Skip to main content

marcus-johns
18th March 2015

La Traviata

An unfortunate start by tenor Ji-Min Park was quickly overcome by the impressive ensemble of Verdi’s La Traviata
Categories:
TLDR

La Traviata is a beautiful opera into which Giuseppe Verdi wrote joy, folly, love, and tragedy. Like any good tragedy, the idea is to become attached to the characters and enthralled by their situation.

Unfortunately for Opera North, the poor performance by Ji-Min Park as Alfredo Germont in the first act delayed the necessary affectation required for the final scene.

I am pleased to say, however, that Ji-Min Park’s disappointing start was overcome during the second act, as his love for Violetta became clear and his sorrow at her departure was sufficiently mournful. Moreover, his poor start was overshadowed by the ensemble’s joyful celebrations, which quickly distracted the audience away from his shortcomings.

It was still a shame, though, that Ji-Min Park’s voice, expression, and acting were so underwhelming in the first act, because Anna Jeruc-Kopec played the perfect Violetta. Their love story took too long to get off the ground due to the lack of emotion emanating from Alfredo.

Jeruc-Kopec played the role with grace, elegance, and a youthful stupidity that was beautiful to watch. Her vocal range was breathtaking and her gentle glides around the stage were mesmerising.

Alessandro Talevi’s stage directions created excellent ambience, especially during Violetta’s final moments. The use of masked characters applauding in the background, contrasting with the despair of Alfredo in the foreground, provided for an enthrallingly tragic moment with a hint of confusion and madness, which served as a perfect allegory of the death of a loved one.

A review of Opera North’s La Traviata would be incomplete without reference to the set and costume designer Madeleine Boyd. Boyd’s set design was both simple and subtle while providing for a strong look and excellent space around which the cast could move. The beautiful costumes really defined the first act’s celebratory feel whilst the use of gentle white bedding subtly peppered with blood stains grounded the final act in sickness, despair, and the loss of a young and innocent Violetta Valéry.


More Coverage

Sweat at The Royal Exchange review: It didn’t make me sweat (or shed blood, or tears)

Lynn Nottage’s gritty play about the interconnected lives of nine Americans, living and working in one of the poorest towns in Pennsylvania, had all of the potential and material: but, disappointingly, it just didn’t deliver what it should have

The Kite Runner review: Unflinching look generational trauma and the divided history of Afghanistan

Giles Croft’s adaptation of Khalid Hosseini’s novel movingly explores friendship, betrayal, and redemption while also educating and enlightening audiences on the tumultuous political and cultural history of Afghanistan. It is an innovative and immersive piece of theatre that remains poignant and important in today’s climate

42 Balloons review: An inspiring musical about dreams, sacrifices and a lawn chair

Charlie McCullagh’s and Evelyn Hoskins’ elevated chemistry blew us away

Urinetown: The Musical review – UMMTS doesn’t piss about

UMMTS once again fails to disappoint. Urinetown, despite its name, is a delight (GASP!)