Budapest Summer Festival

Giuseppe Verdi: La Traviata – opera performance in Italian

2016 archive
Sunday, 26 June 2016 20:00

Show info

in two parts, three acts, in Italian, with Hungarian subtitles

One of Verdi’s most beloved operas about the Lady of the Camellias heartbreaking love story.

Violetta: Erika Miklósa, Alfred Germont: Giuseppe Filianoti (IT)
Conductor: Domonkos Héja
Featuring: the Orchestra and Choir of the Hungarian National Opera
Director: Ferenc Anger

Szabad Tér Színház Production.


Libretto: Francesco Maria Piave
Director: Ferenc Anger
Visual concept: Gergely Zöldy Z
Choreographer: Marianna Venekei
Dramaturge, Hungarian subtitles: Judit Kenesey
Artistic assistant: Andrea Kováts
Assistant director: Katalin Lázár
Musical assistants: Katalin Doman, Klára Jean, Anikó Katona, Gyula Pfeiffer, Kálmán Szennai, Bálint Zsoldos
Chorus director: Kálmán Strausz

Conductor: Domonkos Héja

Violetta Valéry: Erika Miklósa
Flora Bervoix: Krisztina Simon
Annina: Kornélia Bakos
Alfredo Germont: Giuseppe Filianoti
Giorgio Germont: Zoltán Kelemen
Gastone: Gergely Ujvári
Baron Douphol: András Káldi Kiss
Marquis d’Obigny: Máté Fülep
Doctor Grenvil: András Kiss
Giuseppe: András Takács/János Gál
Messenger: Antal Bakó/Géza Zsigmond

Featuring the Hungarian National Ballet, the Hungarian State Opera Orchestra and Chorus


Act 1

The salon in Violetta's house
Violetta Valéry, a famed courtesan, throws a lavish party at her Paris salon to celebrate her recovery from an illness. Gastone, a viscount, has brought with him a friend, Alfredo Germont, a young bourgeois from a provincial family who has long adored Violetta from afar. While walking to the salon, Gastone tells Violetta that Alfredo loves her, and that while she was ill, he came to her house every day. Alfredo joins them, admitting the truth of Gastone's remarks.
Baron Douphol, Violetta's current lover, waits nearby to escort her to the salon; once there, the Baron is asked to give a toast, but refuses, and the crowd turns to Alfredo, who agrees to sing a brindisi – a drinking song (Alfredo, Violetta, chorus: Libiamo ne' lieti calici – "Drink from the joyful cup").
From the next room, the sound of the orchestra is heard and the guests move there to dance. After a series of severe coughing and almost fainting, feeling dizzy, Violetta asks her guests to go ahead and to leave her to rest until she recovers. While the guests dance in the next room, Violetta looks at her pale face in her mirror. Alfredo enters and expresses his concern for her fragile health, later declaring his love for her (Alfredo, Violetta: Un dì, felice, eterea – "One day, happy and ethereal"). At first she rejects him because his love means nothing to her, but there is something about Alfredo that touches her heart. He is about to leave when she gives him a flower, telling him to return it when it has wilted. She promises to meet him the next day.
After the guests leave, Violetta wonders if Alfredo could actually be the one in her life (Violetta: È strano! ... Ah, fors'è lui – "Ah, perhaps he is the one"). But she concludes that she needs freedom to live her life (Violetta: Sempre libera – "Always free"). From off stage, Alfredo's voice is heard singing about love as he walks down the street.

Act 2

Scene 1: Violetta's country house outside Paris
Three months later, Alfredo and Violetta are living together in a peaceful country house outside Paris. Violetta has fallen in love with Alfredo and she has completely abandoned her former life. Alfredo sings of their happy life together (Alfredo: De' miei bollenti spiriti / Il giovanile ardore – "The youthful ardor of my ebullient spirits"). Annina, the maid, arrives from Paris, and, when questioned by Alfredo, tells him that she went there to sell the horses, carriages and everything owned by Violetta to support their country lifestyle.
Alfredo is shocked to learn this and leaves for Paris immediately to settle matters himself. Violetta returns home and receives an invitation from her friend, Flora, to a party in Paris that evening. Alfredo's father, Giorgio Germont, is announced and demands that she break off her relationship with his son for the sake of his family, since he reveals that Violetta's relationship with Alfredo has threatened his daughter's engagement (Giorgio: Pura siccome un angelo Iddio mi diè una figlia – "Pure as an angel, God gave me a daughter") because of Violetta's reputation. Meanwhile, he reluctantly becomes impressed by Violetta's nobility, something which he did not expect from a courtesan. She responds that she cannot end the relationship because she loves him so much, but Giorgio pleads with her for the sake of his family. With growing remorse, she finally agrees (Violetta, Giorgio: Dite alla giovine, sì bella e pura, – "Tell the young girl, so beautiful and pure,") and says goodbye to Giorgio. In a gesture of gratitude for her kindness and sacrifice, Giorgio kisses her forehead before leaving her weeping alone.
Violetta gives a note to Annina to send to Flora accepting the party invitation and, as she is writing a farewell letter to Alfredo, he enters. She can barely control her sadness and tears; she tells him repeatedly of her unconditional love (Violetta: Amami, Alfredo, amami quant'io t'amo – "Love me, Alfredo, love me as I love you"). Before rushing out and setting off for Paris, she hands the farewell letter to her servant to give to Alfredo.
Soon, the servant brings the letter to Alfredo and, as soon as he has read it, Giorgio returns and attempts to comfort his son, reminding him of his family in Provence (Giorgio: Di Provenza il mar, il suol chi dal cor ti cancellò? – "Who erased the sea, the land of Provence from your heart?"). Alfredo suspects that the Baron is behind his separation with Violetta, and the party invitation, which he finds on the desk, strengthens his suspicions. He determines to confront Violetta at the party. Giorgio tries to stop Alfredo, but he rushes out.

Scene 2: Party at Flora's house
At the party, the Marquis tells Flora that Violetta and Alfredo have separated, much to the amazement of everyone who had previously seen the happy couple. She calls for the entertainers to perform for the guests (Chorus: Noi siamo zingarelle venute da lontano – "We are gypsy girls who have come from afar"; Di Madride noi siam mattadori – "We are matadors from Madrid"). Gastone and his friends join the matadors and sing (Gastone, chorus, dancers: È Piquillo un bel gagliardo Biscaglino mattador – "Piquillo is a bold and handsome matador from Biscay").
Violetta arrives with Baron Douphol. They see Alfredo at the gambling table. When he sees them, Alfredo loudly proclaims that he will take Violetta home with him. Feeling annoyed, the Baron goes to the gambling table and joins him in a game. As they bet, Alfredo wins some large sums until Flora announces that supper is ready. Alfredo leaves with handfuls of money.
As everyone is leaving the room, Violetta has asked Alfredo to see her. Fearing that the Baron's anger will lead him to challenge Alfredo to a duel, she gently asks Alfredo to leave. Alfredo misunderstands her apprehension and demands that she admit that she loves the Baron. In grief, she makes that admission and, furiously, Alfredo calls the guests to witness what he has to say (Questa donna conoscete? – "You know this woman?"). He humiliates and denounces Violetta in front of the guests and then throws his winnings at her feet in payment for her services. She faints onto the floor. The guests reprimand Alfredo: Di donne ignobile insultatore, di qua allontanati, ne desti orror! ("Ignoble insulter of women, go away from here, you fill us with horror!").
In search of his son, Giorgio enters the hall and, knowing the real significance of the scene, denounces his son's behavior (Giorgio, Alfredo, Violetta, chorus: Di sprezzo degno sè stesso rende chi pur nell'ira la donna offende. – "A man, who even in anger, offends a woman renders himself deserving of contempt.").
Flora and the ladies attempt to persuade Violetta to leave the dining room, but Violetta turns to Alfredo: Alfredo, Alfredo, di questo core non puoi comprendere tutto l'amore... – "Alfredo, Alfredo, you can't understand all the love in this heart...".

Act 3

Violetta's bedroom
Dr. Grenvil tells Annina that Violetta will not live long since her tuberculosis has worsened. Alone in her room, Violetta reads a letter from Alfredo's father telling her that the Baron was only wounded in his duel with Alfredo; that he has informed Alfredo of the sacrifice she has made for him and his sister; and that he is sending his son to see her as quickly as possible to ask for her forgiveness. But Violetta senses it is too late (Violetta: Addio, del passato bei sogni ridenti – "Farewell, lovely, happy dreams of the past").
Annina rushes in the room to tell Violetta of Alfredo's arrival. The lovers are reunited and Alfredo suggests that they leave Paris (Alfredo, Violetta: Parigi, o cara, noi lasceremo – "We will leave Paris, O beloved").
But it is too late: she knows her time is up (Alfredo, Violetta: Gran Dio!...morir sì giovane – "Great God! die so young"). Alfredo's father enters with the doctor, regretting what he has done. After singing a duet with Alfredo, Violetta suddenly revives, exclaiming that the pain and discomfort have left her. A moment later, she dies in Alfredo's arms.

Erika Miklósa

Erika Miklósa made her debut at the Erkel Theatre in the role of Papagena in 1990 at the the tender age of 20, making her the youngest member in the history of the Opera. After that first production, other coloratura soprano roles followed in quick succession, ranging from Adele in Die Fledermaus to the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor. In 1992, her voice teacher, Júlia Hamari, invited her to perform at a concert entitled The Master and the Future, her first international appearance. In that same year, she received the opportunity to sing the part of The Queen of the Night in Mannheim, which became her signature role in later years. These launched her international career on its upward trajectory. In 1996 she went abroad to study, earning scholarships first at Philadelphia's Academy of Vocal Arts, and later at Milan's Teatro alla Scala. She remained a member of the Hungarian State opera until 1999, but has continued to take the stage in Budapest nearly every season since then. She has sung The Queen of the Night on every major stage in the world, with nearly 300 performances under her belt from London to Paris and from Munich to New York making her the most sought-after singer in this role. She has had an ongoing contract with New York's Metropolitan Opera since 2004. In addition to her operatic work, she is also enthusiastic adventurer in the worlds of musicals and operetta, and has taken the central role at numerous exclusive gala concerts. In 2012 her exceptional talent and career thus far brought her the Kossuth Prize.

Giuseppe Filianoti

Giuseppe Filianoti is one of the preeminent lyric tenors of his generation. The beauty of his voice, the passionate lyricism of his artistry, and the dramatic fervor of his approach to the stage have won him widespread critical and popular praise.

Since his professional debut in 1998, Mr. Filianoti has emerged as a beacon of style and nuance in a wide-ranging repertoire. While the majority of his performances have centered on the bel cantoand later 19th-century lyric Italian and French works, he has also successfully essayed roles by Cherubini and Mozart through those of such 20th century masters as Strauss, Debussy and Stravinsky

Among the tenor’s engagements in the 2012-13 season are: a guest appearance by the Teatro alla Scala at Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater in Don Giovanni; the Verdi Requiem in Strasbourg; the Richard Tucker Music Foundation’s Gala (televised on the “Live From Lincoln Center” series); both La clemenza di Tito (including a “Live in HD” performance) and La rondine at the Metropolitan Opera;Rigoletto with Lyric Opera of Chicago; La clemenza di Tito for his company debut at Trieste’s Teatro Lirico Giuseppe Verdi; and Les contes d’Hoffmann at the Bayerische Staatsoper.

Additionally, Mr. Filianoti has also enjoyed frequent engagements at many of the world’s other leading opera houses, including the Wiener Staatsoper, Covent Garden, Opéra National de Paris, and both the Deutsche Oper and the Staatsoper Berlin, among many others.
Many of the tenor’s performances of both rarely-heard and popular works have appeared on CD and DVD on such labels as Opera Rara, Naxos, BMG/Ricordi, Bongiovanni, ROF, TDK, Arthaus Musik, La Voce, Dynamic, Hardy Classics and CPO.


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