Indiana University - Jacobs School of Music
"Brilliantly conceived, produced, and performed… Stunning."
Director: Jeffrey Marc Buchman
Set Design: Cameron Anderson
Costume Design: Linda Pisano
Choreography: Rosa Mercedes
Lighting Design: Patrick Mero
Lacy Sauter sings È strano... Ah! fors'è lui
"Brilliantly conceived, produced, and performed, IU Opera Theater's newly-mounted La Traviata probes beyond the usual way we look at this oft-produced 161-year-old opera for a deeper view of the way people perceive their roles in a particular social order, with marriage suitability as the pivot point.
The choices of conductor Joseph Rescigno and stage director Jeffrey Buchman bring us into the world of subtext and an examination of our own thinking. The Overture distills a father-son moment of capturing a butterfly. While the child disdains what he has just done his father praises him for his prize. We hold dominion over butterflies. Fast-forward fifteen years: Violetta in a dress startlingly resembling that of a butterfly is gazing longingly out of a glass-encased grand salon, gaiety of a party behind her. Not a word has been uttered - yet musically and visually, we know. Fast-forward three months to the Act II country villa Violetta now shares with Alfredo. The butterfly case on a table confirms the arc of connectivity. And so it goes contextually throughout three acts, with minute details recurring as echoes from past to present, reflections as refractions to the very end. It all culminates with an amazing, chillingly heartbreaking final scene with its moment of illuminated zest for life before vitality is stilled.
The cast, working within this careful reading of rationale to manipulate others towards our will, brings to light and life far more meaningful relationships than ever before witnessed during any of the other multiple "La Traviata's" I've attended. None ever materialized Violetta's perceived destiny, thoughts and fears as apparitions before our eyes.
The ten dancers at the beginning of Act III merit attention for interpreting choreographer Rosa Mercedes' flamenco with mesmerizing precision, heightening the growing difference between Violetta's former life as a courtesan and the new path she chose and was forced to give up."