An inspired moment arrives at the beginning of Act Three in Union Avenue Opera's superb rendition of Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata, when the consumptive courtesan, Violetta, her chance at love lost, lies dying in her bedchamber. As the dappled lights rise to reveal Patrick Huber's set of vaulting Gothic arches, the massive stained glass window above begins to glow.
John Lamb UAO stages one of opera's greats.
Burning like the setting sun, it is a visual grace note — the sort of distilled artistry that has given UAO's performances such concentrated force these past two decades. No, the company may not have the war chest of, say, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, but artistic director Scott Schoonover is an operatic alchemist, transforming the restraints of a limited budget into theatrical gold. Now celebrating his company's twentieth anniversary, Schoonover has made a career of rolling the artistic dice, offering a crucial proving ground for bright new voices, some of whom go on to reprise their roles on the world's most vaunted stages.More »