La traviata

West Bay Opera

Palo Alto, CA, United States

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This is the most frequently performed opera in the entire repertoire, though West Bay Opera has only presented it 8 times in the last 65 years. Our last production was in May 2010.  The libretto is adapted from a play based on the novel "La dame aux camélias" by Alexandre Dumas fills.   Although its La Fenice premiere was a failure, apparently due to casting problems, it was presented again a year later at another venue in Venice and it became a major success, quickly traveling around Europe and to the US. La traviata became the standard against which the work of a whole generation of composers was measured. Even Puccini was warned against presenting La bohème, because the parallels in the story would invite comparisons with Verd's work.  Though topically it has become a period piece, it remains a mastepiece of operatic writing, including some of the most famous arias and ensembles in the entire operatic repertoire. A good Traviata production makes for a fabulous night at the opera.

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