The opening night of Opera North’s latest production of Verdi’s La Traviata was a triumph from start to finish.
From the opening screen-projected prelude of microscopic bacteria infecting heroine Violetta’s lungs, to the dark and tragic finale, the Alessandro Talevi directed production is moving and rousing.
Hye-Youn Lee is spellbinding as Violetta, and Ji-Min Park also gives a sterling performance as Alfredo.
Act one is a short and largely rousing and joyous affair, with large set pieces bringing home the decadence of a 19th Century Parisian party.
From thereonin it all becomes that much darker, as the mood contrasts starkly with the cobalt blue country skies of Madeleine Boyd’s set.
Of the supporting performers, Roland Wood steals the show as Alfredo’s cold and flawed father, Giorgio.
It is in this Act when the two leads start to lift their game as illness, angst, and heartbreak start to tighten their grip.
There are more frolics in the form of another party in scene two, but the high jinks can’t fade the sense of impending doom.
In Act Three the emotion is ratcheted up to 11 as Violetta’s plight really starts to tug at the heartstrings.
There have been more than a few controversial adaptations of Verdi’s masterpiece over the years, but this production will please the traditionalists.
La Traviata runs at Leeds Grand Theatre until 26th February next year.
The production is also going on tour and will be running at Nottingham Theatre Royal from 12th November. Tickets are priced between £15 and £68.
For more information visit www.operanorth.co.uk