CULTURE

A Verdi classic on stage

Giuseppe Verdi’s ever popular «La Traviata» continues at the Athens Concert Hall this week and next, in a grand spectacle featuring a stellar cast. A three-act opera, based on the libretto by Francesco Maria Piave from Alexandre Dumas’s «La Dame aux Camelias,» «La Traviata» opened for the first time in Venice in 1853. From the opening act’s joyful «Brindisi» to the opera’s final, dramatic moments, the opera focuses on Violetta, a woman who sacrifices herself in the name of love. At the Athens Concert Hall, sopranos Ruth-Ann Swenson and Inga Nielsen alternate in the role of Violetta, tenors Charles Castronovo and Piotr Beczala take turns as Alfredo Germont, and baritones Eduard Tumagian and Jean-Luc Chaignaud interpret the role of Giorgio Germont. The Athens State Orchestra and the Sofia National Opera Choir are conducted by Richard Bonynge. Athens Concert Hall, 1 Kokkali & Vas. Sofias, tel 210.728.2000. Performances continue tonight, tomorrow, Sunday and Monday, May 17.