“This opera company is clearly trying to engage audiences in fresh and relevant ways, while maintaining the high caliber of excellence that one associates with the opera. Brava.” – No Proscenium
NEW YORK, NY (For Release 03.14.23) — Celebrating its first opera staged at a proscenium theater in its seven-year history, City Lyric Opera (CLO) presents one of the world’s most beloved operas, Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata (The Fallen Woman), which has captivated audiences for more than 150 years with its beautiful melodies, dazzling party scenes, and heart-wrenching tragedy. A woman-founded and run opera company, CLO seeks to highlight under-represented voices and perspectives within both contemporary and canonical repertoire. The 2022-23 season examines women’s stories and the stories that society would dictate for them, first with Lori Laitman and Leah Lax’s Uncovered– which made its New York premiere at the HERE Arts Center in November 2022– and now with La Traviata.
CLO’s Artistic and Music Director Michelle Rofrano helms the production from the podium. Her passion for Verdi’s work stems directly from her Italian-American heritage. “I grew up listening to and loving Giuseppe Verdi’s operas. Over the years I have grown to realize that although there wasn’t vocabulary for it at the time, Verdi was essentially a feminist. He was known for respecting the women in his life as equals and for creating works that feature strong female characters. In La Traviata, despite society’s preconceived notions about women whom society deems as ‘morally flawed,’ Verdi writes Violetta as the only truly honorable character in the opera; a woman who deserves love, happiness, and security, but who unfortunately exists in a world that refuses to allow it.”
Set against a backdrop of the hypocritical underbelly of upper-class Parisian society, La Traviata chronicles the ill-fated love story of the courtesan Violetta and the bourgeois Alfredo Germont. This fully-staged production centers Violetta’s personal struggle during her last year on earth, offering an examination of the patriarchal system that treats her not only as morally “fallen,” but also as disposable. CLO’s fully-staged production takes strong imagery from the play and novel upon which the opera was based, La Dame aux Camélias.
La Traviata reunites Michelle Rofrano and Stage Director Rebecca Lee Kratzer, who first worked together on Telemann’s Don Quichotte at Camacho’s Wedding at Opera Saratoga in 2021. Michelle and Rebecca share a passion for rigorous interrogation of classic operas and pushing the boundaries of interpretation to highlight urgent themes and overlooked details.
CLO has a history of being a launchpad for young up-and-coming operatic talents. Headlining the performances are three exciting singers making their role debuts. Playing the lead role of Violetta is soprano Laura Soto-Bayomi, who returns to CLO after her acclaimed performance as Alice in CLO’s 2022 production of The Garden of Alice. Opera News cited: “Laura Soto-Bayomi showed a refined soprano with a velvety tone; her overall expressiveness and excellent diction were a highlight.” The romantic Alfredo Germont is played by Juilliard masters student Colin Aikins. This marks his professional debut. Playing Alfredo’s controlling father Georgio Germont is baritone Sejin Park.
About City Lyric Opera
Founded in 2016, City Lyric Opera (CLO) is an all-female operated non-profit organization dedicated to affordable opera created by a team of diverse and inclusive New York City-based artists. Applauded for being “a most worthy company with high ideals (Voce di Meche),” CLO redefines the way opera is perceived and produced by providing affordable, timely opera for the New York City community with a commitment to productions that put artists first, and ensuring a welcoming experience both on and offstage.
Ticketing + Program Information:
Wednesday-Friday, May 3-5, 2023, at 7:00 p.m. + Saturday, May 6, 2023 at 3:00 p.m.
The Sheen Center for Thought and Culture 18 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10012,
Trains NB/D/F/M/6 to Bleecker Street.
Tickets: $45+ General. $25 Students/Artists/Children under 12. To reserve and for more information, visit CityLyricOpera.org.
City Lyric Opera
Michelle Rofrano, conductor
R. Lee Kratzer, director
Laura Soto-Bayomi (Violetta Valéry), soprano
Colin Aikins (Alfredo Germont), tenor
Sejin Park (Giorgio Germont), baritone
Rosario Armas (Flora Bervoix), mezzo-soprano
Alexandra Martinez-Turano (Annina), soprano
Morgan Mastrangelo (Gastone de Letorières), tenor
Madeline Coffey (Violetta Valery cover), soprano
Joshua Le Rose (Alfredo Germont cover), tenor
Tyler Herald, Scenic Designer
Camilla Dely, Costume Designer
Betsy Chester, Lighting Designer
Attilio Rigotti, Projection Designer
Anisa Rose Threlkeld, Dramaturg
Kellyn Thornburg Mylechreest, Choreographer
Edward Mylechreest, Production Manager
Hannah Nacheman, Assistant Conductor and Chorus Master
La Traviata (1853)
Giuseppe Verdi, composer
Francesco Maria Piave, librettist
This staged production will be sung in the original Italian with projected English supertitles.
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