After attending Seattle Opera’s: La Traviata, I can officially say that I have been to the Opera!
As a die-hard-theater-goer, I figured it was high time I had my first operatic experience, but I was unsure of where or what to attend as a newcomer. Luckily, I had the perfect friend to phone! I immediately rang my wonderful sister- a trained singer, an opera fanatic and a Senior in the Audio Engineering Program at Evergreen State college- and out of her mouth came five beautiful words “Let’s go see La Traviata.” She went on to explain that the easy-to-follow plot was exactly what a first-time opera attender would want, as well as, La Traviata was a classic that she’d been meaning to see live. With this, I knew we had to attend the show. When the fourteenth finally rolled around, we spent THREE HOURS doing our hair and makeup while listening to Aidan Lang’s La Traviata podcast (which the Seattle Opera oh-so-courteously emailed me prior to the show) on repeat. The time had finally come to strut our way to Mccaw Hall and take our seats in the stunning theater. Within moments of the first set of traditional red curtains being drawn, I was hooked- ready to delve into Violetta and Alfredo’s passionate story of lover’s heartache. The minimalist set- one pair of red curtains after another- allowed me to lock in on the plot and the singing, and Corinne Winters’ (Violetta) & Joshua Dennis’s (Alfredo) voices did not disappoint: seemingly soaring through the packed house with precision and ease. As well as the ensemble/party-goers looming presence over Violetta & Alfredo’s relationship was ever-present in the group-orientated choreography; along with, the push, pull and heartbreak of the young couples love being dynamically translated through the entrances and exits of existent/nonexistent red curtains. La Traviata’s fast pace and beautiful symbolism kept the audience on the edge of their seats for the entirety of the one-hour, fifty-minute production, and was the perfect Opera to see as a ‘newby’. Afterwards, I picked my sister’s brain to get an experienced Opera attender’s opinion and, shockingly enough, we agreed on a plethora of things. This experience just goes to show that whether you are a die-hard-theater-goer or a die-hard-opera-fanatic art is universal. I couldn’t have asked to see a better first-opera, and I’m very excited to farther expand my knowledge of opera. Also, If you haven’t had a taste of the opera scene yet either, La Traviata is playing at Mccaw Hall until January 28th, don't miss it!
Here’s Seattle Opera’ quick synopsis:
At a society event, guests await the arrival of Violetta Valéry, the city’s most sophisticated high-society courtesan. Violetta is dying, and the cruel voyeurs are eager to witness Violetta’s demise. The crowd foists a new admirer on her: a young, socially awkward bookworm named Alfredo Germont. But he lectures the prostitute, telling her that she should lead a respectable life in which love reigns supreme. She tries to dismiss his ideas as naïve and impractical, but reassesses her life, renounces her lifestyle, and moves to the country with Alfredo.
Violetta’s new perspective is shattered when Giorgio Germont, Alfredo’s solid, middle-class father, confronts her. He wants her to leave his family alone. Violetta agrees to comply with Germont’s wishes and returns to the brutal society she left behind. When Alfredo discovers that Violetta has abandoned him, he is devastated and seeks revenge.
Violetta prepares to die. Alfredo comes to visit her in the hope of conjuring up one final illusion of their love, but he is too late.
PhotoCredit: Angel Blue (Violetta). Philip Newton photo
Review by Sofia Raquel