Magazine article Opera Canada

Vancouver

Magazine article Opera Canada

Vancouver

Article excerpt

La traviata, Vancouver Opera's final staging of the season (opening Apr. 30) was a distinguished co-production with Glimmerglass Opera.

Primarily known for his directorial innovations Jonathan Miller nevertheless chose to leave this Traviata in its original mid-19th-century setting and focus acutely on the intimate character interactions that convey the opera's enduring emotional message. There was no grandiose operatic arm-flailing, just natural, even subtle gestures all the more effective for their understatement.

Isabella Bywater's period costumes were sumptuous, although her period sets--always the same wistful, grey-green hues, whether depicting party room, country house or bedroom--began to look a little staid as the opera progressed. But perhaps this was part of the overall plan: without the distraction of opulent sets, audience attention was focused directly on the performance.

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Chorusmaster Leslie Dala has honed the company's chorus to an exhilarating high: opulent choral sound cascaded from the stage in the big, tumultuous choruses with the ensemble's exquisitely nuanced phrasing in its quieter moments no less impressive. …

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