PAST EVENT:  LA TRAVIATA, April 23, 2013

A review by John Shulson in the Virginia Gazette, May 1, 2013

A review by John Shulson in the Virginia Gazette, May 1, 2013

Un Di Felice.  Alfredo: Won Whi Choi Violetta: Emily Dorn (nee Duncan-Brown).

Verdi's opera LA TRAVIATA is a universal favorite.  The title character gives up high society for love, only to sacrifice it in order to save her lover from the social stigma of being with her.  Verdi made a very unusual choice when he decided to write an opera about a woman of his own time and social circle, following a recent semi-autobiographical story by Alexander Dumas fils,  That a Verdi opera would end in tragedy is a given; but it was Verdi who made the choice to portray Violetta as a heroic, saintly figure, rather than as a simple victim or a temptress.  It is Violetta's choices that fuel the plot: first, to leave high society for a secluded life with one loyal lover; and then to shield her beloved from the social consequences of a life with her by leaving him. 

At Flora's party, dress rehearsal

At Flora's party, dress rehearsal

The censors of Verdi's time were well aware of the power of the story, and insisted in moving the action a hundred years back to the late 1700s.  By the time Traviata was first staged in the crinolines of the time it was written, that time was several decades in the past, and the story could be seen as reflecting "them" rather than "us."  Our production, though, is true to Verdi himself in portraying the time of the story as our own present.   The intense emotions, clashing worlds, and gripping moral dilemmas are brought to life with amazingly beautiful music by the international award-winning cast, featuring soprano Emily Duncan-Brown in the role of Violetta Valery, tenor Won Whi Choi in the role of Alfredo Germont, and baritone Jose Sacin as his father Giorgio Germont.  Conductor:  Paul Nadler.  Music Advisor:  Jorge Parodi.  Assistant Conductor:  David Stech  Stage director: Carlos Conde Stage consultant: Mathieu Guertin.  In Italian, with English supertitles.

To download the printed program click here

Program copyright  Opera in Williamsburg, 2013