Set in 1850s Paris, La Traviata encourages audiences to examine the politics of now through a prism of the past, telling all sides of this universally popular tale of hedonism and heartbreak.
This sumptuous and surprising production reimagined by director Sarah Giles features an ensemble of some of Australia’s most exciting singers, including Lorina Gore as the famed heroine Violetta, Kang Wang as Alfredo and José Carbó as Germont, backed by the mighty Opera Queensland Chorus and the Queensland Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Dane Lam.
Ms. Giles said audiences may have seen La Traviata before and be very familiar with the story, but they have never seen it told quite like this. “When we think about La Traviata, we generally think about Violetta the party girl, Violetta the romanticised dying courtesan, lavish party scenes and great opulence,” she said.
“What we tend not think about are the realities and complexities of sex work, the inherent imbalance of power between men and women, the punishing, unforgiving and inflexible society that Violetta lived in.”
“And yet this is the world that her story takes place in. So, in this production we’re showing both sides of her story; the public and the private life of Violetta Valery.
“You’ll see the parties, the champagne, the glitz, and you’ll see the cruel reality of what happens behind closed doors and how contradictory the world was that Violetta had to survive and thrive in,” said Ms Giles.
Opera Queensland CEO & Artistic Director Patrick Nolan said audiences would be thrilled by the new production which reinvigorates the opera classic. “We are delighted to premiere this reimagining of Verdi’s La Traviata – a 169-year-old work that is the world’s most performed opera,” he said.
“Verdi’s music is astonishing and for all the wonderful chorus scenes in this opera, it is driven by finely nuanced dramatic writing. In this production, we are fortunate to have an ensemble of very talented singers who understand the multifaceted power of the voice to express drama.
“Award winning set and costume designer Charles Davis has created the breathtaking costumes as intricate period pieces with dazzling modern flair that reflect the excesses of the story,” said Mr. Nolan.
Conductor: Dane Lam | Director: Sarah Giles | Featuring: Lorina Gore, Kang Wang, José Carbó, Hayley Sugars, Conal Coad, Sebastian Maclaine, Shaun Brown, Jason Barry-Smith, Susan Ellis, Opera Queensland Chorus, Queensland Symphony Orchestra | Set and Costumes: Charles Davis | Lighting Paul: Jackson | Associate Director: Janice Muller
Lyric Theatre – QPAC, Cultural Precinct, South Brisbane
Season continues to 23 July 2022
A co-production between State Opera South Australia and West Australian Opera, La Traviata will also be presented in Adelaide (25 August to 3 September) and Perth (20 – 29 October). For more information, visit: www.oq.com.au for details.
Image: Lorina Gore stars as Violetta Valéry in Queensland Opera’s La Traviata – photo by David Kelly