Phoenix Opera La Traviata
The three act opera by Giuseppe Verdi named La Traviata features an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave. Its theme is based on a play from 1852 named La dame aux Camelias that was taken from a novel by Alexandre Dumas called Fils. The name La Traviata means The Woman Gone Astray or The Fallen Woman, a name that replaced its original name after its leading character Violetta. Originally the play was played in the past i.e. c 1700, against the wishes of Piave and Verdi who wanted to keep it in a contemporary setting. Their wishes were fulfilled in 1880s when authorities at La Fenice allowed them to do it as they desired.
The opera opened in 1853, and first shows remained unsuccessful despite great artistic work by Verdi, as it was not properly followed by the musicians. Verdi did not lose hope after this failure and still believed in himself as is evident from his letters to his friends, as he probably knew that it was not the fault of his work rather the musicians just did not understand his music. The show was presented again in 1854 after some major revisions, mainly in acts 2 and 3, and proved to be a great success. It is believed that the opera’s success owed a great deal to Violetta’s portrayal by Maria Spezia – Aldighieri. A revised version was also presented at Her Majesty’s Theatre in 1856 in London.
The opera begins with a setting of early 1800s or 1900s, with first act showing a scene of party at Violetta’s salon in Paris organized to celebrate her health after a long illness. Violetta is a famous courtesan, and is introduced by a count named Gastone to his friend Alfredo Germont. Gastone also reveals to Violetta about Germont’s feelings for her and tells her that Germont visited her house every day when she was unwell. Alfredo Germont also meets and greets Violetta, as her current lover and The Baron watches them. Later, everyone moves to the next room to dance as Violetta feels dizzy and stays back to rest, while Germont expresses his feelings of love for her and she responds by giving him a flower and asking him to meet again the next day. As they all leave, she thinks about her relationship with Germont but decides that she should stay free and have some time for herself in life.
The second act opens with first scene at Violetta’s country house outside Paris, where she resides with Alfredo after being unable to resist his love for her and abandoning all her former life. Her maid Annina returns from Paris after selling her valuables to get money for her country lifestyle, and on knowing this Alfredo leaves to Paris to take care of the matters himself. While he is away, Violetta receives an invitation for a party at her friend Flora. Meanwhile Alfredo’s father contacts her and demands that she should leave Alfredo as her reputation as a courtesan is affecting their family, upon which Violetta reluctantly agrees, and weeps over it. Giorgio, Alrfredo’s father, becomes impressed with her nobility. Violetta writes a farewell letter to Alfredo and leaves for party, where Alfredo also comes and asks her to go home with him. On seeing The Baron, she tries to send him home fearing the two men would fight, but Alfredo misunderstands her and insults her, due to which she falls to the ground. Giorgio also arrives, and along with other guests, reprimands Alfredo as Violetta expresses her love for him.
The third act shows Violetta being seriously ill as doctor informs that her Tuberculosis has worsened and she has little time to live. Giorgio tells Alfredo about the reality and Alfredo comes to see her and asks for forgiveness, and to leave Paris with her but she says that it is too late. Eventually she tells him that her pain is gone, but dies in his arms after a moment.
The popularity of this Opera has become a milestone now, after reaching number 3 on America’s list of 20 most performed operas in North America. La Traviata Tickets promise viewers an exquisite show performed to perfection by renowned musicians.