La Traviata, based on the novel ‘La Dame Aux Camellias’ by french author Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870) based on the tragic short life of his real-life lover the voluptuous and popular Parisian courtesan Marie Duplessis [1824-1847] is a perennial favourite. Marie was reputedly unable to endure the scent of any flower but the Camellia, and was described as delicate, animated, with the loveliest teeth in the world and, one of the last and few courtesans with a heart.
For Marie Duplessis, to have an opera written about you within a few years of your death would have been at the time ‘to achieve such immortality as art can bestow on anyone’. In today’s culture however no one wants to die tragically for love but rather live to experience it. If you would like to enjoy the music of love and life up close and personal, then look out for Opera Projects, a new company in Sydney, Australia. They have their inaugural production Friday 29th January at 7:30 pm and Sunday 31st January at 4pm, at The Independent Theatre, North Sydney.
Great parallels exist between the story of courtesan Violetta in Italian composer Giuseppi Verdi’s much-loved opera and the lovely Vivian, that opportunistic hooker in the 1990 feel good movie “Pretty Woman”. We certainly all felt part of Vivian’s experience when, in a ravishing red gown and dazzling Cartier necklace she was whisked off to the opera on a private jet by her charming prince, the handsome Edward, to be captivated and cry over a stunning performance.
Those involved with Opera Projects it seems have dedicated themselves to offering opera experiences, by stripping back many opera favourites to their most eloquent form. Performed by some of Sydney’s most exciting opera singers, they are all seeking to bring opera at its most intimate and powerful to the Sydney stage. With all tickets under $30, they want to bring the true passion of opera to a wider community who perhaps cannot afford what is more usual these days, a melodramatic price tag.
La Traviata is a wondrous exploration of the music of love and life. Nowadays we have the best of all worlds in music…there is something for everyone. I just love opera. Its stories of love and life are always fashionable. And a great many young people are being won over by its beauty and charm. With musical direction by Bradley Gilchrist and directed by Tama Matheson, this performance will feature Catherine Bouchier, Simon Kim, John Bolton-Wood, Laura King, Tristan Entwistle and Joshua Rogers this is an adaptation that proposes a fresh perspective on this enduring masterpiece. TICKETS