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A spectacular “La Traviata”
Opera Australia’s production of “La Traviata” on Sydney Harbour enthralled the OperaDou Jury. They found it “Stunning”, “Magical”, “Transcendental”, “Enchanting”, “Luminous” - with our audiophile expert declaring “The sound engineer deserves a medal”
Everyone was very much aware of the tremendous sense of occasion communicated by this grandiose production set against the iconic backdrop of the Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge and glittering skyline.
There was great praise from everyone for the cast, particularly Emma Matthews (“Fantastic”, “Fabulous”, “Extraordinary”, “Emotionally thrilling”) One of our Australian Jury members even said, “We thought that no one could ever rival Joan Sutherland… but I think Emma Matthews does…” Jonathan Summers as Germont was also singled out for special praise by several Jury members.
What the Jury liked most (quotes):
“Emma is superb and in fine voice. The setting is magical and I loved the fireworks! Congratulations to Sydney Opera, to the whole cast and production team!
« Un régal au niveau des voix, de la mise en scène, de l’orchestre et les décors. Emma Mattews est sublime ! »
“Congratulations on this amazing technical feat, the magical colours, the lights, the fireworks and the amazing décor with such an extraordinary backdrop. It was also a very emotional experience, particularly thanks to Emma Matthews and Jonathan Summers as Germont the father.”
« Production spectaculaire et un véritable défi avec une telle conception originale. Une interprétation extraordinaire de Emma Matthews. »
“I was very impressed by the quality of the sound! Videos of open air productions invariably fail to capture everything satisfactorily — but not this one! To maintain such perfect balance between the orchestra and the singers who were frequently covering a lot of ground as they took advantage of the huge stage, was quite AMAZING! The dynamic way the production was shot also impressed me greatly, really communicating a special sense of sharing in a grand occasion.”
« L’idée de construire une scène sur l’eau était très originale. Cela donne une envergure supplémentaire au décor dans un tel environnement… Emma Matthews est absolument fabuleuse tant pour sa voix que pour son jeu d’actrice. »
“I admire the way this “young” opera company have the courage to see things in a different way and rethink the setting so successfully. I particularly enjoyed Jonathan Summer’s singing as Alfredo’s father — the best interpretation of this role I have ever seen — or heard.”
« Beau spectacle, original et exceptionnelle. Interprétation remarquable. A voir et à revoir. Une soirée inoubliable !!! »
“This was an emotionally moving and thrilling experience for me. Emma’s voice, the fireworks, the setting. Quite astonishing! ”
What the Jury liked less (quotes):
“The stage did seem very big for the more intimate parts of the opera. It was a good thing we had the privilege of close-ups.”
« J’ai du m’accoutumer aux micros un peu trop visibles parfois. Mais sans doute c’était nécessaire pour arriver à un son si bien maitrisé. »
“I was a little put off by the signs of the hotels and banks in the background at times. They were getting some great free advertising!”
“I was a little disorientated at the beginning, not being able to see the orchestra or the audience, but as the performance went on I became completely caught up in it.”
Singing / performance: A
HDVD production: A+
Overall ranking: A+
Opera Australia is dedicated to enriching Australia's cultural life by offering productions that excite audiences and develop the art form.
It is Australia's largest and busiest performing arts organisation, with over 600 opera performances a year, including two mainstage opera seasons in Sydney and Melbourne and a whole range of other activities including free outdoor performances.
Opera Australia also has a touring company, Oz Opera, performing in regional centres, capital cities and schools, very often giving people their very first experience of opera!
Find out more about Opera Australia here.
Also visit the “Discovery” section of their website and take a look at clips from some of their productions…
Opera Australia also screens several of its productions in cinemas across Australia and since the end of April these have been shown in UK cinemas. They are now also being screened in France as well as being made available on Blu-Ray for everyone to enjoy. We are planning to show several to the OperaDou Jury in 2012/2013, so watch out for the reviews.
The OperaDou Jury
The jury’s immediate reaction after applauding the singers and the whole production team at the end of this “remarkable show”.
Jury members are also asked whether they want to see the production again, would buy or recommend the disc and how they feel it compares with “being there”.
"Would you like to see this production again, on TV or in the cinema?"
Three Australian Jury members give their impressions of this Sydney production.
A French Jury member gives her authoritative insight into this production — which moved her to tears!