La Traviata Opera Queensland Opening Night

July 19, 2022

The audience stood and clapped in Queensland’s Performing Arts Centre’s Lyric Theatre, following an outstanding modernised production of La Traviata.  We did our best to convey our response to one of the best and most unique performances I have ever seen.  A standing ovation justified as we wiped tears from our eyes from sadness at Violetta’s fate yet overjoyed that our local opera company is world-class. 

Based on La Dame aux camellias (1852) a play by Alexandre Dumas then adapted to his novel followed by Giuseppe Verdi’s opera, first performed in Venice in 1853. Set in Paris between 1830 and 1870 this complex story of intense joy and heartbreak is accepted as one of the most popular and performed operas of our time. Opera Queensland, in association with Queensland’s Symphony Orchestra, excelled by stealing our hearts and souls with this captivating rendition.   

Australian soprano Lorina Gore became Violetta Valery, superbly playing the courtesan as did Australian-Chinese tenor Kang Wang as Alfredo Germont from a well-to-do family who disapproved of their powerful and felonious love affair. They lived in a world of dinner parties and masked balls where young men vied against one another to be seen with the most beautiful courtesan of the day Violetta, where Alfredo was determined to win over his lover only to give her away.  

Lorina and Kang character portrayals were captivating. Lorina the heroine who captured our hearts with her exquisite voice and Kang whose smooth tenor tones portrayed Alfredo as a kind and gentle man then forced into breaking their love-lost spell. Their voices blended like a fine elixir that took away any pain. They were truly magical. 

A stunning production by Director Sarah Giles, who demonstrated she is indeed a clever artist.  A wonderful choice by taking the audience into both the public and private lives as the stage was divided into settings side by side. We observed the painful moments of Violetta changing into her bulky yet lavish costumes by award-winning designer Charles Davis, while at the same time seeing her friends waiting in the ballroom for her to appear. Extremely well done giving both sides of the story at one time. 

Our magnificent Queensland Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Dane Lam worked Verdi’s magic throughout the show. La Traviata was divided into two, two Act scenes with a 20-minute interval. Subtitles above the stage made it easy to follow the story yet not a distraction. I loved every moment of this production and encourage others to discover why such joy at a sad story.  

Cast & Production

Experienced vocal cast featuring: Lorina Gore, Kang Wang, José Carbó, Hayley Sugars, Conal Coad, Sebastian Maclaine, Shaun Brown, Jason Barry-Smith and Susan Ellis.

In association with Opera Queensland Chorus, Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

Conductor: Dane Lam.

Director: Sarah Giles

Associate Director: Janice Muller.

Costumes and Sets: Charles Davis.

Lighting: Paul Jackson, 

Performances: La Traviata season will continue at QPAC’s Lyric Theatre until 23 July 2022

Tickets and information   

Further productions coming up in Adelaide (25 August to 3 September) and Perth (20-29 October) 

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