And now for something completely different….opera in an actual theatre! Our 2015 projects so far have taken us into some fun new spaces: Studio 4101, our new cabaret-style performance environment (in fact our rehearsal studio, totally transformed), new regional centres including the award-winning new Armitage Centre in Toowoomba, very unusual outdoor spaces in the Gold Coast and St George and in Cloudsong, our latest adventure, our performers appeared all over an amazing club in Fortitude Valley. We’ve had an amazing time, but now we’re back “home” in the Lyric Theatre at QPAC for our next production, Verdi’s immortal love story, La traviata.
Kate Cherry’s beautiful, darkly glittering production is new to Brisbane. In Kate’s caring hands, Violetta is a complex and multidimensional woman: “She has to face her own mortality and the fact she’s unable to have children. She reaches a maturity of love that asks one to reflect on this woman whom society would normally shun. Just because Violetta is a courtesan doesn’t mean she’s not a human being.”
I’ve often thought that the grandeur and spectacle that audiences expect of La traviata can sometimes distract from the fact that this is a tragedy about relationships, a drama that literally echoed the values of society and life in Verdi’s time, and still echo in our own. Verdi himself called it “a subject for our own age”, and wanted the opera, like the play upon which it was based, to be staged in contemporary clothes. By creating characters so powerfully real he has moved generations of audiences to tears. For me, it’s the moment in Act Two when Violetta, having been emotionally bludgeoned into ending their affair, turns to a bewildered Alfredo and tearfully begs him not to stop loving her. “Amami Alfredo! Quant’io t’amo! Addio.” (Love me, Alfredo! I love you so much! Goodbye.) At that point-of-no-return, as Violetta selflessly tears herself away from her great love, she is both intensely fragile and hugely heroic. I always cry, though I’ve seen it a hundred times.
Only in opera can moments like this truly soar. No play, no TV series or movie come near the experience of an orchestra in full flight under a truly excellent vocal/dramatic performance. That excellence is what our audiences will experience in May with Emma Pearson, Aldo di Toro and Jonathon Summers in OperaQ’s La traviata, conducted by Johannes Fritzsch. It’s exciting to think that many in the audience will be experiencing opera for the first time, because our $25 tickets initiative is designed to make sure the excellence of opera is affordable to everyone. So if you know of someone you think would love Verdi’s great love story, but hasn’t had the chance to come to the opera before, now’s their chance! Buying an opera ticket – a true champagne experience – now costs about the same as a pizza and a beer. For just $25 you’ll see and hear some of the world’s finest singers performing one of the most famous operas ever written, with Queensland Symphony Orchestra and the mighty Opera Queensland Chorus, sumptuous costumes, scenery and lighting – and we’ll send you out into the night with your belief in romance restored. If that’s not democracy….
Lindy Hume, Artistic Director
To be among the first to access $25* La traviata tickets, REGISTER YOUR DETAILS HERE
*6.20 transaction fee applies