Win a part in La Traviata at Sunderland Empire + four tickets for the show

La Traviata
La Traviata
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Ever fancied stepping into the spotlight on the hallowed Sunderland Empire stage? Well now’s your chance.

The love story that gripped Paris is set to take to the Sunderland Empire stage when Opera and Ballet International presents Ellen Kent’s Opera Festival this month, opening with Verdi’s La Traviata on Friday, January 26.

And we’ve teamed up with Sunderland Empire to give one lucky reader the chance to take centre stage and appear in La Traviata as part of the Brindisi party.

As well as appearing in one of the most famous opera melodies of all time, Brindisi, the drinking song, the winner will receive four tickets to the performance.

La Traviata is Verdi’s outstanding interpretation of one of the most popular love stories of the 19th century, La Dame aux Camelias by Alexander Dumas, a tragic tale of searing passion and memorable music.

This operatic version tells the romantic story about the love and life of the courtesan, Violetta.

Based on a true story, it tells of the passionate consumptive Violetta and her doomed love for the aristocratic Alfredo.

There are many echoes of Verdi’s own life in Traviata and he threw himself into the music. This was also Verdi’s venture into operatic realism as was Rigoletto, rejecting distant historical settings. The highlights include the Brindisi, the best known drinking song in opera, the duet Un Di Felice and the haunting aria Addio Del Passato.

One of the most popular operas, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, then follows on Saturday, January 27, and tells the heart-breaking story of the beautiful young Japanese girl who falls in love with an American naval lieutenant – with dramatic results.

Highlights include the melodic Humming Chorus, the moving aria One Fine Day and the unforgettable Love Duet.

Both productions will be sung in Italian with English surtitles and cast subject to change.

*Opera La Traviata is at Sunderland Empire on Friday, January 26, with Madama Butterfly performed on Saturday, January 27.

To win the chance to appear in La Traviata, as well as four tickets to the performance at Sunderland Empire on Friday, January 26, answer this question: who composed La Traviata?

A) Verdi

B) Puccini

C) Tchaikovsky

Send your answer and contact details on a postcard to La Traviata competition, Katy Wheeler, Johnston Press North East, 2nd Floor, Alexander House, 1 Mandarin Road, Rainton Bridge Business Park, Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland DH4 5RA.

Or, email your answer to

Closing date: January 17.

The winner must be available to attend a costume fitting and briefing prior to the performance at the Empire.

The four tickets, which include the winner’s ticket, are non-transferable and no monetary value will be given.