Violetta’s triumph: a conversation with La traviata stage director Chía Patiño

“I am completely in love with the courtesans,” declares Ecuadoran stage director and composer Chía Patiño. “They are so aware of who they are.” Patiño, who directed her first professional production of La traviata (her first was for Indiana University) at Florida Grand Opera this season, was well-prepared. She recently traveled to Paris, where she…

The man who dated Violetta

  Alexandre Dumas the younger (or fils, as the French say — it means “son”) had a lot to live up to.   His dad, after all, was the guy who wrote swashbuckling bestsellers like The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo and founded Paris’ Théâtre Historique. His grandfather was a Creole brigadier general in the French army,…

All SET for La traviata!

The demimonde of 1853 Paris was a place of extravagant luxury and hedonism. All-night parties with dancing, gambling, drinking, and entertainment were the norm, and the settings were accordingly sumptuous. Salons hung with velvet curtains and oil paintings, crystal chandeliers alight with hundreds of fine wax candles, ornately paneled walls and floor-to-ceiling paned windows, velvet…