Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
La Traviata is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi. Its text by Francesco Maria Piave is based on the novel by Alexandre Dumas, fils, La dame aux Camelias and it was first produced in Venice in 1853. The title means literally The Woman who Strayed, or perhaps more poetically The Lost One.
- Place: Paris and vicinity.
- Time: about 1700. (Many modern productions of La Traviata set the opera in the 1850's.)
Violetta Valery, famed courtesan, thows a party at her Parisian abode. A late arrival to the party is Gaston, a count, who has brought with him his friend, Alfredo Germont, who has longed for a year to meet Violetta. Alfredo, upon introduction to Violetta, expresses his concern for her failing health and later declares his love for her. Violetta rejects him but gives him a camelia, telling him to return when the flower has wilted. After the guests leave, Violetta contemplates the possibility of a real relationship with true love but finally rejects the notion. She needs to be free to live life, night and day, from one pleasure to another.
A few months later, Alfredo and Violetta are leading an idyllic existence in a country house outside of Paris -- it seems Violetta has fallen in love with Alfredo, despite her earlier predictions to the contrary. She has completely abandoned her former life. Alfredo discovers, however, the Violetta has sold all of her belongings in order to support this country life, so he rushes to Paris to rectify the situation. While Alfredo is away his father comes to Violetta and tells her that Alfredo's future and the fortunes of his sister have been destroyed by his connection with her (her reputation as a courtesan is compromising the Germont name). With growing remorse she listens to the pathetic words of the older Germont and, through his influence, leaves her love, giving as explanation a desire for her old, wild existence. In order to drown her grief, she plunges more deeply than ever into dissipation. Alfredo confronts her at lavish party and disgraces her by throwing money -- the money he feels he owes her for her services rendered while they lived together in the country -- at her. Violetta, overcome with sickness and sorrow, faints. Baron Duophal, Violetta's escort, challenges Alfredo to a duel while Violetta regains her strength and pleads her love for Alfredo.
A few months after the party, Violetta is bed-ridden due to her bout with tuberculosis (or "consumption" in 19th century opera vernacular). Old Germont sends her a letter stating that he informed Alfredo of the sacrifice Violetta made for Alfredo and his sister. Alfredo (alive after wounding the Baron in a duel), hastens to her side, understanding at last that Violetta had sacrificed herself for his sake, and begs her forgiveness. She dies in his arms.
ACT I. Violetta's home. Ensemble of the guests. (Drinking song -- Brindisi, Alfredo and Violetta: “Libiamo ne' lieti calici -- Let's drink from the happy goblets”; Alfredo's profession of love: “Di quell'amor ch'ť palpito -- In that throbbing love ”; Chorus: “Si ridesta in ciel l'aurora -- The dawn reawakens in the sky”; Scene and aria of Violetta: “… strano -- It is strange” and “Sempre libera -- Always free.”)
ACT II. At a country house. (Alfredo's scene: “Lunge da lei per me non v'ha diletto -- Far from her there's no joy”; Aria: “De miei bollenti spiriti -- Of my ardent spirit”; Scene and duet, Violetta, Germont's father: “Mademoiselle Valery?” and “Pure siccome un angelo, Iddio mi diť una figlia -- Pure as an angel, God gave me a daughter”; Scene, Violetta, Alfredo: “Che fai? -- What are you doing?” Scene of Alfredo and aria of Germont: “Di Provenza il mar, il suol -- Of Provence the sea, the land.”)
ACT III. (Sometimes played as second scene of Act II.) At Flora's house. (Scene and masked gipsy chorus: “Noi siamo zingarelle -- We are gipsy girls”; Chorus of bull-fighters: “Di Madride noi siam mattadori -- From Madrid we are matadors.”) Scene between Violetta, Germont and Alfredo. (Violetta: “Questa donna conoscete? -- Do you know this woman?”)
ACT IV. Bedchamber of Violetta. Scene between Violetta, Annina and physician. Violetta reads the letter of Germont. (“Addio del passato -- Farewell! past days of joy”; Scene and duet, Violetta, Alfredo: “Oh mia Violetta, oh joy -- Oh, my Violetta, oh joy” and “Parigi, o cara, noi lascieremo -- Paris, oh dear one, we will leave”; Aria, Violetta: “Gran Dio! non posso -- Great God, I cannot”; Finale, Germont, Violetta, Alfredo, with Violetta's death.)
References and external links
- Plot taken from The Opera Goer's Complete Guide by Leo Melitz, 1921 version.
Various versions of the movie Camille are based on the opera.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details