Scottish Opera: La Traviata

La Traviata has been one of the Scottish Opera’s most in-demand shows since its premiere in 2008. Set in the 1880s in Paris, Sir David McVicar’s show was designed with spectacular period style by Tanya McCallin.

The story follows Alfredo and Violetta’s flawed love affair, with a stunning score that shifts through the characters’ emotions, from dramatic to romantic.

Sung in Italian, the opera runs 2 hours 55 minutes.

The opera’s all-star cast includes:

  • Gulnara Shafigullian, Russian-Dutch soprano. Gulnara studied classical piano while in St. Petersburg and obtained her vocal training with Rimma Volkova. She also trained at the Georg Solti in Italy. Her credits include La rondine and Don Giovanni.
  • Anush Hovhannisyan. Soprano Anush’s theatre credits include La scala di seta, El Gato con Botas, Le Roi de Lahore, Macbeth, Peer Gynt and Don Giovanni.
  • Peter Gijsbertsen. Tenor Peter graduated with honors from Utrecht’s conservatoire. He received the John Christie Award and was the triple prize winner at the International Vocalists Competition. His repertoire includes Tamino, The Novice, Acis, and Don Ottavio.
  • Stephen Gadd, British baritone. Stephen graduated from St. John’s College in Cambridge before training at the Royal Northern College of Music. His repertoire includes Le nozze di Figaro, Macbeth and Clara.
  • David Parry as conductor. David studied at the Royal Academy of Music and Cambridge University.
  • Laura Zigmantaite as Flora Bervoix. Laura is a Scottish Opera Emerging Artist.
  • Simon Thorpe as Baron Douphol.
  • Alex Otterburn as Marchese d’Obigny.
  • James Platt as Doctor Grenvil.
  • Catherine Backhouse as Annina. Catherine is a Scottish Opera Emerging Artist.
  • Fraser Simpson as Giuseppe.
  • Jonathan Sedgwick as Commisar.

La Traviata will tour the UK, with stops planned in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

The opera has three acts, and is based on the play La Dame aux Camelias adapted from the Alexandre Dumas film. The original title of the opera was Violetta, named after the main character. The first performance took place in 1853 at Venice’s La Fenice opera house.

The first act takes place in Paris during a great party in Violetta’s house, a high-class prostitute. A man named Alfredo attends the party, who has long adored Violetta from afar.

In the second act, Violetta falls out of popularity, and she lives peacefully with Alfredo in Paris. While Alfredo is away, Violetta receives a visit from his father, who pressures her to leave him because of her past.

Filled with sorrow, Violetta makes the decision to leave Alfredo. Alfredo, knowing nothing of what happened, becomes angry with Violetta.

Violetta attends a party in Paris, where Alfredo confronts her in front of all the guests.

In the third act, Violetta falls ill. Alfredo finally learns the truth about his father’s ultimatum and asks Violetta’s forgiveness. After swearing to live together, Violetta takes her last breath and dies in Alfredo’s arms.