La traviata – Newcastle Theatre Royal – Review
Date – Friday 6th March 2015
Venue – Theatre Royal, Newcastle
Violetta Valery – Anna Jerue-Kopec
Alfredo Germont – Ji-Min Park
Giorgio Germont – Stephen Gadd
Annina – Louise Collett
Flora Bervoix – Victoria Sharp
Gastone – Daniel Norman
Baron Douphol – Peter Savidge
La traviata meaning The Fallen Woman in English, is set in Paris and tells the love story of Violetta and Alfredo. It is split into three acts, which take place in different places and with time passing in between. This is also split by two twenty-minute intervals which gives you a chance to regroup in the audience and get ready for the next act, all of which completely flew over at a very fast pace, I guess that shows how much I enjoyed it.
This was my first ever opera and in all honesty I was unsure how I was going to find it. I am very pleased to say that I enjoyed it a lot, the story was engaging, the singing out of this world and a truly new experience at the theatre. I made sure to buy a programme so I could read the story and fully understand what was going on. I did not know that it would have English subtitles on a screen throughout, this was helpful and not distracting. If this was not available however I think I would have been able to follow the story.
It was heartbreaking, I was expecting that. We know this story it has been reused in films and references for different things. It completely inspired Moulin Rouge, so good to see something like this is not only still going but inspiring people to use the story. I mean when I booked the tickets I instantly thought of Moulin Rouge but wasn’t expecting that Baz Luhrmann actually kept so many of the tiny details as well. I guess that is a massive compliment to Verdi and La Traviata.
While I have nothing to compare this to, I throughly enjoyed the experience. It was a momentous occasion not only my first Opera but I actually went with my brother and we hardly ever do anything together, so it certainly was a very good idea for a Christmas present. So we actually went from going to a football match a few days ago and then the Opera, I don’t think we could find two opposite events to attend.
The singing completely blew me away, how is it even possible to be able to do that with your voice? It’s just amazing. All three of the main characters were very engaging with amazing ranges Anna Jeruc-Kopec and Jin-Min Park had fantastic chemistry as the two lovers as well. Although my favourite character was Giorgio Germont, Stephen Gadd has an amazingly powerful presence and voice.
Another thing that surprised me was that it has a bit of everything, it had happy moments, sad moments and even funny moments. I will admit that I went into this totally blind and had no idea what to really expect. I was not expecting to enjoy it as much as I did in all honesty, but maybe that is the problem that some people just will not give Opera a chance? I certainly will be wanting to see some more in the future. It is something different and like nothing else you will see and hear at the theatre.
A truly incredible fact about seeing this show last night is that 6th March is the exact date of the first ever performance which took place in 1853. I love being able to say that I watched this Opera exactly 162 years ago that people first experience and enjoyed this fantastic tale.