Palau de les Arts 2016-17 Preview: Marina Rebeka, Placido Domingo and Arturo Chacon-Cruz Lead a Star-Studded ‘La Traviata’

By Francisco Salazar

This week the Palau de les Arts will continue its season with a new production of Verdi’s “La Traviata”

Directed by filmmaker Sofia Coppola, the production comes from the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma.

Marina Rebeka takes on the title role after having it performed at the Metropolitan Opera, the Vienna State Opera, the Royal Opera, the Latvian National Opera, the Bavarian State Opera, and the Deutsche Berlin Oper among others. Arturo Chacón Cruz will sing Alfredo and he returns to the production that he created in Rome. Plácido Domingo will take on the role of Giorgio Germont after having achieved great success at the Metropolitan Opera, Orange, Vienna State Opera alongside Rebeka, and the Los Angeles Opera.

Tina Gorina, Giuseppe Talamo and Luis Cansino sing one performance of the run.

Ramon Tebar will conduct all performances which run from the 9th and lasts until the 23rd of February, a total of seven performances.

The Opera

Verdi’s “La Traviata” is one of the most popular operas in the repertoire as it has been sung by most of the greatest stars from Maria Callas, Joan Sutherland to Edita Gruberova, Beverly Sills and more recently by Angela Gheorghiu, Anna Netrebko, Natalie Dessay and Diana Damrau among an endless list of divas. Among the most popular selections of the opera include “Libiamo,” the drinking song which is performed very often as an encore at concert performances. “Sempre Libera” is also very popular and has been one of the most iconic soprano cabalettas. The score for the opera is also considered revolutionary for Verdi as it segued into his second period. The second act duet between Germont and Violetta is particularly revealing in how the composer eschews traditional duet structure through a continuous flow of new melodies.

Popular Recordings

Maria Callas was one of the most famous interpreters of the work but never made a single studio recording. However, she has three live recordings that are available through Warner Classics, which have been reissued numerous times. Antonietta Stella also has a very famous recording with Giuseppe di Stefano and Illeana Crotubas’ has a version with Plácido Domingo from Deutsche Grammophon.

On DVD, the opera has numerous recordings that are of note. Angela Gheorghiu’s Royal Opera House recording is historical as it features her breakout performance. The 2005 Salzburg production with Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazón is one of the most popular of modern times and is one of the best selling in recent history. The Oscar-nominated film is also something to see as it features Domingo and Teresa Stratas in their primes.