Live Cinema Season

La traviata (2016)

Recorded | Opera

Running time: About 3 hours 20 minutes | Including two intervals

La traviata (2016)

Verdi’s tragic opera of a Parisian courtesan who sacrifices all for love is vividly told in Richard Eyre’s production.


The story

Alfredo Germont and the courtesan Violetta Valéry fall in love at a party in Violetta's Paris salon. Alfredo is determined to cure Violetta of her tuberculosis, and the couple leave Paris and begin a contented life in the country. But Violetta's happiness is destroyed when Alfredo's father Giorgio Germont pays her a visit.

Violetta’s scandalous relationship with Alfredo is jeopardizing Giorgio Germont’s daughter’s engagement, and Germont persuades Violetta to leave his son. Heartbroken, Violetta promises not to tell Alfredo why. Alfredo is stunned when Violetta disappears, and decides she must have left him from self-interest. He confronts her at a Paris party and leaves her. Only when Violetta is dying does he learn the truth.


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.



The Royal Opera


Giuseppe Verdi


Francesco Maria Piave


Richard Eyre


Bob Crowley

Lighting designer

Jean Kalman

Director of movement

Jane Gibson


Yves Abel
Violetta Valéry
Venera Gimadieva
Alfredo Germont
Saimir Pirgu
Giorgio Germont
Luca Salsi
Flora Bervoix
Andrea Hill
Gastone de Letorières
Samuel Sakker
Sarah Pring
Baron Douphol
Yuriy Yurchuk
Doctor Grenvil
James Platt
Marquis D'Obigny
Jeremy White
Neil Gillespie
John Bernays
Michael Lessiter
Royal Opera Chorus
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House

News and features

To find out more visit the La traviata (2016) production page.