Emerging Pictures Blog
Christmas comes early this year! So get your beauty sleep now, because on Sunday, December 15, you’ll want to unwrap the best gift that is the Bolshoi Ballet production of “The Sleeping Beauty.”
The ultimate fairy tale ballet — complete with dances by some of the most beloved storybook characters — “The Sleeping Beauty” is the holiday present you’ll want to share with everyone.
Starring Svetlana Zakharova as the somnolent Princess Aurora and David Hallberg, the first ever American Premier dancer at the Bolshoi, as her Prince Désirè, this production was one of the very first performed in the newly renovated Bolshoi Theatre.
Aside from the sleeping Princess saved from an evil spell by her Prince Charming, ballet-lovers look forward to spirited dancing from a most distinguished assortment of famous fairy-tale characters: Puss in Boots and the White Cat, Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, Cinderella and her Prince, a soaring Bluebird and his Princess Florine. There are enough bejeweled colorful dancing fairies, roses and garlands of flowers to convince you that Christmas may never end!
“The Sleeping Beauty” is the perfect holiday gift for ballet-lovers of every age! Find out where it’s playing near you and purchase your tickets now.
Check out our favorite characters from the ballet below…
And then of course there is this….
The 1936 film Camille is one of the most romantic movies ever made. Based on Alexander Dumas’ 1852 novel La Dame aux Camélias, the film’s star Greta Garbo exudes an incomparable elegance in the title role of the glamorous, tragically fated French courtesan.
The story is not just a film or a play, it is an institution: one that has been reenacted, recreated, and mimicked in countless forms. The story has been transformed into ballets, stage productions, and at least a dozen film adaptations. Dumas’s book was the inspiration for Verdi’s opera “La Traviata” which, in turn, served as the basis for the movie Camille. (Traviata is being broadcast LIVE from La Scala tomorrow, Dec 7!)
Directed by George Cukor, Garbo’s portrayal of Marguerite Gautier is considered by many critics to be her finest role. In the 1937 New York Times review of the film, Frank Nugent described Garbo’s interpretation of the role as having “…the sublety that has earned for her the title, first lady of the screen.”
In the story, she is born into a lower-class family but in time lives life as one of the most glamorous courtesans in Paris, mistress of the wealthy and powerful Baron de Varville (played by Henry Daniell). After years of earning a good living from her looks, her heart is stolen by Armand Duval (Robert Taylor), a handsome but naive young man who knows little of her life with the Baron. She is more than willing to give that life up in order to live with her lover Armand. Armand’s father (Lionel Barrymore), however, begs her to leave his son so that her scandalous past will not ruin his son’s future. Relenting in the face of the painful wisdom of his pleading, she deserts Armand and returns to the Baron. Ultimately, she are Armand are reconciled, but it is too late. Having long suffered from tuberculosis, she dies in his arms as he prepares to take her away to their country retreat.
According to the Times review, it was Garbo’s death scene—”so simply, delicately, and movingly played”—which confirmed her as a convincing actress of great range.
U.S. audiences will have the opportunity to see Diana Damrau in that same role in the La Scala opening night performance of Verdi’s “La Traviata,” broadcast LIVE from Milan on December 7, with captured live encores on subsequent days.
Check www.operaincinema.com to find a theatre near you!
The Body Count:
Stabbing – 4.
Consumption – 2.
Drowning, fire, entombment, madness – 1 each.
Some of the world’s best-loved operas are treasured for their breathtaking scores and the voices that sing them. However, it’s not just the music that captivates us. We’re also moved to tears by the heroine’s tragic end.
With “La Traviata” opening the La Scala season on Saturday, December 7, and broadcast via Opera in Cinema to theatres across the country on that and subsequent days, we thought it would be interesting to see who YOU think is the most tragic of the great operatic tragediennes.
Cast your vote!
We’ll reveal the results after Diana Damrau’s starring performance in “La Traviata“ on Opening Night at Teatro alla Scala.
1. Violetta Valéry in “La Traviata”:
Famed Parisian courtesan Violetta Valéry falls in love with the noble Alfredo Germont, but breaks her own heart by agreeing to give him up to save his family’s honor. When he learns of her sacrifice, he returns to her….but, alas, too late. She dies in his arms of consumption (romantic euphemism for tuberculosis).
2. Mimi in “La Bohème”:
In Paris’s Latin Quarter, the penniless seamstress Mimi (also suffering from consumption!) moves in with her lover the poverty-stricken playwright Rodolfo. When he leaves to seek warmer lodgings for them, Mimi moves on to live with a wealthy Viscount. On a return visit to see her friends in the old garret, she collapses and dies in Rodolfo’s arms.
3. Norma in “Norma”:
The Druid priestess Norma falls in love with the occupying Roman proconsul Pollione. In a fit of jealousy, she informs the Druids that Pollione has fallen in love with another Druid, bringing upon him a sentence of death. As his lover, Norma proclaims herself equally guilty. She mounts the executioner’s pyre with him and dies in flames.
4. Floria Tosca in “Tosca”:
The famed Roman actress Floria Tosca is insanely jealous of her lover, the artist Mario Cavaradossi. Her jealousy enables Scarpia, the malevolent chief of police, to arrest Mario for harboring a fugitive criminal. Thinking she has tricked Scarpia into a deal in which his men will fake shooting Mario, Tosca stands by as the firing squad executes him. Realizing Mario is in fact dead, and that she has been deceived, she leaps from a parapet into the Tiber River far below.
5. Cio-Cio San in “Madame Butterfly”:
In 1904 Nagasaki, the young maidenly geisha Cio-Cio San (aka: Butterfly) is duped into thinking she has wed Pinkerton, a handsome US Naval Officer, before he returns to sea. While he is away, Butterfly gives birth to their son and waits for him to come back. When Pinkerton returns three years later it is with his legal American wife. On realizing her naivete and the deception, Butterfly stabs herself.
6. Carmen in “Carmen”:
Carmen, a temptress cigarette girl of Seville, seduces the soldier Don Jose into loving her. When she leaves him for the glamorous toreador Escamillo, Don José stabs her to death.
7. Donna Leonora in “La Forza del Destino”:
In Seville, Donna Leonora, daughter of a South American marquis, is in love with the nobleman Don Alvaro. After the pair kill her father accidentally, her brother Don Carlo seeks revenge in a duel. Having been bested by Don Alvaro, Don Carlo lies on the ground with Leonora bending over his body. But, he is not dead…yet. He stabs her in the heart before he expires.
8. Aida in “Aida”:
Aida, an Ethiopian princess enslaved by the Egyptians, is in love with the Egyptian military commander Radamès, who struggles between his love for Aida and his loyalty to the Pharaoh, whose own daughter Amneris is in love with Radamès. Amneris reveals the illegal Radames-Aida love affair. The couple die together entombed in a vault.
9. Nedda in “Pagliacci”:
The village girl Nedda is engaged to Canio, who plays the part of a clown in a travelling troupe of actors. On learning that Nedda is having an affair with Silvio, Canio loses control during a performance and in a jealous rage stabs both Nedda and Silvio.
10. Lucia Ashton in “Lucia di Lammermoor”:
In 17th century Scotland, Lucia is forced by her father to marry Lord Arturo, despite her being in love with Edgardo. On her wedding night, Lucia goes completely mad, murders Arturo, collapses and dies.
Born in 1971 in Gunzbürg, Bavaria, the star of La Scala’s upcoming opening night broadcast of “La Traviata” is Diana Damrau, one of today’s most famous sopranos. Acclaimed as the “leading coloratura soprano in the world” (New York Sun), Diana’s career gained momentum with her much-praised early appearances in multiple roles in Mozart’s “Die Zauberflöte“ (The Magic Flute) in Munich, Berlin and Vienna: Queen of the Night, Zerbinetta and Adele. These successes led to invitations to perform on some of the world’s most prestigious stages: Covent Garden, the Salzburg Festival, Vienna State Opera, Opera Frankfurt, Bavarian State Opera and scores of others. Her Queen of the Night performances proved to be sensations, and her most frequently performed role.
Diana, whose voice has graced the Metropolitan Opera stage every year since 2005, continues to amaze audiences with her plush, vibrant voice and arresting stage presence. A champion of 20th-century and contemporary music, in addition to the traditional operatic canon the soprano has performed works by such modern composers as Poulenc, Lorin Maazel, André Previn, Iain Bell and Matthias Pintscher.
The starring role of Violetta in Verdi’s “La Traviata” is a touchstone for any soprano. According to New York Times chief music critic Anthony Tommasini:
”Ms. Damrau settled in, and her voice both broadened and focused, encompassing
both filaments of sound and full-voiced cries in a haunting ‘Addio del passato.’ By
her final outpouring, ‘Gran Dio, morir sì giovine,’ she was in a furious groove… Her
ethereal, wounded ‘Dite alla giovane’ took on a fresh poignancy: the first real defeat
of a young woman used to winning. For Ms. Damrau, Violetta was a daring victory.”
On December 7th, Diana Damrau will star on opening night as Violetta Valery in “La Traviata” broadcast LIVE to theatres all over the U.S. direct from Milan’s Teatro alla Scala. (Because of time zone differences, some theatres will capture the performance live and either play it later that day or on Sunday. Many venues will also have midweek encores.)
Don’t miss this opportunity to see and hear one of this generation’s most beautiful voices. Click HERE for the closest theatre to you, and to purchase advance tickets.
Hailing from Castiglioni dei Pepoli near Bologna, Leo Nucci is often referred to as the “greatest Verdi baritone of this era” and “a guardian of the true Verdi baritone’s deep tradition.”
Following his numerous performances this year to celebrate Giuseppe Verdi’s centenary, critics have described the 71-year-old Italian baritone’s voice as “peerless” in its tremendous shape and coloring.
Nucci’s deep connection to Verdi largely stems from his decision to join the Teatro alla Scala chorus in the 1970s, where, for five years, he relearned the fundamentals of singing technique, He gained the attention of the operatic world with his 1978 debut at the Royal Opera House. Following on the heels of his success at Covent Garden he was invited to perform in Un Ballo in Maschera at the Metropolitan Opera, Paris Opera, and Salzberg Festival. With his sonorous voice and dramatic abilities, he is uniquely suited for the Verdi repertoire. According to his website, he is, in fact, the only baritone in history to perform the title role in Rigoletto more than 400 times — and on all the world’s most prestigious operatic stages.
According to Nicola Luisotti, conductor of this La Scala production of Nabucco, “Leo Nucci is legendary in the opera world because his humanity is on the same level as his artistry. When these two important aspects come together, the level of artistry grows immensely.” She adds that in the role of tyrannical Babylonian emperor, “Nucci doesn’t just sing Nabucco – he is Nabucco. From the beginning of the opera until the end, the audience believes in him because he has the ability and the talent to transport everyone to another time, another world.”
Nabucco is a must-see this weekend! Find a theatre by clicking HERE and typing in your zip code. Opens this Sunday, November 3!