Over the past few years, opera productions in Paris have used the talents of sets, costumes and lighting designers who have reached fame on Broadway. Recently, a production of Weill's Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny at the Opera Bastille had amazing sets and costumes designed by Maria Bjornson. Bjornson won two Tony Awards in 1988 for her sets and costumes for Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera.
The newly awaited production of Verdi's Traviata at the Opera Bastille will feature sets and lighting designs by the team of the succesful 1994 Broadway revival of An Inspector Calls. Rick Fischer, lighting designer, won a Tony Award for his work on J. B. Priestley's play while Ian MacNeil, sets designer, earned a nomination. The team will be reunited again for this new Traviata starring opera diva Angela Gheorghiu as Violetta Valery.
The opera will be directed by Jonathan Miller, conducted by James Conlon and will feature an international cast. From Romania come Angela Gheorghiu, Alexandru Agache (Giorgio Germont) and Sorin Coliban (Barone Douphol), from South America come Mexican Ramon Vargas (Alfredo Germont) and Argentinian Carlos Feller (Dottor Grenvil). Flora Bervoix will be played by Swedish singer Katarina Karneus and Annina by French singer Isabelle Cals.
Performances dates for La Traviata are Dec. 20, 24, 27, 30 and Jan. 1, 5, 7 and 10 at 7:30pm. Victoria Loukianetz will play Violetta Valery on Dec. 30 and Jan. 5. This production will be mounted again in the end of June with different singers in the leads.
For ticket and informations on La Traviata at the Opera Bastille, call 338 36 69 78 68. Booking starts on Nov. 24. -- By Stephane Ly-Cuong