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'La Traviata' Cory Weaver

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La Traviata

May 4
7:30 p.m.
May 9
7:30 p.m.
May 11
7:30 p.m.
May 12
2 p.m.
May 14
7:30 p.m.
May 16
7:30 p.m.
May 18
7:30 p.m.
May 19
2 p.m.
$25-$215
Opera, Theater

After La Traviata’s disastrous opening in 1853, composer Giuseppe Verdi wrote to his friend, conductor Angelo Mariani, about the so-called fiasco: “Am I wrong or they? I myself believe that the last word on La Traviata was not heard last night.” More than 150 years later, Verdi is still getting the last word. La Traviata is an undisputed candidate for greatest opera of all time. The story of Violetta, an ailing woman who plans to party away the remainder of her days until an encounter with nobleman Alfredo leads her to ponder a different life, is the kind of rich tragedy for which opera was invented. Verdi created the score at the height of his powers; Act One’s “Brindisi” (aka “The Drinking Song”) remains one of the most revered pieces of music in the Western world. Nicole Cabell and Cecilia Violetta Lopez alternate performances as Violetta, while Jesus Leon and Stephen Martin trade off singing Alfredo in director Louisa Muller’s production. Violetta’s relatively modern insistence on controlling her own fortune invites evolving interpretations of the character, meaning the last word on Traviata may not be written yet for a while—but the verdict is in.