Magazine article Opera Canada

Saskatoon Opera

Magazine article Opera Canada

Saskatoon Opera

Article excerpt

Saskatoon Opera's production of Verdi's La traviata--June 12 to 20 at the Remai Arts Centre--was a Spartan affair, veering away from lush sets and costumes to better reflect what director Barbara Montalbetti felt was Violetta's "shadow existence." While this tactic rightfully focused attention on the solos, under the musical direction of Tadeusz Biernacki, the sense of minimalism detracted from the party scenes. It's hard to join in the revelry of the lusty "Libiamo" when a scant five bottles and some empty glasses dot the large table. It's debauchery on a budget.

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Fortunately, Antoine Belanger's tenor flowed like wine as his Alfredo made a stirring toast to open hearts and bottles. After Alfredo and the lovely Violetta--Lindsay Barrett in her professional opera debut--declared themselves to one another in the lilting "Un di, felice, eterea," the audience got a real taste of this young soprano's marvellous voice. As she wrestled with the idea of being in love--"Ah, fors'e lui"--her voice looped and trilled, and then, in the whirling "Sempre libera," leapt from peak to peak of possible pleasures to come. …

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