30 June 2017 at 5.14pm | 14 Comments
Grab a picnic – The Royal Opera's La traviata will be relayed live to BP Big Screens around the UK on 4 July.
The opera will be broadcast for free to 13 screens around the country, from Aberdeen to Brighton, with a pre-screening beginning at 6.30pm. The performance will start at 7pm.
To enhance your viewing experience, access our La traviata Digital Programme for free using the promo code FREETRAVIATA, and enjoy a range of specially selected films, articles, pictures and features to bring you closer to the production.
La traviata tells the story of courtesan Violetta and her doomed love affair with Alfredo, which runs counter to societal conventions in 19th century Paris.
Verdi's opera was inspired by La Dame aux camélias by Alexandre Dumas fils (son of the writer of The Three Musketeers) and this in turn was inspired by the true story of Marie Duplessis, a real-life courtesan who was the mistress of a number of high society grandees, including the composer Franz Liszt.
Verdi's score features some of all opera's best-known tunes, including brilliant choruses and ensembles such as the Act I Brindisi (drinking song) and introspective arias and intimate duets. Perhaps the highlight is the flamboyant aria ‘Sempre libera’ ('Always Free'), in which Violetta sings of why love means nothing and she relishes freedom.
Richard Eyre’s classic production conveys the indulgent social whirl of 19th-century Paris. First staged in 1994, it has become one of the classic stagings in The Royal Opera's repertory. It is set in-period, with the lavish costumes and sets. The Act I party scene is among the repertory's most striking openings, plunging the audience into a high society ball.
Look closer however, and the production has dramatic sophistication too – its sets slightly exaggerated to highlight the hedonism and excess of Violetta and Alfredo's world.
The BP Big Screen relay will star highly-rated American soprano Corinne Winters in the role of Violetta, with Atalla Ayan singing the role of Alfredo. It will be conducted by Maurizio Benini, an acclaimed performer of works by Verdi.
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After the relay, we will publish a roundup of audience tweets, so share your thoughts with the hashtag #ROHtraviata
If you're watching the performance at a BP Big Screen location, send us a selfie with the same hashtag for the chance to win a prize.
La traviata will be relayed for free to BP Big Screens around the UK on 4 July 2017. Find your nearest BP Big Screen.
The production is staged with generous philanthropic support from the Jean Sainsbury Royal Opera House Fund and The Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation Cover Awards.