The Magic of Opera Comes to the Outer Banks

Tshombe Selby as Alfredo proposing a toast to true love.
Tshombe Selby as Alfredo proposing a toast to true love.

La Traviata came to the Outer Banks this weekend and what a great evening of opera and music we had.

It was a one night performance on Saturday evening at First Flight High School, and what made it especially nice was the male lead was performed by Manteo native Tshombe Selby.

Tshombe has moved on to NYC, hoping to establish himself in the world of opera, and if what we say on Saturday night is an indication of his talent, he stands a good chance of succeeding.

Playing the Violetta was Sarah Joyce Cooper, who was absolutely magnificent.

The Story of La Traviata

La Traviata is one of the most performed operas in the world and with good reason. In 1853, when it debuted, the suggestion that a woman could be both the heroine and proclaimed for all to hear that she could take any lover she wished was ahead of its time.

Times have caught up with Violetta and her quest for independence now seems a part of our lives.

What makes the play so compelling though, is the love story that blossoms between Violetta and Tshombe’s Alfredo.

It is a doomed love, however. Alfredo’s father, Giorgio meets with Violetta secretly and convinces her that the relationship she has with his son will destroy him and his family.

There are some twists and turns to the plot but ultimately, Alfredo finds his way to Violetta who is dying of consumption (tuberculosis) and she dies in his arms. A tragic ending perhaps, but the lovers were at least reconciled at the end.

Adding to the magic of the evenings performance was a chorus made up of Outer Banks performers, and the chorus mistress was a local voice teacher, Deb Kasten, who is widely respected for how well she is able to develop young talent. In addition to her work with the chorus, Deb also performed the role of Nurse Annina—and did it very well.

The Outer Banks is full of surprises of the best sort. Make your reservations with Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates and discover what the life on a sandbar is all about.

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