Opera buffs who couldn’t snap up a ticket for the premiere of Verdi’s La Traviata at La Scala opera-house on 7 December need not despair: it will be broadcast live at locations all over the city, almost all of them free.
Thanks to public broadcaster RAI and energy giant Edison, this opening night at the world-famous theatre’s 235th season will be followed in a number of cinemas and social clubs – as well as in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, between the opera-house and Piazza del Duomo, for those prepared to brave the cold.
Indoor locations will include Cinema Apollo, Galleria de Cristoforis 3, Cinema Beltrade, Via Oxilia 10, Cinema Gloria, Corso Vercelli, 18, Cinema Mexico, Via Savona 57, Cinema Palestrina, Via Palestrina 7, Cinema Rosetum, Via Pisanello 1, and UCI Cinemas Bicocca, Viale Sarca 336. In each of these, tickets are free, but must be picked up in advance from the city’s nine Consigli di Zona or from the Settore Politiche Sociali in Largo Treves 1.
The screenings start at 17.30 to capture the atmosphere in the theatre before the curtain goes up at 18.00. More free screenings will take place in WOW Spazio Fumetto, the MIC Museo Interattivo del Cinema, the Auditorium Gaber in Palazzo Pirelli, the Aula Magna of Niguarda vHospital and the Teatro Dal Verme. Pre-booking is necessary in these locations. There will also be private screenings by invitation only in other institutions around the city.
Meanwhile, in the run-up to the premiere, a rich programme of events called “Violetta in Città” will centre around Milan’s favourite composer, Giuseppe Verdi, and Violetta, the tragic heroine of La Traviata – “a premiere lasting a week,” as councillor Filippo del Corno put it. Verdi’s bicentenary, as well as the contemporary debate on violence against women, are among the issues inspiring the events. Arias from Verdi’s best-known works will also be heard throughout the week in Metro stations Duomo, Garibaldi, Loreto, Cadorna and Centrale, and in Linate airport car-parks.
For a full programme of the concerts, plays, discussions, exhibits and video installations, visit this page of the city hall website and look for the “Allegati” in the right-hand column.
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Photo by Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera. Diana Damru, who is taking the lead role at La Scala, in the Met production earlier this year.