Verdi's 'La Traviata,' One Of The Most Popular Courtesan Love Stories, At Michigan Opera Theater

The Michigan Opera Theater on Saturday begins its second opera run of the fall season with Verdi's "La Traviata," one of the most popular operas the world over.

Like more than a few operas, it seems, the character at the center is a courtesan, Violetta, who is fairly burned out from her life entertaining men and believes she will die soon. Entering her life, though, is a well-meaning -- if naive -- Alfredo Germont who has long been intrigued by Violetta with no apparent recognition of her profession or lifestyle. She is a bit torn between her status-quo as a Demimonde and the possibility of real love with the kind and devoted suitor.

With a gallery of leering and giggling skeptics around, she nevertheless decides to take up with Alfredo and finds brief bliss. But then, Alfredo's father bullies her into separating from Alfredo to protect his and Alfredo's sister's reputations. Alfredo is kept in the dark as to her true motives, and thinks Violetta has just been toying with him, taking his love for granted and finally treating him like a doormat. He seeks retribution. At the end of the play, though, when she is dying, the two lovers reconcile, share the truth, and they find a few moments of happiness before she is gone.

The A-cast featuring soprano Nicole Cabell as Violetta and tenor Leonardo Caimi as Alfredo, and performs November 16, 20, 23. Cabell is a rising star, having made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 2008 in the role of Pamina in "The Magic Flute." She has also played Juliet in "Romeo and Juliet" and the Countess in "The Marriage of Figaro."

The B-cast features Corinne Winters as Violetta on November 22 and 24, and Zach Borichevsky as Alfredo. Winters, no stranger to Verdi, has performed a Roaring Twenties production of "La Traviata" at WolfTrap and played Violetta at Opera Lyra Ottawa.

La Traviata opens Saturday, November 16. Available tickets range from $52.00 to $115.00.

Looking ahead, the Michigan Opera Theater will be staging "A View From The Bridge" and "Turandot" in the spring.