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Production photo of La traviata, The Royal Opera © 2019 ROH. Photographed by Catherine Ashmore

Verdi La Traviata

The 01 February 2020
Covent Garden - London
Program

Verdi : La Traviata

3 h 20
Cast
  • Conductor
    Daniel Oren
  • Director
    Richard Eyre
  • Performers
    Violetta Valery: Vlada Borovko
    Alfredo Germont: Rame Lahaj
    Giorgio Germont: Gabriele Viviani
Details on the Performance

Verdi based La traviata on Alexandre Dumas fils's novel and play La Dame aux camélias, inspired by the life and death of the real Parisian courtesan Marie Duplessis. Verdi offered a more complex and sympathetic portrayal of his heroine than Dumas, highlighting Violetta's noble nature and her devotion to Alfredo. La traviata had an initially lukewarm reception, but after Verdi revised the work in 1854 it became enormously successful. It is currently the most performed opera in the world, and the role of Violetta a favourite for many star sopranos.

Richard Eyre's stunning naturalistic production contrasts the superficial glamour of 19th-century Parisian high life with intimate scenes for Violetta with Alfredo and Giorgio Germont, culminating in the heart-breaking final act. Verdi's sublime score contains some of his most inspired arias and duets, including Violetta's introspective 'Ah fors'è lui' and hedonistic 'Sempre libera', Violetta and Germont's poignant Act II encounter and Alfredo and Violetta's 'Parigi, o cara', in which they dream of a happy future.

Source © The Royal Opera House

  • Venue Info
  • Seating Plan
  • Synopsis

Covent Garden - London Location Bow Street, Covent Garden - WC2E 9DD London Royaume-Uni

  • Venue's Capacity: 2256

The Venue's History in few words …

Covent Garden's lyrical tradition goes back to the eighteenth century. It is here, for example, in a theatre constructed in 1732 by John Rich, the successful producer of THE BEGGAR'S OPERA, that the London public discovered several of Handel's operas.

Covent Garden then also staged plays and pantomime, a tradition which continued well into the thirties. The theatre has since hosted the most diverse productions, including cinema, cabaret, ice shows, and the circus. Today only opera and dance (The Royal Ballet) share the season.

 

As is the case with many an opera house. Covent Garden's life history was interrupted by fire, which twice destroyed the building. The second Royal Opera was inaugurated in 1809. Weber composed OBERON for the theatre, and conducted its premiere in 1826; the next year, Beethoven's F ID EU o was staged. From 1847, Covent Garden most often scheduled the Italian repertoire, with works by Rossini and Verdi. After the fire that demolished the second theatre in 1856, and until 1914, the third opera house built on the Covent Garden site became known as the theatre that hired the world's leading artists (like Nellie Melba, Caruso, and Adelina Patti, who refused all rehearsals by contract), and paid them royally. Several legendary conductors furthered the Royal Opera House's reputation after the First World War, such as Bruno Walter, and, of course, Thomas Beecham, who introduced the opera of Richard Strauss.

 

During the Second World War, Covent Garden became a "Palais de Dance" (sic). At the end of the war, following an intense period of negogiations. the ambitious decision was made to found a permanent opera company. Karl Rankl was appointed the first Music Director of the Covent Garden Opera Company (it became The Royal Opera in 1968) which gave its first performance in 1947.

 

Rankl's successors - Rafael Kubelik, Georg Solti, Colin Davis, and Bernard Haitink - have managed to maintain the company spirit and even the most celebrated guest artists are obliged to attend rehearsals.

Covent Garden

The seating plan is given as an indication and has no contractual value.
The division of categories may differ depending on shows and dates.

Synopsis

La Traviata

LA TRAVIATA: AN EXCITING AND PASSIONATE OPERA
La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi is a popular opera played over three parts, and set to a beautiful Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave.

Telling the tale of a fallen woman, the opera is based on an original play adapted from a novel entitled 'La Dame aux Camélias' by Alexandre Dumas, the younger son of the famous French writer. Though both Verdi and Piave wished to adhere to Dumas' contemporary setting, authorities at La Fenice were adamant that it should be set in the 1700's. It was only in the 1880's that the opera was finally performed in the contemporary setting that Verdi had intended. However, it was not well recieved until it was again revised.

HISTORY
The most performed opera in the world according to Operaboard 2012/2013, and certainly one of the most popular, La Traviata is set in early 18th century Paris and tells the tale of Violetta, a courtesan.

Act 1
A fabulous party is thrown to celebrate the recovery from illness of famous Parisian courtesan, Violetta Valéry. Count Gastone has brought along his friend, the young noble Alfredo Germont who is in love with Violetta. Gastone tells Violetta that during her illness Alfredo visited her home every daym abnd she wonders if he could be 'the one'. However, Violetta's lover Baron Douphol is not impressed and refuses to toast her creating the opening for Alfredo to sing a drinking song in her honour.

Act 2
Scene 1:
Violetta has given up her life in Paris and has moved with Alfredo to her country home. Annina the maid has been to Paris to sell Violetta's belongings to support them and when Alfredo discovers this he leaves for Paris. Alfredo's father, Giorgio Germont visits Violetta to beg her to break up with his son since her reputation is ruining his daughter's engagement. She finally agrees and is seen weeping alone. Leaving a farewell note with her servant for Alfredo, Violetta leaves for Paris.
Scene 2: Party at Flora's house
Everyone is shocked to hear of the break up of Violetta and Alfredo. She arrives at the party with Baron Douphol. Alfredo says it will be he who leaves with her and wins a lot of money at the gambling table. Alfredo won't believe that Violetta no longer loves him and forces her to say that she is in love with the Baron. Alfredo throws the money at Violetta to 'pay for her services'. Giorgio enters looking for his son Alfredo and immediately realises what has happened. The Baron and Alfredo decide to fight a duel.

Act 3
Her tuberculosis has returned and Violetta doesn't have long to live when a letter from Alfredo's father informing her that the Baron was only wounded. He has told Alfredo of the sacrifice Violetta made for him and his sister. It is too late and Violetta is aware of this when Alfredo rushes in. She dies in his arms.

THE MAIN ROLES
Violetta Valéry - courtesan (soprano)
Alfredo Germont - a young noble (tenor)
Giorgio Germont - Alfredo's father (baritone)
Annina - maid (soprano)
Barone Douphol - Violetta's lover and Alfredo's rival (baritone)

Covent Garden

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