A Virtual Verdi: Voice of OC Highlights “La Traviata”

From the article:

[Stage Director Bob] Neu and St.Clair started batting around some staging ideas, and possible solutions soon presented themselves. “The more we talked through it and the more we thought about it, the more we realized that the ‘less is more’ concept could work,” Neu said. “There’s very little that the chorus sings that’s absolutely necessary to tell the story. They’re mostly adding atmosphere and commenting on things.”

Other aspects of “La Traviata” make it suitable for stripped-down adaptation, Neu surmised.

“It has one central story. There’s no subplot, there’s no, you know, gypsies throwing babies into fires or anything like that – just three characters who are essential to telling the stories. So when those things all kind of became clear for us, we really became convinced it could work.”

Thanks to Paul Hodgins for the excellent coverage in Voice of OC!

We hope you enjoy this clip of the incredible soprano, Cecilia Violetta Lopez, in her starring role as “Violetta” in “La Traviata,” performing the heart-breaking “Addio, del passato.”

Our virtual production of Verdi’s “La Traviata” debuts Saturday, June 5 at 7 p.m. PDT. You can buy tickets here.

Celebrating Female Composers

AXP@Home’s latest online spring workshop—Raise Your Voice—recently took place, allowing students to explore how music can strengthen social bonds and inspire collective progress.

Arts-X-Press vocal music instructor Stephanie Coghlan led our group through interactive vocal music collaboration with a recital of Ashford & Simpson’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” This classic Motown hit reflected the group discussion of celebrating relationships, overcoming obstacles of self-doubt and empowering ourselves to accomplish goals through making the most of our passions. 

Pacific Symphony Violist Cheryl Gates also joined our workshop to play a number of riveting musical pieces from distinguished female composers throughout history: Fanny Mendelssohn, Clara Schumann, and Rebecca Clarke. 

“In that time period, women composers were not as accepted as [their male counterparts],” Ms. Gates told our students. “These three female composers were dynamic in their time and really fought to get their voices heard.” She discussed how finding your passion can also help lift your voice in all areas of life, much like the hardships that these composers overcame with their determination that is reflected in their music. “As you’re listening, think about the emotions the music evokes in you!”

Though online media can help us stay connected to our friends, families and the passions that we share, constantly maintaining an online image can sometimes be overwhelming. We are seemingly forced to engage in constant judgment—both of each other and ourselves.  Additionally, comparing our images to that of others can sometimes lead to feelings of uncertainty within ourselves. 

With inspiration from Selena Gomez’s “Who Says,” students also completed a prompt designed to inspire self-empowerment. To overcome moments of self-doubt, it can be especially helpful to harness positive thinking into self-affirmations that serve to build confidence and maximize our passions. 

“We all have negative thoughts that go through our heads—these tapes that we play in our heads about not measuring up to what we should do or that we’re not good enough,” Instructor Stephanie expressed to AXP@Home students. “We want to give you something positive to replace those tapes with and change the narrative for yourself.” 

The next event in the AXP@Home Spring Workshop series—“Celebrate Summer, Celebrate YOU!”—will focus on theatre arts ahead of the summer season and will take place on Wednesday, June. 16th, 2021. 

Click here to register! 

Reminder: AXP@Home participants will have priority registration for our in-person arts-X-press summer program! More details on our website at www.PacificSymphony.org/artsXpress

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