FOLLOWING last December’s visit with Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, the Ukrainian National Opera of Kharkiv return to the City Hall next Wednesday with another weepie, Verdi’s La Traviata, although it doesn’t have the same in your face melodramatic yanking at the heart-strings.
Anyone who saw Butterfly will realise Traviata is another Ellen Kent production for Derek Block Promotions, the two along with La Bohéme also being toured but not coming to Sheffield, having reportedly cost £25,000 for the costumes alone.
“I try to make my operas engaging and sometimes I get carried away with interesting additions but with these there is no spin – just the drama and the beauty. I honestly think they are the best I have ever done,” says Ellen.
Maria Tsonina, born in Chisinau, usually Ellen’s favourite East European operatic destination in Moldova, plays the doomed courtesan Violetta who finds true love then sacrifices it to save the family face of her lover, Alfredo, sung by Andriy Perfilov.
The opera has well-known music for Violetta, her big scene at the end of the first act and aria Addio del passato in the last one, three duets with Alfedo, including the famous Brindisi with chorus, and the great scene in act two with Alfredo’s father who has a famous baritone aria in the same act, Di Provenza il Mar, and a tremendous ensemble ends the next scene.