From the TOLEDO OPERA
Toledo Opera will present “La Traviata” by Giuseppe Verdi on Friday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 24 at 2 p.m. at the Valentine Theater, 400 North Superior, Toledo. For tickets visit: toledopera.org
Performed by Toledo Opera for the first time in 10 years, this production boasts an all-star cast and a world-class creative team. Toledo Opera will also host a free pre-opera talk one hour before each show in the Grand Lobby of the Valentine Theater. Local scholars provide historical context and insight and are available to answer questions after the lecture.
Premiered in 1853 at the Teatro La Fenice located in Venice, Italy, “La Traviata” is set in Paris, France in the mid-19th century. The action centers on Violetta Valéry, a young courtesan, famous in Parisian high society, and her romance with Alfredo Germont. During a party in her Parisian salon, Violetta meets Alfredo and quickly falls in love with him. After the lovers run away together, they live happily ever after. However, Alfredo’s father, Giorgio, begins to intervene, fearing that Violetta’s reputation will affect Alfredo’s sister’s marriage prospects. Violetta’s declining health and circumstances make for a typically tragic operatic ending.
“La Traviata” stars internationally acclaimed Metropolitan Opera soprano and Toledo Opera audience favorite Kathryn Lewek as Violetta and Metropolitan Opera tenor Zach Borichevsky as Alfredo. This real-life couple will bring searing emotions to one of Verdi’s finest musical scenes led by Toledo favorite Marc Verzatt and conducted by maestro Joseph Colaneri.
Kathryn Lewek, who will make her debut as Violetta, has established herself as one of the most exciting operatic coloratura sopranos of this generation. She performed some of the most vocally demanding roles in the repertoire, joining the best opera performers of all time.
Lewek’s other frontrunners – tenor Zach Borichevsky as Alfredo, baritone Malcolm MacKenzie as Giorgio Germont, soprano Jessica Dold as Annina – bring their own international musical prowess, with past performances at the Metropolitan Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Finnish National Opera, the Washington National Opera and the Paris Opera (Bastille), among many others. Also joining the cast are mezzo-soprano and resident artist of the Toledo Opera Katherine Kincaid (Flora Bervoix), bass-baritone Michael Colman (Docteur Grenvil), baritone Jason Budd (Baron Douphol), tenor and l resident artist of the Toledo Opera Fran Daniel Laucerica (Gastone), and resident baritone and artist of the Toledo Opera Andrew Payne (Marquis d’Obigny).
For Toledo Opera’s Executive Director, Suzanne Rorick, the delightfully romantic story of La Traviata, told through Verdi’s unmistakable music with one beautiful heart-stopping melody after another, is representative of the special importance opera and its value to the community of Toledo.
“Toledo Opera is honored that Katie has chosen to make her debut as Violetta with our company. This is the third iconic lead role she has sung with Toledo Opera. Our community is so lucky to have this caliber of soprano for us. As the only standard-bearer of the operatic tradition in our region, the Toledo Opera offers a form of cultural stewardship that no other organization can offer. As opera companies study the way forward for this art form is the unique power of this tradition – with the operatic voice like Katie’s at its heart – that must guide us into the future,” Rorick said. In his recent farewell column, longtime New York Times classical music critic Anthony Tommasisni wrote that one thing about classical music shouldn’t change: ‘the pure, beautiful sound of the music. A magnificent voice that cuts through a spacious opera house.”
La Traviata is made possible by the Key Bank Trustee Walter E. Terhune Memorial Fund and the Elizabeth T. Wolfe Family Charitable Foundation.