THE chance to see a live opera these days is a rare treat, and it wasn’t surprising to see a packed auditorium at the Mayflower for the Welsh National Opera’s latest programme themed on Fallen Women.

The programme kicked off on Tuesday with La traviata, Verdi’s tragic classic about the doomed courtesan Violetta who falls in love with Alfredo, a young man from a good family.

She sacrifices their love when his father pleads with her to end their relationship as her past will harm his family and she returns to Paris where the consumption she has been fighting takes hold.

The piece is visually stunning with its decadent costumes and set, but the period costumes and background are muted, ensuring your focus remains on the action.

Alan Opie provides the gravitas as Alfredo’s father Giorgio Germont and the supporting cast and chorus are strong.

Linda Richardson as Violetta and Leonardo Capalbo as Alfredo really pull it out of the bag in the final act as Violetta tragically meets her demise in her lover’s arms in a moment that is as poignant and touching as Verdi intended.

The programme continues with Boulevard Solitude tonight, Manon Lescaut tomorrow and La traviata again on Saturday.

For tickets go to or call the box office on 02380 711811.