Kirsten Flagstads Plass 1, Oslo, 0150, Norway
From 6th April 2018 to 25th April 2018
Giuseppe Verdi’s beautiful La Traviata is an attack on hypocrisy, but is also a positive celebration about human dignity, compassion and creative ability.
The main character, Violetta Valéry, chooses to break away from a society that is slowly suffocating her, and a world that is all about money, competition and sensation. She wants to create and define her own life–and thus also her death.
In La Traviata, illness and contemporary problems of the 1850s were put on stage and dressed in music. Light strings, sounding almost as if they were the ones gasping for air, are set against the party music and Violetta’s triumphant aria, “Sempre libera!”—always free. It is a strong musical expression of the freedom she craves. At the same time, we are uncertain how free she really is—how much autonomy can we have over our own lives?
The story is based on Alexandre Dumas, fils’s novel and play, La Dame aux Camélias, which in turn was based on a true story, namely that of Marie Duplessis, a famous courtesan, or high-end prostitute, in Parisian society. The name of Alfredo Germont, Violetta’s lover, hides Alexandre Dumas’s own story. In the summer of 1845, he was living happily in the countryside outside Paris with the beautiful Marie, who was only 23 when she died of consumption. Their story has since been told time and again, in ballet form and in films such as Pretty Woman (1990) and Moulin Rouge! (2001), as well as in countless productions of Verdi’s opera.
The stage director, Tajana Gürbaca, was named “stage director of the year” by the journal Opernwelt in 2013, and when the opera was performed here in 2015, Dagbladet’s reviewer wrote: “A new La Traviata is playing at Bjørvika, more heart-breaking than any I can ever remember seeing on stage.”