The Royal Opera House’s presentation of la Traviata comes to the big screen of Nelson’s Civic Theatre on Monday

COLUMN: Love, uncomplicated at your theatre

Royal Opera House’s la Traviata comes to the big screen on Monday, December 1 at 7 p.m. (note date change) in all its warmth and splendour.

Oh, love.

Never uncomplicated, always fraught, the stuff of story, song, film — and opera.

As the snow begins to fly and the days become alarmingly short, the Civic brings you love and loss in story and song — an opera and a movie all at the same time!

Royal Opera House’s la Traviata comes to the big screen on Monday, December 1 at 7 p.m. (note date change) in all its warmth and splendour.

Why freeze your toes when you can rend your clothes? That’s what opera can do for you. It’s drama writ large, making our festively seasonal angst  — what, oh what will I give Uncle Seamus for Christmas? Answer: a gift certificate to the Civic. Now, relax and go to the movies — seem trivial indeed.

Opera asks you to step into another world — in the case of la Traviata, into the world of courtesan Violetta, whose own world is shaken when Alfredo declares his love.

For what prostitute (goes the story) — even a high class one — thinks of love? As it happens, Violetta does and accepts the besotted young man, but in a selfless gesture later dumps poor Alfredo in what she thinks is the best interest of his family.

What follows is more blustery than the winter outside your window, with the card game between the hapless Alfredo and the wealthy Baron a higher stakes situation than a Kootenay highway in December. And that’s all I’ll tell you. Because you should go find out for yourself.

The fact that the Civic is showing this opera-to-warm-the-coldest-heart is thanks to a Civic/Capitol partnership presenting full-scale pre-recorded live performances from The Royal Opera House, the National Theatre of Britain, the Globe Theatre, and Great Art on Screen, plus some unforgettable music performances.

At the Civic we’ve already enjoyed Tosca, Manet, The Tempest, and Queen: Live at Budapest, while the Capitol has screened Carmen to a rapt audience.

If you missed them, there’s still time to get with the program. In addition to la Traviata on December 1 (you really do want to meet Violetta), the Capitol screens a stunning performance of The Nutcracker (Marlinsky Ballet and Orchestra) on Wednesday, December 10 at 7 p.m.

To come in 2015: Warhorse, MacBeth, Henry V, and La Bohème at the Capitol; The Tempest, Don Giovanni, and Peter Gabriel in concert at the Civic.

A quick visit to either or gives you dates and times. Oh, love, thy name is Great Performances, on the big screen in my hometown.

For some of us this time of year can be as fraught as Alfredo’s love life as we tackle those seasonal questions (and what shall we give reclusive Cousin Edith? Why, a Civic Theatre membership, so she’ll get out more!) and the Civic has the cure.

Unwind. Step away from the hustle, and find a bustle (or other fashion accessory of a past era) on the big screen.

Stash your purchases after that long day of shopping locally and take advantage of Dinner and a Movie deals (until December 15) with your beloved or your best buddy.

And when the snow falls in the cold night outside, step into another world. Snuggle in with your popcorn and fall into deep, uncomplicated love with your theatre.


— Anne DeGrace is a past president of the Nelson Civic Theatre Society. To find out about all things Civic go to

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