Opera Australia: La Traviata – Basic Melbourne

Is there such a factor as an excessive amount of Verdi? Judging by what regarded like a capability viewers at La Traviata for the opening night time of Opera Australia’s 2022 Melbourne season, it could appear not.

Many members of the viewers had already seen Elijah Moshinsky’s lavish manufacturing starring the cream of Australia’s sopranos resembling Nicole Automotive and Emma Matthews because the tragic, consumptive courtesan, Violetta Valéry. Melbourne viewers had additionally marveled on the mellifluous ease of Jessica Pratt’s singing in Victoria Opera’s 2014 mirror imaged manufacturing. This time, we had been eager to listen to Stacey Alleaume sing her first Violetta for her dwelling viewers. And it was a triumph. The standing ovation that greeted her as she got here to take her bow should have greater than fulfilled her hopes of doing justice to her dream position.

Alleaume’s profession has been constructing steadily. Profitable the 2013 Herald Solar Aria introduced her to the eye of many Melbourne opera lovers, who fell in love with the heat and readability of her voice, her charming character and her musicality. All these attributes had been on show on this efficiency – plus some. Opera Australia has nurtured her abilities, in order that she has steadily constructed her instrument and her efficiency expertise. A soprano is confronted with one in all Verdi’s most taxing arias virtually from the get go, as Violetta is torn between love and concern. Alleaume’s precision and adaptability had been excellent and her safe E-flat on the finish of “Sempre libera” was the icing on high of the coloratura cake. Many a soprano has faltered on this word with some correctly choosing the B-flat different, aware that there are one other three Acts to go. Being a comparatively younger singer, the center of Alleaume’s voice remains to be pretty gentle, however she could possibly be heard readily more often than not and her voice was superbly resonant and carrying for the higher notes. It could even be tough to discover a soprano so effectively fitted for the half when it comes to look and passionate appearing. If a cliché might be excused, she inhabited the position.

As her adoring however naïve lover, Alfredo Germont, Ho-Yoon Chung usually used his pleasing gentle tenor successfully, however typically appeared moderately wood and sick comfortable – too intent on singing the notes and watching the conductor moderately than totally responding to his beautiful Violetta. He confirmed higher animation in Act III when Alfredo throws his winnings at Violetta to punish her for abandoning him. This elevated vitality boded effectively for future performances as he relaxes into the position.

When Mario Cassi took his bow, he confirmed shock on the viewers’s enthusiastic reception. Though this system courses him as a baritone, there may be extra of a wealthy bass high quality to his voice than we’re accustomed to listening to within the position of Germont senior. It’s a timbre effectively suited to this stern however fatherly position, nevertheless, and was throughout the compass of his vary, though, at instances a extra legato line would have been welcome. Cassi’s look and air of gravitas had been integral to his success.

Minor roles had been usually carried out creditably, notably Danita Weatherstone as Annina, Richard Anderson as Physician Grenville, Andrew Moran as Marqui d’Obigny and Alexander Sefton as Baron Douphol. If a vivacious Agnes Sarkis was a final minute alternative for the position of Flora, she confirmed no signal of it, being relaxed and vocally assured within the scenes of champagne fuelled gaiety.

For all the fantastic thing about Michael Yeargan’s beautiful units, the dimensions of them remained an issue for Acts I and III. Members of the lusty refrain might scarcely all match on the stage at instances. Maybe when Sydney finally secures an acceptable opera theatre, black extension panels is not going to be want for Melbourne’s State Theatre. Peter J Corridor’s opulent costumes would even be proven off to even higher benefit.

Renato Palumbo carried out Verdi’s rating with admirable consideration to element. The shimmer of excessive violin sound and finely nuanced taking part in of the Prelude to Act I expressed Violetta’s fragility completely, making the change of ambiance because the curtain rose on her celebratory social gathering all of the extra putting – even confronting, and according to Moshinsky’s conception of Violetta as virtually determined in her barely drunk gaiety. Verdi is variety to his ailing heroine, typically with mushy accompaniments, generally flute or oboe tracing her vocal line, and Palumbo ensured that we might hear each word, irrespective of how mushy, as she succumbed to her sickness within the ultimate Act.

When you’ve got associates who’ve by no means been to the opera earlier than, deliver them to see this one. They’ll most likely even recognise among the tunes. Simply be sure to come outfitted with just a few tissues; Stacey Alleaume is certain to interrupt their hearts.

Photograph courtesy Opera Australia


Heather Leviston reviewed the efficiency of Verdi’s “La Traviata”, offered by Opera Australia at Arts Centre Melbourne, State Theatre on Might 5, 2022.


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