Photo courtesy of TheatreWorld Drops

Audra Dick

Staff Writer

The Lakeland Imperial Symphony Orchestra hosted their 14th annual “Night at the Opera” featuring La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi. From the music to the sets, La Traviata was simply breathtaking.

On the night of Saturday, January 17, the Branscomb Auditorium was filled with students, faculty and guests eager to see the student, faculty, alumni and professional performers in the orchestra’s feature performance. This performance raises money for the orchestra that has been partnering with FSC for several years.

The name La Traviata means “the fallen woman,” and it is quite appropriate for this story. The story is about life in Paris during the Parisian renaissance in the 1920s, specifically focusing on courtesan Violetta Valerya and the challenges she faces in her romantic relationships. She wants to be loved and is in a race against time as she faces critical health issues. Violleta is conflicted by her options, because she doesn’t want to give up her way of life, but she also realizes that she has a burning desire to be loved before this virus takes hold of her. But when the unexpected happens, Violetta’s life is forever changed.

The opera portrayed a passionate love story and the expressions of each character were clearly shown through the music. What really took me by surprise was the ending, which exceeded my expectations of the opera.

I have played an orchestral instrument for half of my life, and I always enjoy being able to hear professionals play as an ensemble. The way an orchestra reacts to every instrument is simply like nothing else. The music comes alive, and without the pit orchestra the opera would not be able to function.

La Traviata was an extremely enriching experience and having the opportunity to be able to attend an event like this is a unique aspect of Florida Southern College. Students should engage in the opportunity to see shows like La Traviata because it is different from the average show.

Being exposed to the arts is especially important during this time of our lives as students as it broadens our knowledge and palate. You may find yourself falling in love with something you didn’t even know you had a desire for before.

As Barbra Streisand says, “Art does not exist only to entertain, but also to challenge one to think, to provoke, even to disturb, in a constant search for truth.” La Traviata does just that.