The Royal Ballet Takes on L.A. & La Traviata Takes on the Roaring 20’s

To add to the drama of opening night of The Mayerling at our Music Center, we were surprised to the effects of the 7.1 earthquake vigorously shaking our 3rd row center seats. But nothing seemed to deter the thousands of audience members from watching this masterpiece!

Fortunately the big rumble occurred during the first intermission, so none of the high leaping artists were injured. Leading the huge cast of performers as Crown Prince Rudolf, Ryoichi Hirano, was perfectly cast as the mad royal; while Mary, his 16 year old doomed mistress, Natalia Osipova, displayed the youthful exuberance & charm required for the exacting role. Unfortunately, both the protagonists are dead at the end (as they were in real life).

Placido & Marta Domingo (Photo credit: L.A. Opera)

Kudos to Kenneth MacMillian who created this dark and intense ballet in 1978, based on the true tale of dangerous desires and family secrets. Take my word for it — the next time the Royal Ballet is in town, be first in line to purchase tickets

Royal Ballet Stars performing in Msayerling (Photo credit: Royal Ballet)

We had the pleasure last year of seeing Verdi’s La Traviata at the Music Center, directed by Marta Domingo. She created the world of the “Demi-Mondaines”, a period when the privileged classes ruled Paris. This was the perfect environment for “Ladies of the Evening” — quite apart from common prostitutes. Violetta, performed by Adela Zaharia from Romania had all the attributes, extreme beauty, intelligence & of course a magnificent voice. Rama Lahaj as Alfredo & particularly Charles Castronova, who is acclaimed as the leading lyric tenor of our time, supported her immensely. But the real star of this production is Marta Domingo — who took us back to the world of art deco, flappers, period drama and thrilling music by the greatest Italian composer of his time, Giuseppe Verdi.

Photo from La Traviata (Photo credit: L.A. Opera)

As a television personality, guest speaker, newspaper reporter and columnist and one of the social arbiters of Los Angeles, Marci Weiner has touched every aspect of entertainment journalism. She has appeared as guest reporter on TV shows including Joan Rivers shows, Eye on LA, and the USA Network. In addition, she has hosted her own segments on Soap Talk, Hollywood Style and Hotline after Dark. You may contact Marci for info and invitations at [email protected]