Katy Early, director and MassOpera’s Dan Ryan, conductor have reimagined La Traviata in a site-specific, immersive form in which audience members follow cast and players to four locations throughout the Eustis Estate as if they are inside the opera itself. It is Director Katy Early’s goal to have the audience “feel like guests at the party scenes and ‘flies on the walls’ of the moments between Violetta and Alfredo, as they grapple with how to be together through gorgeous singing.” In addition to the cast and patrons, the instrumentalists[i] will also be part of the action of the show, creating a true immersion.
The 90-minute condensed version runs for 18 performances before 25 audience members.“There are limits to how immersive a show can be given the constraints of COVID protocols and the very real concerns about consent that are being raised through the work of intimacy direction these days. Unlike some immersive plays that I’ve attended in the past, no audience members and performers will ever be touching one another, but there will be some really great eye contact à la the performance practice of Shakespeare in which the proverbial fourth wall will evaporate and everyone in the room will have to confront that they are real, live human beings sharing a space together. And that posture of really looking at one another and being witnessed is a brave thing to do! Violetta and Alfredo do it, the audience members will be invited to do so, and I think that’s what we’re all learning how to do again post lockdowns and Zoom screens,” according to Early.
In keeping with the non-traditional nature of the show, MassOpera has also opted for non-traditional casting, in keeping with its guiding principle, “To ensure gender parity both on-stage and off,” MassOpera cast six Violettas and a female in the role of Giorgio Germont giving multiple talented female singers in the opera profession performance opportunities, see full cast below.
Sunday, October 17th, 3 performances @ 4:30 PM, 6 PM, & 7:30 PM
Tuesday, October 19th, 3 performances @ 5 PM, 6:30 PM, & 8 PM
Thursday, October 21st, 3 performances @ 5 PM, 6:30 PM, & 8 PM
Friday, October 22nd, 3 performances @ 5 PM, 6:30 PM, & 8 PM
Saturday, October 23rd, 3 performances @ 5 PM, 6:30 PM, & 8 PM
Sunday, October 24th, 3 performances @ 4:30 PM, 6 PM, & 7:30 PM
Violetta Valéry: Alisa Cassola Sarah Joyce Cooper Carina DiGianfilippo, Mary Letellier, Shaina Martinez, Tamara Ryan
Alfredo Germont: David Bozon, Omar Najmi, Carl Rosenthal
Giorgio Germont: Emily Geller Ron Williams
Flora: Melynda Davis Vanessa Naghdi Jessica Tasucu
Ensemble: Gift Anyagwochu, Rachel Abrams, Gray Leiper, Chao Ma, Sarah Mahon, Abby Mae Rogers, Max Rydqvist, Kathryn Tolley, Karlie Traversa, Bek Zehr, Dong Zhao
MassOpera cultivates experiences for artists and audiences that challenge the status quo and reflect our diverse community. In 2018, MassOpera, formerly MetroWest Opera, went through a tremendous rebrand, including the launch of a new organizational name, mission statement, and website. MassOpera strives to be an ever-evolving andresponsive performing arts organization, with a commitment to telling new stories, creating opportunities that otherwise would not exist, and representing all forms of diversity on stage and off. Visit us at www.massopera.org.
[i] A string quartet will follow the performers to the different rooms from Act 1 to Act 2. For Act 3, piano, clarinet, and percussion will accompany; a solo violin supports the performers in Act 4 in Daniel P. Ryan’s adaptation.