You can't stop the secksinesx & powah of David McVicar's new "Traviata"! Last week, the Scottish Opera was treated to their first new production of Traviata in twenty years: in a new co-production with Welsh National Opera and Gran Teatre del Liceu, McVicar presented a gritty, stripped-down version, devoid of the opening scene "big fashion parade" that we've come to expect. Opera Chic is an unabashed McV fan, even if his old snarks against poor Violetta -- he was quoted as calling the piece -- "'I could never do such a coarse, clumsy, reduction of this woman", he said in 2003, badly misreading Piave's and Verdi's genius work -- anyway he changed his mind and this was his first-ever production of Traviata, and who better to entrust it to than his usual homies, choreographer Andrew George & designer Tanya McCallin.
Italian soprano Carmen Giannattasio -- highly praised by august Corriere della Sera's in last year's Boccanegra in Bologna -- gives Violetta a sultry Italian hawtness -- in a typically McVicarian -- McVicaresque? -- flash of laser insight she's Violetta as fast-thinking hustler, leading Alfredo as Federico Lepre and Germont as Richard Zeller through conductor Emmanuel Joel-Hornak's paces, like a Pied Piper with delicious Italian flesh instead of a silly German pipe.
After Glasgow's Theatre Royal, the production goes to Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness, and finally Belfast's Grand Opera House in early in 2009.
(Above: Federico Lepre's Alfredo and Carmen Giannattasio's Carmen - Credit Drew Farrell)
(Above: Carmen Giannattasio's Violetta and Richard Zeller's Germont -Credit Drew Farrell)
(Above: Carmen Giannattasio's Violetta and Federico Lepre's Alfredo - Credit Drew Farrell)