Opera North’s Traviata
Seven out ten for Opera North’s new production of La Traviata. Alessandro Talevi is a skilled director and when he concentrated on the drama between the main characters his staging was very effective. But the video showing tuberculosis and other relevant (?) images was a waste of time (and money). Having masked gentlemen ironically applauding Violetta’s death scene may have worked as theatre within theatre if the idea had been consistently used throughout the evening, but it was not. So also shifting the setting from mid-19th to late-19th century reinforced certain aspects of the piece, but did not justify the silly orgy at the beginning which could not have been appropriate for Violetta’s world even then. Gianluca Marciano proved to be an able interpreter of Verdi’s wonderful score, and Roland Wood was vocally and dramatically superb as the elder Germont. I was less keen on the voices of the two Koreans in the leading roles, Hye-Youn Lee and Ji-Min Park. Neither sounded right for their respective roles; nor did they blend well in their duets. But both singers acted with conviction and helped to turn this into a moving performance.