Reality TV theme for opera

Show producer Alice Dennis  with director Jack Furness
Show producer Alice Dennis with director Jack Furness

Preparations for Haddo House Choral & Operatic Society’s production of la Traviata are in the final phase, with the soloists taking the principal roles having arrived at Haddo House.

They are staying in the area whilst set builders get to work on stage, up and coming director Jack Furness and Scottish Opera conductor Susannah Wapshott rehearse the chorus and principals and the orchestra rehearse at weekends.

The famous bittersweet tragedy is being given a new spin by Jack, who has updated it from the Victorian era when it was originally set, by giving it a theme of reality TV and celebrity culture, highlighted by the use of a camera filming everything for a Youtube type blog.

He said: “The challenge I set myself for this production was to make a contemporary la Traviata work; I wanted a staging that was truly engaged with the world today, with its textures of a digitally mediated existence.”

With its focus on the tragic outcome of two individuals finding themselves and their love at odds with society, la Traviata is fundamentally the most romantic of operas.

Its sumptuous music has made it possibly the most popular opera every written and is ideal for opera first timers and for younger audiences.

Outgoing HHCOS Musical Director Alice Dennis is both producing the show and training the chorus.

She said: “We have worked extremely hard to get this show up and running and without the generous help of the Udny Community Trust and the David and June Gordon Memorial Trust and the understanding of the NTS, we wouldn’t have even been able to contemplate this venture.”

Performances are on Friday 14 and Saturday 15 April at 7.30pm in the Haddo House Hall.

Tickets are available from www.hhcos.org.uk (0333 333 6633) priced at £22/£15.