When the curtain opens and the lights strike the stage on April 6, the New York City Opera will be seen in the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera’s new production of Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata.
Last performed by this prominent, regional arts company in 2006, the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera (Verismo Opera) will present this iconic opera with resplendent sets used by the New York City Opera for several decades to present this lavish production on Sunday, April 6, 3:00 p.m., at the Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), 30 North Van Brunt Street, in Englewood, New Jersey.
Under Artistic Director Lucine Amara, one of the Metropolitan Opera’s luminary performers, Verismo Opera is observing its 25th anniversary. Verismo Opera launches its new season, Vive la France, with the new production La Traviata presented in four acts with Francesco Maria Piave’s libretto in celebration of the 200th anniversary of Verdi’s birth.
Hidden in Verdi's glorious melodies lies a doomed love story overflowing with raw, unbridled emotions. Director Evelyn La Quaif, a Canadian soprano who has sung the lead role of Violetta many times, will open that Pandora's box to reveal each character's heart and soul. “The production’s dripping realism will transport the audience through time and space. Verdi's masterpiece with its glorious melodies will ring in their ears forever,” said La Quaif.
Set in the backdrop of high society in the early 1800s in Paris, France, this tumultuous love story, shrouded in sacrifice and misunderstanding, will unfold on the stage with gorgeous sets once used by the New York City Opera. The fully staged production will be presented with the cast singing in Italian. English supertitles will be provided.
The Verismo Opera Chorus and a live orchestra will perform under the baton of Mara Waldman. Dancers from the Roberta Mathes’ dance company, Beyond Dance, will perform the entertaining gypsy scene in act three. The complete cast will appear in period costumes designed by Catherine Mirabella and Barbara Konig.
Soprano Hea-Ran Kim debuts with the company in the role of the tragic courtesan Violetta Valéry, a role she has performed at several venues such as Sejong Chamber Hall and Baekseok Art Hall. Oswaldo Iraheta, tenor, returns to the Verismo Opera stage to perform the role of Alfredo Germont, Violetta’s wealthy lover. Last year, Iraheta received thunderous applause in his debut with the company as Rinuccio in its premiere of Gianni Schicchi.
Other vocalists debuting with the company are baritone Jonathan Scott as Giorgio Germont, baritone Ras Dia in the role of Marquis d’Obigny, and bass-baritone Joshua Miller in the role of Dr. Grenvil. Singers returning to the Verismo Opera stage are mezzo-soprano Erika Bourque as Flora Bervoix, tenor Fred Frabotta in the role of Gastone de Loiterres, baritone Robert Garner as Baron Douphol, soprano Brenda Belohoubek as Annina, tenor Joel Cardona as Giuseppe, and baritone James Moy as the Commissioner.
Tickets may be purchased online, at the bergenPAC box office, and by calling (201) 227-1030 or toll-free at 1-888-PACSHOW. Senior citizens, ages 65 and over, purchasing regular-priced tickets on non-sale dates receive a 10% discount. The company is offering a reduced rate of $10 on all tickets for children, ages 12 and under, when accompanied by a ticket-holding adult.
The special senior citizen and children’s discount tickets are available at the box office only and must be requested before the purchase. For special rates for group sales, call (201) 224-2809. Discount tickets are not available for purchase online.
The bergenPAC is handicapped accessible. Hearing assist systems are available upon request at the bergenPAC to the house manager in the lobby.
The 2014 season is made possible, in part, with funds provided by the New Jersey Council on the Arts/Department of State, through grand funds administered by the Bergen County Department of Parks, Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs. Other supporters include the Mary Casella Briggs Memorial Fund, The Gerda Lissner Foundation, Inc., Vanguard Charitable Endowment Fund, Children’s Aid Foundation, Paul Weiss Matching Fund, Robert J. Campbell, MD and Cesare L. Santeramo, KSJ.