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Natalie Dessay will make her Met role debut as Violetta Valéry, the iconic heroine of Verdi's La Traviata, in a revival of Willy Decker's highly praised 2011 production of the opera. Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi leads his first Met performances of the tragic love story, which also stars Matthew Polenzani as the lovesick Alfredo and Dmitri Hvorostovsky as Alfredo's father, Giorgio Germont. The April 14 matinee will be transmitted live around the world as part of The Met: Live in HD series, which now reaches more than 1,700 movie theaters in 54 countries.
These will be Dessay's first complete performances of Violetta at the Met, though she sang the character's famous double aria "Ah fors'è lui…Sempre libera" at the Met's 125th Anniversary Gala in 2009. In recent seasons, she has sung the role at the Vienna State Opera, the Aix-en-Provence Festival, and the Santa Fe Opera. Her numerous Met appearances include four new production premieres: Juliette in Gounod's Roméo et Juliette (2005), the title roles in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor (2007) and La Fille du Régiment (2008), and the title role in Bellini's La Sonnambula (2009). She made her Met debut in 1994 as Fiakermilli in Richard Strauss's Arabella and has also sung Zerbinetta in his Ariadne auf Naxos and Olympia in Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann. Next season, she will make her Met role debut as Cleopatra in a new production of Handel's Giulio Cesare.
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