Botany and Ormiston Times
Howick and Pakuranga Times : Howick and Pakuranga Times Monday June 23 2014
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Keep up to date with our latest competitions... facebook times.co.nz LA TRAVIATA Genre: Opera Written by: Giuseppe Verdi Director: Kate Cherry Times rating: ★★★★★ Reviewed by: MARIANNE KELLY REVIEW Passionate Violetta NEW-FOUND LOVE: Sam Sakker, playing Alfredo, left, declares his affection from afar to Parisian courtesan Violetta, played by Lorina Gore. Photo supplied VERDI’S masterpiece revolves around the exciting, yet bro- ken, life of Violetta, a 19th cen- tury Parisian courtesan. So it’s a treat to find Australian soprano Lorina Gore is true to the character, dominating New Zea- land Opera’s production of La tra- viata, as does Violetta in the opera’s story. In 21st century terms, Violetta might be referred to as a high-class prostitute. But the story of her glittering life, followed by the joy of love, the pain of separation and even- tual early death from tuberculosis that today would be contained with antibiotics, transports us between the adrenalin of party life to the haunting strains of devotion and sacrifice. It’s no more evident than in Gore’s treatment of the ecstatic aria of freedom Sempre libera, under- pinned by her lover Alfredo’s song of love from outside her window. Young Australian tenor Samuel Sakker plays Alfredo, bonding ten- derly with Gore as they embark on a heart-rending yet tempestuous, journey. Even in the party scenes, Gore’s pure notes rise above the glorious cacophony. The director, Australian Kate Cherry, and her design team, which headed last year’s New Zea- land Opera production of Madame Butterfly, have created a simple, yet complex set. The rise and fall to and from the ceiling of stunning chandeliers pro- vides the glory of the ballroom. But, when resting on the floor, they create sympathetic adornment for the central set surrounded by walls of mirrors, so much so that it’s intriguingly hard to determine whether just one or four characters are actually on the stage. The spectacular set draws us into the life of the partygoers, along with choruses of colourful gypsies and matadors. It’s dramatically set off with energetic and enthralling rendi- tions of Verdi’s spectacular music sung by the Chapman Tripp Opera Chorus. French conductor Emmanuel Joel-Hornak adeptly leads the Auckland Philharmonia Orches- tra and the audience, through the haunting opening of soft divisi violins to the gusto and frivolity of the party scenes, a highlight being the famous drinking song, Libiamo ne’lieti calici – “let’s drink from the joyful cup”. Emotional tension builds as Scot- tish baritone David Stephenson, playing Alfredo’s father Giorgio Germont, forms his special bond with Gore as he persuades Vio- letta to give up her new life with Alfredo. Verdi’s work is described as musical storytelling at its most spectacular, combining reckless love, masked revelry, family strife and self-sacrifice. It’s a glorious production, co- produced with the State Opera of South Australia and Opera Queens- land, and is a stunning entree to a feast of favourites including Mozart’s Don Giovanni in Auck- land in September. La traviata ■ is sung in Italian with English surtitles. It’s performed at 7.30pm on June 25 and 27 and at 2.30pm on June 29, at the ASB Theatre, Aotea Cen- tre, Central Auckland. For ticket bookings, phone the NZ Opera box office on 0800-696 - 737 or email bookings@nzopera. co.nz; or Ticketmaster on 0800-111- 999 or www.ticketmaster.co.nz.
Howick and Pakuranga Times Thursday June 19 2014
Howick and Pakuranga Times Thursday June 26 2014