VIDEO: Get A First Look At Opera Colorado's LA TRAVIATA

By: Nov. 06, 2018
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Opera Colorado opens its 2018-19 season in just a few weeks, with an opulent production of Verdi's La Traviata-one of the most beloved operatic works of all time. The production openED Saturday, November 3, at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House with additional performances on November 6, 9, and 11.

This Romantic masterpiece overflows with Verdi's brilliant melodies-including the instantly recognizable brindisi, or "drinking song"-and features one of opera's greatest heroines: the doomed courtesan Violetta, who sacrifices everything for the sake of true love.

"In La Traviata, Verdi created what has become the model of Italian opera," says Opera Colorado Music Director Ari Pelto, whose "breathtaking wizardry in the pit" (The Denver Post) is consistently lauded whether at Opera Colorado or at engagements across the country. "That has to do with this incredible character of Violetta, who is not only one of the strongest, most poignant and most tragic characters in all of opera, but is also very vocally iconic."

Taking on the role of Violetta in her Opera Colorado debut is acclaimed soprano Cecilia Violetta López, who has been praised by The New York Times for her "flirtatious charm and intriguingly dusky voice," and whose deep emotional connection to Violetta has turned the role into one of her signature performances.

"I identify a lot with Violetta," explains López. "I've gone through my own life putting up walls, going through life saying, 'I'm a strong woman.' And I am. But at the same time, there's a vulnerable side of me, and of Violetta, that wants to be loved but is afraid. Granted, I'm not dying of tuberculosis like she is! But I find that even more admirable, because she's dying and she's still fighting. La Traviata is a very feminine, strong opera, and I think Violetta embodies all those qualities that I would like to embody, too."

Singing opposite López is tenor Eric Barry, returning to Opera Colorado as the naïve Alfredo, who dismisses society's disapproval of their relationship and is unaware of the harsh toll it imposes on the already-ill Violetta. Rounding out the principal cast is baritone Malcolm MacKenzie as Alfredo's stern father, Germont, who aims to keep the lovers apart.

Opera Colorado audiences will recognize Barry from the 2017 run of Lucia di Lammermoor, in which he "delivered the finest singing in [the] production" (Opera News); and MacKenzie from the 2016 world premiere of Lori Laitman's The Scarlett Letter, in which his "confident baritone and dynamic presence" were on display (Opera News).

"It really is a production filled with extraordinary singing," says General & Artistic Director Greg Carpenter.

"This cast has immense vocal talent, but they also have the dramatic skill to bring these characters to life-both through their musicianship and their sensitivity as actors. This is a love story not just between Violetta and Alfredo, but also between a father and a son. And Cecilia, Eric and Malcolm all understand how to make those relationships come alive in an honest way."

Rounding out the cast are Opera Colorado's 2018-19 Artists in Residence*, most of whom make their mainstage company debuts with La Traviata. Also making her Opera Colorado debut: stage director Alison Moritz, who brings her "elegantly sexy" (Opera News) approach to Verdi's classic tale of passion.

Tickets start at just $25 for Verdi's La Traviata, opening Saturday, November 3, and running through Sunday, November 11.

Two-opera subscriptions, combining La Traviata and Opera Colorado's spring production of The Marriage of Figaro, start at just $38.

For tickets and information, visit or call the Opera Colorado Box Office at 303.468.2030.

*Prior to the 2018-19 season, the Opera Colorado Artist in Residence Program was known as the Opera Colorado Young Artist Program.