Northern Ireland Opera has announced the main cast for the company’s new adaptation of Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata, directed by Artistic Director Cameron Menzies, opening at Belfast’s Grand Opera House this September.
Tenor Noah Stewart and Ukrainian baritone Yuriy Yurchuk return to the company, having starred in the site-specific production of La Bohéme, as Alfredo and Giorgio Germont respectively. They will join soprano Siobhan Stagg who debuts in the leading role as courtesan Violetta Valéry.
Irish talents and winners of the prestigious Deborah Voigt Opera Prize, soprano Ellen Mawhinney (NI Opera’s Young Voice of the Year 2021 and recipient of the Irish Heritage Bursary Award) and mezzo-soprano Margaret Bridge ( are cast in the roles of Annina and Flora Bervoix respectively, while Northern Ireland Opera’s Associate Artist and tenor Owen Lucas makes his debut as Gastone de Letorières. Graeme Danby returns to the opera company to perform as Dottore Grenvil.
Joining the creative team are Enniskillen-born Niall McKeever creator of NI Opera’s showstopping Into The Woods set at the Lyric this year and lighting designer Kevin Treacy.
Rebecca Lang returns to the company to conduct La Traviata, after La Bohéme.
NI Opera reunites with the Ulster Orchestra for the first collaboration since the pandemic and has also cast a 24-strong chorus of Northern Irish and Irish artists. The singers, chosen as part of a local casting call out, will also join NI Opera’s new chorus development programme and receive training and support including from the renowned Thomas Victor Johnson, Music Staff at Staatsoper Unter den Linden.
The new production will explore the idea around image, visibility and the fragility of a woman’s agency within her society.
Artistic Director Cameron Menzies said, “La Traviata sees the welcome return of opera to the Grand Opera House, Belfast and the first collaboration with our esteemed colleagues at the Ulster Orchestra since before the pandemic. Northern Ireland Opera are extremely proud to be showcasing some of our best local operatic talent and to welcome our international guests to the world premiere of this new production. It is such a wonderful privilege to be able to create opera at its very highest level with our exciting collaborators.”
Ian Wilson, Grand Opera House Chief Executive said, “I am delighted to welcome back Northern Ireland Opera for the first time since the Grand Opera House was restored, with one of the most sumptuous and beautiful operas ever written. Opera has been a key part of the programme here for more than 125 years, and we are looking forward to seeing Siobhan and the other cast members follow in the footsteps of Luciano Pavarotti, Nellie Melba and many other great singers who have performed on the Grand Opera House stage.”
Ciaran Scullion, Head of Music and Opera, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said, “The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is hugely proud to be principal funder of Northern Ireland Opera and the Ulster Orchestra who make their return to the Grand Opera House this September for La Traviata. We’re delighted to once again see local artists being offered amazing professional development opportunities and working alongside world-class talent.”
Patrick McCarthy, Head of Artistic Planning and Operations at Ulster Orchestra said, “Collaboration is at the heart of so much of what the Ulster Orchestra does, and it’s great that we’re able to be working again with one of our most important artistic partners in Northern Ireland Opera. La Traviata is such a masterpiece, with an extraordinary orchestral score, and so we’re looking forward to returning to the Grand Opera House once again.”
Image: Noah Stewart, Siobhan Stagg, Yuriy Yurchuk, Ellen Mawhinney, Owen Lucas, Margaret Bridge, Graeme Danby.
The Grand Opera House, Belfast
10, 13, 15, 17 September 2022, 7.30pm
Booking Link: https://www.goh.co.uk/whats-on/la-traviata/