miei bollenti spiriti”). But when the maid Annina reveals that Violetta has pawned her jewels to keep the house, Alfredo leaves for the city to settle matters at his own cost. Violetta comes looking for him and finds an invitation from Flora to a party that night. Violetta has no intention of going back to her old life, but trouble intrudes with the appearance of Alfredo’s father, Germont. Though impressed by Violetta’s ladylike manners, he demands she renounce his son: the scandal of Alfredo’s affair with her has threatened his daughter’s engagement (“Pura siccome un angelo”). Violetta says she cannot leave Alfredo, but Germont eventually convinces her (“Dite alla giovine”). Alone, the desolate Violetta sends a message to Flora that she will attend the party and begins a farewell note to Alfredo. He returns, surprising her, and she can barely control herself as she reminds him of how deeply she loves him (“Amami, Alfredo”) before she rushes out. A servant hands Alfredo the farewell note as Germont returns to console his son with reminders of family life in Provence (“Di Provenza”). But Alfredo, seeing Flora’s invitation, suspects Violetta has left him for another lover. Furious, he determines to confront her at the party.

Pause

At her soirée that evening, Flora learns from the Marquis that Violetta and Alfredo have split up, then clears the floor for the hired entertainers, who perform for the guests (“E Piquillo un bel gagliardo”). Soon Alfredo strides in, making bitter comments about love and gambling recklessly. Violetta arrives with the Baron, who challenges Alfredo to a card game and loses a small fortune to him. Everyone goes in to dinner, but Violetta wants Alfredo to stay behind and talk. Fearful of the Baron’s anger, she asks Alfredo to leave, but he misunderstands her apprehension and demands that she admit she loves the Baron instead. Crushed, Violetta pretends she does. Alfredo calls in the others, denounces his former love, and hurls his winnings at her feet (“Questa donna conoscete?”). Germont enters and denounces his son’s petulant behavior. The guests rebuke Alfredo and the Baron challenges him to a duel.

INTERMISSION 20 MINUTES

ACT III:

In Violetta’s bedroom six months later, Doctor Grenvil tells Annina that her mistress does not have long to live: tuberculosis has claimed her. Alone, Violetta reads a letter from Germont saying the Baron was only wounded in the duel with Alfredo, who knows all and is on his way to beg her pardon. But Violetta senses it is too late (“Addio del passato”). Paris is celebrating Mardi Gras and, after revelers pass outside, Annina rushes in to announce Alfredo. The lovers ecstatically plan to leave Paris forever (“Parigi, o cara”). Germont enters with the Doctor before Violetta is seized with a last resurgence of strength. Feeling life return, she staggers and falls dead in Alfredo’s arms.

Director's Notes

La traviata impacts audiences powerfully and has done so since its premier in 1853. It is an integral part of the modern-day opera repertoire because it has music that is imbued with passion and has a timeless story that speaks to a wide variety of audiences. Opera lovers identify with the heroic sacrifice of the central character and her tragic end. The opera is based on the 1852 play La Dame aux Camélias by Alexandre Dumas. The plot of the play and the opera concern the tragic story of the doomed courtesan, Violetta Valéry.  Composer Giuseppe Verdi and librettist Francesco Maria Piave chose to set the opera in the mid-19th century, making the music, story and text particularly vibrant and real. The opera remains relevant and important and easily relatable even to a modern audience.

I have directed La traviata six times and one of the choices I have had to make as a stage director is to decide what period in which to set the action of the production. Each time has been unique, set in a variety of time periods including the 1920’s in a “flapper” version and another version set in the modern day. My first production of La traviata was probably the most unique in that the company asked me to set the opera in the 1950’s and in the city of Las Vegas.  Should La traviata need to be set in a different time period?  Will changing the setting add anything to the story?

In preparation for this Las Vegas production, I was invited to participate in a symposium with the renowned stage director (and former brain surgeon) Jonathan Miller. This being Jonathan’s umpteenth La traviata and my first, I found myself drinking in the marvelous ideas that spilled forth from this artistic genius.  Afterwards we had lunch and spoke more in detail about our own production concept.  He taught me something so valuable that it has influenced every production I have directed since. The job of the director is to serve the story. This valuable advice confirmed my own unease about changing the period of this opera in that production.

Violetta’s simple strength and refusal to give up hope is a timeless tale and a story that needs no changes in order to make it effective. I am thrilled to be able to present La traviata to you in a beautiful production that keeps the action and the story in the original time period of the mid-19th century.  Enjoy!

–David Lefkowich

Listen to our Violetta, Marina Costa-Jackson in some of her renowned performances.

La traviata Opening

The Jeanette Nassour Opening Night Dinner Series
Saturday, April 28, 2018
5:30 P.M.
$125

The Jeanette Nassour Opening Night Dinner

UrbanNites at the Opera
Thursday, May 3, 2018
6:00 P.M.
$35

UrbanNites event pictures
Sunday Brunch La traviata banner

Sunday Brunch Presentations
Sunday, May 6, 2018
12:30 P.M.
$55

Sunday Brunch

Opera Overtures
6:30 P.M., Saturday, April 28, 2018
6:30 P.M., Thursday, May 3, 2018
1:30 P.M., Sunday, May 6, 2018

*FREE with any ticket holder

Opera Overture lecture
Overview

Austin Opera’s season concludes with Giuseppe Verdi’s tragic romance La traviataApril 28–May 6, 2018, at the Long Center. The worldly courtesan Violetta has made Paris her playground, but life’s greatest pleasure continues to elude her: true love. Her world changes forever when she meets the young and impetuous Alfredo. Violetta allows herself to follow her heart, but the strict rules of 19th-century society force them apart.

La traviata is one of the most beloved works of all time – in fact, it’s the opera that made Julia Roberts cry in Pretty Woman! This traditionally elegant production, with extravagant sets and costumes, is perfect for those new to opera (like Julia) and for those who have already been captivated by its moving music and drama. Join us and discover the power of grand opera at its best!

Production Run Time:
Act I – 35 Minutes
Intermission – 20 Minutes
Act II – 65 Minutes
Intermission – 20 Minutes
Act III – 35 Minutes

Total Time: approximately 3 hours

Cast and Production
marina

Marina Costa-Jackson*
Violetta Valéry

Quinn

Scott Quinn*
Alfredo

Michael Chioldi

Michael Chioldi
Germont

Nestorak

Nicholas Nestorak*
Gastone de Letorières

Matthew Arnold
Baron Douphol

Elizabeth Cass
Flora

Andrew Lovato
Marquis d’Obigny

Trevino

Matthew Treviño
Doctor Grenvil

Kathryn Grumley
Annina

Production

Music: Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto: Francesco Maria Piave
Stage Director: David Lefkowich
Conductor: Steven White

Text based on Alexandre Dumas’ “La Dame aux Camélias.”

Sung in Italian, with English supertitles.

An original co-production of Opera Colorado and Boston Lyric Opera
Scenery and Props provided by Nashville Opera

*Austin Opera debut

Conductor

Praised by Opera News as a conductor who “squeezes every drop of excitement and pathos from the score,” Steven White is one of North America’s premier conductors of both symphonic and operatic repertoire. Among the many orchestras he has conducted are the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Moscow Philharmonic, the Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the New World Symphony Orchestra, the Spoleto Festival Orchestra, the Colorado Symphony, the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Worth Symphony, and London’s Philharmonia Orchestra for a CHANDOS recording of arias featuring his wife, soprano Elizabeth Futral. He made his acclaimed Metropolitan Opera debut in 2010, conducting performances of La traviata starring Angela Gheorghiu. Since then he has conducted a number of Metropolitan Opera performances of La traviata with such stars as Natalie Dessay, Hei-Kyung Hong, Plácido Domingo, Thomas Hampson, Matthew Polenzani, and the late Dmitri Hvorostovsky. This season’s engagements include Tosca with Arizona Opera, Roméo et Juliette with Opera Birmingham, La bohème with Opera Roanoke, and a return to the Metropolitan Opera to participate in their productions of The Merry Widow and Le nozze di Figaro.

Get to Know

We welcome Steven White, the conductor for La traviata.

La traviata Q & A with

We ask Steven White questions on the production of La traviata.

Q & A with

Steven White answers questions on the future and past of opera. He also, gives advice to young conductors.

Steven White Headshot

Steven White
Conductor

Parking and Arrival Information

Driving routes to the Long Center for the Performing Arts are impacted by events all around town. To arrive at the performance on time, please build extra time into your pre-show plans and arrive early to ensure you can find nearby parking and enjoy the amenities we have in store for you (more on that in a minute!).

Palmer Events Center Garage

  • On-site parking is available at the Palmer Events Center Garage – $8 for self-parking and $18 for valet parking. When making your final approach to the Long Center after the traffic circle on Riverside Drive, please use the left lane for self-parking and the right lane for valet parking. If you plan to park here, please allow extra time in your arrival plan for the inevitable traffic delays.

One Texas Center Garage

  • Avoid the crush at the Long Center by parking at the nearby One Texas Center Garage for only $5. The One Texas Center Garage is located at 505 Barton Springs Road; enter the Garage directly from Haywood Avenue. Allow 10 minutes to walk from One Texas Center to the Long Center. Arrive early and relax!
Pre-Show Amenities

Tacos on the Terrace

Arrive early and relax on the Long Center’s beautiful outdoor Terrace! New this season, you can purchase tacos from renowned local food truck Taco Baby. Drinks will be available at bars on the Terrace (weather permitting) and throughout the Center before the show begins and again during intermission.

If you attend the Saturday and Thursday performance, the food truck will be open at 5:30 P.M. through the end of both intermissions.

If you attend the Sunday performance, the food truck will be open at 12:30 P.M. through the end of both intermissions.

So grab a taco and a beer and admire the stunning view of the Austin skyline before the performance!

Remember that drinks in special cups can be brought into the performance. Ask your bartender for details.

FREE Opera Overtures Lecture

Arrive at the performance early for a special peek inside the composer’s mind and into the history and social context of La traviata. Please join us inside the theater for this free half-hour lecture, led by a musicologist. It’s the perfect pre-show entertainment for both opera aficionados and first-time opera goers alike!

If you attend the Saturday or Thursday performance, the lecture begins at 6:30 P.M.

If you attend the Sunday performance, the lecture begins at 1:30 P.M.

Join the Conversation at Austin Opera’s Photo Booth!

Snap a picture with your opera friends (and make some new opera friends!) at Austin Opera’s new Photo Booth by our concierge table. Then share on social media with @austinopera.

At Intermission

There will be two 20-minute intermissions.

If you attend the Thursday or Saturday performance, the first intermission begins at 8:10 P.M. and second intermission begins at 9:30 P.M.

If you attend the Sunday performance, the first intermission begins at 3:10 P.M. and second intermission begins at 4:30 P.M.

Save time and pre-order your intermission drinks at any bar in the Long Center.

The Taco Baby food truck and outdoor bar on the Terrace will continue to be open during both intermissions.

Synopsis

Act I:

In her Paris salon, the courtesan Violetta Valéry greets party guests, including Flora Bervoix, the Marquis d’Obigny, Baron Douphol, and Gastone, who introduces a new admirer, Alfredo. This young man, having adored Violetta from afar, joins her in a drinking song (Brindisi: “Libiamo”). An orchestra is heard in the next room, but as guests move there to dance, Violetta suffers a fainting spell, sending her guests on ahead and going to her parlor to recover. Alfredo enters, and since they are alone, confesses his love (“Un dì felice”). At first Violetta protests that love means nothing to her. But something about his sincerity touches her and she promises to meet him the next day. After the guests have gone, Violetta wonders if Alfredo could actually be the man she could love (“Ah, fors’è lui”). But she decides she wants freedom (“Sempre libera”), though Alfredo’s voice, heard outside, argues in favor of romance.

INTERMISSION 20 MINUTES

Act II:

Some months later, Alfredo and Violetta are living in a country house near Paris, where he praises their contentment (“De’ miei bollenti spiriti”). But when the maid Annina reveals that Violetta has pawned her jewels to keep the house, Alfredo leaves for the city to settle matters at his own cost. Violetta comes looking for him and finds an invitation from Flora to a party that night. Violetta has no intention of going back to her old life, but trouble intrudes with the appearance of Alfredo’s father, Germont. Though impressed by Violetta’s ladylike manners, he demands she renounce his son: the scandal of Alfredo’s affair with her has threatened his daughter’s engagement (“Pura siccome un angelo”). Violetta says she cannot leave Alfredo, but Germont eventually convinces her (“Dite alla giovine”). Alone, the desolate Violetta sends a message to Flora that she will attend the party and begins a farewell note to Alfredo. He returns, surprising her, and she can barely control herself as she reminds him of how deeply she loves him (“Amami, Alfredo”) before she rushes out. A servant hands Alfredo the farewell note as Germont returns to console his son with reminders of family life in Provence (“Di Provenza”). But Alfredo, seeing Flora’s invitation, suspects Violetta has left him for another lover. Furious, he determines to confront her at the party.

Pause

At her soirée that evening, Flora learns from the Marquis that Violetta and Alfredo have split up, then clears the floor for the hired entertainers, who perform for the guests (“E Piquillo un bel gagliardo”). Soon Alfredo strides in, making bitter comments about love and gambling recklessly. Violetta arrives with the Baron, who challenges Alfredo to a card game and loses a small fortune to him. Everyone goes in to dinner, but Violetta wants Alfredo to stay behind and talk. Fearful of the Baron’s anger, she asks Alfredo to leave, but he misunderstands her apprehension and demands that she admit she loves the Baron instead. Crushed, Violetta pretends she does. Alfredo calls in the others, denounces his former love, and hurls his winnings at her feet (“Questa donna conoscete?”). Germont enters and denounces his son’s petulant behavior. The guests rebuke Alfredo and the Baron challenges him to a duel.

INTERMISSION 20 MINUTES

ACT III:

In Violetta’s bedroom six months later, Doctor Grenvil tells Annina that her mistress does not have long to live: tuberculosis has claimed her. Alone, Violetta reads a letter from Germont saying the Baron was only wounded in the duel with Alfredo, who knows all and is on his way to beg her pardon. But Violetta senses it is too late (“Addio del passato”). Paris is celebrating Mardi Gras and, after revelers pass outside, Annina rushes in to announce Alfredo. The lovers ecstatically plan to leave Paris forever (“Parigi, o cara”). Germont enters with the Doctor before Violetta is seized with a last resurgence of strength. Feeling life return, she staggers and falls dead in Alfredo’s arms.

Director’s Notes

Director's Notes

La traviata impacts audiences powerfully and has done so since its premier in 1853. It is an integral part of the modern-day opera repertoire because it has music that is imbued with passion and has a timeless story that speaks to a wide variety of audiences. Opera lovers identify with the heroic sacrifice of the central character and her tragic end. The opera is based on the 1852 play La Dame aux Camélias by Alexandre Dumas. The plot of the play and the opera concern the tragic story of the doomed courtesan, Violetta Valéry.  Composer Giuseppe Verdi and librettist Francesco Maria Piave chose to set the opera in the mid-19th century, making the music, story and text particularly vibrant and real. The opera remains relevant and important and easily relatable even to a modern audience.

I have directed La traviata six times and one of the choices I have had to make as a stage director is to decide what period in which to set the action of the production. Each time has been unique, set in a variety of time periods including the 1920’s in a “flapper” version and another version set in the modern day. My first production of La traviata was probably the most unique in that the company asked me to set the opera in the 1950’s and in the city of Las Vegas.  Should La traviata need to be set in a different time period?  Will changing the setting add anything to the story?

In preparation for this Las Vegas production, I was invited to participate in a symposium with the renowned stage director (and former brain surgeon) Jonathan Miller. This being Jonathan’s umpteenth La traviata and my first, I found myself drinking in the marvelous ideas that spilled forth from this artistic genius.  Afterwards we had lunch and spoke more in detail about our own production concept.  He taught me something so valuable that it has influenced every production I have directed since. The job of the director is to serve the story. This valuable advice confirmed my own unease about changing the period of this opera in that production.

Violetta’s simple strength and refusal to give up hope is a timeless tale and a story that needs no changes in order to make it effective. I am thrilled to be able to present La traviata to you in a beautiful production that keeps the action and the story in the original time period of the mid-19th century.  Enjoy!

–David Lefkowich

Media

Listen to our Violetta, Marina Costa-Jackson in some of her renowned performances.

La traviata events
La traviata Opening

The Jeanette Nassour Opening Night Dinner Series
Saturday, April 28, 2018
5:30 P.M.
$125

The Jeanette Nassour Opening Night Dinner

UrbanNites at the Opera
Thursday, May 3, 2018
6:00 P.M.
$35

UrbanNites event pictures
Sunday Brunch La traviata banner

Sunday Brunch Presentations
Sunday, May 6, 2018
12:30 P.M.
$55

Sunday Brunch

Opera Overtures
6:30 P.M., Saturday, April 28, 2018
6:30 P.M., Thursday, May 3, 2018
1:30 P.M., Sunday, May 6, 2018

*FREE with any ticket holder

Opera Overture lecture
7:30PM, Saturday, April 28, 2018
The Long Center for the Performing Arts
701 West Riverside Drive
Austin, Texas 78704
7:30PM, Thursday, May 3, 2018
The Long Center for the Performing Arts
701 West Riverside Drive
Austin, Texas 78704
2:30PM, Sunday, May 6, 2018
The Long Center for the Performing Arts
701 West Riverside Drive
Austin, Texas 78704
Menu

Austin Opera Patron Services
512-610-7684; Monday-Friday: 9am-5pm

Long Center Box Office Hours
512-474-5664
Monday-Friday:10 am – 6 pm
Saturday: 10 am – 4 pm
Sunday: open during scheduled performances

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