Magazine article Opera Canada

Montreal

Magazine article Opera Canada

Montreal

Article excerpt

The new Opera de Montreal production of Verdi's La traviata was a fast-track, low-budget affair, chosen relatively late last season as a bulwark against the prospect of a crushing deficit. This is not to say it was not thought out, and while some subscribers might have been disappointed by the skeletal steel towers that comprised the sets by Claude Goyette, and a little perplexed by the 1950s dress code, they could not claim that stage director Jacques Leblanc had not done a responsible job of articulating the basics of the drama.

Puerto Rican soprano Yali-Marie Williams was a fresh-toned and emotive Violetta in the performance of Nov. 11, if not quite the polished society courtesan of the story, and Dimitri Pittas, another American, poured his heart and bright tenor voice into the role of Alfredo. Stephen Kechulius was a highly believable, though not especially plummy, elder Germont. James Meena led the Orchestre Metropolitain with his trademark fondness for expressive ritards, lacing Verdi with a little Puccini.

OdeM sold all but two percent of the tickets for the November run of six performances in the big Salle Wilfrid Pelletier of Place des Arts. The sets are easy to collapse and transport--and thus to rent to other companies. …

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