How often do parents not approve of who their child wants to marry? This
age-old dilemma is the basic storyline for the opera, La Traviata
which was performed at the Orpheum Theater last weekend.
Violetta is slowing dying and suffering from tuberculosis when she finally meets
the love of her life, Alfredo. Living the life of high society while
attending numerous parties in Paris, both thrills Violetta but also
exhausts her physically. She decides to leave the partying and filth of
the city to live in the countryside. While this helps Violetta physically and
emotionally living with Alfredo, financially this forces her to sell
many of her possessions to pay for the expenses. Alfredo's father
becomes involved and does not want the relationship to continue. This
is the problem for La Traviata.
The lush operatic voices of the chorus beautifully harmonized with the
soloists balancing with the orchestra perfectly. The costumes, sets,
lighting, sound system, wigs, makeup, and overall management of this
production was superbly organized with even multiple activities on the
stage at a time. This performance was opera with the multiple rich
voices at its best. Every small detail was well-planned and executed.
As the lead soprano, Inna Dukach, superbly sang as the ill Violetta in
this extremely demanding role. Joshua Kohl, as her lover, Alfredo,
superbly expressed his love of Violetta as his tenor voice beautifully rang out
throughout the theater. Jake Gardner as Alfredo's father, Giorgio
Germont, was truly an audience favorite with his majestic baritone
weaving conflict for the two lovers.
The relationship between the cast and their audience is the true test of any
performance. You could hear the audience holding their breaths
throughout the songs actually parallel with the singers' breathing. For a
foreign opera sung in a foreign language and translated through a
screen above the stage for an American audience, this timeless Verdi
opera was enjoyed by all especially in the Orpheum Theater which
seems to perfectly match the opera with its ornate decorative theme.
Added to this particular performance was a short dance by two members of Ballet
Nebraska, Erika Overturff and Sasha York who gracefullyadded a Spanish flavor to
the partying guests.
The only negative aspect of this delightful evening was that the chorus
did not take their bows and recognition at the end. Yes, it is
understandable that they were not involved with the last act, but they
were integral with the entire production.
You definitely want to attend the next operatic production of Mozart's
The Magic Flute in February. With any opera at the Orpheum Theater, you can
relax and enjoy a wonderful story translated into English of timeless problems
set to wonderful music.
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