Saturday, April 30, 2011

La Traviata -- Before the Show



 Although I'm still grappling with jetlag, having only returned from London, England on Wednesday, I know I'll have no problems staying awake for tonight's VOA performance of Verdi's La Traviata. First of all, check out these costumes and stage set (designed by Isabella Bywater):

(All photos provided by the VOA -- all are clickable for a bigger view).
As for Kleenex potential, well . . .
The Traviata we're seeing tonight is a co-production between VOA and Glimmerglass opera, directed by the legendary Jonathan Miller
Seriously legendary. The man's got a solid background in neuropsychology, studied medical history, but veered sharply in the 1960s, working with Dudley Moore, Peter Cook, and Alan Bennett in the comedy, Beyond the Fringe. He's been directing opera and theatre since the 1970s, working with other greats -- Laurence Olivier being a plum example -- to critical acclaim.

Boundary-crossing in Miller's career is echoed in La Traviata's positioning on the borders of classical music and more popular (populist?) genres. Besides supplying music for countless cartoons over the years, La Traviata (itself based on a book,La Dame aux Cam√©llias by Alexandre Dumas, fils) inspired Pretty Woman and Moulin Rouge.

rushing off to the backstage tour . . . back soon with lots to tell, I'm sure . . .

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