La Traviata Comes to Oak Park
Opera is thriving in the Chicagoland area, not just at Lyric Opera of Chicago and Chicago Opera Theater, but in smaller venues with emerging artists. It is wonderful to see audiences engaged and singers getting a chance to hone their craft in such productions. In August, Verismo Opera Theater, an Oak Park-based company, is producing Verdi’s La Traviata, performed in Italian with English supertitles. This production inaugurates their “Verismo Classico” series, which aims to produce one standard repertoire opera per year, performed in the original language. In so doing, the company hopes to preserve the great traditions of the art form, while helping to bring classic stories to life for new generations of opera lovers to enjoy.
Verismo’s La Traviata is directed by bass-baritone Bill Powers, who brings a wealth of experience to the production, having performed in well over 200 opera productions including many engagements at the Metropolitan Opera. The concept revolves around that famed resident of Oak Park, architect Frank Lloyd Wright, whose designs are showcased in projections curated by scholar Thomas A. Heinz from his own one-of-a-kind image collection. The cast features soprano Christine Steyer as Violetta, tenor Steve Wallace as Alfredo, and baritone Russell Hoke as Giorgio Germont. Three VOX 3 Collective members are featured in the company, including Zachary Elmassian, Cat Hall, and Jenny Schuler. Remaining performances are Friday, August 30 at 7:30pm and Sunday, September 1 at 4:00pm. For more information, visit Verismo’s website, or click here to purchase tickets. Best wishes to all involved!