LUSH, OPERATIC, romantic and passionate are just a few adjectives to describe Welsh National Opera’s triumphant production of Verdi’s La Traviata
The gorgeous stage setting of Violetta Valery’s Paris salon, where men are entertained by beautiful and available women, oozes luxury and the requisite amount of seediness.
The chorus at the WNO is fabulous and act their socks off in a
raucous and lively display of hedonism, enjoying each other in a wild evening of wine, food and …!
Linda Richardson as the hostess, Violetta, and lover of Baron Douphol, brings her character to vivid life and we can understand why the impressionable young Alfredo Germont has fallen in
love with her.
Peter Sonn’s A
lfredo sings of his love for Violetta in the opening act and persuades her that despite her lifestyle she can fall in love for the first time.
The two then live together in a blissful sunny house in the country until Alfredo’s father, Giorgio, confronts Violetta while his son is away on business.
A superb Peter Opie persuades her to leave his son because of her unsavoury past. In doing so they are both moved by the others
nobility of character and essential goodness.
Sian Meinir as Violetta’s maid Annina also brings a warmth and
vibrancy to her role, and is especially moving as we move towards
the tragic ending.
But it is the final heart-wrenching scene where we only have eyes for Violetta and Alfredo. The intensity that Richardson and Sonn bring to this tear-jerking finale is mirrored in the audience’s emotional response.
The acting of the whole ensemble is first class and brings realism to what can sometimes be an absurd art form. It is vital that we believe in Verdi’s tragic love story, otherwise we might just as well be at a recital.
Anybody who loves musical theatre should jump at the chance to get
a ticket to this first-rate, 4-Star production.
La Traviata is part of WNOs spring season of operas about ‘Fallen
Women.’ Where Manon Lescaut fell flat with poor direction this
production is a triumphant success for director, cast and
Tours England and Wales until April 12. Details: www.wno.org.uk