My husband did ask the obvious question, “Why?” Yes, why would you suspend the biggest chandelier you have ever seen over a stage floating in the air, over the Sydney Harbour, in front of the Harbour Bridge? And then perform “La Traviata”? And even more so, how? I can imagine the original meeting with the engineers “You want us to do what? How? Are you crazy?” After a truly unforgettable evening, I am still not sure how on earth they managed. I do know what the end result is. It’s an experience that is as much a delight for your eyes as it is for your ears.
The stage is a trompe l’oeil that is reminiscent of an Escher. It rises up from the water at an odd angle with stairs that go up and down around the edges. Very hard to tell exactly what pitch the performers were dancing on. When exiting the stage they just seemed to disappear off the edge. Thankfully there wasn’t a splash following.
Now I am most certainly not an opera critic so I will leave the real assessment to the experts. To my ears “La Traviata” was excellent and the woman who played Violetta performed brilliantly in a role that was a marathon singing performance. I found the show to be perfectly enjoyable for one who is hardly an opera regular. The costumes were gorgeous and cleverly designed.
The stage itself was remarkably bare with just one piece of stage furniture per scene and, towering over everything, the aforementioned chandelier which surely deserved top billing as part of the cast.
Another star performer is the Sydney skyline. I can’t imagine a better backdrop at sunset. We had a few drinks at the bar, which was surprisingly high for a building that must have been created for the event. Luckily we had a gorgeous mild night, and we were glad they didn’t have to bring out the ponchos. I have to say – well maybe I don’t – but I was impressed by the proper flush toilets. Yes, easily impressed, but they thought everything through all the way to the well managed taxi rank at the end.
Available for three weeks only from March 24 to April 15, 2012, “La Traviata” Opera Performance on Sydney Harbour is perfect for first-time opera-goers and seasoned opera lovers alike.