Review - ‘La Traviata’

Some of the cast from 'La Traviata' which was staged in the Millennium Forum.
Some of the cast from 'La Traviata' which was staged in the Millennium Forum.

Verdi’s masterpiece an operatic success

The heavy rain cleared to allow the great and the good to promenade to the Millennium Forum in all their finery for a wonderful evening of entertainment. But this production also made scruffs like me in jeans and tee shirts equally at home with their goal of proving opera is not just for the elite but for everyone.

Following my recent visit to Cuba where opera is the food of the masses it was a beautiful feeling to discover that the myth that opera is high brow and only for the chosen few is now being successfully challenged.

The show as staged by a collaboration between the North West and Spark Opera companies brought together a cast of international professional singers, live orchestra plus an large chorus containing many local singers.

The night was an uplifting experience with wonderful accompaniment delivered by a professional orchestra under the baton of the internationally acclaimed conductor Nader Abassi.

A world class performance by leading lady Christiana Oliveira as Violetta and internationally acclaimed Welsh tenor Stephen Mullan as Alfredo brought the tragic love story to life for the appreciative audience. Baritone Hrólfur Saemundsson as Germont, Paul Martin as Gaston and Katie Patton as Annina added to this masterpiece in their supporting roles

Truth is that people listen to opera all the time without realising it. Operatic works have been plundered by TV, film and advertising because they are powerful pieces of music that can evoke drama and strong emotions. From the opening few bars I found myself humming along in my head to music I was so familiar with. Fellow audience members were so lucky it was in my head because there was no way I could have reached those high notes other than in my imagination.

‘La Traviata’ is one of the most performed operas in the world and is so popular due to its marriage of drama and fantastic music. Even if you are not an opera fan I can guarantee you will recognise some of the melodies. Opera is for everyone and it was right here to our doorstep. Well done to all involved!