The Chattanooga Symphony & Opera is set to bring renowned Italian opera La Traviata to the Tivoli Theatre stage March 18 and March 20, 2021. The organization’s successful performances of Carmen in April 2019 and Madame Butterfly in 2017 have made this a highly anticipated event, said officials.
“The return of fully-staged opera to the CSO began with Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, continued with Bizet’s Carmen, and now we present one of the great masterpieces of Giuseppe Verdi, La Traviata!” states CSO Principal Pops Conductor Bob Bernhardt, who will serve as the opera’s music director. “It’s grand opera at its best, and I’m thrilled that my friend John Hoomes, CEO and artistic director of the Nashville Opera, will be returning to Chattanooga as stage director. He has directed some of the CSO’s greatest triumphs in opera over many years.”
Based on an Alexander Dumas fils play, La Traviata (The Fallen Woman) tells the story of an ill-fated romance between fiercely independent Parisian courtesan Violetta Valéry and the naive, bourgeois Alfredo Germont, a young man from a provincial family who has fallen in love with Violetta from a distance.
La Traviata's premiere in 1853 was deemed a disaster by both the audience and its writer. His efforts to set the opera in the present day were rejected by censors due to the risqué subject matter, forcing him to change the setting to the 1700s, and the first performance to use Verdi's intended 1850s setting would not take place until 1906. The premiere was also derided by the audience for the cast's lack of skill. "La Traviata last night a failure,” Verdi himself noted. “Was the fault mine or the singers'? Time will tell.” Time fell in Verdi's favor as La Traviata went on to become one of the most popular and frequently performed operas of all time.
CSO 2020/21 season subscribers will have exclusive access to purchase tickets in February 2020. Tickets will go on sale to the general public in August 2020.