Soprano Stacey Alleaume can’t wait to “strut her stuff” when Verdi’s La Traviata opens to a glittering full house at Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour on Friday evening ( 26 March).
When the orchestra strikes its first chord and the lights turn on at opening night, all eyes will be on Ms Alleaume who is “so ready” to give her all as Violetta, the young and beautiful courtesan who falls tragically in love with a romantic, Alfredo.
“There’s a heightened excitement and new wave of energy and buzz about being back on the stage performing again,” she says in an interview with Explore.
“I’ve been breathing and living this role as Violetta for the last five months. I just want to bring the character back to life on such a big stage as Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour.”
After a nine-month long Covid-induced hiatus, when Australia Opera was forced to cancel performances last year and theatre halls went dark, she can hardly contain her pent-up energy and excitement to perform in front of live audiences again.
“It’s my debut performance in the lead role so it will be a different experience as I am not an understudy. I will have to create and interpret the role and bring Violetta to life on stage.
“It is often said that Verdi wrote La Traviata for three sopranos – with a different voice for every act. At the start, when I throw a lavish party, I will sing in a voice which is agile, fun and flirty. In the second act, my voice becomes more serious and then fragile but beautiful in the third act.
“It will be one of the toughest role to play but it is also the most rewarding. Just as the audience is so hungry for live opera again, I am equally hungry to sing and perform again.”
Opera fans forget that Sydney Harbour stage is so large, it demands performers to be fit and supple to dance and sing their parts.
“So I have been doing a lot of voice exercises and cardio exercises to be fit. You are most nervous when you are under-prepared. Am sure before the start of the opera, my adrenaline will be pumping and I will just have to channel my energy into my performance. I am now so ready to strut my stuff on stage.”
When not performing, Ms Alleaume and her husband, Fabian Alonso, often go quad line kite flying in Melbourne.
Performances for La Traviata will run every evening until 25 April, excluding Mondays and Good Friday. Bookings can be made at www.opera.org.au or call (02) 9318 8200