La Traviata

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December 2023 Next

Giuseppe Verdi’s La traviata, to the libretto based on Alexandre Dumas’s novel La Dame aux camélias, about Marie Duplessis, the famous courtesan and idol of Parisian society in the 1840s, is actually the very first significant opera to a contemporary social theme. The work’s premiere in 1863 in Venice was, however, a fiasco: the audience was appalled that the lead role had been assigned to a courtesan who, what’s more, was portrayed in a positive light. Yet Verdi’s opera soon started garnering plaudits and is now one of the most popular repertoire titles the world over.


La traviata has been staged by the opera house (today’s State Opera) in Prague since the very beginning of its existence, when it took over the production from the German Estates Theatre. The opera primarily afforded the opportunity to host celebrated foreign singers, including the legendary Australian soprano Nellie Melby (18 April 1900). The most recent production was undertaken in 2006 by a foreign team headed by the French stage director Arnaud Bernard, with the music being explored by the Italian conductor Enrico Dovico. It is one of the most popular State Opera titles and has been performed to great acclaim abroad too (including Japan, 2007). You will have the opportunity to see only three performances of this production, within the Verdi Festival at the very beginning of the season. Subsequently, during the season you can attend Jana Kališová’s production at the National Theatre.

The opera is staged in Italian original version and Czech and English surtitles are used in the performance.

Duration of the performance: 2 hours and 45 minutes with 2 intermissions

Program and cast

Violetta Valéry:  Jana Sibera

Alfredo Germont: Aleš Briscein

Giorgio Germont: Svatopluk Sem

Flora Bervoix: Sylva Čmugrová

Gaston: Michal Bragagnolo

Barone Douphol: František Zahradníček

Marquis d'Obigny: Ivo Hrachovec

Annina: Lubomira Popova Alabozova

Doctor Grenville: Oleg Korotkov

Libretto: Francesco Maria Piave
Sets: Alessandro Camera
Costumes: Carla Ricotti
Stage director: Arnaud Bernard
Chorus master: Adolf Melichar

The State Opera Chorus and Orchestra

Prague State Opera

The State Opera today


The State Opera (formerly the State Opera Prague, between 1948 and 1992 the Smetana Theatre, and originally the New German Theatre) has been a part of the National Theatre since 2012. The Opera and Ballet ensembles give repertory performances at the State Opera.




The Prague State Opera resides in the building which on January 5, 1888 was opened as a Prague German stage with the performance of Wagner’s opera, The Mastersingers of Nürnberg. In the 19th century, Prague Germans performed in the Estate’s Theater in alternation with a Czech company. Desire for their own theater led to negotiations in 1883 for the construction of a new theater building for the German Theater Association. Over the next three years, a blueprint was drawn up and handed over to the Vienna atelier of Fellner and Hellmer. Also sharing in the design was the architect of the Vienna Municipal Theater, Karl Hasenauer, while Prague architect Alfons Wertmüller took part in the construction. Financing came from private collections. With its spacious auditorium and neo-Rococo decoration, this theater building is among the most beautiful in Europe.




By car

On Wilsonova street, from the left lane close to the State Opera building take the slip road to the Slovan above-ground garage. The parking fee is 40 CZK/h.


By tram


By daytime tram No. 11 to the stop “Muzeum”, through the underpass beneath Legerova street in the direction of the NationalMuseum, at the crossroads turn right along the NewBuilding of the NationalMuseum.


By daytime trams Nos. 3, 9, 14 and 24 or night trams Nos. 51, 52, 54, 55, 56 and 58 to the stop “Václavské náměstí”, then by foot uphill on the left side of the Wenceslas Square to the traffic lights across Wilsonova and Vinohradská streets. Then turn left along the NewBuilding of the NationalMuseum.


By metro

To the “Muzeum” station, lines A and C (green and red), and then by foot along the NewBuilding of the NationalMuseum.

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