Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

Wolf Trap Opera Company Celebrates Verdi’s Bicentennial with La traviata

June 26, 2013

Wolf Trap Opera, National Symphony Orchestra, and The Washington Chorus together in new production at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts

VIENNA, Va., June 26, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Verdi’s La traviata will be performed by the Wolf Trap Opera Company for one night only, Friday, July 19 at 8:15 pm at the Filene Center at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. Grant Gershon conducts the National Symphony Orchestra and Jose María Condemi directs this new, fully-staged production; both artists are making their Wolf Trap debuts. Gershon is the Music Director of the Los Angeles Master Chorale and Resident Conductor of LA Opera; Condemi is the Artistic Director of Opera Santa Barbara and is well-known for his directorial accomplishments at some of the most well-respected opera houses in North America, including San Francisco Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago. Joining in the production is the Washington Chorus, under the direction of Julian Wachner.

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This new production features site specific video projections of original scenic designs created by Aaron Rhyne. Costumes and sets will be by Anka Lupes, and lighting will be designed by returning artist Mark Stanley. The production will be set in the Roaring Twenties, and will be sung in Italian with English supertitles.

La traviata was last produced at Wolf Trap in 1976, in a performance that featured renowned soprano Beverly Sills in the title role. During this time, established professionals sang the leading roles in Wolf Trap Opera Company productions and young artists sang in the chorus. Since 1985, all leading roles have been performed by the Filene Young Artists, an elite group of young singers who are chosen through a highly-selective annual nationwide audition tour.

This year’s production was made possible in part through generous philanthropic support from Wolf Trap Foundation Board member Daniel D’Aniello and his wife, Gayle, as well as through the generosity of other loyal Wolf Trap Opera Company supporters.

“After nearly four decades, we are delighted to bring this treasured opera back to the Filene Center with generous support for our internationally renowned young opera program,” said Arvind Manocha, President and CEO, Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts.

For this production, the lead role of Violetta is played by returning Filene Young Artist, soprano Corinne Winters. Earlier this year, London’s Sunday Times named her “The best ENO Violetta in decades and worth the ticket price alone.” A native of Frederick, Maryland, Winters received training from the Academy of Vocal Arts, the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis Gerdine Young Artist Program, and the Peabody Conservatory. Her recent roles include Violetta (La traviata, Opera Hong Kong, English National Opera, Opera Lyra Ottawa) and Vendulka (The Kiss, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis). Last summer she sang the role of Anne Truelove in WTOC’s production of The Rake’s Progress.

Benjamin Bliss, tenor, will perform the role of Alfredo Germont. Bliss hails from Prairie Village, Kansas and received training from Chapman University and the Los Angeles Opera Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program. His recent roles include Aguilar (Dulce Rosa, LA Opera), Male Chorus (The Rape of Lucretia, LA Opera YAP), and Barbargio (I due Foscari, LA Opera).

Nicholas Pallesen, baritone, will sing the role of Giorgio Germont. Pallesen is from Riverside, California. He received training from Juilliard Opera Center, Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis Gerdine Young Artist Program, and the University of Florida. His recent roles include Rigoletto (Rigoletto, Shreveport Opera), Pluto (Orpheus, New York City Opera), and Robert Storch (Intermezzo, New York City Opera).

Based on the novel La Dame aux Camelias by Alexandre Dumas, fils, La traviata (“The Woman Gone Astray”) tells a story of passion, second chances, and heartbreak. Violetta Valery, a fashionable courtesan recovering from a recent illness, allows herself to love the ardent young Alfredo Germont, leaving her former life to live with him in the country. His father, the upstanding Giorgio Germont, knows that allowing Alfredo to continue in a relationship with a woman of Violetta’s previous reputation would ruin his entire family. Tragedy ensues as Violetta makes a sacrifice for her lover’s family, even as she succumbs to her illness.

A Pre-Performance Discussion by Lee Anne Myslewski, Director, Artistic Administration, Wolf Trap Opera & Classical Programming, will be offered one hour before performance time on the Old Farmhouse Lawn, which is located to the left of the main gate/box office area for the Filene Center.


La traviata
Music by Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave
Friday, July 19 at 8:15 pm
Wolf Trap Opera Company and National Symphony Orchestra
Filene Center at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts

Creative Team
Conductor – Grant Gershon*
Director – Jose Maria Condemi*
Projections Design – Aaron Rhyne*
Costume & Scenic Design – Anka Lupes*
Lighting Design – Mark Stanley

Violetta Valery – Corinne Winters
Alfredo Germont – Benjamin Bliss*
Giorgio Germont – Nicholas Pallesen*
Annina – Courtney Johnson
Flora Bervoix – Alexandra Rodrick
Gastone – Miles Mykkanen*
Giuseppe – Brandon Russell*
Baron Douphol – Harry Greenleaf*
Marquis d’Obigny – Brian Vu
Doctor Grenville – Nicholas Brownlee*
The Washington Chorus, Julian Wachner, Director

* Wolf Trap debut

High resolution photos of the following artists are available on Wolf Trap’s website:

Grant Gershon
Jose María Condemi
Corinne Winters 1
Corinne Winters 2
Corinne Winters 3
Corinne Winters 4
Benjamin Bliss
Nicholas Pallesen

Tickets can be purchased online at www.wolftrap.org, by calling 1(877) WOLFTRAP, or at the Wolf Trap Box Office located at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts at 1551 Trap Road, Vienna, Virginia. For more information, call Wolf Trap at (703) 255-1868.

About the Wolf Trap Opera Company
Established in 1971, the Wolf Trap Opera Company continues to earn national and international recognition for its mission to discover and encourage outstanding emerging talent in the opera field, serving singers of exceptional achievement and potential who are ready to make the transition to full-time professional careers. In addition to the young professional singers, the company also features the work of emerging designers, directors, and conductors, and provides opportunities for aspiring stage managers, administrators, coaches, and technical theatre professionals.

About Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts
Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, founded by Catherine Filene Shouse (1896-1994), produces and presents a full range of performance and education programs in the Greater Washington area, as well as nationally and internationally. Wolf Trap features three performance venues, the outdoor Filene Center and Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, both located at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, and The Barns at Wolf Trap, located down the road from the national park and adjacent to the Center for Education at Wolf Trap. The 7,028-seat Filene Center is operated in partnership with the National Park Service and annually showcases an extensive array of diverse artists, ranging from pop, country, folk, and blues to classical music, dance, and theatre, as well as multimedia presentations, from May through September. The Barns is operated by the Foundation year round, and during the summer months is home to the Grammy-nominated Wolf Trap Opera Company, one of America’s outstanding resident ensemble programs for young opera singers. Wolf Trap’s education programs include the nationally acclaimed Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, a diverse array of arts education classes, grants, and a nationally recognized internship program that was included in Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s 2009 List of “Best Places to Intern.” As part of its ongoing commitment to protect and preserve the environment, Wolf Trap offers metro access and is a founding member of the Green Music Group.

SOURCE Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts

Source: PR Newswire