What is the story of La Traviata the opera?
An ode to impossible love: what is the story of La Traviata the opera?
The opera, set to music by Verdi and adapted by Francesco Maria Piave from the novel “La Dame aux camélias” by Alexandre Dumas fils, is divided into three acts and tells about love in its many forms: happiness in meeting, pleasure in bodies and minds, fight against convention, social condemnation, the pain of separation, and ultimately, death. So, what is the story of La Traviata the opera, this tragedy of love?
The story of La Traviata the opera by Verdi: Act One, love is born
Violetta Valery, the star and soprano of Giuseppe Verdi’s opera, is a very famous courtesan. During a party in a salon in a Parisian hotel, Gaston, one of Violetta’s admirers, introduces her to his friend Alfredo Germont, the other star and tenor, a young man from a good family. Verdi celebrates life and its encounters with the well-known toast “Libiamo ne’ lieti calici” (“Let’s drink from the joyful cups”). Alfredo declares his love, but Violetta hesitates due to this true love.
The story of La Traviata the opera by Verdi: Act Two, breaking with tradition
Alfredo and Violetta have moved in together near Paris, but when Alfredo learns that Violetta is selling furniture and jewelry due to the expenses, he returns to Paris to solve the financial problems. At this point, Alfredo’s father, Giorgio Germont, the opera’s baritone, forces Violetta to sever her relationship with Alfredo to protect her family’s reputation, because their relationship is not socially acceptable. Violetta is upset but accepts, and after a passionate confrontation with Alfredo (the famous aria “Amami, Alfredo!”), she returns to Paris. During a party in Paris at the house of Violetta’s friend Flora, Alfredo sees Violetta accompanied by Baron Douphol and becomes blinded by jealousy, throwing the money he won against the Baron at Violetta’s feet. All the guests, including Giorgio, condemn Alfredo, but Violetta forgives him. He does not know that she is acting like this out of love.
The story of La Traviata the opera by Verdi: Act Three, the ending
Seriously ill, Violetta is lying in bed. She learns that Giorgio told his son the whole truth, letting him know the sacrifice she made. Alfredo returns to Paris to ask his forgiveness. When Alfredo arrives, Violetta feels the hope of love reviving, and she would like to experience this love, but she faints. Plagued by tuberculosis, Violetta dies in Alfredo’s arms.
This is a short summary of the story of La Traviata the opera by Verdi, but words are not enough: you simply must see the opera in person. For a traditional Italian experience, and to enjoy one of Giuseppe Verdi‘s most famous operas, contact us.