A Night at the Opera: La Traviata

Last night was a very special evening; I had the pleasure of taking my good friend Trina to her very first opera! I was hoping she would enjoy it. Let’s see how the night went 🙂

(I should mention that Maurice was sick and unable to go, but graciously encouraged me to still go and enjoy my evening – thank you B!)

First there was the wine. After the last few days at work, we could’ve used a bottle or two (!!) but we each enjoyed a glass of red and then went to find our seats. I had already let Trina know that we would be in the nose bleed section, so we hiked our way up the grand staircase and prepared to take our seats in a near-the-back row of the balcony. When we reached the balcony level, however, we were given the offer to sit somewhere else, in much better (and much more expensive!) seats:

upgraded seats

Then there were the sets & costumes:

gorgeous stage (photo courtesy of the Houston Grand Opera)

The sets and costumes were very grand and lush last night! This was the second time I’ve seen “La Traviata,” the first being at the State Opera in Prague. That first performance was beautiful but in a totally different way; the sets were minimalistic in color (white and red) and props (only one extremely large half-moon white leather sofa), and the costumes were not memorable. That being said, I think it was a fabulous performance and I’m thankful I got to see it 🙂 HGO’s take on “La Traviata” was very classic and was reflected in the lavish atmosphere they created on stage.

And then, there was the singing. Oh my goodness the singing. I know I know it’s an opera for heaven’s sake, the singing is supposed to be great. But as an aside, I generally find HGO productions to be very clean, tidy, and…. uninspired. While they are always enjoyable they don’t always feel passionate. Last night was passionate!

Violetta & Alfredo (photo courtesy of the Houston Grand Opera)

And I credit that to the stellar performance by Ms. Albina Shagimuratova who sang the role of Violetta. The 2nd best performance should be credited to Giovanni Meoni, who played “Giorgio Germont” – Alfredo’s father. Everyone was great but I would love to see Shagimuratova in more productions, she has amazing control of her voice and sings clear as a bell whether she’s “whispering” or fortissimo!

passion! (photo courtesy of the Houston Grand Opera)

It was an wonderful evening and I’m so happy that Trina was able to share the experience with me! When I asked her what she thought, she said that she loved it and would definitely go again!! So Maurice, maybe you are off the hook 😉