Stage Door News
Toronto: The Canadian Opera Company presents “La Traviata” April 23 to May 20
Tuesday, March 15, 2022
Spectacular party scenes, gorgeous period costumes, and show-stopping arias bring 1850s Paris to lavish life in Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata. The production marks the first in-person opera performances staged at the Canadian Opera Company’s downtown opera house since the beginning of the pandemic. La Traviata runs for seven performances at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts on April 23, May 1, 3, 7, 12, 18, and 20, 2022.
Violetta Valéry is a celebrated Parisian courtesan and captivating hostess whose famous parties attract the city’s most glamorous residents. She’s also slowly dying and knows she doesn’t have long left but handsome young Alfredo makes a persuasive case for taking a chance on true love. Their romances is short-lived, however, as Violetta is soon forced to choose between her own happiness and that of her great love.
Award-winning costumes and puppetry by Cait O’Connor, combined with sets by Riccardo Hernandez and dramatic lighting by Marcus Doshi brings audiences along on a rollercoaster of experiences and emotion, plummeting from exuberance and glamour to passionate despair. Choreographer Austin McCormick adds visual punch through lively dance scenes that mesmerize with swirling ballgowns.
Director Arin Arbus returns at the helm of this deeply moving COC production. For Arbus, many of the opera’s underlying themes remain, unfortunately, universally relevant: “La Traviata scandalized society when it was originally performed,” she says. “It is a deeply drawn psychological portrait of a woman struggling to survive in a moneyed, stratified patriarchy. And that, unfortunately, remains an important story” (Macleans).
Egyptian-born soprano Amina Edris is one of the most exciting up-and-coming voices on today’s operatic stage; she brings her “fiery vocal ornamentation” (Washington Post) to her COC debut in the role of Violetta, opposite renowned American tenor Matthew Polenzani also making a company debut as Alfredo. As Alfredo’s father, Giorgio Germont, Italian baritone Simone Piazzola makes his debut on COC’s mainstage, while Canadian baritone Gregory Dahl (last seen at the COC in 2018 in the world premiere of Hadrian) takes on the role of Baron Duphol. A number of COC Ensemble Studio artists complete the cast in featured roles: sopranos Jamie Groote and Midori Marsh as Flora Bervoix and Annina respectively, baritone Jonah Spungin as Marquis d’Obigny, and bass-baritone Vartan Gabrielian as Dr. Grenvil.
COC Music Director Johannes Debus makes a long-awaited live return to the podium, conducting the COC Orchestra through one of Verdi’s most popular works. Price Family Chorus Master Sandra Horst leads the COC Chorus through several energetic ensemble arias that includes “Libiamo ne’ lieti calici,” the iconic, celebratory drinking song featured in everything from The Godfather to the 1945 classic film, The Lost Weekend.
La Traviata is sung in Italian and presented by the COC with English SURTITLES™.
Cast and Creative Team
Violetta Valéry Amina Edris
Alfredo Germont Matthew Polenzani
Giorgio Germont Simone Piazzola
Flora Bervoix Jamie Groote
Marquis d’Obigny Jonah Spungin
Baron Duphol Gregory Dahl
Annina Midori Marsh
Dr. Grenvil Vartan Gabrielian
Conductor Johannes Debus
Director Arin Arbus
Set Designer Riccardo Hernandez
Costume & Puppet Designer Cait O’Connor
Lighting Designer Marcus Doshi
Choreographer Austin McCormick
Single tickets for La Traviata range from $35 – $250 for adults, with Grand Ring seats available at $290 and $350, and $22 tickets available for guests between the ages of 16 and 29 through the COC’s Opera Under 30 program. Tickets can be purchased online at www.coc.ca or by calling the Four Seasons Centre Box Office at 416-363-8231. For more information on booking student groups, standing room, and rush tickets, as well as other specially priced tickets available to young people under the age of 15, please visit www.coc.ca.
A SAFE RETURN
For the most up-to-date information regarding current health and safety protocols, please visit www.coc.ca.
Photo: Amina Edris as Violetta at Opéra de Limoges. © 2022 Stephane Lefèvre.