The staging of La traviata is the lavish Liliana Cavani production with sets by Dante Ferretti with which Verdi's masterpiece returned to La Scala in 1990 conducted by Riccardo Muti. It was performed as a preview performance two days ago, with the proceeds going to help Italy's earthquake victims.
Ailyn Perez will be singing tonight's opening performance and the following two, followed by Anna Netrebko who will sing the last three performances of the run.
Netrebko has become a favourite at La Scala after triumphs in two prestigious First Nights on 7 December. In 2011 it was as Donna Anna with Daniel Barenboim and in 2015 she was Giovanna d'Arco with Riccardo Chailly.
The orchestra will be conducted by 85-year-old Nello Santi, a custodian 0f authentic Italian tradition. Although he conducted the theatre's orchestra and chorus in 2000 for the recording of I due Foscari with Leo Nucci – who is Germont for this Traviata – he has only once before conducted at La Scala, when he was in the pit for Madama Butterfly in 1971.
Completing the marvellous cast is Francesco Meli as Alfredo who was the tenor with Netrebko for the Giovanna d'Arco of 2015.
Photos of La Traviata by Amisano and Brescia, Teatro alla Scala, 2017
28 February; 3, 5, 9, 11, 14 March 2017
Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave
Music by GIUSEPPE VERDI
First performance: Venezia, Teatro La Fenice, 6 March 1853
First performance at La Scala: 29 December 1859
Conductor NELLO SANTI
Director LILIANA CAVANI
Sets DANTE FERRETTI
Costumes GABRIELLA PESCUCCI
Choreography MICHA VAN HOECKE
Lighting MARCO FILIBECK
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.