La Traviata

"La Traviata," the tragic Italian love story of love between Alfredo and Violetta, presented by the Minnesota Opera, plays the Ordway through May 19. 

The romantic tragedy, “La Traviata” is playing this week at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts.

The classic opera, written by Giuseppe Verdi, stars vocal sensations Nicole Cabell, Cecilia Violetta López, Jesús Léon and Stephen Martin. “La Traviata” is performed in Italian with American subtitles. 

“La Traviata” follows the frowned-upon love between Alfredo and Violetta, a courtesan, which is a more regal name for a prostitute. Alfredo’s love is unconditional and undying, much to the dismay of his strict and disapproving father. “La Traviata” is described by the Minnesota Opera as “a captivating tribute to what it means to live and die for love.”

“Alfredo loves Violetta without limits and I’m trying to have her love 100 percent, but it is hard because she’s a courtesan,” said Léon, who plays Alfredo, in a recent interview on “Conversations with Al McFarlane” on KFAI radio, 90.3 FM ( “It’s a beautiful and real love story.”

“It’s a beautiful and tragic story and a story of transformation,” said Joo Won Kang, who plays Alfredo’s father, Giorgio Germont.

In addition to the striking voices and powerful story, audiences will notice a diversity in cast. That diversity hopes to translate to a diversity in audience as well. Paige Reynolds, relationship marketing associate for the Minnesota Opera, said her organization is intentional in reaching out to new, diverse audiences.

“It’s exciting to reach out with intention to folks who may not have been previously invited to the opera,” said Reynolds.

She said those curious about opera should consider a group outing.

“The opera is so experiential and moving when you see it in person. I encourage people to consider making an outing with maybe a happy hour before or a post-show gathering,” said Reynolds.

To help facilitate bringing new audiences to the opera the Minnesota Opera is offering Insight News readers a 50 percent ticket discount for the May 14, May 18, and May 19 shows at the Ordway, 345 Washington St., St. Paul. To get the discount mention Insight News during ticket purchase. Tickets are available by calling (612) 333-6669 and at the Ordway box office. Sunday’s May 19, 2 p.m. performance with feature a post-show discussion with the cast, facilitated by Al McFarlane, founder and editor-in-chief of Insight News.

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