Cyprus Mail
Environment

The trouble with love is…

By Maria Gregoriou

The scene will be set on Wednesday at K-Cineplex in Nicosia, Larnaca, Limassol and Paphos for an island-wide screening of the opera La Traviata – by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Franceso Maria Piave – as performed at the Opera National De Paris.

The opera, which centres on Violetta, a courtesan, and Alfredo Germont, a young nobleman from a provincial family, may be memorable to quite a few of you as Maria Callas played Violetta between 1951 to 1958. The female role, which is considered to be the most complex and fully-rounded of Verdi’s heroines, is the one that defined Callas as an artist.

Violetta throws a lavish party at her Paris salon to celebrate her recovery from an illness. During that night Violetta discovers that Alfredo Germont is in love with her and that he came to her house every day while she was ill. But Violetta has already got a lover, Baron Douphol.

Jump forward three months and Violetta is living with Alfredo in a country house outside Paris. The two are madly in love but – as almost always with operas – the good times are not meant to last. Alfredo’s father asks Violetta to break things off with his son as their relationship is threatening his daughter’s engagement. Although Violetta says she cannot do such a thing as she loves Alfredo too much, in the end, she is convinced otherwise.

The short of it is that Violetta goes to a party in Paris with her former lover Baron Douphol and Alfredo shows up. Things don’t end well, Alfredo asks Violetta if she loves the Baron and in order to save his sister from a fall from grace, she lies, saying that her heart belongs to the Baron. Alfredo publicly humiliates her and later gets into a duel with the man he believes stole his love away.

The screening on Wednesday is of a recorded performance which was given in June last year at the Opera National de Paris. The music to the opera is conducted by Franceso Ivan Ciampa, Diana Damrau plays Violetta and Francesco Demuro takes on the part of Germont.

The three act opera is based on La ame aux Camelias, a play adapted from the novel by Alexandre Dumas. It was fist entitled Violetta and was performed for the first time in 1853 at the La Fenice opera house in Venice.

La Traviata
Screening of the opera as performed at the Opera National De Paris. May 13. K-Cineplex Nicosia (Strovolos), Larnaca, Limassol and Paphos. 7pm. €10/8.Tel: 24-363030

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