Classic inspiration for first-timers too

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IF you think opera’s too grand for you next week’s production of La Traviata at the Centenary Theatre in Berkhamsted may just change your mind.

The small, touring, Garden Opera Company who will present Verdi’s best-loved masterpiece in aid of the Pepper Foundation are committed to demystifying the genre.

Led by artistic director Peter Bridges they believe opera can speak just as deeply to the uninitiated as to the experienced and since 1994 they’ve beeen on a mission to make it more accessible.

Classic works are pared down and sung in English, the focus is firmly on human dramas and relationships, and performances, which often take place at unconventional venues, are also social events with long intervals.

Set in Paris, La Traviata tells the moving story of lonely Violetta’s transformation from a hedonistic courtesan into a tragic heroine.

Seasoned opera-lovers as well as newcomers will love this intimate tale of hope, despair and romantic love.

The Garden Opera Company will present La Traviata at Centenary Theatre, Berkhamsted School on Saturday, January 29, champagne and cocktail bar open from 6pm, performance starts at 7.30pm.

Call Gina Green on 01442 877292 for tickets or email her at

The evening will raise money for The Pepper Children’s Nurses who provide professional and loving home care on a 24 hour, 365 days of the year – on-call basis, for seriously ill children throughout the Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire area.