Cultural Center Performing Arts

Two Alumnae Return to the Hofstra Stage with Verdi’s “La Traviata” This Weekend

This weekend’s Bronx Opera Company production of La Traviata is also a homecoming of sorts for two of the featured actresses who are graduates of Hofstra University. Leslie Swanson, who will play “Flora” in one of the performances, and Kathryn Wieckhorst ’06, a member of the chorus who also understudies “Violetta,” both performed with the Hofstra Music Department as students.

This fully staged production of  Verdi’s La Traviata at Hofstra’s John Cranford Adams Playhouse, will be performed in English with a 30-piece orchestra. Show times are 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 17, and 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 18, 2014.

Leslie Swanson
Leslie Swanson

La Traviata, the story ofthe glamorous courtesan Violetta and Alfredo, is one of the greatest love stories in opera. Based on the celebrated novel, Camille, by Alexandre Dumas fils, La Traviata, gives audiences a vivid picture of Parisian society in the mid-19th century.

Leslie Swanson, studied elementary education and oboe at Hofstra, and played in the orchestra pit for many Hofstra operatic and musical theater productions.Later she founded the Renaissance Woodwind Quintet which concertized extensively for 13 years.  Intrigued by the stage itself, however, she soon turned to drama and voice. As a singer Leslie has had a wide ranging career as an operatic artist, church musician and international recitalist.  She has performed with The Bronx Opera at Hofstra on many concerts during the college’s Italian Festival each September, as well as being featured in a number of the company’s full productions in May.

Kathryn Wieckhorst ‘06, the understudy for “Violetta,” graduated with a BS in vocal performance. While at Hofstra, she performed the roles of the Sorceress in Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas,” Blanche in Poulenc’s “Dialogues of the Carmelites,” Micaela in Bizet’s “Carmen,” and the Countess Almaviva in Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro.” Kathryn began her studies at Hofstra as a cellist and also sang with the chorale and chamber singers. She has performed internationally, and last fall she made her Carnegie Hall solo debut as the soprano soloist in Vivaldi’s “Gloria.”

Tickets for La Traviata are $30 and $25 for senior citizens. Hofstra makes it easy for parents to introduce their children to the world of opera with a special deal: An adult who has purchased one full-price ticket may receive one free ticket for a child/student (with ID) under 18. There is also a rate of $15 per person for groups of 20 or more.

Members of the Hofstra community may receive up to two free tickets upon presentation of a current HofstraCard.

For tickets and more information call the Hofstra Box Office at (516) 463-6644. Tickets may be purchased at Tickets will also be available for purchase at the door, starting 90 minutes prior to showtime.


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