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Unfortunately, Verdi was right about much of this and the first performance was nowhere near as successful as it might have been. The composer then revised the opera and resolved not to allow performances of his works with casts that did not meet his standards, both vocally and visually. On 6 May 1854, the new version of La traviata was seen at the Teatro Benedetto in Venice. This time it was the huge success that it has been ever since.

Joseph Calleja as Alfredo Germont in Act II of Verdi's 'La Traviata'. Photo © 2006 Robert Millard
Joseph Calleja as Alfredo Germont in Act II of Verdi's 'La Traviata'. Photo © 2006 Robert Millard

At the Los Angeles Opera première on 7 June 2006, stage director and designer Marta Domingo set the work in the 1920s. As a result, Violetta was a 'flapper' who arrived for Act I in a vintage automobile, and the Act II 'Party Scene' showed guests dancing Kitty McNamee's 'Roaring Twenties' choreography to Verdi's music. The lighting by Trevor Sterlin Burk was subtle and effective for the most part, but some of the accessories at the party were glaringly bright.

Elizabeth Futral as Violetta Valery in Act II of Verdi's 'La Traviata'. Photo © 2006 Robert Millard
Elizabeth Futral as Violetta Valery in Act II of Verdi's 'La Traviata'. Photo © 2006 Robert Millard

 

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Copyright © 25 June 2006 Maria Nockin, Arizona USA

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