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  • Writer's pictureFrances

Opera North’s La traviata Review | The Lowry | Manchester

The Lowry audience should come prepared to lose themselves to a new love. La traviata may be the most performed opera to date, but Opera North’s passionate production ensures you will fall for the heartbreaking and tender tale all over again.

Adapted from The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers writer, Alexandre Dumas’s original play Violeta. The Parisian setting and scandalous storyline of forbidden love and devastating sacrifice offer up a familiar Dumas staple. With a history of fanciful, stoic tales surrounding a character's fight for justice, you can expect La traviata to be a well-packed paradox of hypocritical and moralistic moves. Giuseppe Verdi’s soulful opera layers the tale of true love with a memorable soundtrack, in which the character's secrets and mistrust have made it a rewatchable classic.

La traviata is a simple story that follows the independent and charismatic courtesan, Violetta’s (Máire Flavin) experiences. As she playfully opens the production at a lavish, self-celebratory party to revel in her recent recovery from a debilitating illness. The impulsive and empowered woman suddenly finds herself gripped by Alfredo’s (Oliver Johnston) quiet flair as he drifts through the crowd to uplift the Lowry audience with the enchanting performance of Brindisi (aka The Drinking Song). After giving in to her impulses, Violetta chooses to follow her heart and leave behind her wealth and status for a humble life in the country with her true love.

Alessandro Talevi’s direction and Madeleine Boyd’s eye-catching set and costume design keep the focus and colour on Violetta and the immense ensemble cast. The Lowry stage is flooded with astoundingly vibrant characters who pop against the bleaker backdrop that consumes the cast. As Violetta and Alfredo’s relationship fades away from the glamour, the heartfelt music shines and offers an intimate world, where alongside the live orchestrations the spotlight remains on the painfully honest performances.

The show’s second and third acts break any dream of a simple country life as tension rise between Alfredo's father, Giorgio (Damiano Salerno) and Violetta. Shattering her tranquil union with a stunning duet that reveals Violetta’s shameful secret and the threat of a ruined reputation. Salerno gives a gripping performance that breaks the peace and forces Violetta to sacrifice her love to protect her lover.

Opera North’s La traviata is a slick and darkly glamorous production that keeps the tension high and allows audiences to step straight into Violetta’s dizzying world. Its merry-go-sorry storyline, stunning arias and emotionally charged production are full of confrontation and heartbreak, welcoming new and familiar opera-goers alike.

Tickets are available via the Lowry link


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