Verdi La Traviata
Olavinlinna Castle - Savonlinna Olavinlinna Castle - 57130 Savonlinna Finlande
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)