ROME:- Rome’s opera house has called on the star power of Hollywood and high fashion for a new production that is already racking up record ticket sales for an institution that until two years ago was grappling with debt and labour disputes. Stars of stage and screen, including reality TV celebrity Kim Kardashian and her rapper husband Kanye West, converged on Rome on Sunday for a gala dress rehearsal of Giuseppe Verdi’s “La Traviata”, which tells the tragic story of a self-sacrificing courtesan in 19th-century Paris.

Veteran designer Valentino Garavani produced this version of “La Traviata”, which opens on May 24 and runs till June 30, through his foundation. He drafted in Academy Award winner Sofia Coppola to direct it and shared the costume design with the duo who took over creative direction of the label he founded.