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La Traviata

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 Sinner.


Warning: Wikipedia contains spoilers!

Place: Paris and vicinity.
Time: about 1700.

The frail Violetta Valery forms the acquaintance of Alfred Germont, and for love of him abandons her questionable life. They lead an idyllic existence in the country, until during Alfred's absence his father comes to Violetta and tells her that the future of Alfred and the fortunes of his sister have been destroyed by his connection with her. With growing remorse she listens to the pathetic words of old Germont, and through his influence leaves her lover, giving as explanation a desire for her old gay existence. In order to drown her grief, she plunges more wildly than ever into dissipation, and when met by Alfred at an entertainment is insulted by him.

Violetta's admirer, Baron Douphal, challenges Alfred, and Violetta, already far from strong, is made seriously ill by the excitement. Old Germont, moved by compassion, and realising that Violetta's love is sincere, gives his consent to the union of the lovers. Alfred hastens to her side, understanding at last that Violetta had sacrificed herself for his sake, comes to beg her forgiveness, and she dies in his arms.

ACT I. Chamber of Violetta. Ensemble of the guests. (Drinking song, Alfred and Violetta: “Who merrily enjoys this life”; Alfred's confession of love: “A year ago— so lovely, so charming”; Chorus: “Soon shines the light of day”; Scene and aria of Violetta: “Strange, very strange,” and “'Tis he, his handsome face.”)

ACT II. Chamber in a country house. (Alfred's scene: “Far from thee”; Aria: “Her eyes' magic charm”; Scene and duet, Violetta, Germont's father: “Mademoiselle Valery?” and “God gave me a daughter”; Scene, Violetta, Alfred: “What are you doing ?” Scene of Alfred and aria of Germont: “In Provence, by the sea.”)

ACT III. (Sometimes played as second scene of Act II.) At Flora's house. (Scene and masked gipsy chorus: “We are gipsy girls”; Chorus of bull-fighters: “From the circus at Madrid.”) Scene, Violetta and Alfred, and challenge of Douphal. Scene between Violetta, Germont and Alfred. (Violetta: “Alfred, d, you know not my love.”)

ACT IV. Bedchamber of Violetta. Scene between Violetta, Annina and physician. Violetta reads the letter of Germont giving his consent to her union with Alfred. (“Farewell ! past days of joy”; Scene and duet, Violetta, Alfred: “Oh, you my life, you my highest joy”; Aria, Violetta: “O great God”; Finale, Germont, Violetta, Alfred, 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.

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Thomas a Kempis

... was made as early as 1447, which still remains in manuscript. The first printed French copies appeared at Toulouse 1488. The earliest German translation ...

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