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New to opera? What to see this Season

15 August 2018

Are you looking to experience opera for the first time, but are uncertain about what you should see? Never fear we are here to help you along the way.

The list of operas is never ending, and like any theatre genre there is no ‘one opera fits all’.  There are long operas (Die Meistersinger stands as one of the longest at 5 hours 35 minutes long), short operas, operas sung in Italian, German, Russian and more. There are all female led operas; male dominated operas, operas involving animals and fairy-tale stories that have adapted to the operatic stage. Some can be happy, many are sad, but there are also a number of comic operas and also some that tackle political and social issues. Ultimately, there are so many to choose from that when you pick your first opera pick a subject that appeals to you.

At WNO each Season we always try to make sure that we perform a selection that will appeal to a wide range of audience members from new opera goers to people who have been attending a lifetime.

We want to encourage everyone to experience opera and to help break down any misconceptions that people have about attending the opera.  And you don’t have to take our word for it, listen as Steve Speirs gives us the low-down of what to expect when experiencing an opera with WNO. 

Now you have seen how relaxing a trip to the opera can be, what would we recommend you see?

Well you’re in luck. This Autumn we will be performing one of the most loved operas La traviata.           

Set in Paris in the early 19th century, Alfredo has fallen head over heels in love with the courtesan Violetta, but his father Germont disapproves of the fallen woman. Although she is in love with him too, Violetta is sick and knows that she is not going to get better. Fearing that she will die soon, Violetta agrees to let the love of her life go to pursue happiness with someone else. It is only when Germont hears that Violetta is on her death bed, does he see the error of his ways and sends Alfredo to her. But is it too late for the lovers? Will they be reunited in time?

La traviata is often compared to a number of modern films, the most popular being Moulin Rouge. Both tell the stories of a courtesan, who sacrifice their own happiness for their one true love, only to succumb to consumption and tragically die.  

This classic story portrays love, loss and betrayal and we are thrilled to be welcoming Anush Hovhannisyan to star as Violetta in her debut with WNO as well as welcome back Linda Richardson who performed the role when we last performed La traviata in 2013. Our leading ladies will be sharing the role throughout our tour.