Francesca Zambello brings La Traviata to the stage
Francesca Zambello, well-known opera and theatre director from the US is directing Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour: La Traviata. It's a huge project made to work by Opera Australia who spent a whopping $11.5m to bring the piece to the stage. And the result? It was worth every dime of it. Forty-piece orchestra housed on the water line, five barges with fireworks, stage that seems to be afloat, astonishing effects, enormous chandelier above the floating stage, 130 performers, and Sydney skyline topping it all in the background. If that doesn't sound beautiful, what does?
The opera La Traviata in Sydney harbor is performed by Emma Matthews, Rachelle Durkin, Gianluca Terranova, Ji-Min Park, Jonathan Summers and Warwick Fyfe and the orchestra is conducted by Opera Australia's own Brian Castles-Onion. The opera itself was initially written as a novel called La dame aux Camélias by Alexander Dumas junior, first published in 1848. Later it was turned into a play and adapted for the stage, premiering 4 years later in Théâtre du Vaudeville in Paris, France. Due to the success of the play Giuseppe Verdi decided to turn it into a musical performance and in 1853 the result of his effort was called the opera La Traviata.
The production in Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour is designed by Brian Thomson. Tickets for the opera are already being sold with prices starting from $85. The opera has been performed nightly since March 24, 2012 and will continue to do so for 3 weeks.