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Subject: dallas traviata
From: gordon young <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:gordon young <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 30 Oct 2017 14:56:15 -0500
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Friday night the Dallas Opera presented its second opera of the season La
Traviata. It is unfortunate that there are only two operas in its fall
season. Sometimes I wonder why the call the venue the Winspear Opera House
when opera is the smallest part of the programing.

Georgia Jamon was our Violetta and Rene Barbera the Alfredo and Giorgio
Germont was sung by Vladislav Sulimsky. The conductor was Carlo Montanaro.

Generally the singing was fine even though I had some quibbles with
Sulimsky. There were points where he seemed to be out of sync with the
orchestra and the other singers.

The big problem was with the staging. As the opera opens we see a young
woman all in white reading a book and rolling on the floor. Is this the
innocent Violetta or Alfredo’s virginal sister? (I vote for the innocent
Violetta.) She appears repeatedly throughout the performance most often
distracting from the “real” action of the story. It was most disturbing in
the last act when she appears during Violetta’s “Addio, del passato”
rummaging through a hope chest full of Violetta’s clothing. IIt visually
distracted from the aria that was sung with great emotion by Ms. Jarmon

Not only did Little Violetta open the opera rolling on the floor but
numerous times Violetta ended up on the floor. This has become a
directorial cliché that drives me crazy. It strikes me as a lazy idea used
when the director doesn’t know what else to do. I also cannot understand
why directors are so reticent to move the characters throughout the sets so
that the scene and props become part of the storytelling. If one uses a
prop and they want it to be significant it needs to be used more than once.
In our Traviata in the second act Alfredo picks up a gun fiddles with it
briefly but it really isn’t part of the story. Late Annina picks it up and
moves it.

The conversation on opera-l concerning applause and standing ovations hits
home here in Dallas.  During the Friday performance in the second act there
is a brief pause in Alfredo’s aria immediately two or three audience
members began to clap, the tenor paused before taking up the line again. It
was like a glitch like in old lps. One guy in the balcony shouted bravo at
the end of every aria even before the last note closed.  And, of course,
there was a standing ovation at the end of the evening

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