Lyric Theatre, QPAC
May 9, 2015

La Traviatais the first “big” Opera Q show of the year, but perhaps not as grand as we’re used to. Tickets are very cheap – as are some of the staging and costumes. This is however a necessary compromise: this most character-driven opera is steered brilliantly by the leading duo, Emma Pearson and particularly Aldo Di Toro, not by flashy outfits or set-changes. Those two are well worth the price of admission.

If you’ve never seen La Travbefore, the story is pretty operatic stuff. Violetta is a high-class prostitute (“courtesan”). Everyone assumes that Alfredo Germont, who has fallen head-over-heels in love, is her latest scam. But this time it’s true love (also: opera)! Germont’s dad understandably, if fairly evilly, asks Violetta to break-off the relationship, assuming that his son has been had. It all ends badly: Violetta has Operitus, a dreaded disease with two symptoms: at first the polite cough, rapidly followed by death. Violetta is clearly in dire need of some universal health care. We know right from the start she’s deathly ill but nobody seems to do much about it. She’s actually surprised when a doctor even shows up to her...