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El Paso Opera presents “La Traviata” in a single performance on June 3

One of the most popular operas of all time will have a single performance in El Paso on June 3, when El Paso Opera presents “La Traviata,” by Giuseppe Verdi, directed by Justin Lucero.

“La Traviata is the world’s most-produced opera for a reason. It’s the most popular for a reason,” said El Paso Opera Executive Director Arianne Marcee, as she enumerated several reasons in this Zoom interview with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin. “It’s the beautiful music. It is the quintessential example of everything grand opera is supposed to be: it’s a full symphony, it’s a full chorus, it’s that beautiful love story, it’s the tragedy, it’s the drama, and then of course, those pieces of music that stick with you long after the show has ended.”

The El Paso production is directed by Justin Lucero, and the cast includes Marlen Nahhas (as Violeta Valery), David Portillo (as Alfredo Germont), Corey Crider (Giorgio Germont), Brian Downen (Gastone), Cherry Duke (Flora Bervoix), Javier Ortiz (Dottore Grenvil) and Phillip Hill (Baron Douphol), among others, with Maestro Jorge Parodi leading the El Paso Symphony orchestra, and a chorus of some two dozen singers.

“Even if you don’t know it, you know it,” Marcee noting it’s story and music have been used in numerous movies (“Pretty Woman,” “Moulin Rouge”), advertisements, and television shows.

The single performance takes place Saturday, June 3 at 7:30 at the Abraham Chavez Theater in El Paso.

El Paso Opera Executive Director Arianne Marcee on a Zoom call
Leora Zeitlin
El Paso Opera Executive Director Arianne Marcee on a Zoom call

Musical clips embedded in this interview: “Libiamo, ne’ lieti calici (Brindisi),” with Luciano Pavarotti, Cheryl Studer, and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by James Levine (Deutsche Grammophon #435797); “Di Provenza il mar, il suol,” sung by Juon Pons, from the same cd; “Sempre Libera,” sung by Ruth Ann Swenson, with Julius Rudel conducting the London Symphony Orchestra (EMI Classics #56764).