Whenever I think of La Traviata, I think of Violetta’s gorgeous gowns. If opera companies do Verdi’s potboiler in period (and that is an if, by the way), operagoers expect to be wowed by Violetta’s costumes and are rarely disappointed.
Some of the loveliest I’ve found hail from contemporary and not so contemporary productions. The University of Princeton Library Archives has some stunning photos of some of the greatest divas of all-time (perhaps some of your favorites) as Violetta.
Renee Fleming as Violetta (photo credit: Alastair Muir)
If you’d like to don one of these, all you have to do is get contracted to sing Violetta for a major house with a major production budget.
Oh, one more little thing. You have to know how to sing Verdi.
Oh, and one more little detail . . . you have to die at the end of the story . . . but you’ll look exquisite for a few shining moments.
Guerrilla opera may be oft-done in Europe, but not in the States. Whole Foods in Baltimore is a notable exception. There performers from the Washington National Opera invaded a local grocery store to do a little guerilla marketing for an upcoming production La Traviata by Verdi.
It would have been great fun to head out for a little grocery shopping and stumble onto a little Opera Vegetale Guerriglia in the produce section of a local supermarket.
“Pass me an artichoke, Violetta, while you’re reaching for that high C.”
The best thing about an opera production shouldn’t be its marketing collateral. That being said, opera companies in the US and around the world have created some stunning posters–award winning pieces–to advertise their shows. They are so intriguing, they might entice you to go see a production you know nothing about. However, if you do know the premise of each opera featured below, some of these designs are nothing short of “pure, dead brilliant.” Clever, fresh–all of them. With any luck the ingenuity of the production surpassed the marketing effort.
four contemporary posters for classic operas