Singapore Lyric Opera’s production:
VERDI LA TRAVIATA
6 September 2013
Esplanade Theatre, Singapore
Violetta Valery – Nancy Yuen
Alfredo Germont – Kota Murakami
Giorgio Germont – Song Kee Chang
Conductor – Joshua Kangming Tan
Director – Stephen Barlow
A Review by Hawk Liu
The curtain opened to a very pretty picture of Violetta’s party with her guests set out nicely in a predominantly white set which was simple and effectively. A white piano featured Violetta sitting on the piano top in an amazing red dress. The wardrobe did a nice job with Violetta. Overall the party (opera) went well. The acting was committed and convincing. The singing was great. Everyone that had a part sang wonderfully, right down to the comprimarios.
Violetta was believable as the young, emotionally fragile courtesan. Her light silvery voice portrays a vulnerable woman. ‘E strano’ came off wonderfully with lots of pianissimos and the final E flat to boot. Alfredo’s total physical acting brought out the personality in the character. I felt the impulsive young man in him, with his unabashed love for Violetta, and also the difficult relationship with his father. He sang with a firm, beautiful tone throughout. The second act aria was sung well with the final high, interpolated high C. No sweat. He gave a single high pianissimo in the last act which I totally enjoyed. The voice reminded me a little of the young Pavarotti’s timbre. Papa Germont had a solid focused tone that was beautiful throughout, whether it be forte or piano, and he did give us many dynamic shades. The long act two Germont-Violetta scene was a joy.
The chorus was great to watch when they did commit to their acting which wasn’t consistent among the actors though. The orchestra did a great job with the music albeit a little too loud in a few places. For example, the act one waltz music before ‘un di felice’ sounded too much in the fore while Violetta and Alfredo seemed like they were singing in the background.
The production sets the action in modern times without being abstract. Mobile phones and tablets were featured in the action. There were many nice touches to the overall design of the production. This was a tender Traviata that had a lot of heart.