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Máire Flavin’s Violetta made this a most fascinating efficiency of La traviata by Opera North – Seen and Heard Worldwide

United Kingdom Verdi, La traviata: Refrain and Orchestra of Opera North / Manoj Kamps (conductor). The Lowry Theatre, Salford Quays. 15.11.2022. (MC)

Máire Flavin (Violetta Valéry) and Oliver Johnston (Alfredo Germont) © Richard Hubert Smith

Stage director – Alessandro Talevi
Set and Costume design – Madeleine Boyd
Lighting design – Matthew Haskins
Choreographer – Victoria Newlyn

Violetta Valéry – Máire Flavin
Alfredo Germont – Oliver Johnston
Giorgio Germont – Stephen Gadd
Annina – Amy Jane Payne
Gastone de Letorières – Gavan Ring
Baron Douphol – James Cleverton
Flora Bervoix – Victoria Sharp
Marquis D’Obigny – Nicholas Butterfield
Dottore Grenvil – Matthew Stiff

Celebrated for its enduring reputation, a number of latest listings I’ve seen point out La traviata as at the moment probably the most ceaselessly staged opera. It was Verdi’s eighteenth opera and he collaborated with librettist Francesco Piave to provide a piece based mostly on the play La Dame aux camélias by Alexandre Dumas fils. A tragic love story, the heroine is Parisian courtesan Violetta Valéry who by means of selflessness hastens her personal demise from consumption.

This Opera North staging of Verdi’s La traviata is a revival of the 2014 manufacturing by stage director Alessandro Talevi. The Johannesburg born stage director and his inventive staff have additionally produced for Opera North The Flip of the Screw in 2010 and Don Giovanni in 2012. Richard Mantle (CEO) in his programme observe explains that Opera North all the time invitations the unique director again for revivals and that Talevi had returned for this La traviata.

Having skilled a number of operas which demonstrated the worst of Regietheater, it was satisfying to expertise Talevi’s conventional staging that observes the composer’s unique intention for a mise en scène based mostly firmly within the elegant Parisian salons within the mid-1800s. The units – though not over lavish – are extremely efficient along with stylishly designed interval costumes all including vivid colors to the manufacturing. Serving little function to me and barely distracting have been the rear projections that included tuberculosis micro organism seen although a microscope and a gaggle of males applauding slowly on the time of Violetta’s demise.

It’s typically said that the function of Violetta requires three distinct voices: a coloratura approach for the primary act, candy flavoured lyricism for the second and a extremely dramatic voice for the third one. In an excellent portrayal that had me on the fringe of my seat soprano Máire Flavin demonstrated that her voice was in a position to fulfill all three necessities as she efficiently developed the character. Giving a wholehearted efficiency and sustaining excessive ranges of depth Flavin produced the burden to chop by means of the orchestra. Violetta is a job blessed with many magnificent arias and Flavin revelled within the alternative. Standing out was Flavin’s prowess in her excessive register and she or he embodied Violetta’s heartbreaking emotional and bodily struggling. The ultimate act with Violetta on her demise mattress was as affecting as I’ve seen. My spotlight was her ‘Addio del passato’ as Violetta realises her demise is shut and the injection of vitality, though fleeting, in ‘Parigi, o cara, noi lasceremo’ when she was united with Alfredo.

In distinction to the dominant character and stage presence of Flavin’s Violetta it can’t be simple taking up the function of lovestruck Alfredo, but tenor Oliver Johnston may be recommended for a centered and extremely devoted efficiency even when his characterisation was a contact bland. I particularly loved Johnston’s ‘De’ miei bollenti spiriti’ the place Alfredo is worked up about his life with Violetta. As Alfredo’s father, Giorgio Germont, baritone Stephen Gadd along with his elegant bearing undoubtedly seemed each inch the gentleman who is worried with defending his household from scandal and disgrace. In fantastic voice Gadd’s steadfast efficiency was one in every of utmost sincerity.

Including to the success of the efficiency the smaller roles of Annina, Gastone, Douphol, Flora, Marquis D’Obigny and Dr Grenvil have been all properly forged. Deserving credit score too as both a saloniste or courtesan the members of the Opera North refrain have been in glowing and unified voice all night. Manoj Kamps along with his convincing tempi and dynamic performed the Orchestra of Opera North, who rose splendidly to the event, in such a profitable collaboration.

With Máire Flavin fairly excellent as Violetta this was probably the most fascinating efficiency of La traviata I’ve ever seen.

Michael Cookson



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