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La traviata to be relayed live to cinemas around the world on 4 February 2016

Richard Eyre's production of Verdi's tragic tale of love and loss stars Venera Gimadieva and Saimir Pirgu.

By Ottilie Thornhill (Winner of the Kings Cultural Challenge)

29 January 2016 at 2.23pm | 21 Comments

The Royal Opera’s La traviata will be broadcast live to cinemas around the world on 4 February 2016 at 7:15pm GMT.

Richard Eyre’s production of Verdi’s classic opera vividly portrays the passionate relationship between Violetta and Alfredo.

Download the La traviata Digital Programme for free using the promo code 'FREETRAV' and view a selection of images and articles that explore the production and the history behind it.

The cinema relay will be presented by writer and actor Simon Callow.

The Story and Background

La traviata is based on Alexandre Dumas, fils play La Dame aux camellias, which in turn drew on the life of Parisian Courtesan and literary muse Marie Duplessis, who would leave red and white camellias in her window to indicate her availability to clients. Her affair with Dumas and tragic death of consumption at the age of twenty-three both fueled the inspiration the writer’s heroine, Marguerite Gautier.

Find out more about the tragic true tale behind La traviata

Verdi worked with librettist Francesco Maria Piave and composed the three act opera in 1853. Initially hampered by an antiquated setting of 1700 and allegations of immorality due to the plot, it took more than thirty years for Verdi’s desire of a realistic setting to be fulfilled. La traviata is now one of the composer’s best loved works.

The music

The highs and lows of human passion and emotion are present throughout La traviata. Violetta’s Act I aria ‘Ah fors’è lui’ strips back the coquettish professional flurries of the courtesan to reveal a young woman in love for the first time. It is matched in joy by the ecstatic ‘Sempre libera’ whilst later Giorgio Germont’s attempts to separate the lovers, ‘Pura siccome un angelo’, is made all the more poignant by Violetta’s self-sacrificing consent and unconditional love in ‘Amani Alfredo’.

Explore 'Ah fors’è lui' and 'Sempre libera' in greater depth with our Musical Highlights article

The Cast

The cinema relay will see Russian sporano Venera Gimadieva sing the role of Violetta alongside Albanian tenor Saimir Pirgu as Alfredo Germont. Alfredo's father Giorgio will be sung by Luca Salsi. Both Venera and Luca make their Royal Opera debuts during the current run.


After the relay on 4 February, we will publish a roundup of the audience tweets, so share your thoughts using the hashtag #ROHtraviata.

La traviata runs 16 January – 1 February 2017. Tickets are still available.

The production is staged with generous support from Coutts.

This article has 21 comments

  1. Unfortunately, I will not be able to watch--there is not a theater close enough for me to go. It looks like it will be a great production!

  2. Stevie responded on 3 February 2016 at 11:20pm Reply

    Poor Gregory, fortunately I will be seeing it and If I really wanted to see something I would travel the distance. Loved Gimedieva in the same role at Glyndbourne, so don't intent missing this, a real treat, she clearly has the voice and something about her gives charisma and fascination.

  3. Alma Stone responded on 4 February 2016 at 10:16am Reply

    Happy to see tonight this amazing production and all those wonderful voices! Can't wait!

  4. Lucia responded on 4 February 2016 at 7:44pm Reply

    Wonderfull Violetta !!

  5. Alberto responded on 4 February 2016 at 7:47pm Reply


  6. Anna responded on 4 February 2016 at 10:09pm Reply

    Wonderful couple amazing show tonight!!!

  7. Anna responded on 4 February 2016 at 10:18pm Reply

    Venera and Saimir made the perfect couple for this production!!

  8. Success is the only word for tonight live show.Bravo Pirgu, Gimadieva and Salsi.

  9. Lila responded on 4 February 2016 at 10:32pm Reply

    For sure one of the best La Traviata :) The lovers were just amazing.Thanks Venera and Saimir :)))

  10. Fantastic night. The best La Traviata yet.....wonderful cast. A night to remember .

  11. Sophie Fitzgerald responded on 5 February 2016 at 8:21am Reply

    10 out of 10 for last night production of La Traviata.Venera was enchanting as Violetta.
    I fell in love with Saimir as Alfredo.
    The perfect acting ,the Spanish dance,Venera's beauty and grace filled our evening with great pleasure.what a treat!

  12. Hana responded on 5 February 2016 at 9:53am Reply

    What a night!! I watched the show with my whole family and for sure we enjoyed the show a lot!! The cast was great and i loved the costumes! Venera and Saimir...lovely and passionate!

  13. Angela responded on 5 February 2016 at 9:55am Reply

    The last chance to see Saimir Pirgu and Venera Gimadieva is tomorrow and do not miss it.Their voices raise you up to the seventh heaven!! Bravo Royal Opera!

  14. Deborah Parris-Littler responded on 5 February 2016 at 9:56am Reply

    My mother and I saw the production in the Sucre cinema in Vic, Catalunya and we loved it! The huge advantage of seeing it on film were, apart from other things, the close-ups. We were truly entranced and also Simon Callow's commentary during the intervals was a great addition. Thank you so much for this new way to see opera - not expensive and close to home!

  15. Tiny responded on 5 February 2016 at 9:59am Reply

    BEAUTIFUL!!!! Everything was perfect..the stage, the dresses, the music...father Germont touched me so deeply and the surprise of the night was definitely Pirgu's fiery Alfredo! He is a very handsome tenor!!!

  16. La Traviata with lots of qualities voices! Bravo to the lovers and a big bravo for Luca Salsi! These are the stars of nowadays opera!!

  17. This production made you dream and go to deep thinking on how love is built with sacrifices.lOVE IT! Thank you ROH!

  18. John M Mutch responded on 5 February 2016 at 12:45pm Reply

    What a relief to have Simon Callow hosting - it was the icing on the cake - and much more genuine sounding than the various hosts for ballet from the ROH (no dignity, and dumbing down!). Hooray for Simon Callow, and the person who chose him. Also, for goodness sake stop showing the "culture for the community" clip from the ROH stage - which is so patronising it is actually offensive!

  19. Margaretha de Wit responded on 7 February 2016 at 3:41pm Reply

    I was waching today and it was a wunderfull performance and touched my soul like always. I was again crying and my opinon is SUPER PERFECT i will watch also Lucia di Lammermoor 1 of my favorite opera,s Thanks for this wunderfull opera all the performers . Love from Holland

  20. Graham Dane responded on 27 January 2017 at 12:36am Reply

    Was in the audience on Tuesday and it was stupendous in every detail. The way Violetta filled the whole theatre with emotion even while lying on the floor astounded me. Who sang Violetta on 26.1.2017?

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