Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Praise for La traviata

Corinne Winters (Violetta) and Joshua Dennis (Alfredo). Philip Newton photo
"Thought-provoking, imaginative, striking, and well-sung." - The Seattle Times

"Pure magic...Be prepared to be enthralled." - Heed the Hedonist

"This is a thought provoking Traviata, well worth seeing." - The SunBreak

"This surely must count as one of Seattle Opera’s most fascinating productions in recent seasons. no doubt a striking theatrical experience that does Seattle Opera’s artistic ambitions proud." - Bachtrack

Angel Blue as Violetta. Philip Newton photo
"Without the distractions of lavish costumes and scenery seen in most major productions, it’s easier to feel the piece as timeless, place-less and yes, in the moment." - Oregon Arts Watch

"Judiciously eliminating some chorus scenes as well as a cabaletta or two, this intermissionless performance unsparingly focuses the work on the kaleidoscopically beautiful and brutal relationship between Violetta and Alfredo." - Bachtrack

"This production, directed by Peter Konwitschny, is set in contemporary times. It could easily be the story of a high-class call girl in New York and the people who party with her and her colleagues: wealthy corporate bosses or the scions thereof. The disease Violetta contracts and is dying of is meant to be tuberculosis. Today it could be AIDS or any other nasty condition contracted through sexual congress." - The SunBreak

Angel Blue (Violetta) and Zach Borichevsky (Alfredo). Philip Newton photo
"[Angel Blue was] impressive vocally, her lush soprano displaying an attractive fluttering vibrato and carrying above the orchestra with ease...It was a thrill to hear such a massive voice sailing through the technical demands of the role, from an impassioned 'Amami, Alfredo' to a surprisingly delicate final act." Bachtrack

"An intensely compelling presence, Winters’ Violetta is by turns angry, vulnerable, and gritty...Vocally, her rich soprano best suits the spinto outbursts of Act II, though she ably navigated the Act I coloratura with fearless brilliance and a ringing E flat. Best of all, her nuanced shading and projection of the text eliminated the need for the projected supertitles".  - Bachtrack

"Winters embraced Violetta so thoroughly that we don’t pity her. We are sad that she has to die, that she loses her true love, but she goes out with dignity, backing away triumphantly into those red curtains." - Oregon Arts Watch 

Corinne Winters (Violetta) and Joshua Dennis (Alfredo). Philip newton photo
"It was a brilliant idea to remove the distractions of a set, in order to concentrate on the characters. There are only the stage curtain and succeeding receding curtains on the stage, all in lush red and drawn slowly to the side or back again, as symbols perhaps of the stages the characters pass through, in reality or in their minds." - The SunBreak

"Weston Hurt and Joshua Dennis sing the Germonts, father and son, with rich beauty of tone and suavity; Hurt, especially, gives “Di Provenza il mar,” in which he tries to persuade Alfredo to forget about Violetta, a pulsing warmth at a relaxed, seductively indulgent tempo." - Seattle Weekly

Weston Hurt (Gemont). Philip Newton photo
"Joshua Dennis, in his Seattle Opera debut, was excellent as Alfredo, the love-struck book nerd. His sweet, buttery tenor captures perfectly the earnestness that gradually opens the heart of Violetta, the 'It' girl courtesan (sex worker?) who keeps her emotions off limits from both her clients and the superficial snotty snobs around her." - The Stranger

Corinne Winters (Violetta) and Joshua Dennis (Alfredo). Philip Newton photo
"Weston Hurt as Alfredo’s father was also deeply affecting, his rich baritone providing some of the most beautiful musical moments." - Seattle P.I. 

"As Alfredo, Violetta's one true love, tenor Zach Borichevsky sang beautifully, particularly in the softer passages. Baritone Stephen Powell, as Alfredo's father, Giorgio Germont, had appropriate gravitas, and his nice, full voice blended perfectly with Blue's and Borichevsky's in the ensemble numbers." - Seattle Gay News

Stephen Powell (Germont). Philip Newton photo
"(Stephen) Powell’s Germont was a more traditional villain, patronizing his children and Violetta with equal superiority. Powell’s powerful baritone certainly makes an impact, especially in concert with Angel Blue’s thrilling soprano in their Act II encounter." - Bachtrack

"Smaller parts were excellently cast, including Eric Neuville’s wittily urbane Gastone whose elegant tenor certainly bodes well for many Alfredos in the future. Maya Lahyani’s plummy mezzo made an impact as a Mean Girls-esque Flora and seemed to connect particularly movingly with Corinne Winters’ Violetta." - Bachtrack

"Conductor Stefano Ranzani led a propulsive reading of the score that matched nicely with the production’s unflinching inevitability." - Bachtrack

Charles Robert Austin (Dr. Grenvil) and Karen Early Evans (Annina). Philip Newton photo
"There wasn't a weak link in the cast or in the always-fine chorus, and the orchestra played magnificently under the direction of Stefano Ranzani. The woodwinds and brass deserve special mention for their gorgeous sound." - Seattle Gay News 

"[Angel Blue gave] a highly committed performance, gaining much from her innate charisma." - Bachtrack

Angel Blue as Violetta. Jacob Lucas photo
 Seattle Opera's La traviata plays through Jan. 28
Tickets & info: seattleopera.org/traviata
#SOtraviata