Time travel: Opera style

by Deanna Maria R.

In euronews, Peter Clark, archive director, strolls among the treasure trove of history found in the archives at the Metropolitan Opera in New York during the filming of an edition for Musica. The first find he shows is a very old program from the opera “La Traviata” by Verdi. It is the third most performed opera in the company’s long history. Over a century, with over 1000 performances, Verdi’s “La Traviata” has accumulated many treasures kept in the archives under the stage where the opera is performed. The first Diva to sing the part of the ‘Violetta’ was a famous soprano from Poland named Marcella Sembrich in November of 1883, the Mets first season. She went on to sing it many more times according to archival history.

One Diva, Maria Callas, who sang the opera in the 1956-57 season, did not like the dress worn by countless others who sang the part, she had them create her a new one. In a tweet in 2018 she stated, I will always be as difficult as necessary to achieve the best. The dress, and the picture of her in the dress, are part of the many treasures in the collection kept in the Met’s archives. Jewelry, other garments and even a bronze statue of one Diva, remain in the archives of history at the Metropolitan opera in New York. For opera enthusiasts, the opportunity to stroll among the archival history of Verdi’s “La Traviata”, might just make it to the top of their bucket list.