Friday, February 04, 2011

Review: Opera Carolina's La Traviata

Opera Carolina's sensational production of "La Traviata" debuted to delighted Charlotte audiences providing a spectacular no one will soon forget. Giuseppe Verdi's beloved opera tells the story of true love found, noble sacrifices and love triumphant.

The story is a classic: Violetta is a courtesan in Paris in the 1850s when Alfredo professes his unabashed love for her. As someone who uses love as currency, she never believed that true love could happen to her. But she allows life grand experience to happen to her, her entire life changes. She begins to heal from the consumption she battles and they move to the country. Three bliss-filled months later, Alfredo's father asks her to give up their love to save their family from scorn. She does with much difficulty, returns to her life as a courtesan in Paris and tries to convince Alfredo that she no longer loves him. After a duel with her patron, Alfredo's father tells him of her sacrifice. He rushes to her side and they reunite but her illness takes her life shortly thereafter.

Leads Jennifer Black (Violetta Valéry) and Jonathan Boyd (Alfredo Germont) bring the lovers to life with full splendor. Ms. Black, a recent graduate of the Metropolitan Opera prestigious training program (think American Idol for opera singers) is spectacular and will be the next great opera star. See her in this production now so you can say you knew her when.

The production was brought to life under the guidance of guest conductor Joel Revzon, house conductor for the Met. The entire set glitters with spectacular costumes, evocative lighting and a score that has you humming out the door.

If you're looking for one artistic experience this season to lift your spirits and send your soul soaring, see "La Traviata" before the run ends. This show reminds us why classics deserve to live on for so long and Opera Carolina's production of the show is truly world class.