La Traviata - A complete guide. The story, the good, the bad (2023)

by Simpleopera

  • The Background
  • Plot
  • Things to look out for
  • About La Traviata
  • The Voice of Violetta

A brief introduction.

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Giuseppe Verdi lived through something that vaguely resembles the story in La Traviata. His first wife, Margherita Balezzia, died in 1840. Together they had two children, who both died at a young age and before the death of Margherita. So Verdi must have been quite devastated having lost his whole family in just a few years. He buried himself in work and in just five years, from 1842 to 1847, he wrote ten operas.

During this time he met Giuseppina Strepponi. She was a great primadonna at the height of her career, and she was beautiful with many lovers and admirers. The two had a long professional collaboration, but they also mixed their feelings of passion for each other into the relationship, and soon they were a couple.

When they formed a regular family back in Buseto, Italy, the local bigoted community wasn’t all that impressed. They weren’t married, and Giuseppina, being a singer and as such more or less a prostitute in the eyes of the everyday village community, was looked upon as something of a man-eater. While the famous composer could overlook the pity-minded neighbors, Giuseppina obviously took a harder blow. They married on August 29, 1859, and they lived happily together until the death of Giuseppina in 1897.

Premiere – March 6, 1853, Teatro La Fenice, Venice, Italy

Premiere of the revised version – May 6, 1854, Teatro San Benedetto, Venice, Italy

Composer – Giuseppe Verdi

Librettist – Francesco Maria Piave

Running Time – ca. 2 hours and 15 minutes, plus Intervals

Three Acts

Ouverture – 5 minutes

Act 1 – 30 minutes

Act 2 – 1 hour and 5 minutes

Act 3 – 35 minutes

In Italian

Main characters

  • Violetta Valéry: Soprano Lirico-Spinto di Agilità (Lyric-Dramatic Soprano with agility). The Lady with the Camellias. Luxury escort.
  • Alfredo Germont: LyricTenor. The son of Giorgio.
  • Giorgio Germont: Baritone. A well-off gentleman from the south of France.

Based on the novel La Dame aux Camélias (The Lady with the Camellias) by Alexandr Dumas the younger

Download this short Pdf-guide. Print it, fold it, and keep it in your pocket as a help when you’re at the Opera. Please keep your phone turned off when inside the theater.

Background – The Opera La Traviata is set in…


In the center of the city on the wealthy part of the street. The first part of the second Act is outside Paris, in a beautiful Villa.

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The time period is very interesting. Verdi wanted to set the Opera in a contemporary time-frame. The novel was written in 1848, and Marie Duplessis, the courtesan from whom Violetta is inspired, died in 1847. But at the premiere, the censure wouldn’t allow it. So the Opera was set in 1700.

Nowadays, theaters usually set it in the 1800s, but Verdi’s intention was to have the audience look at themselves. He wanted it to be the same people on stage as in the theater so that the cynicism and dualistic thinking of the typical 1800-upper class, would be obvious to the spectators.

For that reason, the Opera should be staged as a contemporary piece, not further back than the second half of 1900. It’s really a very modern story, about issues of modern society. Setting it in the 1800s cuts off something of its edge. That’s my own, very private opinion.

(Video) A Beginner's Guide to...La Traviata



First Act – The luxurious Apartment of Violetta Valèry, Paris.

Evening. Violetta Valèry holds a party. There are laughter and good times in the air. The men are rich and older, the women are beautiful and younger. There are a few peripheric characters, Flora Bervoix, Violetta’s friend (Mezzo-soprano), Gastone de Letorière (Tenor), Marchese d’Obign (Bass), and the filthy rich Duphol… Baron Duphol (Baritone).

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The young and handsome Alfredo Germont enters. It’s explained to Violetta that this youngster came to her house every day during her recent illness, to ask about her health. Violetta is taken by this and very flattered. Duphol obviously doesn’t like Alfredo. You can already detect jealousy between the two, for now in a playful manner.

Duphol is actually more than just a rich client. He’s the one paying for Violetta, and he represents something of a husband. It also means that Duphol is the main competitor and someone from whom Alfredo and Violetta must hide their love.

Violetta and Alfredo sing one of the highlight of the Opera… Brindisi (drinking song), Libiamo ne’ lieti calici che la bellezza infiora…

When everybody heads for another room, where the party continues with dancing, Violetta suddenly feels ill and stays behind to regain her strength. (We now know that she’s sick and that she will die in the third act.) As the others leave, Alfredo stays behind to be alone with Violetta. He explains his feelings for the surprised courtesan.

– Nobody in the world loves you, but me, he says.

She laughs, but the intention of Alfredo is obviously correct. His love is different from that of the other men. They just want to use her, while he experiences the kind of deep feeling you can build something upon… True love.

They sing a beautiful duet, Un dì, felice, eterea, mi balenaste innante, (One happy, ethereal day you flashed before me).

She explains that the kind of relationship he’s thinking of is out of the question.

– I’m not capable of that sort of heroic sentiment. I don’t know love, and you should seek it elsewhere.

But when Alfredo leaves, Violetta cuts a flower and gives it to him (The Lady of the Camellias…). He asks why, and she says to give it back to her.

– When?

– When it’s wilted.

– Oh, God…. Tomorrow!

– Yes, tomorrow.

They are interrupted by Gastone. All the party-animals leave the house after having sung Si ridesta in ciel l’aurora (The dawn is awakening…), a fast chorus intervention.

Left alone, Violetta sings E’ strano… è strano / Sempre libera degg’io trasvolar di gioia in gioia (It’s strange… / I shall always be free to fly from adventure to adventure).

This is one of those concert pieces that good sopranos put at the end of the recital to show off. It’s long, it’s full of emotions, and difficulties and it ends with a high E flat, or at least it should if the singer is the right one. More about the vocality of Violetta here.

She is very intrigued by Alfredo’s strong feelings for her. He is different from the other men, and he has a much more genuine affection for her. She struggles between the foolishness to engage with a young boy from out of town, and her obvious position among the noblesse of Paris. Alfredo’s voice is heard from the street outside.

There’s no clear indication of what happens between them, but the next act will make it all fall into place.

(Video) An Introduction to La traviata (The Royal Opera)

Second Act – First part – A Country Villa outside of Paris.

Violetta stays at a Villa in the countryside outside Paris to cure her consumption, tuberculosis. The Villa is owned by Duphol. Alfredo lives there two, but the bill is paid by Violetta.

Alfredo sings Lunge da Lei, per me non v’ha diletto / De’ miei bollenti spiriti. In this Aria, he explains that they’ve lived happily together for three months and that Violetta has renounced her life and her lovers in Paris for him.

Annina, the housemaid, (Mezzo-Soprano/Soprano) says when asked, that she’s going to Paris to sell off the last of Violetta’s property. Alfredo suddenly understands where the money comes from, and is very upset. He sings his second Aria Oh mio rimorso! Oh infamia!… e vissi in tale errore!… (Oh remorse, Oh infamy… I have lived in an illusion)

This is one of the few Verdi Arias for tenor that has a hìgh C at the end. No, it’s not in the original score, but if the tenor has good heights, he would want to show off here. (If he stops singing the last 8 or 12 bars, you know that he’s preparing for the high note.)

He runs out.

Violetta enters. She’s carefree and serene. Her new life brings her immense happiness and her love for Alfredo grows stronger for each day.

After a short while, a gentleman asks to have a word with Violetta. It is Alfredo’s father, Giorgio Germont, also called just Germont. He is there to ask Violetta to leave Alfredo… To release him and let him go.

La Traviata - A complete guide. The story, the good, the bad (4)This is the key scene in the opera. When he enters he is very arrogant and patronizing. Alfredo’s father has, in fact, misinterpreted the situation. He thinks that the woman is taking advantage of his young and inexperienced son. But immediately he’s surprised by her proud attitude and the luxurious interior.

– I am a woman… And I’m in my own house. Now I will hear you, more for your sake than for mine, she says after being told by Germont that she is ruining his son’s future.

Germont sings his first Aria Pura siccome un angelo (Pure as an angel…) where he says that Alfredo’s sister will not be able to marry as long as Violetta holds on to this sinful relationship.

Germont understands. talking to her. that he was wrong about the situation. She is not the one exploiting his son, but actually, the one paying for him. He also understands that her love for Alfredo is much stronger than he expected and that the sacrifice he is asking from her is so much bigger than he thought.

Because he wants her to break up with Alfredo. Not only for a period to let the sister marry (possibly an excuse to put more weight on the words), but to leave him for good.

She explains that her love for Alfredo is all she has now and that without him, she is nothing. Still, she agrees.

– How? she asks

– Tell him, you don’t love him anymore, Germont answers.

– He won’t believe me.

– Then, leave…

– He will follow.

They bid each other farewell. Violetta with a broken heart, and Germont with a new understanding of Violetta’s choices, a newfound respect for the courtesan, and quite a bit of doubt if he’s done the right thing…

So, Violetta first writes to Duphol, and then she starts writing the farewell-letter to Alfredo. He enters behind her without her noticing it. She hides the letter, and with great agitation, she cries out her eternal love for him.

This is another highlight in the opera. At the end of the short scene, she sings 18 bars of pure dramatic expression Amami Alfredo… Quant’io t’amo (Love me, Alfredo, as much as I love you)

La Traviata - A complete guide. The story, the good, the bad (5)The difficulty with the part of Violetta is that it has such extreme progress throughout the opera. Here you would need a heavy almost dramatic Soprano to get the correct vocal and emotional character.

She runs out. Alfredo doesn’t really understand anything, but when the message is delivered to him he falls into the arms of his father (who conveniently appears right behind him).

Germont sings his most famous Aria Di Provenza il mar il suol. He’s trying to convince Alfredo to come back home, to Provence, to his family. But Alfredo is completely consumed by jealousy. He believes that Violetta has turned back to Duphol in Paris, and he runs away to pursue her.

Second Act – Second part – A Party at Flora’s house.

So, Violetta is back in Paris, and there’s another party at Flora’s. The chorus sings two famous pieces. First, the women sing Noi siamo Zingarelle… (We are gypsies…), then the men sing Di Madride noi siam mattadori… (We are matadors from Madrid…).

Here, there’s usually some sort of ballet. These interventions don’t really have much to do with the story. They are just there to entertain the audience, and they appear after an hour and a half when the concentration could be dropping. We are also in the middle of the very long second act. The motifs are, as often is the case in the operas of the 18th and 19th centuries, exotic.

Alfredo enters… jealous, focused, and generally pissed off. Duphol, also senses a very strong challenge from him. Violetta is confused and desperately tries to stick with her story.

There are card-games among the guests, and Alfredo challenges Duphol to a game. Alfredo is lucky and wins a lot of money from the Baron.

This Is obviously a metaphor for a duel between the two rivals.

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The dinner is served and they leave the card-table with the promise to resume the game later…

– In any way you want, Alfredo says with defiance.

Everybody leaves.

After a short while, Violetta rushes onto the stage followed by Alfredo. They quarrel. Violetta can’t speak sincerely with him. She tries to make him leave because of the threat that Duphol could actually impose… He could kill him. Alfredo, on the other hand, is furious. His jealousy and hurt pride make him lose all sense of proportions. He is convinced that Violetta just wants to get rid of him in favor of her new/old lover. He pushes her, and when she finally admits that she loves the baron, something snaps in him.

– Or tutti a me! (Come here, everybody!)

And he stands in the middle of the room surrounded by the crowd, singing out all his frustration about his love.

(Video) WNO's Guide to La Traviata

– I gave her all, everything she wanted. But I was blind, deceived, and now I call you all here to witness… That I have paid her for the hour…

And with that, he throws all the money he earned from the card game in her face.

Of course, everyone is terrified and indignant, and when Germont, Alfredo’s father enters he too condemns the conduct of his son.

– Where is my son? he says, looking straight at him… I can’t find him.

Violetta sings a beautiful arioso telling Alfredo how much she truly loves him, and that even this terrible insult, can’t change that.

Alfredo understands what he’s done, and is again overwhelmed by sorrow and regret. The scene ends with a big concertato where everybody expresses their own personal relationship to the main characters. Duphol sings that he’s going to kill Alfredo.

The chorus offers support and comfort to Violetta.

Third Act – Back in Violetta’s apartment in Paris.

The Act begins with a beautiful preludium where the soft 1st violins play an almost inaudible, sad melody.

Violetta’s bedroom. She is now very sick, and the first short scenes let us understand something about her situation. Doktor Grenvil (Bass), is visiting and before leaving he tells Annina that Violetta only has hours to live.

She is also quite alone. We understand that the friends she had, at least to some extent have turned their back on her.

She sends away Annina and reads a letter from Germont, supposedly for the umpteenth time.

In the letter, Germont says Alfredo and Duphol actually dueled. Duphol got hurt but will recover. Alfredo knows the truth and is hurrying to Paris to ask her for forgiveness.

The only time the spoken voice is used. is when the letter ends and Violetta cries out…

– E’ tardi!… It’s (too) late!

And she sings her second big Aria Addio del passato bei sogni ridenti… (Farewell to the past, beautiful, happy dreams…).

It’s a slow, suffering, and very demanding song almost completely in the middle register. Again you would need a new voice for Violetta. This time an even darker, more dramatic color, even though the aria ends with an A natural that should be so weak that it almost isn’t heard at all.

La Traviata - A complete guide. The story, the good, the bad (7)The Carnival is heard from the street in the form of the chorus Largo al quadrupede sir della festa off stage.

Annina comes running in to announce the arrival of Alfredo.

They fall into each other’s arms and sing the duet Parigi, o caro/a noi lasceremo… (We shall leave Paris and stay together… your/my health will flourish again.)

But Violetta is too sick, and Alfredo understands that he is, in fact, too late.

Later also Germont arrives, together with the Doctor. Alfredo’s father admits the wrong he has done to her, and he understands the magnitude of the sacrifice she did for him.

. Grenvil, do you see? … I can die embraced by those who love me…

This is an important phrase, as it confirms Violetta as a consumable object. The men who admired her when she was well and beautiful, have now left her. The only ones still standing by her are Alfredo and his father… And of course, Annina.

When a single violin resumes the love-theme from the first act, she suddenly stands up and sings that her pain is gone, that she feels stronger. And while the orchestra accompanies her newfound life-force, she falls to the ground.

Violetta dies in the arms of her beloved Alfredo.

Things to look out for.

First Act

5 minutes Brindisi / Drinking song.

20 minutes E’ strano, èstrano / Sempre libera Violetta’s solo scene… Yes, it’s a long one, almost 10 minutes of singing. Check if she’s doing the E-flat at the end.

Second Act

Beginning of the Act Lunge da lei / De’ miei bollenti spiriti. Alfredo’s aria. Oh mio rimorso! Oh infamiafollows. Check if he’s singing the high C right before running off stage.

7 minutes The long and demanding scene between Violetta and Germont begins.

(Video) La Traviata on Sydney Harbour | Listening Guide

30 minutes Amami Alfredo. The 18 bars of farewell from Violetta before she rushes out and leaves him. It’s right after Alfredo comes in and surprises her when writing the letter.

34 minutes Di Provenza il mar il suol. Germont’s big aria.

55 minutes The throwing-money-scene, and the following final-concertato.

Third Act

9 minutes Violetta reads the letter from Germont.

Following Addio del passato… Violetta’s second big aria.

17 minutes Alfredo arrives.

26 minutes Germont arrives.

About La Traviata.

From 1851 until the premiere of La Traviata in 1953, Giuseppe Verdi wrote three of his most famous operas… The other two being Rigoletto, and Il Trovatore (The Troubadour). Together they are often called The Verdi trilogy, as they were written in a short time, and together they confirmed Verdi’s international fame as the nr.1 opera-composer in the world at the time. They do not form a singularity though, as there is no connection between them.

Of these three, La Traviata is the most performed, and arguably the one that best has resisted the patina of time. Apart from a few issues (…A sister who can’t marry because of the woman with whom her brother lives.), the essence of the story feels very modern. It’s clear that Verdi had a close and personal relationship with the argument.

The premier took place at Teatro La Fenice in Venice, but probably due to a cast that wasn’t the normal Verdi-top class-premier-singers, it wasn’t received with the usual enthusiasm. And having a prostitute as the main character didn’t help.

Verdi re-elaborated the opera somewhat, and two months later it premiered for a second time, at the former nr. 1 opera house in Venice… Teatro San Benedetto. (In Venice there were five opera houses at the time). From this point onward, it has been a success all over the world until our days.

From 2004 till 2019 it was the most performed opera in the world.

La Traviata - A complete guide. The story, the good, the bad (8)

The Voice of Violetta

  • When Maria Callas broke all contact with La Scala in Milan in 1959, the greatest Violetta of all time left the Milan Opera house for good. So big was the loss that the famous Loggione, (Connoisseurs – ever-present, and always ready to make a lot of fuss when something is not of their liking.) didn’t accept anyone that wasn’t her equal. In 1965, Mirella Freni sang it a few times with Karajan conducting, but after her, nobody could sing Violetta without being constantly buuhed from the crowds under the roof-top. In 1990 the theatre finally had come up with the solution.. Tiziana Fabbricini, a Soprano from Asti, not too far away from Milan, sang it… And the Loggione kept silent. Her voice is a blueprint of that of Maria Callas.
  • Violetta needs a lyrical voice with extraordinary beauty. But, that’s not enough… In the first act, you would need a very agile soprano, in the second, you’ll have the dramatic scene with Germont, but after that, there is the money-scene with Alfredo where you need to be sweet and soft. Then in the third act, the part is dramatic. Often the choice is between a good, full soprano who can do the first part of the second act and the third act justice, or a lighter soprano, perfect for the first act, and the high E flat. In the past, there were sopranos with dramatic voices who had agility as well. But they can’t be found anymore… The last one was probably Maria Callas. And that’s the reason why La Scala of Milan couldn’t do La Traviata for 25 years.Any way you look at it, today, Violetta has to be somewhat of a compromise.

back to the list of Operas.

Download this short Pdf-guide. Print it, fold it, and keep it in your pocket as a help when you’re at the Opera. Please keep your phone turned off when inside the theater.


(Video) La traviata Promo


What is the whole story of La traviata? ›

La traviata tells the story of the tragic love between the courtesan Violetta and the romantic Alfredo Germont. Played out against the hypocrisy of upper-class fashionable society, Alfredo and Violetta's love threatens to shame his family.

What is the meaning of Traviata? ›

Literally translating to 'The Fallen Woman', La traviata is a tragic tale about Parisian courtesan, Violetta, who attempts to leave the life she knows behind, in an attempt to finally find true love.

What happens at the end of La traviata? ›

Violetta's resistance dwindles and she finally agrees to leave Alfredo forever. Only after her death shall he learn the truth about why she returned to her old life. She accepts the invitation to the ball and writes a goodbye letter to her lover.

Do you think the opera La traviata is an opera worth watching Why or why not? ›

1) It's the most-performed opera in the world.

This timeless tale of enduring love and heart-rending tragedy, coupled with Verdi's lush, unforgettable music, has resonated with generations of opera fanatics and hopeless romantics alike since its premiere in 1853.

Who is the fallen woman in La traviata? ›

La traviata: Violetta

La traviata's heroine Violetta is the archetypal fallen women. A Parisian courtesan suffering with consumption, Violetta tries to leave her fast-paced life behind to be with the romantic Alfredo.

What illness does Violetta have in La traviata? ›

La Traviata is the story of a woman whose tragic end is certain from the first few aching chords of the prelude. Violetta, the “fallen woman” of the opera's title, knows that the tuberculosis she suffers from will take her life.

How do you pronounce La traviata in English? ›

Break 'La Traviata' down into sounds: [LA] + [TRAV] + [EE] + [AA] + [TUH] - say it out loud and exaggerate the sounds until you can consistently produce them.

Is Pretty Woman based on La traviata? ›

It was a big influence for Pretty Woman… A rich man and a courtesan embark on a whirlwind romance before he offers her a new life away from her tumultuous past. No, we're not still talking about La traviata. This is the basic plot of Pretty Woman, another film that uses Verdi's opera as its inspiration.

Why does Violetta of La traviata want Alfredo to leave her? ›

Alfredo learns that Violetta has been selling her possessions in order to pay their expenses, so he leaves for Paris to make other financial arrangements. Germont, Alfredo's father, unexpectedly visits, demanding that Violetta leave Alfredo so that his sister's impending marriage will not be threatened by scandal.

Who is the main character in the La traviata? ›

La traviata

What is the most famous part of La traviata? ›

Today we're listening to “Libiamo ne'lieti calici” (popularly know as “The Drinking Song”) the famous duet with chorus from Act I of the Italian opera La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi.

What is the main point of opera? ›

Opera (the Italian for work) is an art form that tells a story through music and singing. Unlike a musical, opera singers do not use microphones to amplify their voices, and the music, played by the orchestra, is completely live. The first ever public opera house opened in 1637 (the Teatro San Cassiano, Venice).

What was the point of opera? ›

Opera is a 400-year-old genre, with artists working in it all over the globe. Since its inception, composers, singers and directors have used the art form to tell important stories, to entertain, and to comment on the issues of their day.

What makes opera so special? ›

The unique thing in opera is the use of music to convey an entire story/plot. This is based on the feeling that music can communicate people's reactions and emotions better than words (read or spoken) or pictures.

What is Victorian fallen woman? ›

A 'fallen woman' could be a prostitute (occasional or professional), or a woman who had had sex out of wedlock, whether voluntary or against her will – in short, a woman who transgressed Victorian sexual norms.

What is the meaning of the fallen woman? ›

old-fashioned disapproving. /ˌfɔː.lən ˈwʊm.ən/ us. /ˌfɑː.lən ˈwʊm.ən/ a woman who has lost her good reputation by having sex with someone before she is married.

What is the name of the drinking song from La Traviata? ›

"Libiamo ne' lieti calici" (Italian pronunciation: [liˈbjaːmo ne ˈljɛːti ˈkaːlitʃi]; "Let's drink from the joyful cups") is a famous duet with chorus from Giuseppe Verdi's La traviata (1853), one of the best-known opera melodies and a popular performance choice (as is this opera itself) for many great tenors.

Who does Ludmila end up with in Violetta? ›

Part 2. At the end of Season 2, Ludmila was very upset because her plan with Diego didn't work out as they planned, and they failed once again. But when Federico returned the Studio, she started to have feelings for him. In the end, they kissed and became a couple.

Who did Violetta choose? ›

However, Violetta later realizes that Leon is the one she truly loves and they eventually end up together; overcoming all the obstacles thrown at them.

Are Violetta and Ludmila sisters? ›

Viodmila (Vio/letta and Lu/dmila) is the friendship/step-siblings pairing between Violetta Castillo and Ludmila Ferro.

Do you pronounce the g in Van Gogh? ›

"English people say 'Gof,' the French say 'Gog' and the Japanese say it differently, too. The Dutch pronounce it with a guttural sound -- 'Khokh.

How do people in New Orleans pronounce calliope? ›

Here's a field guide to walk you through it all:
  1. New Orleans: noo-OAR-linz. Our fair city, warts, potholes, and all. ...
  2. Calliope: CAL-ee-ope. A street in noo-AW-lins.
  3. Metairie: MET-uh-ree; MEH-tree. A popular suburb in Jefferson Parish. ...
  4. Melpomene: MEL-poe-meen. Another street name. ...
  5. Terpsichore: TERP-suh-kore. Street name.
Jan 6, 2016

Why is La traviata so popular? ›

“La traviata is one of the most famous operas and it's because it has really emotional music and scenes of great power. It's a very attractive opera to watch and a very compelling story.”

How is Georgiana pronounced? ›

Correct pronunciation is Jaw-jayne-ah, in other words, two syllables. But like many names, there are alternatives.

Who turned down the Pretty Woman role? ›

Sandra Bullock and Michelle Pfeiffer reportedly turned down the role of Vivian. The original script by J.F.

Is Moulin Rouge based on La Traviata? ›

Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge (2001) is inspired by La traviata and tells the same story: a celebrated courtesan (Satine in Moulin Rouge, Violetta in La traviata) gives in to the genuine love of a young poet/writer, but ends up selflessly sacrificing her own happiness.

Why was La Traviata controversial? ›

“La traviata” exposed the open wound of the society - politics, misogyny, and hypocrisy then prevalent at the heart of Europe.

What was Violetta's wish for Alfredo before she dies? ›

The woman is happy to see Alfredo. The two talk about happy days and dream about the future, but now Violetta can't take it anymore. The woman wishes Alfredo a happy life, she gives him her medallion and dies in his arms.

Who is the old admirer of Violeta? ›

Gastone, a viscount, has brought with him a friend, Alfredo Germont, a young bourgeois from a provincial family who has long adored Violetta from afar. While walking to the salon, Gastone tells Violetta that Alfredo loves her, and that while she was ill, he came to her house every day.

Who is Flora in La traviata? ›

Stephanie Wake-Edwards as Flora Bervoix in La traviata, The Royal Opera.

What does il trovatore mean? ›

Il trovatore, (Italian: “The Troubadour”) opera in four acts by Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi (Italian libretto by Salvatore Cammarano, with additions by Leone Emanuele Bardare) that premiered at the Teatro Apollo in Rome on January 19, 1853.

What opera is in pretty woman? ›

In Pretty Woman, Vivian — the Julia Roberts character — goes to the opera for the very first time. Even so, La Traviata moves her to tears.

Is La traviata a good opera for beginners? ›

1) The best opera to see for a beginner: La Traviata

Probably Giuseppe Verdi's most famous opera, created in 1853, “La Traviata” is based on the novel by Alexandre Dumas, “La Dame aux Camélias”, and adapted from the libretto by Francesco Maria Piave.

Is La traviata good for kids? ›

La Traviata is a good first opera for kids to see. Giuseppe Verdi wrote some of the most famous operas around and La Traviata is the most performed opera in the world.

What are the 3 types of operas? ›

A Beginner's Guide to Opera Genres
  • Like other forms of art and entertainment, opera has many different genres. We've rounded up some of the most common opera genres and the famous composers behind them.
  • Opera Seria. If you ask someone to describe 'opera', usually the words drama and tragedy come to mind.
  • Opera Verismo.

What are the 5 main parts of an opera? ›

The Parts of an Opera
  • Orchestra. During an opera performance, the orchestra is in the pit, an area under the stage and below the singers. ...
  • Chorus. The chorus can play the role of all sorts of characters but usually represents the people, villagers, and/or soldiers in a story. ...
  • Control room. ...
  • Logistics.

What is the message of La Traviata? ›

As with all of Verdi's operas, La traviata deals with human emotions – love, envy, jealousy, loyalty and hatred. Literally translating to 'The Fallen Woman', La traviata is a tragic tale about Parisian courtesan, Violetta, who attempts to leave the life she knows behind, in an attempt to finally find true love.

Can I wear jeans to the opera? ›

Weekday and matinee performances are generally where you'll see more casually dressed opera-goers in business casual or jeans and a nice blouse or button-up.

Why do I cry when I hear opera? ›

Classical music in particular steers a mysterious path through our senses, triggering unexpected and powerful emotional responses, which sometimes result in tears – and not just tears of sadness. Tears flow spontaneously in response to a release of tension, perhaps at the end of a particularly engrossing performance.

Why are bigger people better at opera? ›

There are several theories attempting to explain why opera singers are often pleasingly plump. One holds that a large amount of fatty tissue surrounding the voice box (larynx) increases its resonance capability and thus produces a more pleasing sound. The amount of this fatty tissue varies from singer to singer.

What are the 4 components of opera? ›

An opera is composed of four essential elements: the text ('libretto') and the music, the singing and the staging.

Why does opera sound weird? ›

Opera singers traditionally use much more vibrato—a slow, cyclic variation or "wobble" in pitch—compared to orchestral musicians. This helps the signal processing within our auditory system to distinguish the voice of a singer as something quite different from the surrounding instrumentation of the orchestra.

Why was La traviata controversial? ›

“La traviata” exposed the open wound of the society - politics, misogyny, and hypocrisy then prevalent at the heart of Europe.

Why is La traviata so famous? ›

“La traviata is one of the most famous operas and it's because it has really emotional music and scenes of great power. It's a very attractive opera to watch and a very compelling story.”

What makes La traviata unique? ›

La Traviata is an intimate, domestic opera that focuses exclusively on characters who look and act like those present at its premiere. In fact, Verdi went so far as to demand the opera be staged in modern dress, further blurring the lines between audiences and onstage characters.

What is your overall impression of the performance of La traviata? ›

The overall impression is of deep, contained sadness rather than histrionic tragedy, and the evening is all the more effective for it.

What is the name of the drinking song from La traviata? ›

"Libiamo ne' lieti calici" (Italian pronunciation: [liˈbjaːmo ne ˈljɛːti ˈkaːlitʃi]; "Let's drink from the joyful cups") is a famous duet with chorus from Giuseppe Verdi's La traviata (1853), one of the best-known opera melodies and a popular performance choice (as is this opera itself) for many great tenors.

What language is La traviata in? ›

La traviata is an Italian opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi, libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, after Alexandre Dumas, fils's novel La dame aux camélias, published in 1848.

Is La traviata a love story? ›

La traviata is the only one of Verdi's 27 operas that chronicles a love affair as its main theme. Not just a love affair but a thoroughly believable one. Violetta, Alfredo and his father are real characters, people with the same emotions as you and me, people we can believe in.


1. La Traviata | Join the party
(Opera Australia)
2. Verdi- La Traviata (Full Score)
(Simon Kawasaki)
3. La Traviata w. Greg Eldridge | Opera Synopsis | Avi Green
(Avi Green)
4. Lecture 19. Romantic Opera: Verdi's La Traviata, Bocelli, Pavarotti and Domingo
5. Repertoire: The IDEAL Verdi Operas
(The Ultimate Classical Music Guide by Dave Hurwitz)
6. An Introduction to … VERDI La traviata: Violetta's death
(David Timson - Topic)
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