Peralada Castle Festival debuts 'feminist' Traviata
Monday sees the premiere of Paco Azorín's "contemporary" version of Verdi's classic opera at the major summer art event
On Monday morning only a few tickets remained for the premiere of Paco Azorín's new version of La Traviata at the Peralada Castle Festival, in the northern county of Alt Empordà.
The Barcelona-based director from the Murcia region has come up with a version of Giuseppe Verdi's famous opera that he says is both contemporary and feminist.
"We have brought to the stage a character [Violetta] who thinks freely, who acts freely, and who is therefore responsible for her decisions," says Azorín.
The director says he gave the opera a "twist" to tell the story from Violetta's point of view, highlighting the courtesan's fight against "sexist and oppressive" attitudes.
Featuring Russian soprano Ekaterina Bakanova as Violetta, the director says one of his main aims is to attract a younger public who might not know the opera.
Role is "exciting" and "demanding," says soprano
In the main role, Bakanova says the job of embodying this "very new vision of La Traviata" is both "exciting" and "demanding," and she is confident it will be a hit with the public.
The opera's stellar cast includes American singers, tenor René Barbera as Alfred Germont, and Quinn Kelsey in the role of Giorgio Germont.
One of the key novelties about this version of the opera is the wardrobe, by fashion designer Ulises Mérida, who was given a free hand to come up with daring and colourful costumes.
Meanwhile, festival director, Oriol Aguilà, revelled in the fact that this version is a "production that many opera theaters would never do," but described it as "an ideal project for us."