Most recent performance
There are currently no scheduled performances of La traviata. It was last on stage 14 June—4 July 2017 as part of the Winter 2016/17 season.
Alfredo and the courtesan Violetta fall passionately in love. But Alfredo’s father, Giorgio Germont, disapproves of their relationship.
Germont convinces Violetta that she must leave Alfredo, for the family’s sake – not realizing that Violetta is very ill. Alfredo is distraught, believing that Violetta has left him out of self-interest. When Violetta is on her deathbed Germont understands the extent of her sacrifice. He confesses all to Alfredo, who is with Violetta as she dies.
‘A toast to the pleasures of life!’ – so sings 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, inspired by Alexandre Dumas fils’s play La Dame aux camélias – itself based on the true story of the courtesan Marie Duplessis – is one of the most popular operas, combining drama, profound emotion and wonderful melody.
Richard Eyre’s classic production conveys the indulgent social whirl of 19th-century Paris. It provides a vivid setting for Verdi’s gorgeous score – its many highlights include 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 – and one of his most beloved.
News and features
4 July 2017
Audience reactions to Verdi’s famous opera, telling the tragic tale of a Parisian courtesan, broadcast live across the UK.
30 June 2017
Join the Company for free from Covent Garden as they present one of the best-loved of all operas.
28 February 2017
The Russian soprano was told just an hour before curtain up that she would make her Royal Opera debut as Violetta in La traviata.
8 December 2016
The composer made it his mission to subvert the rigid culture of opera, and his controversial works saw him frequently battle the authorities.
4 February 2016
What did you think of the live cinema relay of Richard Eyre's production of Verdi's classic opera?
4 February 2016
Another chance to watch films shown in the intervals of the live cinema relay of La traviata, including stage rehearsal footage and exclusive interviews.
La traviata (Italian: [la traviˈaːta; traˈvjaːta], 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 titled 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.