LA Opera to Open 2014-15 season with LA TRAVIATA, Opening 9/13
General Director Plácido Domingo will return to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion stage to open LA Opera's 2014/15 season, singing the role of Giorgio Germont in Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata, which also will star soprano Nino Machaidze in her role debut as Violetta.
The production, which will be conducted by Music Director James Conlon, is a revival of a production created by director and designer Marta Domingo, first seen at LA Opera in June 2006 and later presented at San Francisco Opera in 2009. Tenor Arturo Chacón-Cruz will sing the role of Alfredo Germont. The production will reunite Mr. Domingo and Ms. Machaidze, the stars of LA Opera's current production of Jules Massenet's Thaïs, which continues through June 7. La Traviata will open on September 13, 2014, for a total of six performances through September 28.
"I first performed in La Traviata when I was starting out as a young tenor, singing the role of Gastone in the first year of my career and then moving up to Alfredo, a role that I sang many times," said Mr. Domingo. "Back then, I never once imagined that I would someday sing the baritone role of Giorgio Germont. But whenever I performed Alfredo, I was always mesmerized by that powerful scene between Violetta and Giorgio-the centerpiece of the opera, really-as I waited offstage during the second act. In recent years, when I seriously began to explore the possibility of singing Verdi baritone roles, Giorgio Germont was one that stood out for me. I can really identify with Verdi's deeply moving 'father' roles, and the music that he wrote for Giorgio is an absolute joy to sing."
Mr. Domingo first performed the role of Giorgio Germont in 2013 at the Metropolitan Opera. La Traviata is also the work with which he made his operatic conducting debut, at New York City Opera in 1973. He has conducted the opera numerous times since then, including a 2001 production at LA Opera.
In the giddy, glitzy world of Paris-updated in director Marta Domingo's staging to the Roaring Twenties-a naive young man falls head over heels for a glamorous party girl. Together they trade the fast life for an idyllic love nest far from the city...until an unexpected visitor threatens to tear them apart. The powerful romantic drama, illuminated through Verdi's soaring arias and passionate duets, have long made La Traviata one of the most popular of all operas.
This will be the first of two major LA Opera appearances in the coming season for Mexican tenor Arturo Chacón-Cruz, who sings the role of Alfredo Germont; he will return in November 2014 as Arcadio in Florencia en el Amazonas. The cast also includes:
• Bass-baritone Daniel Mobbs (LAO debut) as Baron Douphol
• Baritone Daniel Armstrong** as Marchese D'Obigny
• Tenor Brenton Ryan* (LAO debut) as Gastone de Letorières
• Bass Soloman Howard (LAO debut) as Doctor Grenville
• Mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell as Flora Bervoix
• Soprano Vanessa Becerra* (LAO debut) as Annina
* Incoming member of the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program
**Alumnus of the Domingo-Colburn Stein Young Artist Program
The director of La Traviata, Marta Domingo, also designed the scenery and costumes for this production. The lighting designer is Alan Burrett, and the choreographer is Kitty McNamee. Grant Gershon is chorus director.
La Traviata is performed in Italian, with simultaneous English translation projected over the stage