An inspired director, Marta Domingo brings insight, depth and pizzazz to La Traviata with her wonderful and exciting interpretation of this beloved Verdi opera – Success is hers! She understands the depth of the characters and the time period. Domingo presents an awareness of Verdi’s meaning with this story to the audience with subtle brush strokes. She is a true artist. She opens with a street scene during the prelude−street lamps, a common prostitute and the men that use them. She does this to contrast the elaborate lifestyle during the “Belle Epoque” and the moral hypocrisy of the time. Courtesans of high-society who grew to high stature was the norm with men of privilege. The curtain opens and we are amidst the roaring twenties in all its excess. Our heroine is seen through the production as the season changes. Beautiful sets of golden leaves falling in autumn, and snowflakes falling in winter – symbols of time passing; time that the courtesan knows very well is fleeting, her station in life is temporary. These tasty bits of innuendo is what makes this production unique and the interpretation truly her own. This review was on opening night and it is one of the best productions by LA Opera−I give it a very high recommendation. La Traviata will be performed from June 1 through 22 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (135 North Grand Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90012). The Scandalous Heroine (with a heart of gold) In the giddy, glitzy world of Paris, a naive young man falls head over heels for a glamorous party girl. Together they trade the fast life for an idyllic love nest far from the city…until an unexpected visitor threatens to tear them apart. La Traviata ("The Fallen Woman") is based on the life of Marie Duplessis, who rose from poverty to become one of 19th-century Paris's most celebrated courtesans before dying at the age of 23 from tuberculosis. Writer Alexandre Dumas fils (one of her many lovers) based his romantic novel La Dame aux Camélias on their all-too-brief fling. He subsequently adapted it into a hugely successful play, upon which Verdi based his opera. Marie's tragically short life has also inspired filmmakers from the silent era to modern times. Notable screen adaptations of the story include the 1936 Greta Garbo classic Camille, the 1990 romantic comedy Pretty Woman that made Julia Roberts a superstar, and the 2001 musical Moulin Rouge! with Nicole Kidman. Meet the Performers The cast is led by soprano Adela Zaharia as Violetta. The first place winner of Operalia in 2017, she made her company debut last season as Gilda in Rigoletto. The role of Violetta's lover Alfredo will be shared by two tenors. Making his LAO debut, Rame Lahaj (a 2016 Operalia winner) will appear as Alfredo for the first three performances (June 1, 9, 13). Charles Castronovo, who began his distinguished career with the company more than two decades ago, will then take over the role (June 16, 19, 22). Two artists, both making company debuts, will share the role of Giorgio Germont, Alfredo's stern father. Ukrainian baritone Vitaliy Bilyy (a 2004 Operalia winner) will sing the role from June 1 through 13. He will be succeeded by Igor Golovatenko, a leading baritone at Moscow's Bolshoi Opera, for the remainder of the run. The cast also includes tenor Alok Kumar as Gastone, bass-baritone Wayne Tigges as Baron Douphol, bass-baritone Christopher Job as Doctor Grenvil and Peabody Southwell as Flora. Also featured are two members of LAO's Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program: baritone Juan Carlos Heredia as Marquis d'Obigny and soprano Erica Petrocelli as Annina. The Creative Team Music Director James Conlon is the conductor, leading a production directed by Marta Domingo, who also designed the scenery and costumes. The lighting designer is Alan Burrett and the choreographer is Kitty McNamee, who choreographed Don Carlo earlier this season. Grant Gershon directs the LA Opera Chorus. Performance Dates and Times There will be six performances of La Traviata presented by LA Opera at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (135 North Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012): Saturday, June 1, 2019, at 7:30pm Sunday, June 9, 2019, at 2pm Thursday, June 13, 2019, at 7:30pm Sunday, June 16, 2019, at 2pm Wednesday, June 19, 2019, at 7:30pm Saturday, June 22, 2019, at 7:30pm Tickets Tickets are on sale now. Tickets begin at $34 and can be purchased online at LAOpera.org, by phone at 213.972.8001, or in person at the LA Opera box office at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (135 N. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90012). For disability access, call 213.972.0777 or email LAOpera@LAOpera.org. Post-Performance Talk with Marilyn Horne After the June 9 matinee of La Traviata, audiences will have a chance to hear from legit opera royalty: the legendary mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne will be featured in conversation with conductor James Conlon. All ticket holders for that performance are welcome to attend the talk, which will take place in the Eva and Marc Stern Grand Hall. For additional information about LA Opera's presentation of La Traviata, visit LAOpera.org/Traviata.
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