Pixel Tracker

Monday, December 10 , 2018, 1:05 pm | Mostly Cloudy 63º


Gerald Carpenter: Opera Santa Barbara to Stage Verdi’s ‘La Traviata’

Performances will be held Friday and Sunday in The Granada

Marie Duplessis, the original of
Marie Duplessis, the original of “Marguerite Gautier” and “Violetta Valéry,” in a watercolor by Camille Roqueplan.

Opera Santa Barbara will offer two performances of its new production of La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 4, and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 6, in The Granada, 1214 State St.

Directed by OSB’s Artistic Director Jose Maria Condemi, La Traviata stars Rebecca Davis, Ryan MacPherson and Malcolm MacKenzie. Maestro Valéry Ryvkin will perform his usual exemplary service at the helm of the Opera Santa Barbara Orchestra.

If the plot of this quintessentially romantic melodrama is not familiar to everyone, it certainly ought to be. Apart from the Verdi opera, which came out less than a year after the novel and play and has been filmed at least six times, Alexandre Dumas, fils’ novel/play, La Dame aux Camélias, has been the basis of at least 20 motion pictures, starting with a silent Danish film, Kameliadamen, in 1907, at least three ballets and innumerable stage productions (including 16 versions opening on Broadway alone).

Those who keep track of such things aver that La Traviata is one of the 10 most popular operas in the repertoire. It is third on Opera America’s list of the 20 most-performed operas in North America, with only Madama Butterfly and La Bohème ahead of it.

Despite the popularity of the name in America, there is no character named “Camille” in the story. In the novel and play by Dumas, she is known as “Marguerite Gautier,” in the Verdi opera she is called “Violetta Valéry,” but in real life, insofar as she had one, she was called Marie Duplessis, and she was the author’s mistress — or, more accurately, Dumas, fils, was one of her lovers.

In her short life, she managed to attract the affectionate attention of a number of eminent men and to keep, for a while, a brilliant salon. She died of tuberculosis at age 23 on Feb. 3, 1847. Two of her prominent lovers were at her bedside when she died, but Dumas wasn’t one of them. Perhaps he was at home, working on his novel.

Tickets to La Traviata are $28 to $188, with considerable range in between, and are available from The Granada box office at 1216 State St., or 805.899.2222 or 805.899.3000. Click here to order online.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributor. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >