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Review: Books, Theatre, Albums, Movies and Gigs

La Traviata

The Empire Theatre, Liverpool
February 14

Composer: Verdi
Producer: Ellen Kent
Cast Includes: Maria Tsonina, Ruslan Zinevych, Vladimir Dragos, Tattiana Virlan.
Running time: 2 hrs 40 mins

Image: Promotional image for La Traviata

What better way to spend Valentine’s Day than watching one of the world’s most romantic operas and especially when it is produced and performed as lavishly as this?

Ellen Kent has been, on occasions, a little guilty of understating some of her productions. Not so this. The sets and costumes, here, are exquisite, providing a perfect accompaniment to this story of forlorn love and choosing such a young, vibrant cast has to go down as something of a masterstroke.

Maria Tsonina, as the doomed Violetta, grows magnificently into role with a commanding presence that blossoms as the opera gathers pace. The Empire is a huge theatre, and at first she struggled to be heard above the orchestra. However as the story unfolded, Tsonina surmounted this difficulty and turned in a fabulous performance that had all but the stoniest reaching effortlessly for their tissues.

No such problems befell Ruslan Zinevych. Here is a Tenor with a great future, a he imperiously grabbed the role of Alfredo by the scruff of the neck and shook it for all of its worth, until all of the emotion of the part was exposed for all to see.

Also worthy of mention are Vladimir Dragos, in the role of Alfredo’s ill-advised father – who held an exemplary command of his part in the proceedings – and Tattiana Virlan playing Violetta’s maid, Anninia, who clearly has a heady future before her.

This was a truly majestic evening, brought up to the mark by sterling performances all around, fabulous sets, costumes and music conducted faultlessly by Gheorghe Stanciu.

Click here to view details and book for the Liverpool Empire Theatre



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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
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