Building the Traviata set

Our 2018/19 season opener La Traviata is part of a remarkable moment in Canadian opera history. For the first time, five of Canada’s leading opera companies — Edmonton Opera, Manitoba Opera, Pacific Opera Victoria, Vancouver Opera, and Opéra de Montréal — have come together to create a spectacular new production of Verdi’s masterpiece.

Directed by Alain Gauthier with designs by renowned Stratford Festival designer Christina Poddubiuk, this new Traviata is set amidst the glamorous entertainment scene of 1920s Paris. The era is apparent in both seductive costumes and a lavish set, which was built entirely at Edmonton Opera’s scenic shops by a local crew of skilled professionals.

The process began with a set drawing and model designed by Christina Poddubiuk, featuring a massive curved staircase at the centre. Over the course of 8 weeks, our crew of stage carpenters and welders worked meticulously to bring each detail of the staircase, balcony, large windows, walls, and balustrades to life. As each section was completed, our scenic painters crafted the final look to reflect the designer’s concept.

Soon after the set took shape at the Edmonton Opera Centre, it was dismantled and transported to Manitoba Opera for the world premiere of this new production in April 2018. Audiences in Edmonton will have a chance to experience the visually stunning set this October at the Jubilee Auditorium before it travels to Victoria, Vancouver, and Montréal on its cross-Canadian journey!

Photo by C. Cormeau, Manitoba Opera 2018.