top of page

PRESS: Cape Town Opera & Opera UCT present a stunning reimagining of Verdi’s LA TRAVIATA at Artscape

Allison Foat


Step into a world of passion, tragedy, magnificent melody and visual extravagance as Cape Town Opera (CTO) and Opera UCT present LA TRAVIATA, Verdi's timeless masterpiece that will premiere at Artscape on 26 October 2023 with direction and design by well-known theatre maker Marí Borstlap.

The limited season will feature two dynamic casts from both institutions, among them Cape Town Opera House Soloists Brittany Smith as Violetta, Lukhanyo Moyake as Alfredo and Conroy Scott as Germont, and rising talent from Opera UCT including Ondelwa Martins as Violetta, Sakhumzi Martins as Alfredo and Siphe Kwani as Germont.  Sharing other roles will be CTO’s Judith Neilson Young Artists Asisipho Petu, Julia Portela Piñon, Tylor Lamani, Lwazi Dlamini and Lonwabo Mose together with Opera UCT's Lauren Pharaoh, Christine Bam, Yonwaba Mbo, Vuyisa Xipu and Eric van Rooyen and Cape Town Opera Chorus members Garth Delport and Lindile Kula. 

The Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra will be under the baton of Jeremy Silver for whom LA TRAVIATA holds special significance, being the first opera he conducted in South Africa at the State Theatre in Pretoria in 2004. The combined Chorus from CTO and Opera UCT will be directed by Marvin Kernelle and the dance ensemble hails from The Waterfront Theatre School, with choreography by Kirsten Isenberg.

LA TRAVIATA is one of the most accessible and frequently performed operas in the world with some of the most recognised and revered arias and it has resonated with audiences since its Venetian premiere in 1853. The story centres around the glamorous high-class courtesan Violetta and her lover Alfredo as they are forced to confront relationship challenges in a critical society that judges them morally and socially. As her health declines Violetta's choices, influenced by Alfredo's father Germont, lead to heart-breaking consequences. 

In a departure from tradition Marí Borstlap has taken her post-modern version ofLA TRAVIATA to visceral new heights together with a stellar creative team that includes Faheem Bardien on lighting design, Michael Mitchell as the technical design consultant and with visual design by Richard Thomson. Borstlap has chosen to experience Violetta’s life through the eye of the heart, like a series of flashbacks as her soul floats in an ocean of vivid imagery, emotions, sounds and symbolism. She explores the imaginal, where the rules of time and space perception are absent and the multi-dimensionality of life becomes clear as Violetta recalls the significant moments of her last months and the mysterious beauty and everlasting impact of true love. In her version of LA TRAVIATA Marí aims to turn this beloved masterpiece into a visual and sensorial love poem where her avant garde approach meets traditional elements that will intrigue and delight both opera aficionados and newcomers to the genre.  

Don't miss the chance to witness this stirring production of La traviata where the best of South Africa's vocal talent meets nuanced storytelling and Verdi's invigorating, glorious score. Performances are 26, 27 October at 19h00, 28 October at 18h00 and 29 October at 15h00.  Tickets cost from R180 to R520 through Computicket or 0214217695. Cape Town Opera is grateful to the City of Cape Town for their generous support.


bottom of page