From: Lisa Middleton, Vice President, Marketing & Communications  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ 


What You Need to Know About La traviata
at Lyric Opera of Chicago

Ten Performances: February 16 - March 22, 2019
CHICAGO (1/14/2019) – Violetta Valéry is a courtesan who can have everything she desires– except lasting happiness. Love is found, lost, and reclaimed too late in Verdi’s most cherished opera.

  • An excellent first-time opera: La traviata has moved audiences around the world with its compelling story of conflicted love, its passionate protagonists, and beautiful music. La traviata is a quintessential Italian opera — don’t miss the chance to see this immensely popular work.

  • A top-tier international cast: Russian soprano Albina Shagimuratova portrays the deeply affecting heroine, Violetta. Her impetuous lover, Alfredo, is played by Italian tenor Giorgio Berrugi (Lyric debut), while Alfredo’s stern father, Giorgio Germont, is sung by Serbian bass-baritone Željko Lučić. American mezzo-soprano Zoie Reams (Lyric debut) plays Violetta’s friend Flora.

  • Rising young singers featured: Many members of this year’s Ryan Opera Center will perform supporting roles. Contralto Lauren Decker portrays Violetta’s maid Annina, tenor Mario Rojas plays Gastone, baritone Christopher Kenney is the Marquis, baritone Ricardo José Rivera plays Baron Douphol, bass-baritone David Weigel sings Dr. Grenvil, and tenor Eric Ferring is Giuseppe.

  • Michael Christie makes his Lyric debut conducting the Lyric Opera Orchestra.

  • Experience Verdi’s beautiful and vibrant melodies in live performance. The music of La traviata includes some of the composer’s most well-crafted arias, orchestral passages, and rousing choruses. From the invigorating "Libiamo" drinking song to the tender love duet "Un dì felice" to Violetta’s show-stopping aria "Sempre libera," this opera has familiar melodies that are sure to have audiences humming long after they leave the theater. Hear samples here.

  • Extravagant visuals abundant with color and texture: Director Arin Arbus’s lavish production features beautiful, visually fantastic costumes and oversized puppets by Cait O’Connor that are described as "Victorian going for Baroque." Set designer Riccardo Hernandez, lighting designer Marcus Doshi, projection designer Christopher Ash, and choreographer Austin McCormick collaborated with Arbus to create this striking Lyric production.

  • The Lyric Opera Chorus, prepared by Lyric chorus master Michael Black, play Felliniesque party guests in billowing gowns and towering wigs.

  • Pop culture fun facts: La traviata’s influence on pop culture has spread from stage to screen.The 1990 hit movie Pretty Woman and the 2001 Oscar- nominated musical Moulin Rouge! both have plots inspired by Verdi’s masterpiece.  

  • What inspired Verdi? The composer and his librettist, Francesco Maria Piave, based La traviata (The Fallen Woman) on La Dame aux Camélias, the play adapted from the 1848 novel by Alexandre Dumas fils, which was inspired by the true story of Marie Duplessis, a country girl turned top-drawer courtesan who became the toast of Paris and died penniless at the age of 23.

  • See it if you like: Romantic stories, sympathetic female leads, tragic star-crossed lovers, visually stunning chorus scenes, and Verdi’s glorious music.  

  • Running Time: 2 Hours and 50 minutes with 2 intermissions: Enjoy an exceptional live experience in the beautiful surroundings of the Art-Deco theater and foyer.

  • Sung in Italian with projected English translations.

  • Ten performances Feb. 16, 20, and 24, and March 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, and 22 at the Lyric Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive, Chicago. Performances dates in bold are 2:00pm matinees. Weekday evening performances start at 7:00pm and Saturday evening performances start at 7:30pm.

  • For more information and to order tickets, visit or call 312-827-5600. Tickets start at $37.

  • For information about pre-performance dining options at Lyric, visit to learn about on-site restaurants, pop-up sushi bar, beverage service, and more.
From: Lisa Middleton, Vice President, Marketing & Communications

Holly H. Gilson
Senior Director, Communications

Magda Krance
Director of
Media Relations


Nathaniel Hamilton
Public Relations


About Lyric

Lyric Opera of Chicago’s mission is to express and promote the life-changing, transformational, revelatory power of great opera. Lyric exists to provide a broad, deep, and relevant cultural service to Chicago and the nation, and to advance the development of the art form.

Founded in 1954, Lyric is dedicated to producing and performing consistently thrilling, entertaining, and thought-provoking opera with a balanced repertoire of core classics, lesser-known masterpieces, and new works; to creating an innovative and wide-ranging program of community engagement and educational activities; and to developing exceptional emerging operatic talent.

Under the leadership of general director, president & CEO Anthony Freud, music director Sir Andrew Davis, and creative consultant Renée Fleming, Lyric strives to become The Great North American Opera Company for the 21st century: a globally significant arts organization embodying the core values of excellence, relevance, and fiscal responsibility.

To learn more about Lyric’s current season, go to You can also join the conversation with @LyricOpera on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. #Lyric1819 #LongLivePassion

Photo: Todd Rosenberg

Lyric production revival of Verdi’s La traviata generously made possible by the Donna Van Eekeren Foundation, The Michael and Susan Avramovich Charitable Trust, Nancy and Sanfred Koltun, Lauter McDougal Charitable Fund, BMO Harris Bank, and ITW

Coproduction of Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, and Canadian Opera Company.

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