27 Jan-18 Feb 2024


Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Main Stage

Running time

2:40, incl. 1 interval



La traviata

Heartbreaking tale of a ‘material girl’

In La traviata, Giuseppe Verdi did more than just tell the story of a terminally ill courtesan. He also confronted his contemporaries with their own hypocritical morals. The German stage director Tatjana Gürbaca does the same in her incisive production of Verdi’s classic.

Photo: Marta Syrko

Heartbreaking tale of a 'material girl'

When Verdi decided to use Alexandre Dumas’ 1848 novel La dame aux camélias as the basis for La traviata, it was the first time he had used a contemporary story for one of his operas – Marie Duplessis, the Parisian courtesan who inspired the main character, had died in1847. She was a cult figure, the epitome of success and glamour who was fated to meet a tragic end.


Poignant interpretation

Tatjana Gürbaca, one of today’s most exciting opera directors, made her DNO debut in 2021 with her piercing production of La traviata. In this interpretation, Violetta Valéry starts as a carefree ‘material girl’ who becomes increasingly caught up in a capitalist system that eventually destroys her. Gürbaca strips the opera of all superfluous embellishments and lays bare the unforgiving toughness of the human condition against the background of a minimalist set. She directs the chorus with attention to the finest details. “Both individually and collectively, the chorus members seem prepared to do anything for the director Tatjana Gürbaca”, wrote Theaterkrant.


Top-notch vocalists

The role of Violetta Valéry demands an exceptionally versatile singer and actor. It is sometimes claimed that from a vocal perspective the role ideally requires three different sopranos, one for each act. This challenging role is in accomplished hands, both vocally and theatrically, with the Romanian soprano Adela Zaharia, who previously gave a fervent performance as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni at DNO.

The Ukrainian tenor Bogdan Volkov and the Armenian tenor Liparit Avetisyan alternate in the role of Violetta’s lover Alfredo Germont. The seasoned Verdi singer George Petean completes the trio of main roles. The musical direction is once again in the hands of the energetic and passionate Italian conductor Andrea Battistoni, who this time will be conducting the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra.

Performance information

Opera in three acts
Sung in Italian

Libretto  Francesco Maria Piave
Musical direction  Andrea Battistoni

Stage direction  Tatjana Gürbaca
Set design  Henrik Ahr
Costume design  Barbara Drosihn
Lighting design  Stefan Bolliger
Dramaturgy  Bettina Auer
Revival direction Meisje Barbara Hummel

Violetta Valéry  Adela Zaharia
Alfredo Germont 
Bogdan Volkov (27 and 31 Jan, 3 and 6 Feb),
Liparit Avetisyan (9, 12, 15, 18 Feb)
Giorgio Germont  George Petean
Flora Bervoix  Martina Myskohlid*, Maya Gour (9 Feb)
Gastone  Salvador Villanueva
Barone Douphol  Roger Smeets
Marchese d’Obigny  Michael Wilmering
Annina  Inna Demenkova
Giuseppe Dimo Georgiev
Dottore Grenvil  Bart Driessen
Un domestico di Flora Sander Heutinck
Un Commissionario Christiaan Peters

* Dutch National Opera Studio

Chorus of Dutch National Opera
Chorus master  Edward Ananian-Cooper

Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra

Original production by Den Norske Opera (Oslo)

Online programme

Along with the printed programme book, we also offer online programme information for this performance. The online programme will take you behind the scenes with in-depth stories, articles, and interviews with the creators and cast.

5 reasons to look forward to ... La traviata

Teaser La traviata

La traviata scènebeeld uit 2021
Scenes from La traviata by DNO (2024) | Photos: Ben van Duin
Scene mother and child
Dinner with the family
Party time
Scenes from La traviata by DNO (2021) | Photos: Monika Rittershaus

Gürbaca reveals the harshness of the human condition

Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest

Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra

Founded in 1918, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra is renowned around the world for the intensity of its concerts. Led by chief conductor Lahav Shani, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra is lauded for its colourful sound. Shani’s predecessor Yannick Nézet-Séguin is the orchestra’s honorary conductor. In the 2022/2023 season, the orchestra played Messa da Requiem for Dutch National Opera. This season, conducted by Andrea Battistoni, the orchestra will play La traviata.

Rehearsal La traviata
Rehearsal La traviata (2024) | Photos: Ben van Duin
The group
La traviata
La traviata

Podcast - La traviata

in de media

Verdi's 'La traviata' at Dutch National Opera: goosebumps and 'brava!' cries - ... soprano Adela Zaharia alone is reason enough to buy a ticket for this revival. A marvellously warm sound, [...]. The audience fully embraced her.

28 January

'La traviata' is very worthwhile, especially because of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and the incomparable singing Adela Zaharia

28 January

Phenomenal Adela Zaharia shakes the opera to its foundations - [...] Added to this is an unsurpassed empathy that draws you in as a listener from start to finish: she does not sing the role of Violetta, she is Violetta.

1 February

From touchingly simple melody lines to waltzing feverish mass scenes, La traviata has it all.

29 January

Partners Dutch National Opera Studio