LISTEN Minnesota Opera's La Traviata, live at 7:30 p.m. May 9
Minnesota Opera is wrapping up its current season with a production of Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata. It's the tragic story of a young courtesan named Violetta. She's only 20-something, but she has a serious illness and is trying to decide how to live out the rest of her life.
Just as she resolves to enjoy parties and pleasure, she meets a young man named Alfredo and falls in love.
The character of Violetta has many traits to admire. She is smart, compassionate, selfless and beautiful. Singing the part poses many technical and emotional challenges. In this production, Nicole Cabell and Cecilia Violetta Lopez will share the role. I spoke with both of them and stage director Louisa Muller to learn more about Violetta, and more broadly about the society in which she lived.
Step One was to ask Louisa for a description of 19th-century courtesans.
La Traviata opens May 4 and runs through May 19. Listen for a live broadcast at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 9.