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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | November 15, 1999
The central problem in casting Verdi's "La Traviata" is that of the central character herself. In Violetta, the composer created a role that tests a soprano's voice, style and dramatic range. She needs technical brilliance for Act I, lyric beauty in Act II, and the powers of a tragedian in the final scene. One hardly needs to add that she must also be musician and actress enough to find the thread of vocal and dramatic continuity that unites all of these elements.It is, therefore, a shame that Zvetelina Vassileva is not singing every performance in the Baltimore Opera Company's current production of this great and popular opera.
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By Mary Johnson, For The Baltimore Sun | January 30, 2013
Opera AACC is celebrating its 11th anniversary this month with a production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Jesus Christ Superstar," running Feb. 1-9 at Anne Arundel Community College's Robert Kauffman Theater at the Pascal Center for Performing Arts. Director Douglas Brandt Byerly, chairman of AACC's performing arts department, said he hopes the show reflects his admiration of Lloyd Webber's groundbreaking work, as well as his own appreciation of the production's three leading players: Emily Sergo as Mary Magdalene, Robert Bradley as Judas and Benjamin Lurye as Jesus.
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By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | March 27, 2003
To bring off Giuseppe Verdi's perennial favorite, La Traviata, you need three excellent soprano voices. That's the easy part. The hard part is that they all must emanate from the same throat. For Violetta Valery - the flighty Parisian courtesan who falls for handsome, aristocratic Alfredo Germont, only to let him go at his father's request - is no ordinary role. Violetta the Act I party girl must be nimble and lyrical enough to sprint through the fearsome coloratura passages of Sempre libera, her hyperactive ode to free love.
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By GLENN MCNATT and GLENN MCNATT,SUN ART CRITIC | October 28, 2005
Wednesday evening's performance of the Baltimore Opera Company's production of Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata - the second night of the season-opening show - had just about everything you'd want in this perennial classic about a beautiful fallen woman and the callow youth who adores her. Soprano Elena Kelessidi delivered a magnetic vocal performance as Violetta Valery, the pleasure-loving Parisian courtesan who's willing to give it all up for the one...
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By GLENN MCNATT and GLENN MCNATT,SUN STAFF | October 14, 1995
Three decades ago, when director Frank Corsaro staged his first production of Verdi's "La Traviata" at the New York City Opera, with Placido Domingo and Patricia Brooks in the lead roles, detractors branded him an enfant terrible for his "daring" conception of Violetta, the drama's consumptive heroine."
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By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | March 13, 2003
Annapolis Opera conductor and artistic director Ronald J. Gretz and his cast of singers are in the final week of rehearsal of Verdi's La Traviata. The second fully staged opera of this 30th anniversary season is to be presented March 21 and 23 at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts. Often described as the world's most popular opera because of its compelling love story and its relatively small cast and orchestra size requirements, La Traviata is also the most contemporary Verdi opera. Having premiered six years after the death at age 22 of Marie Duplessis, the woman that Alexandre Dumas loved and described in his La Dame Aux Camelias, Verdi's opera was criticized when it opened in Venice in 1853 for being too modern.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | October 16, 1995
Few operas are so abused as Verdi's "La Traviata." There is its tear-jerking plot -- the story of a prostitute with a heart of gold who sacrifices herself for a higher purpose. Then there are the details that have always made opera a target for satire.In fact, "Traviata" is a likely candidate as the source of the expression, "it ain't over till the fat lady sings." Violetta, the Parisian courtesan who is the central figure, dies of tuberculosis. No soprano thin enough to pass for a consumptive, however, could negotiate Violetta's death scene, which calls for the singer to begin with a tiny stream of tone that widens to a river.
FEATURES
By GLENN MCNATT and GLENN MCNATT,SUN ART CRITIC | October 28, 2005
Wednesday evening's performance of the Baltimore Opera Company's production of Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata - the second night of the season-opening show - had just about everything you'd want in this perennial classic about a beautiful fallen woman and the callow youth who adores her. Soprano Elena Kelessidi delivered a magnetic vocal performance as Violetta Valery, the pleasure-loving Parisian courtesan who's willing to give it all up for the one...
FEATURES
By Pierre Ruhe and Pierre Ruhe,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | March 15, 1997
Asterisks in the program booklet best explained the Washington Opera's new production of Verdi's "La Traviata." An asterisk beside a name denotes a debut with the company. All the major players -- the romantic leads on stage, the conductor and the production team -- were making debuts for its opening, Thursday night.Ensemble counts for much in opera. Good timing relies on familiarity. So even a small company can succeed handsomely when all the parts flow smoothly. For this "Traviata," the debutants knew their own roles but seemed oblivious to one another.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | May 23, 1993
Two important sopranos afford contrasting views of two of the great operas in the standard repertory.Edita Gruberova's light and flexible voice is the kind that one traditionally associates with Verdi's "Traviata" and Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor." But Cheryl Studer, though she began as a lyric soprano, is now known as one of the stalwarts of the dramatic Germanic repertory; Her powerful, steady voice and iron-clad technique have made her the best Sieglinde (in Wagner's "Die Walkuere")
NEWS
April 15, 2005
On April 9, 2005; BARBARA VIOLETTA JOHNSON; beloved sister of Dr. Louis E. Lowman; devoted aunt of Emmanuel Lowman; loving mother of Sheila Lynch. She is also survived by a host of other relatives and friends. On Friday friends may call at the VAUGHN C. GREENE FUNERAL SERVICES, 5151 Balto. Nat'l Pike, from 3 to 8 P.M. On Saturday, the family will receive friends from 9:30 to 10 A.M. with services to follow. Inquiries to 410-233-2400.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | October 15, 2003
A heady lineup of musical happenings in Philadelphia and New York last weekend exerted an irresistible pull and offered a welcome reminder of the good old-fashioned attribute known as star quality. With Renee Fleming, you've got that quality in abundance, as demonstrated by her first appearance as Violetta in Verdi's La traviata at the Metropolitan Opera, probably the most talked about event so far this season in New York. She was to have sung the role there a few years ago but changed her mind, feeling unready.
NEWS
June 19, 2003
On June 15, 2003 VIOLETTA S. Friends may call at the family owned MARCH FUNERAL HOME WEST INC, 4300 Wabash Ave, on Thursday after 1 p.m. where family will recieve friends on Friday at 1:30 p.m. See www.marchfh.com
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | March 27, 2003
To bring off Giuseppe Verdi's perennial favorite, La Traviata, you need three excellent soprano voices. That's the easy part. The hard part is that they all must emanate from the same throat. For Violetta Valery - the flighty Parisian courtesan who falls for handsome, aristocratic Alfredo Germont, only to let him go at his father's request - is no ordinary role. Violetta the Act I party girl must be nimble and lyrical enough to sprint through the fearsome coloratura passages of Sempre libera, her hyperactive ode to free love.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | March 13, 2003
Annapolis Opera conductor and artistic director Ronald J. Gretz and his cast of singers are in the final week of rehearsal of Verdi's La Traviata. The second fully staged opera of this 30th anniversary season is to be presented March 21 and 23 at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts. Often described as the world's most popular opera because of its compelling love story and its relatively small cast and orchestra size requirements, La Traviata is also the most contemporary Verdi opera. Having premiered six years after the death at age 22 of Marie Duplessis, the woman that Alexandre Dumas loved and described in his La Dame Aux Camelias, Verdi's opera was criticized when it opened in Venice in 1853 for being too modern.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | November 15, 1999
The central problem in casting Verdi's "La Traviata" is that of the central character herself. In Violetta, the composer created a role that tests a soprano's voice, style and dramatic range. She needs technical brilliance for Act I, lyric beauty in Act II, and the powers of a tragedian in the final scene. One hardly needs to add that she must also be musician and actress enough to find the thread of vocal and dramatic continuity that unites all of these elements.It is, therefore, a shame that Zvetelina Vassileva is not singing every performance in the Baltimore Opera Company's current production of this great and popular opera.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,Special to The Sun | November 24, 1994
Meeting tough demands, the Annapolis Opera gave a credible production of Verdi's "La Traviata" at Maryland Hall last weekend.Verdi's songful tale of the ill-fated love shared by Violetta and her headstrong Alfredo is truly a stiff test, requiring three star-quality singers, a succession of handsome sets and a stage director adept enough to prevent the slender, anachronistic plot from seeming sillier than it already is.Thankfully, most of these objectives were...
FEATURES
By Ernest F. Imhoff and Ernest F. Imhoff,Evening Sun Staff | December 7, 1990
HIGH ABOVE the stage of the Metropolitan Opera in New York, as though in the upper deck of dead center field at a ball park, Peter Allen takes to the mike again tomorrow to do the play-by-play of Giuseppe Verdi's great game of love, separation and love, "La Traviata."Allen, a tall, friendly man, will be seated next to his wife, Sylvia, a small, friendly woman, in a tiny broadcast booth squeezed like a broom closet between the women's and men's bathrooms on an upper level of The Met. But for the padding, they might hear the toilets.
FEATURES
By Pierre Ruhe and Pierre Ruhe,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | March 15, 1997
Asterisks in the program booklet best explained the Washington Opera's new production of Verdi's "La Traviata." An asterisk beside a name denotes a debut with the company. All the major players -- the romantic leads on stage, the conductor and the production team -- were making debuts for its opening, Thursday night.Ensemble counts for much in opera. Good timing relies on familiarity. So even a small company can succeed handsomely when all the parts flow smoothly. For this "Traviata," the debutants knew their own roles but seemed oblivious to one another.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | October 16, 1995
Few operas are so abused as Verdi's "La Traviata." There is its tear-jerking plot -- the story of a prostitute with a heart of gold who sacrifices herself for a higher purpose. Then there are the details that have always made opera a target for satire.In fact, "Traviata" is a likely candidate as the source of the expression, "it ain't over till the fat lady sings." Violetta, the Parisian courtesan who is the central figure, dies of tuberculosis. No soprano thin enough to pass for a consumptive, however, could negotiate Violetta's death scene, which calls for the singer to begin with a tiny stream of tone that widens to a river.
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