Last night, I had the honour of watching Ellen Kent’s La Traviata 2024 UK Tour at the Opera House Manchester. Opera is unlike any other genre of theatre, and I truly believe the more you watch opera, the more you fall in love with its ability to draw you in. Almost as if in that moment in time, nothing else matters.
What Is La Traviata About
La Traviata is an opera composed by Giuseppe Verdi, with a libretto written by Francesco Maria Piave. The opera was first performed in Venice in 1853. It is based on the play “La Dame aux Camélias” by Alexandre Dumas Fils, which is itself inspired by his own novel. The title “La Traviata” translates to “The Fallen Woman” in Italian.
The opera tells the tragic love story of Violetta Valéry, a Parisian courtesan, and Alfredo Germont, a young bourgeois. Violetta leads a luxurious and carefree life in Paris when she meets Alfredo. They fall deeply in love, and Violetta leaves her current lifestyle behind to be with her one true love Alfredo. However, their happiness is short-lived.
Alfredo’s father, Giorgio Germont, disapproves of the relationship, fearing it will harm his family’s reputation. He convinces Violetta to break up with Alfredo for the sake of his sister’s impending marriage. Reluctantly, Violetta agrees and leaves Alfredo, who is unaware of the real reason behind her decision. Misunderstandings, societal expectations, and tragic circumstances lead to a series of events that ultimately result in a heart-wrenching conclusion.
My Review of La Traviata
From the opening act, you are drawn in. Verdi’s score is instantly recognisable, its one of those scores you know even though you never thought you did. And it tells Violetta’s (Alyona Kistenyova) and Alfredo’s (Georgri Meladze) tragic tale so beautifully.
As in Madama Butterfly, the set is dramatic but mostly static. Thus creating the perfect backdrop for this harrowingly beautiful story to take place. Of course the standout highlight of the whole production is the music. The cast has the ability to draw you into the story; Kistenyova’s voice is almost magical, to the point you want to see everything on the stage, but close your eyes and enjoy the music all at the same time.
The costumes are divine. Offering a stage full of dresses of dreams, perfectly setting the scene of Parisienne wealth and glamour. The opera explores themes of love, sacrifice, social expectations, and the consequences of societal judgments, showing that whilst we appear to have come a long way in society, we are also very much the same as back in 1853.
Should you watch La Traviata? I would watch it all again if I could, it almost wraps itself around you and pulls you in to feel the story.
Where Else Can I See La Traviata in 2024
- Mon 22 nd Jan, Richmond Theatre
- Wed 24th Jan ,Bromley Churchill Theatre
- Sun 28th Jan, Bradford Alhambra Theatre
- Thu 21st March, Darlington Hippodrome
- Mon 29th April, Kings Lynn Corn Exchange
Please note I received the tickets in return for an honest review.