Arts & Culture

Nickel City Opera Stages Verdi’s ‘La Traviata’ at the Grand Theatre, Villa Maria College May 24th & May 26th

After two years of numerous events and black box performances, Nickel City Opera is thrilled to be staging a full scale production of Verdi’s ‘La Traviata’ with orchestra, costumes, sets and stellar cast at the grand theatre at Villa Maria College at 240 Pine Ridge Road, Buffalo, NY 14225. Performances are Friday, May 24th at 8:00pm and Sunday, May 26th at 2:30pm. Also join NCO for the 11th Annual NCO Gala Dinner, Monday, May 13th at The Saturn Club at 6:00pm.

La Traviata, an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi and an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave is based on a play adapted from a novel by Alexandre Dumas. Italian for ‘The Fallen Woman’ or ‘The Woman Who Goes Astray’, La Traviata is the story of Violetta Valery, a glamorous Parisian courtesan who falls for Mr. Right but can’t decide whether she really wants to settle down. They set up house together in the country, but she is secretly selling her jewels to meet expenses. Violetta eventually sacrifices her own feelings and accepts an invitation from an old friend which takes her back to her old life. Mr. Right confronts her new suitor as he learns about the sacrifices she has made and the fact she is dying.

In the 1990 film Pretty Woman, Violetta’s death provides the soundtrack for ‘Vivian’s’ first trip to the opera. La Traviata moves her to tears as Vivian has more than a little in common with opera’s tragic Violetta; their similar occupation. Both Violeta and Vivian meet up with the right guy and both have to think seriously about the difference between their place in polite society and that of their new paramours. Vivian is swept away by her new lover amidst the promise of a brand new life of luxury and bliss. But in Verdi’s day, fiery opera romances didn’t turn out so well.

NCO’s La Traviata brings together the best singers from the opera world in addition to WNY’s stellar talent. Directed by Ben Spierman of Bronx Opera and featuring Berlin conductor Matthias Manasi.


Stephanie Lessard as Violetta

(St. Petersburg Opera Florida/Pacific Opera Victoria)

Jeremy Blossey as Alfredo

(Opera de Quebec, Hawaii Opera Theatre)

Grant Youngblood as Germont

(Metropolitan Opera/BPO/Opera North)

Jessica Best as Flora

(Savannah Opera/Opera Tampa)

Boris Van Druff as Gastone

(Merola Opera/WNY Chamber Orchestra)

Nicholas Kilkenny as D’Obigny

(Eastman Opera Theatre/Geneva Light Opera)

Valerian Ruminski as Dr. Grenvil

(Metropolitan Opera/Pacific Opera Victoria/Calgary Opera)

Karen D’Angelo as Annina

(BPO/Opera Sacra/Rochester Lyric Opera)

Suzanne Fatta as The Commissioner

(BPO/Opera Sacra)

Directed by Ben Spierman

(General Director of Bronx Opera)

Conducted by Matthias Manasi

(Orchestra Camerata Italiana/Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma)


11th Annual Nickel City Opera Gala Dinner

The Saturn Club

977 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo

6:00pm Cocktails & Auction

7:00pm-9:00pm Dinner & Singing

Three-Course Dinner & Hors d’oeuvres/Cash Bar

Tickets: $65.00

Ticket Link:

Monday, May 13th, 2019 at 6pm–buffalo/nco/?page=1

Spend an evening with NCO! Eat delicious food, listen to talented opera singers, enter to win raffles, browse the silent auction, bingo bags, door prizes and meet interesting people at the 11th Annual NCO Gala Dinner.

Verdi’s ‘La Traviata’

Villa Maria College Theatre

240 Pine Ridge Road, Buffalo

Tickets Online at Eventbrite: $42 plus $4.39 fee

Friday, May 24th at 8:00pm

Sunday, May 26th at 2:30pm.

Tickets In Person at Airport Plaza Jewelers: $42 NO FEES!

4230 Union Road at The Showroom

Mon-Fri 10am-6pm/Sat 10am-4pm

Checks & Cash Only


About the author


News and art, national and local. Began as alternative weekly in 1990 in Buffalo, NY. Publishing content online since 1996.

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