Yesterday folks saw the 100th performance of the opera La Traviata in the Arena di Verona, which is celebrating 100 years of performances in the Arena as I type.
Did you know that if you’re 100 years of age you can get in to one performance free this Centennial season?
This year in fact people born in 1913 can go free at the Arena di Verona for one performance in program. It’s one of numerous initiatives for the Centennial Festival that is already receiving a lot of requests from all over Europe.
Geez, how many of them can there be I wonder?
I’m not much of an opera fan, but the idea of seeing one in a Roman Arena is quite tempting. Here’s a synopsis of La Traviata:
The idea for the opera came from a theatrical pièce called “La Dame aux Camélias” by Alexandre Dumas, junior. Set in the contemporary Paris of Louis Philippe and inspired by the famous character, Alphonsine Plessis, a courtesan who died of consumption at the age of just twenty-three, in 1847, renamed Marguerite Gautier in the novel and Violetta Valéry in the drama, Verdi composed the music in only forty days, and Francesco Maria Piave, the libretto, in two weeks.
Imagine an arena full of hundred-year-olds watching a character who dies at age 23.