Review: La traviata- Mayflower


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La traviata


Review: La traviata- Welsh National Opera / Opera Cenedlaethol Cymru – Mayflower

The Welsh National Opera never do anything by halves. Right from the off, the stage was full of people – more than 40 all at once enjoying a party.

La traviata

I felt so involved I wanted to go down and join in! If you know the Mayflower stage, you will know its huge size… yet even it seemed crammed! The noise was fantastic and full-on, just like the orchestra.

That party was given by Violetta, a courtesan who is not well. She’s introduced to Alfredo, who confesses he is already in love with her.

There then follows love, shame, assumed betrayal, cruelty, breakup and reconciliation. That’s not to mention a duel!

La traviata

Kang Wang admirably handles the portrayal of Alfredo. His achievement in the 2017 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition precedes him.

And so on to Anush Hovhannisyan, flying the flag for Armenia as Violetta.


Those of you who have already seen her or saw her last night, remember that moment. Others who saw her perform the role for the Scottish Opera in Glasgow have already proclaimed the ‘star is born’ moment happened there, and that a new Violetta was born.

Act 3 – in Violetta’s sickroom – is breathtaking. There was not a single noise from anywhere in the auditorium.

I know for a fact that tears were shed in the auditorium. How Anush can manage that level of singing whilst lying on a bed is beyond comprehension.

You could tell from her reaction during the curtain call that she had loved her performance and rightly so. Go and watch on Friday. Remember that moment.

There seems to be a lot of other co-operation from the Scottish Opera too with the scenery, costumed and props, which led to other moments to cherish including the dancing gypsies from afar, and the matadors.

La traviata

Even a second ‘setting’ – backstage, while a separate performance was happening ON stage was fantastic.

The performance is in Italian with English surtitles. If you’re not sure of the story, it’s a good way to follow the story – of course you have to take your eyes off the action sometimes, but these are spot on and right in time with what is being sung, an art in itself.

As I write this on the Thursday, all ticket areas left for sale are showing ‘limited availability’ – with just 58 in the Circle. Don’t miss out, you won’t regret it.

Kevin Gover

(Production images by Betina Skovbro)