LA Traviata is one of the most famous operas in the world, with music conducted here, by James Southall, that most non-opera fans would recognise from television ads to The Three Tenors.

La Traviata tells the story of Alfredo and Violetta - a son from a wealthy family and Violetta a larger than life courtesan from Paris. Alfredo falls in love with Violetta, who after meeting for the first time, decides Alfredo is the love of her life. They move to the country, where Alfredo’s father tracks them down to tell Violetta that she must leave Alfredo. Classic opera tear jerking story line.

This production from the WNO was incredibly well done.

The sets and costumes were beautiful, with exquisite lighting, and clear, sharp direction from original Director, David McVicar. For example, to choreograph the glorious WNO chorus on and off a stage, while having two performers sing a heart wrenching aria, without distracting an audience is an incredible feat.

Linda Richardson was moving and sympathetic as Violetta. Her character was so emotionally engaging and unlike most opera, you felt moved by her acting.

The weakest link in the production, for me, was Kang Wang as Alfredo. His voice was strong, however I could not help feel his acting was wooden and I found it very hard to connect to him, especially when his character was in pain.

This opera is perfect for all ages. It is a great starting point to anyone who wants to see their first opera, or for regular opera goers who would like to see good production of La Traviata.

There is a further performance at Wales Millennium Centre on October 4 and 6.

Brad Channer