Vancouver Opera’s La Traviata takes us to Paris

Vancouver Opera has kicked off its new season with a lavish production of Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata.  Director Alan Gauthier has transformed the Queen Elizabeth Theatre into 1920’s Paris for the production’s four shows.

La Traviata – Emily Dorn enters as Violetta
photo: Tim Matheson

Opening on a grand Parisian music hall party hosted by famed courtesan Violetta Valéry, who is recovering from illness and weary of her glamourous lifestyle. Amongst all the party guests Violetta meets Alfredo, who has long loved her from afar. The lovers find bliss in the countryside until familial and financial obligations, along with the usual miscommunication, come between them. Of course, love prevails in the final act but has it come too late. Fans of the film Moulin Rouge, will recognize where its creators found inspiration.

La Traviata
l-r. Irina Medvedeva as Maid Annina, Emily Dorn as Violetta, Andrew Haji as Alfredo
photo: Tim Matheson

As Violetta, Emily Dorn makes her Vancouver Opera debut, beautifully playing the glamourous courtesan turned tragic heroine. Andrew Haji lends his voice to Alfredo, although the chemistry between the two isn’t quite star-crossed, their voices fill the theatre. The supporting cast and Vancouver Opera chorus are brilliant in creating the vibrant Paris of the roaring 20s, from the grand dance numbers and party scenes, to the intimate scenes of love and despair.

The company of Vancouver Opera’s La Traviata photo: Tim Matheson

Vancouver Opera, in collaboration with four other Canadian opera companies, has created a lavish recreation of 1920’s Paris. From the grand Paris salon to the bright, country house, scenic and costume designer Christina Poddubiuk and Kevin Lamotte’s lighting design do extraordinary work of changing the mood and location of the set. The sumptuous costumes really bring the period to life. La Traviata has to be seen first to take it all in together and be moved by the performance.

Vancouver Opera’s La Traviata has two performance left at Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Thursday October 24th at 7:30pm plus a 2:00pm matinee on Sunday October 27th find information at

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