"La Traviata", from the dress rehearsal at the Baltic Opera, photo by Sebastian Ćwikła / Baltic Opera
Giuseppe Verdi's 'La Traviata' - one of the most significant works in the operatic canon - premieres in a new production under debut director Karolina Sofulak

La Traviata is undeniably one of the most beautiful and most famous operas ever written. Set to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, it is based on the novel La dame aux camèlias (1852) by Alexandre Dumas (fils). Piave was persuaded by Verdi to collaborate on an operatic rendering of the literary work after the latter witnessed a staged version of it in Paris.

In the second half of the nineteenth century, audiences were unaccustomed to heroines on stage who were neither Roman goddesses nor regular visitors of European courts and palaces. The heroine in La Traviata is a courtesan - both fatally ill and fatally in love. The premiere in 1853 was met with an outcry. However, the collaborators didn't give up and one year later, following some minor adjustments, the opera was staged in Venice with great success.

The Baltic Opera's resident director Marek Weiss has given directorial responsibility of the new production to newcomer Karolina Sofulak.

Karolina Sofulak graduated from the University of Warsaw with a degree in Western European philological and cultural studies, specialising in comparative literature. She holds a doctorate in British literature and has completed studies at the Ludwik Solski State Theatre School (in direction in Opera and Alternative Musical Theatre) as well as at the Academy of Music in Kraków. She has assisted David Alden in a production of Janáček's "Katia Kabanowa", Mariusz Treliński in a remake of Puccini's Madame Butterfly, and Keith Warner in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Marriage of Figaro, to name but a few. Sofulak also interned at the Glyndebourne Opera Festival in 2010, working on a production of Mozart's Don Giovanni under the direction of Jonathan Kent. La Traviata will mark her directorial debut.

  • La Traviata: an opera in four acts with libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, based on La dame aux camèlias, a play adapted from the novel by Alexandre Dumas (fils). First performance of the opera was on March 6, 1853. Musical director: José Maria Florěncio, director: Karolina Sofulak, costumes and scenery: Hanna Szymczak. Violetta: Aleksandra Buczek, Iwona Hossa, Julia Iwaszkiewicz, Joanna Woś; Alfredo: Paweł Skałuba, Dariusz Stachura; the Baltic Dance Theatre, and the Chorus and Orchestra of the Baltic Opera. Baltic Opera premiere: March 5, 2011. Performances as follows: March 6, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13 and June 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 2011.

    Baltic Opera House in Gdańsk
    Al. Zwycięstwa 15, 80-219 Gdańsk
    Director: Marek Weiss
    tel. (+48 58) 763 49 12-3
    fax (+48 58) 763 49 14
    www.operabaltycka.pl

Source: www.e-pomorskie.pl, www.operabaltycka.pl