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Opera at the Library

Posted on Thursday, September 24, 2015 at 1:49 am

opera masksOn Monday, September 28, 2015, at 1:45 P.M., Opera at the Library will present Giuseppe Verdi’s tragic lyric opera La Traviata (The fallen woman) at the Cooper Memorial Library, in room 108 B.
La Traviata was written for the Venice Carnival Season of 1853. It was not a smash hit. The leading tenor was hoarse, and the leading soprano was stylish and stout, which made Violetta’s death scene a ridiculous spectacle.
Violetta Valery had her origin in Dumas’ heroine, Marguerite Gauthier, who was in turn based on the real Alphonsine Duplessis, a celebrated courtesan and Dumas’s and Liszt’s mistress for a short time. Fact and fiction are well blended in the libretto by Francesco Piave. The moral outrage that greeted the opera would be unthinkable today, but in the mid-19th century a reformed prostitute, no matter how noble, was scandalous.
The role of Violetta requires both a coloratura range and a lyric-spinto voice. It’s a role much desired by the leading sopranos of the opera world. This opera has proven its worth, and is today a staple in the operatic repertoire.
There will be a pre-program lecture at 1:45 p.m. followed by the opera at 2:00 p.m. that will provide a background into the author’s motivation for composing the work. All performances have English translations for your understanding and are free to the public. We hope to enhance your knowledge and appreciation of this beautiful art form. Light refreshments will be provided at intermission for our guests by our Friends of the Opera.
For more information about Opera at the Library programs and other special events, please visit our web presence at contact Dennis Smolarek at (352) 536-2275 and email at