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The Story

Alfredo and the courtesan Violetta fall passionately in love. But Alfredo’s father Giorgio disapproves of their relationship.

Read more… (Contains spoilers)

Background

‘A toast to the pleasures of life!’ – so sing Violetta, her new admirer Alfredo and her party guests in the opening scene of Giuseppe Verdi’s La traviata. But beneath the surface glamour of Violetta’s Parisian life run darker undercurrents: her doomed love for Alfredo and the tensions the lovers encounter when they break society’s conventions. La traviata, based on Alexander Dumas fils’s play La Dame aux camélias, is one of Verdi’s most popular operas, combining drama, profound emotion and wonderful melodies.

Richard Eyre’s classic production conveys the indulgent social whirl of 19th-century Paris. It provides a vivid setting for Verdi’s tuneful score, which includes such favourites as Violetta’s introspective ‘Ah fors’è lui’ and ecstatic ‘Sempre libera’; the duet ‘Pura siccome un angelo’ as Giorgio Germont begs Violetta to leave Alfredo; and ‘Parigi, o cara’, in which the lovers poignantly imagine a life that will never be theirs. The role of Violetta (the ‘fallen woman’ of the title) is one of Verdi’s most complex and enduring characters.

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On Wikipedia

La traviata (Italian: [la traˈviaːta], "The Fallen Woman") is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi set to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave. It is based on La dame aux Camélias (1852), a play adapted from the novel by Alexandre Dumas, fils. The opera was originally entitled Violetta, after the main character. It was first performed on 6 March 1853 at the La Fenice opera house in Venice.Piave and Verdi wanted to follow Dumas in giving the opera a contemporary setting, but the authorities at La Fenice insisted that it be set in the past, "c. 1700". It was not until the 1880s that the composer and librettist's original wishes were carried out and "realistic" productions were staged.

Abstract taken from the Wikipedia article La traviata, available under a Creative Commons license.