San Diego Opera’s ‘La Traviata’ on opening night

Baritone Stephen Powell as Giorgio Vermont. Photo J. Katarazyna Woronowicz Johnson.

 

CAST
Corinne Winters — Violetta
Jesús Garcia — Alfredo
Stephen Powell — Germont
Peabody Southwell — Flora
Kevin Langan — Dr. Grenville
Brenton Ryan — Gastone
David Agler — Conductor
Marta Domingo — Director
Kitty McNamee — Choreographer

Editor’s note: Because of an upcoming surgery and the current state of my health, I was unable to attend the opening of La Traviata last night, April 22. I did hear a few comments about the performance, however, from a trusted friend. I regret not being able to review. Perhaps before the end of the run if my surgery goes well. I do not usually publish gossip instead of an essay. Today, mea culpa! I just hope the SD Opera gets the attention it deserves.
Dave Gregson

My first piece of “incidental intelligence” (and I hope not “fake news”) is that baritone Stephen Powell as Germont “stole the show” and was a big audience favorite during the curtain calls. He is pictured above.

I also heard very good things about soprano Corinne Winters as Violetta, the “Traviata” or “lost lady” of the opera’s title. Only the opening “Sempre libera” with its bravura display of coloratura is said to have given her any problems. Otherwise I heard only praise for her vocal and dramatic abilities. There’s so much more to the role than that famous opening number.

Soprano Corinne Winters as Violetta. Photo J. Katarazyna Woronowicz Johnson.

Spotted in the cast was our recent Carmen (Peabody Southwell) who was so remarkable in La Tragédie de Carmen which I did manage to see. She was taking on the relatively small role of Flora.

Mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell as Flora and soprano Corinne Winters as Violetta. Photo J. Katarazyna Woronowicz Johnson.

One report said the dance sequences were unusually “sexy” — which I take to be a good thing.

A dance scene in La Traviata. Photo J. Katarazyna Woronowicz Johnson.

As for the Alfredo, tenor Jesús Garcia, I am most anxious to hear him for myself.

This wonderful Verdi opera is a perfect one to make one’s “first” — and I would happily see it again for the zillionth time. Check here for tickets. I am very fortunate to have heard “live” many of the greatest Violettas of the past 50 years. When I have a chance I may write about these experiences here at Opera West.

Corinne Winters:” Ah fors e lui “Sempre Libera” — The Washington Chorus Gala

Jesus Garcia – Tenor — Pêcheurs de Perles” – Nadir – 2015

Tenor Jesús Garcia is Alfredo Germont and soprano Corinne Winters is Violetta Valéry. Photo by J. Katarzyna Woronowitz Johnson.

PERFORMANCES
SAT, APR 22 AT 7PM
TUE, APR 25 AT 7PM
FRI, APR 28 AT 7PM
SUN, APR 30 AT 2PM

San Diego Civic Theatre
1100 Third Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

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