Verdis La Traviata goes on stage at Teatro La Fenice in Venice (15 Dec-4 Jan) with direction by Giancarlo Sepe. The same production was staged in Padua only two months ago, where it received mixed reviews. This Traviata is dark and pared down and anticipates the tragic ending from the outset. However, Sepes reading of the opera is clearly reasoned and is supported by careful acting. The role of the protagonist will be played by Elena Mosuc. There will be four special performances over New Year (27, 29 and 31 Dec, 2 Jan), when Mosuc will be flanked by a few famous names: Marcelo Alvarez, who will play Alfredo, and Leo Nucci and Roberto Servile, who will alternate in the role of Germont.