The passionate and flamboyant production of Verdi’s La traviata by Sir David McVicar, who wowed audiences and critics earlier this year with his production of Pelléas and Mélisande, opens Scottish Opera’s 2017/18 Season in Glasgow this October.

First performed by Scottish Opera in 2008, La traviata will also tour to Aberdeen, Inverness and Edinburgh and is a revival of the co-production with Welsh National Opera, Gran Teatre del Liceu and Teatro Real, Madrid.

Verdi’s magnificent opera tells the story of Violetta and Alfredo, set in the demi-monde of 1880s Paris. McVicar’s production gets to the core of their doomed love affair, finding a heartbreakingly human story in the midst of hedonistic high society. Russian-Dutch soprano Gulnara Shafigullina, recently Violetta at The Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, and Anush Hovhannisyan, who represented Armenia at BBC Cardiff Singer of the World this year, head the cast of international talent as Violetta.

Multi-award-winning Dutch tenor Peter Gijsbertsen as Alfredo is joined by British baritone Stephen Gadd (Le Villi 2017) as Giorgio Germont, Simon Thorpe as Baron Douphol, Christopher Turner as Gastone and James Platt as Doctor Grenvil.

Three of Scottish Opera’s 2017/18 Emerging Artists also perform. Robertson Trust Scholarship Emerging Artist Catherine Backhouse, Alex Otterburn (Greek 2017) and Laura Zigmantaite play Annina, Marchese D’Obigny and Flora Bervoix respectively. David Parry (Carmen 2016) conducts. The beautiful period set and costume design is by Tanya McCallin with Stephen Powles reviving Jennifer Tipton’s original lighting design.

La traviata’s run in Glasgow coincides with the special milestone of Theatre Royal’s 150th anniversary on November 28. Home to Scottish Opera as well as Scottish Ballet, the Victorian theatre first opened in 1867 with a new extension featuring a spiral staircase and roof terrace added in 2014.

Alex Reedijk, Scottish Opera’s General Director said: ‘Sir David McVicar’s La traviata has been in great demand in opera houses around the world since its Scottish premiere almost a decade ago. Verdi’s opera is one of the most popular in the world, and I am delighted that audiences in Scotland have another opportunity to see this wonderful production with an exciting international cast.’

Audiences also have the chance to attend La traviata Unwrapped, a one-hour taster delving further in to the show and how it was created, as well as Pre-show Talks. Those who are visually impaired can enjoy the full opera experience at audio-described performances, which have live commentary that describes the action on stage without compromising the music.

Theatre Royal Glasgow, 282 Hope Street, Glasgow G2 3QA

Thu 19 Oct, 7.15pm

Sun 22 Oct, 3pm

Tue 24 Oct, 3pm (Dementia Friendly Performance)

Wed 25 Oct, 7.15pm

Sat 28 Oct, 7.15pm

Tue 28 Nov, 7.15pm (150th anniversary of the opening of Theatre Royal Glasgow)

Thu 30 Nov, 7.15pm

Sat 2 Dec, 7.15pm

Free events

La traviata Unwrapped

Thu 26 Oct, 6pm

La traviata Pre-show Talk

Sat 28 Oct, 6pm

La traviata Touch Tour

Sat 28 Oct, 6pm

La traviata Audio-described performance

Sat 28 Oct, 7.15pm

Images: Drew Farrell