Next on the Cape Town Opera Stage – La Traviata

Bronwen Forbay As Violetta with Colin Lee as Alfredo, and George Stevens as Germont, in La Traviata, Cape Town Opera, (Photo by Brenton Greech)
Bronwen Forbay As Violetta with Colin Lee as Alfredo, and George Stevens as Germont, in La Traviata, Cape Town Opera, (Photo by Brenton Greech)

La Traviata, where grace, intimacy, passion, and a relentless quest for theatrical and emotional honesty combine to tell a remarkable story.

A perennial favourite of audiences and performers, Kamal Khan and Angelo Gobbato lead multiple casts of exceptionally talented students through Verdi’s emotional testament.

The Lady of the Camellias, Alexandre Dumas’ story of the courtesan with the heart of gold, has invited countless theatrical and filmic adaptations from Greta Garbo’s Camille to Julia Roberts’s Pretty Woman.

Its themes – the right of a human being to live as he or she sees fit, the right to love in the manner that the individual chooses, and the resulting potential for society’s calamitous ‘moral’ interference – still jump at us from newspapers all over the world.

These are the central animators of Verdi’s La Traviata, an Italian opera with a Parisian subtlety. Unforgettable melodies, breathtaking sets and costumes and world class voices make this a must see production.

We asked Kamal Khan, head of UCT Opera school what he found to be most thrilling aspect about working with a young cast, and he replied ‘The most exciting aspect of this production is that I have a room full of young people- counting orchestra, chorus, and multi cast soloists, were are looking at around 100 young South Africans- who have never done LA TRAVIATA before. The pleasure and challenge is to show them the relation of the theme- which I think is that society has no right to tell individuals how or who to love, the heart cannot control who or how it will love them, and a society that does not accept this right to freedom in love will inevitably create tragedy- to the details of preparation and performance. If the singing or playing is to be emotionally gripping, it must be honest- the right notes, in tune, at the right time. The text all understood – so that the Italian words aren’t just pronounced well, or understood, but absorbed into your body, so the emotions are recognized as the line is sung the same way it would be in your home language. And all of that within Verdi’s rhythmic and melodic structures, which create very specific ways of thinking about the meanings of the words.

Working with a room full of experienced professionals on TRAVIATA you rarely have these talks- how can we combine love and sex in our personal lives, what does separating the two do to the self-worth of a person who does it, can the damage ever be repaired. Then we look and Verdi’s notes and rhythms for Violetta and the people around her and see how rich a universe can be created by searching for the magic moment where musical content, philosophical content, and emotional content are all united to tell the same story.’

APRIL 30 – MAY 9

Thursday 30 April at 19h30, Saturday 2 May at 18h00
Wednesday 6 May at 19h30, Friday 8 May at 19h30
Saturday 9 May at 18h00

R125, R200 and R250
GROUPS HAVE MORE FUN: Groups of 10 or more pay R50 per ticket. LIMITED SEATS AVAILABLE
Book at Computicket.


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