The first performance of La Traviata (Giuseppe Verdi's operatic masterpiece about the ill-fated love affair of a courtesan) in the 1850s was met with both applause and jeer—the audience scoffed at the lead actress, a renowned singer they thought too old and heavy to play the young Violetta. The following day, Verdi wrote a now-famous letter to a friend that read, "La Traviata last night a failure. Was the fault mine or the singers'? Time will tell." Continuing with Pacific Symphony’s vocal initiative “Symphonic Voices,” the tragic La Traviata comes to life on the Segerstrom stage through a semi-staged opera and live concert. Led by Music Director Carl St. Clair, the orchestra performs the story's three acts alongside a host of special guest opera singers. Get there an hour early for a symphony preview with host Alan Chapman. www.pacificsymphony.org
Thu., Feb. 20, 8 p.m.; Sat., Feb. 22, 8 p.m.; Tue., Feb. 25, 8 p.m., 2014
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